ResearchPad - political-geography https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A network analysis of research productivity by country, discipline, and wealth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13855 Research productivity has been linked to a country’s intellectual and economic wealth. Further analysis is needed to assess the association between the distribution of research across disciplines and the economic status of countries.MethodsBy using 55 years of data, spanning 1962 to 2017, of Elsevier publications across a large set of research disciplines and countries globally, this manuscript explores the relationship and evolution of relative research productivity across different disciplines through a network analysis. It also explores the associations of those with economic productivity categories, as measured by the World Bank economic classification. Additional analysis of discipline similarities is possible by exploring the cross-country evolution of those disciplines.ResultsResults show similarities in the relative importance of research disciplines among most high-income countries, with larger idiosyncrasies appearing among the remaining countries. This group of high-income countries shows similarities in the dynamics of the relative distribution of research productivity over time, forming a stable research productivity cluster. Lower income countries form smaller, more independent and evolving clusters, and differ significantly from each other and from higher income countries in the relative importance of their research emphases. Country-based similarities in research productivity profiles also appear to be influenced by geographical proximity.ConclusionsThis new form of analyses of research productivity, and its relation to economic status, reveals novel insights to the dynamics of the economic and research structure of countries. This allows for a deeper understanding of the role a country’s research structure may play in shaping its economy, and also identification of benchmark resource allocations across disciplines for developing countries. ]]> <![CDATA[The Portuguese version of the European Deprivation Index: Development and association with all-cause mortality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117bd3d5eed0c48469a944

Socioeconomic inequalities are major health determinants. To monitor and understand them at local level, ecological indexes of socioeconomic deprivation constitute essential tools. In this study, we describe the development of the updated version of the European Deprivation Index for Portuguese small-areas (EDI-PT), describe its spatial distribution and evaluate its association with a general health indicator–all-cause mortality in the period 2009–2012. Using data from the 2011 European Union–Statistics on Income and Living Conditions Survey (EU-SILC), we obtained an indicator of individual deprivation. After identifying variables that were common to both the EU-SILC and the census, we used the indicator of individual deprivation to test if these variables were associated with individual-level deprivation, and to compute weights. Accordingly, eight variables were included. The EDI-PT was produced for the smallest area unit possible (n = 18084 census block groups, mean/area = 584 inhabitants) and resulted from the weighted sum of the eight selected variables. It was then categorized into quintiles (Q1-least deprived to Q5-most deprived). To estimate the association with mortality we fitted Bayesian spatial models. The EDI-PT was unevenly distributed across Portugal–most deprived areas concentrated in the South and in the inner North and Centre of the country, and the least deprived in the coastal North and Centre. The EDI-PT was positively and significantly associated with overall mortality, and this relation followed a rather clear dose-response relation of increasing mortality as deprivation increases (Relative Risk Q2 = 1.012, 95% Credible Interval 0.991–1.033; Q3 = 1.026, 1.004–1.048; Q4 = 1.053, 1.029–1.077; Q5 = 1.068, 1.042–1.095). Summing up, we updated the index of socioeconomic deprivation for Portuguese small-areas, and we showed that the EDI-PT constitutes a sensitive measure to capture health inequalities, since it was consistently associated with a key measure of population health/development, all-cause mortality. We strongly believe this updated version will be widely employed by social and medical researchers and regional planners.

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<![CDATA[The geographic evolution of political cleavages in Switzerland: A network approach to assessing levels and dynamics of polarization between local populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c24019bd5eed0c48409d5ba

