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Anna J. Wesselink, Wiebe E. Bijker, Huib J. de Vriend, and Maarten S. Krol

This article shows how Dutch technological culture has historically dealt with and developed around vulnerability with respect to flooding and indicates recent developments in attitude towards the flood threat. The flooding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina temporarily made the Dutch public worry about the flood defense infrastructure in the Netherlands, exemplified by the Delta Works. Could this happen in the Netherlands? After the flooding disaster of 1953, a system of large dams was built to offer safety from flooding with—in theory at least—protection levels that are much higher than in New Orleans. In the public's perception the protection offered is absolute. In practice not all flood defense structures are as secure as they are supposed to be, but their upgrading takes time and money. Katrina has served as a reminder of what is at stake: Can the Dutch afford to take another 10 years to restore the protection level of their flood defenses? Calls for pride in clever engineering are the latest in a continuing debate on the best way to continue life below sea level.

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Sandbags, Strikes, and Scandals

Public Disorder and Problematic Policing in Occupied Roubaix during World War I

James E. Connolly

affaire des sacs that brought public perception and judgment—and the attendant importance of rumor—to the fore. During this period, a French policeman was involved in a local scandal. Police investigations into this incident provide an insight into the

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Pertti Ahonen

The Berlin Wall was a key site of contestation between the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic in their Cold War struggle over political legitimacy. On both sides, the Wall became a tool in intense publicity battles aimed at building legitimacy and collective identity at home, and undermining them in the other Germany. The public perceptions and politicized uses of the barrier evolved through stages that reflected the relative fortunes of the two German states, moving gradually from extensive East-West parallels in the early 1960s toward a growing divergence by the 1970s and 1980s, which became increasingly indicative of East Germany's weakness.

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Bleu, Blanc…Green?

France and Climate Change

Éloi Laurent

The deadly heat wave of August 2003 convinced a majority of French of the dramatic impact of climate change. This article aims at presenting evidence and analysis about public perception, environmental performance, and policy development in France with regards to this major public apprehension. The French are indeed among the most concerned people in the world and the EU about climate change, and they seem more willing than others to act resolutely to mitigate it. Yet, if the performance of the French economy in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (GHS) is flattering, ambitious public policies will have to be implemented to achieve the "factor 4" objective set in 2005 (a four-fold reduction of GHG by 2050). This was precisely the main purpose of the "Grenelle environnement," which in 2007 tried to build into the law the national consensus on climate change and the sustainability of which is bound to be tested by acute economic difficulties.

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The Other and the Ordinary

Demystifying and Demusealising the Jew

Oliver Lubrich

The German public's perception of Jews is problematic in more than one way: besides an aggressive and latent anti-Semitism, less malicious clichés and even well-meaning efforts to relate to Jewish topics often fail to grasp the reality of Jewish life. Jews are predominantly associated with the Shoah, and thus with National-Socialism. They appear in research projects, documentary films, political debates and historical museums. If Judaism is portrayed as a contemporary culture at all, it is exoticised through visual topoi such as synagogues and kippot, Torah scrolls and paeyes, and transformed into a mysterious and obscure religion. Germans’ imagination of their Jewish fellow-citizens have little in common with the reality of Jewish life in Germany today.

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Jonas Rädel

In German public perceptions, right-wing populism is cast as a specifically east German problem. This article critically examines how this assumption is located within the debate on German unity. In order to clarify the sometimes-confusing arguments on German unification, two paradigmatic perspectives can be identified: German unity can be approached from a perspective of modernization, or through the lens of postcolonial critique. When it comes to right-wing populism in eastern Germany, the modernization paradigm suffers from a lack of understanding. Hence, the arguments of the postcolonial perspective must be taken seriously, particularly as the postcolonial reading can grasp the complex phenomenon of right-wing populism in east Germany, and prevent the discursive and geographic space of the region from being conquered by right-wing political actors.

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Gamed by the System

Exploring Black Male Youths’ Motivation to Participate in Sports

Deborwah Faulk, Robert A. Bennett III, and James L. Moore III

background and character influence Black men’s interactions with social institutions ( Hughs 2004 ). Various sports institutions, like the NBA, are actively engaging in monitoring and regulating public perceptions of Black athletes. Allen Iverson, a young

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What Makes a Panther a Panther?

Genetics, Human Perceptions, and the Complexity of Species Categorization

Catherine Macdonald and Julia Wester

human attitudes can also be improved and refined by larger sample sizes. This study would most accurately be understood as establishing some baseline data about public perceptions of and intuitions about speciation and hybridization, on which future

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M. Guadalupe Torres-Jiménez, Rene Murrieta-Galindo, Beatriz Bolívar-Cimé, Astrid Wojtarowski-Leal, and M. Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez

-Wilchis, & Ornelas, 2017 ). Despite these proven scientific results, public perceptions of bats affect the use of bat guano as fertilizer. In Hidalgo, Mexico, Laura Navarro (2007) has documented how many residents perceive bats negatively due to lack of knowledge

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Automobility and Oil Vulnerability

Unfairness as Critical to Energy Transitions

Ana Horta

distance and lack of trust in political leaders, may compromise public support for energy transitions, especially in contexts where large segments of the population face economic hardship and there is a public perception that others (state administration or