Discussions on bioethical issues within the Saudi society are a relatively new development. However, they have taken increasing importance over the last two decades. This accompanied the massive advances in medical care, the beginning of medical and biological research, the establishment of pharmaceutical companies and the exposure of society to international norms. By and large the driving forces of the need for bioethical discourses are the practical needs arising from these recent developments in our region rather than that being due to theoretical or academic investigation. In this article, we discuss issues related to the interaction between society and medical ethics in Saudi Arabia with particular reference to organ transplantation ethics.
Abdulla Al Sayyari, Fayez Hejaili and Faissal Shaheen
Origins and Diversity
Today, "social policy" is an expression used across the globe to denote a broad range of issues, such as old age security, health, housing and so on. But historically, "social policy" had a distinct European origin and a distinct meaning. I maintain that "social policy" and the "welfare state" are more than a list of social services, and also have strong socio-cultural underpinnings that account for the diversity of social policy. The idea of "social policy" emerged in mid-nineteenth-century Germany against the backdrop of secularization and functional differentiation of modern society. I then pinpoint the twentieth-century move from "social policy" to the broader cultural idea of a universalistic "welfare state." The idea emerged internationally as early as the 1940s, even before the post-WWII rise of national welfare states, which, as I argue, differ according to national notions of "state" and "society." To this end, I compare the UK, Sweden, Germany, France, and two non-welfare states, the United States and the Soviet Union.
A Look at Russia
Vyacheslav Nikolayevitch Bobkov, Olesya Veredyuk and Ulvi Aliyev
This article exposes criterial bases of the development of social quality in the USSR and Russia. The causes of the increased volatility of the state-monopoly capitalism emerging in Russia from the 1990s and in the first decade of the twenty-first century are analyzed. Characteristics of social quality such as a high proportion of low-paid employees, a low standard of living and a high economic inequality are considered. The impact of the precarity of employment on these processes is demonstrated. Risk factors of precarity of employment such as type of labor contract, form of employment, working conditions and wages (in particular, volatility and discreteness of payments) are analyzed. The evaluation of scale of the precarity of employment in the formal sector in Russia is made; the distribution of workers in precarity of employment by kinds of economic activity and the deviation of their average wages are introduced. Overcoming the instability of development is linked to the transition to a society of people-humanistic socialism.
The Role of the Proto-Political Sphere in Political Participation
Pia Rowe and David Marsh
While Wood and Flinders’ work to broaden the scope of what counts as “politics” in political science is a needed adjustment to conventional theory, it skirts an important relationship between society, the protopolitical sphere, and arena politics. We contend, in particular, that the language of everyday people articulates tensions in society, that such tensions are particularly observable online, and that this language can constitute the beginning of political action. Language can be protopolitical and should, therefore, be included in the authors’ revised theory of what counts as political participation.
Comments on Art and Comparative Cultural History
It is very gratifying, at the end of the long journey this book entailed, to have responses generated from two fields and from some of the scholars whose writings have inspired me along the way. What I’d like to do in my comments is not to rehash material in the book—I hope those of you who haven’t yet will get a chance to read it. (It is now available in a paperback edition.) Rather, I’d like to raise some broader issues for our future work relating to the position of navigating between the disciplines of art history and cultural history as we try to write in the links between biography, society, and style in specific national contexts, and the particular benefits of comparative analysis as we do so.
Essai sur l'art islamique et le style ethnique
The topic of this article concerns the notion of ethnic style. Several points are discussed - in particular, the concept of style itself - by referring to individual and/or collective expression as well as the status of the creators and their representation in Arab-Muslim societies. If traditional societies are heirs to Islamic art, encompassing a range of practices and cultural models, what are the terms of the local transmission of this art? Can we consider it an ethnic style, knowing that it could also be a signifier of individuality? Some examples are given, based on ethnographic collections of jewellery studied by the author in selected museums and on fieldwork in Gulf Arab countries.