Scholarly studies and common accounts of national politics enjoy pointing out the resilience of ideological divides among populations. Building on the image of political cleavages and geographic polarization, the regionalization of politics has become a truism across Northern democracies. Left unquestioned, this geography plays a central role in shaping electoral and referendum campaigns. In Europe and North America, observers identify recurring patterns dividing local populations during national votes. While much research describes those patterns in relation to ethnicity, religious affiliation, historic legacy and party affiliation, current approaches in political research lack the capacity to measure their evolution over time or other vote subsets. This article introduces “Dyadic Agreement Modeling” (DyAM), a transdisciplinary method to assess the evolution of geographic cleavages in vote outcomes by implementing a metric of agreement/disagreement through Network Analysis. Unlike existing approaches, DyAM offers a stable measure for political agreement and disagreement—accounting for chance, statistically robust and remaining structurally independent from the number of entries and missing data. The method opens up to a range of statistical, structural and visual tools specific to Network Analysis and its usage across disciplines. In order to illustrate DyAM, I use more than 680,000 municipal outcomes from Swiss federal popular votes and assess the evolution of political cleavages across local populations since 1981. Results suggest that political congruence between Swiss local populations increased in the last forty years, while regional political factions and linguistic alignments have lost their salience to new divides. I discuss how choices about input parameters and data subsets nuance findings, and consider confounding factors that may influence conclusions over the dynamic equilibrium of national politics and the strengthening effect of globalization on democratic institutions.

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<![CDATA[Do Private Conservation Activities Match Science-Based Conservation Priorities?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9eeab0ee8fa60b6da1e

Background

Private land conservation is an essential strategy for biodiversity protection in the USA, where half of the federally listed species have at least 80% of their habitat on private lands. We investigated the alignment between private land protection conducted by the world's largest land trust (The Nature Conservancy) and the science driven identification of priority areas for conservation. This represents the first quantitative assessment of the influence of defining priority areas on the land acquisitions of a conservation non-governmental organization (NGO).

Methodology/Principal Findings

The lands acquired by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) were analyzed using GIS to determine to what extent they were in areas defined as priorities for conservation. The spatial analysis of TNC lands was broken up into land known to be acquired in the last five years, five to ten years ago, prior to ten years ago, and anytime during the last sixty years (including previous sets of data plus acquisitions lacking a date). For the entire history of TNC the proportion of TNC lands within the priority areas was 74%. Prior to 10 years ago it was 80%, 5–10 years ago it was 76%, and in the last five years it was 81%. Conservation easements were found to have lower alignment with priority areas (64%) than outright fee simple acquisitions (86%).

Conclusions/Significance

Overall the location of lands acquired was found to be well aligned with the priority areas. Since there was comparable alignment in lands acquired before and after formalized conservation planning had been implemented as a standard operating procedure, this analysis did not find evidence that defining priority areas has influenced land acquisition decisions.

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<![CDATA[Discrimination against Rural-to-Urban Migrants: The Role of the Hukou System in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa5ab0ee8fa60ba76ed

China's rural-urban dual society system is instituted by its unique hukou system. This system causes inequalities in social status between permanent urban and rural residents, and discrimination against rural-to-urban migrants is thus prevalent. A series of studies, based on system justification theory, sought to address the impact of the hukou system on the discrimination against rural-to-urban migrants. Study 1 showed that the justification of the hukou system could predict discrimination operationalized using a social distance measure. Study 2 found that priming of the proposed abolishment of the current hukou system led to reduced social distance. Study 3, using a recruiting scenario, further demonstrated that priming of the proposed abolishment of the system led to reduced discrimination in salary decision. Consistent with our predictions, discrimination against rural-to-urban migrants could be triggered by justifying the current hukou system, while priming of the abolishment of the system serves to decrease discrimination. The present research thereby sheds light on China's reform of its hukou system to achieve social justice and equality from a psychological perspective.

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<![CDATA[Women and HIV in the United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc478

Background

The demographic and geographic characteristics of the HIV epidemic in the US has changed substantially since the disease emerged, with women in the South experiencing a particularly high HIV incidence. In this study, we identified and described counties in the US in which the prevalence of HIV is particularly high in women compared to men.

Methods

Using data from AIDSVu, a public dataset of HIV cases in the US in 2012, we categorized counties by their decile of the ratio of female to male HIV prevalence. The demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of counties in the highest decile were compared to those of counties in the lower deciles.

