The Greek Program “SPUR” ~ Towards A New Spur For EU Democracy Building Learn And Engagement

SpurThe Greek PROGRAM “SPUR” – Towards a New Spur for EU Democracy Building learn and engagement

The project is an initiative of Nea Smyrni municipality, a municipality located about 4 km southwest of central Athens, Greece, named so after the city Smyrna (today’s İzmir in Turkey), from where a large number of refugees arrived and settled in the Nea Smyrni area following the 1922 population exchange between Greece and Turkey.
The municipality implements this project with the support of the “Europe for Citizens” programme of the European Union.

The main goal of “SPUR” program is to highlight and assess both the value of solidarity and volunteering in the current context of economic and humanitarian crisis inside United Europe as well as to improve the conditions for civic and democratic participation of citizens providing them, as a New Spur, New forms of Societal and intercultural engagement for the enhancement of civic and democratic participation at national and European level.

These forms, away from extremist or populist movements and radicalized behaviors and beyond xenophobia, intolerance and any discrimination against the vulnerable or excluded people within EU societies and underprivileged and disadvantaged populations, which often include youngsters and people of non – EU origins:
a) Stabilize the social welfare, health, employment, education, environment, culture, etc.systems, which brutally affected in times of economic recession and poverty
b) Protect further the fundamental rights, in particular of minorities,
c) Help restore law and civil parity for a decent living,
d) Promote and foster the economy and the development and finally,
e) Consolidate the faith, to the principles and values on which the European ideal is founded, in particular of the different types of Eurosceptics, and to put forward the achievements of the United Europe and the cost of no Europe creating a new positive narrative for Europe and Europe integration.

For more information: Vanessa  Kavvada ~ vannyiason@gmail.com

Go to: dnnspur.gr

 

 

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D-PLACE –The Database Of Places, Language, Culture And Environment

D-PLACE_LogoFrom the foods we eat, to who we can marry, to the types of games we teach our children, the diversity of cultural practices in the world is astounding. Yet, our ability to visualize and understand this diversity is often limited by the ways it traditionally has been documented and shared: on a culture-by-culture basis, in locally-told stories or difficult-to-access books and articles.

D-PLACE, which stands for ‘Database of Places, Language, Culture, and Environment,’ represents an attempt to bring together this dispersed corpus of information. It aims to make it easy for individuals to contrast their own cultural practices with those of other societies, and to consider the factors that may underlie cultural similarities and differences.

So far, D-PLACE contains cultural, linguistic, environmental and geographic information for over 1400 human ‘societies’. A ‘society’ in D-PLACE represents a group of people in a particular locality, who often share a language and cultural identity. All cultural descriptions are tagged with the date to which they refer and with the ethnographic sources that provided the descriptions. The majority of the cultural descriptions in D-PLACE are based on ethnographic work carried out in the 19th and early-20th centuries (pre-1950).

In linking societies to a geographic location (using a reported latitude and longitude) and language, D-PLACE allows interested users to simultaneously consider how cultural practices relate to linguistic ancestry, practices of neighbouring cultures, and the environment. D-PLACE makes visualizing these relationships easy, with search results available as a table, on a map, or on a linguistic tree.

While D-PLACE is designed to be expandable, most of the initial cultural data in D-PLACE were originally compiled by two anthropologists, George P. Murdock and Lewis R. Binford, each relying on hundreds of individual references. Murdock and Binford’s core datasets are described in more detail in the Data Source section.

The D-PLACE team is made up of scientists with a broad range of interests who share a passion for interdisciplinary inquiry.

More information on: citing D-PLACE, related publications, and the technology and source code.

D-PLACE is a work in progress. We welcome suggestions for corrections and/or for additional data.

Funding
D-PLACE was developed with generous support from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (www.nescent.org) and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (www.shh.mpg.de/en)

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Punishment And Purpose ~ From Moral Theory To Punishment In Action

Justice

Coming soon: Punishment and PurposeFrom Moral Theory to Punishment in Action

Contents

List of tables and figures
Foreword – John Braithwaite

1. Introduction

2. The theoretical debate
– 2.1 Introduction
– 2.2 The need for philosophies and theories of punishment
– 2.3 Categorisation of philosophical theories
– 2.4 Retributivism
– 2.4.1 Negative and positive retributivism
– 2.4.2 The intuitionist approach
– 2.4.3 Restoring a balance
– 2.5 Utilitarianism
– 2.5.1 Bentham and Beccaria
– 2.5.2 Individual or general prevention? Muller’s utilitarianism pur sang
– 2.6 Mixed theories
– 2.7 Restorative Justice

Read more

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Punishment And Purpose – Introduction

JusticeIn Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1972), after spending some time in prison, young delinquent Alex is treated with the revolutionary Ludovico’s technique. With this new technique a violent criminal can be effectively reformed within a fortnight. Ludovico’s technique is happily embraced and advocated by the government that hopes to win the coming elections by boasting of the way it has effectively dealt with crime. As a result of the treatment, “the intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to witch to a diametrically opposed attitude” (p. 99). In short, Alex is being impelled towards the good as a mechanical result of his inclination towards evil. Although as a result of his treatment Alex ceases to be a creature capable of moral choice, government officials stress that their main concern is with cutting down crime and relieving the congested prison system and not with higher ethics. After the treatment is successfully completed, Alex is released back into society. When he returns home to his parents, he finds that his personal belongings have been sold by the police in order to compensate his victims. He also finds himself rejected by his grief-stricken parents who now have a lodger, Joe, staying in Alex’s room. Joe is like a new son to Alex’s parents. He makes clear to Alex that it is only right he should suffer further because he has made others suffer in the past. Now homeless and, as a result of his treatment, incapable of defending himself, Alex is abused as an act of revenge by one of his victims from the past whom he encounters in the public library. Alex’s newly found ‘freedom’ has become unbearable to him and he wants ‘to snuff it’.