Results

Most of the counties in the highest decile were located in the Deep South. These counties had a lower median income, higher percentage of people in poverty, and lower percentage of people with a high school education. Additionally, people with HIV in these counties were more likely to be non-Hispanic black.

Conclusions

Counties with the highest ratios of female-to-male HIV prevalence are concentrated in the Southern US, and residents of these counties tend to be of lower socioeconomic status. Identifying and describing these counties is important for developing public health interventions.

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<![CDATA[Male Lineages in Brazil: Intercontinental Admixture and Stratification of the European Background]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db06ab0ee8fa60bc87ff

The non-recombining nature of the Y chromosome and the well-established phylogeny of Y-specific Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (Y-SNPs) make them useful for defining haplogroups with high geographical specificity; therefore, they are more apt than the Y-STRs to detect population stratification in admixed populations from diverse continental origins. Different Y-SNP typing strategies have been described to address issues of population history and movements within geographic territories of interest. In this study, we investigated a set of 41 Y-SNPs in 1217 unrelated males from the five Brazilian geopolitical regions, aiming to disclose the genetic structure of male lineages in the country. A population comparison based on pairwise FST genetic distances did not reveal statistically significant differences in haplogroup frequency distributions among populations from the different regions. The genetic differences observed among regions were, however, consistent with the colonization history of the country. The sample from the Northern region presented the highest Native American ancestry (8.4%), whereas the more pronounced African contribution could be observed in the Northeastern population (15.1%). The Central-Western and Southern samples showed the higher European contributions (95.7% and 93.6%, respectively). The Southeastern region presented significant European (86.1%) and African (12.0%) contributions. The subtyping of the most frequent European lineage in Brazil (R1b1a-M269) allowed differences in the genetic European background of the five Brazilian regions to be investigated for the first time.

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<![CDATA[Political Institutions and Their Historical Dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2aab0ee8fa60bd115e

Traditionally, political scientists define political institutions deductively. This approach may prevent from discovery of existing institutions beyond the definitions. Here, a principal component analysis was used for an inductive extraction of dimensions in Polity IV data on the political institutions of all nations in the world the last two centuries. Three dimensions of institutions were revealed: core institutions of democracy, oligarchy, and despotism. We show that, historically and on a world scale, the dominance of the core institutions of despotism has first been replaced by a dominance of the core institutions of oligarchy, which in turn is now being followed by an increasing dominance by the core institutions of democracy. Nations do not take steps from despotic, to oligarchic and then to democratic institutions, however. Rather, nations hosting the core democracy institutions have succeeded in historically avoiding both the core institutions of despotism and those of oligarchy. On the other hand, some nations have not been influenced by any of these dimensions, while new institutional combinations are increasingly influencing others. We show that the extracted institutional dimensions do not correspond to the Polity scores for autocracy, “anocracy” and democracy, suggesting that changes in regime types occur at one level, while institutional dynamics work on another. Political regime types in that sense seem “canalized”, i.e., underlying institutional architectures can and do vary, but to a considerable extent independently of regime types and their transitions. The inductive approach adds to the deductive regime type studies in that it produces results in line with modern studies of cultural evolution and memetic institutionalism in which institutions are the units of observation, not the nations that acts as host for them.

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<![CDATA[Geographical Heterogeneity of Multiple Sclerosis Prevalence in France]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8aab0ee8fa60b9d9f7

Introduction

Geographical variation in the prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) is controversial. Heterogeneity is important to acknowledge to adapt the provision of care within the healthcare system. We aimed to investigate differences in prevalence of MS in departments in the French territory.

Methods

We estimated MS prevalence on October 31, 2004 in 21 administrative departments in France (22% of the metropolitan departments) by using multiple data sources: the main French health insurance systems, neurologist networks devoted to MS and the Technical Information Agency of Hospitalization. We used a spatial Bayesian approach based on estimating the number of MS cases from 2005 and 2008 capture–recapture studies to analyze differences in prevalence.