The story of Alex in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ incorporates a number of important issues related to the morality, legitimacy and goals of punishment that are still of relevance to the contemporary practice of legal punishment. It involves issues of moral choice and free will, criminal politics, interests of victims, revenge, proportionality in punishment and the uneasy relation between reformation and retribution. To date, these issues continue to be subject to fundamental differences of opinion. Legal punishment is considered a means of dealing, in a suitable and just way, with those who infringe legal rules. However widely accredited such a view may be, it nevertheless begs the fundamental question of what should be considered as suitable and just punishment. The answer to this question is not immediately evident and yet, the practice of punishment needs a moral justification since punishment itself is morally problematic (Duff & Garland, 1994). Punishment involves a deliberate and avoidable infliction of suffering (Honderich, 1970). It involves actions, such as depriving a person of his or her freedom that, if not described and justified as legal punishment, would be considered to be wrong or evil (Cavadino & Dignan, 1997; Hart, 1963; Sullivan, 1996). Thus, while the institution of legal punishment is perceived by most as a self-evident part of society, it nevertheless needs a sound moral justification. From a moral point of view therefore, we would expect the practice of legal punishment to reflect a solid and commonly shared legitimising framework. Such a framework involves answers to questions relating to the justification and goals of punishment. Read more

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Punishment And Purpose ~ The Theoretical Debate

Justice2.1 Introduction
In one of his essays, John Stuart Mill noted that even if we admit the legitimacy of inflicting punishment, many conflicting conceptions of justice regarding the proper apportionment of punishment to offenders come to light (Mill, 1867). This statement touches the core of what theories and philosophies of punishment are about. This chapter discusses the various ways that the State’s reaction to offending can be legitimised as well as the subsequent goals that could guide this reaction. A number of theoretical and philosophical approaches exist that consider legitimacy and goals of punishment in depth. Each approach has its own theoretical and practical problems. Although the different approaches are often mutually exclusive, there have been attempts to compromise.

The theoretical and philosophical debates on the justification and goals of punishment that have ensued, cover a vast area of social, political and legal thinking. This chapter aims at providing a concise overview of the various approaches.[i] It aims to highlight the key arguments from the most influential approaches, frequently by discussing the works of influential writers in these fields.

In Section 2.2, the relevance of philosophies and theories of punishment is discussed. In Section 2.3, the different approaches are categorised under the headings of retributivism, utilitarianism, restorative justice and mixed approaches. In the subsequent sections, 2.4 through 2.7, each category is discussed in some detail. The ideas of several influential writers are presented for illustrative purposes and different directions within each category, each with their own merits and problems, are briefly touched upon.

2.2 The need for philosophies and theories of punishment
Crime threatens our personal safety, our property and ultimately the social coherence of society. We consider criminality to be a serious and urgent national problem (cf. Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau, 1998). Our fear of crime not only stems from the direct threats it poses to us, but also from the general feelings of insecurity that result from the awareness of its existence. Crime exerts external influences on our lives over which we feel we have little or no control (Steenstra, 1994). In an era of mass communication and extensive media coverage of crime, such an awareness is inescapable. Read more

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Punishment And Purpose ~ Penal Attitudes

Justice3.1 Introduction
In the previous chapter it has been argued that the practice of legal punishment in itself is morally problematic because it involves actions that would be considered wrong or evil in other contexts. The practice of legal punishment therefore demands a sound (moral) justification. Questions relating to the justification and subsequent goals of punishment have been considered in depth in a number of theoretical and philosophical approaches.

The gamut of theoretical perspectives concerning the justification and goals of punishment has been narrowed down to the general categories of Retributivism, Utilitarianism, Restorative Justice and mixed or hybrid theories. Paying due attention to the main controversies that (still) shape theoretical debate, Chapter 2 elaborated in some detail on the core arguments of these accounts of legal punishment. Radical theories were introduced, but not elaborated, since it was argued that they are of little relevance to the focus of this book, namely the study of attitudes of magistrates within the criminal justice system.

This chapter takes a more detailed look at the concept of penal attitude and its measurement. Penal attitudes are defined as attitudes towards the various purposes and functions of punishment. In turn, these purposes and functions of punishment are deduced from the philosophical theories discussed in the previous chapter. Section 3.2 elaborates in some more detail on the ‘attitude’ concept in general, and ‘penal attitudes’ in particular. A number of different approaches to the definition and use of the concept of penal attitudes is briefly presented. Section 3.3 explores and justifies the arguments of why it is important to try to measure such attitudes. It is argued that the measurement of penal attitudes is essential for any study that is directly or indirectly concerned with the link between moral theory and practice. Section 3.4 discusses various strategies that can be used for measuring penal attitudes including some of the practical and methodological issues. Research experiences in the Netherlands and abroad are introduced both for illustrative purposes and to highlight the pros and cons of the different approaches (and should not be viewed as an exhaustive review of such research).

3.2 What is a penal attitude?
In the previous section penal attitudes have been broadly defined as attitudes towards the various goals and functions of punishment. Although such a definition introduces the object of the attitudes, the actual meaning of the concept attitude remains unexplained. Before elaborating further on penal attitudes and their measurement, a somewhat more detailed discussion of the attitude concept is therefore merited. Read more

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