Results

The age- and sex-standardized prevalence of MS per 100,000 inhabitants ranged from 68.1 (95% credible interval 54.6, 84.4) in Hautes-Pyrénées (southwest France) to 296.5 (258.8, 338.9) in Moselle (northeast France). The greatest prevalence was in the northeast departments, and the other departments showed great variability.

Discussion

By combining multiple data sources into a spatial Bayesian model, we found heterogeneity in MS prevalence among the 21 departments of France, some with higher prevalence than anticipated from previous publications. No clear explanation related to health insurance coverage and hospital facilities can be advanced. Population migration, socioeconomic status of the population studied and environmental effects are suspected.

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<![CDATA[Have the tsunami and nuclear accident following the Great East Japan Earthquake affected the local distribution of hospital physicians?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0019

Objective

The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 near the northeast coast of the main island, ‘Honshu’, of Japan. It wreaked enormous damage in two main ways: a giant tsunami and an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP). This disaster may have affected the distribution of physicians in the region. Here, we evaluate the effect of the disaster on the distribution of hospital physicians in the three most severely affected prefectures (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima).

Methods

We obtained individual information about physicians from the Physician Census in 2010 (pre-disaster) and 2012 (post-disaster). We examined geographical distributions of physicians in two ways: (1) municipality-based analysis for demographic evaluation; and (2) hospital-based analysis for geographic evaluation. In each analysis, we calculated the rate of change in physician distributions between pre- and post-disaster years at various distances from the tsunami-affected coast, and from the restricted area due to the FDNPP accident.

Results

The change in all, hospital, and clinic physicians were 0.2%, 0.7%, and −0.7%, respectively. In the municipality-based analysis, after taking account of the decreased population, physician numbers only decreased within the restricted area. In the hospital-based analysis, hospital physician numbers did not decrease at any distance from the tsunami-affected coast. In contrast, there was a 3.3% and 2.3% decrease in hospital physicians 0–25 km and 25–50 km from the restricted area surrounding the FDNPP, respectively. Additionally, decreases were larger and increases were smaller in areas close to the FDNPP than in areas further away.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that the tsunami did not affect the distribution of physicians in the affected regions. However, the FDNPP accident changed physician distribution in areas close to the power plant.

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<![CDATA[Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db07ab0ee8fa60bc89d8

Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5′ by 5′ latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services.

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<![CDATA[Spatial distribution of child pedestrian injuries along census tract boundaries: Implications for identifying area-based correlates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be10a5

Census tracts are often used to investigate area-based correlates of a variety of health outcomes. This approach has been shown to be valuable in understanding the ways that health is shaped by place and to design appropriate interventions that account for community-level processes. Following this line of inquiry, it is common in the study of pedestrian injuries to aggregate the point level locations of these injuries to the census tracts in which they occur. Such aggregation enables investigation of the relationships between a range of socioeconomic variables and areas of notably high or low incidence. This study reports on the spatial distribution of child pedestrian injuries in a mid-sized U.S. city over a three-year period. Utilizing a combination of geospatial approaches, Near Analysis, Kernel Density Estimation, and Local Moran’s I, enables identification, visualization, and quantification of close proximity between incidents and tract boundaries. Specifically, results reveal that nearly half of the 100 incidents occur within roads that are also census tract boundaries. Results also uncover incidents that occur on tract boundaries, not merely near them. This geographic pattern raises the question of the utility of associating area-based census data from any one tract to the injuries occurring in these border zones. Furthermore, using a standard spatial join technique in a Geographic Information System (GIS), these points located on the border are counted as falling into census tracts on both sides of the boundary, which introduces uncertainty in any subsequent analysis. Therefore, two additional approaches of aggregating points to polygons were tested in this study. Results differ with each approach, but without any alert of such differences to the GIS user. This finding raises a fundamental concern about techniques through which points are aggregated to polygons in any study using point level incidents and their surrounding census tract socioeconomic data to understand health and place. This study concludes with a suggested protocol to test for this source of uncertainty in analysis and an approach that may remove it.

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