Homo oeconomicus vs. Homo culturalis: current challenges to the ordoliberal idea of man
- How can we describe the anthropological foundation of German Ordoliberalism and Social Market Economy? Which premises underlie its idea of man? Is such an idea of man still up-to-date? What kind of dangers does it face and which institutional precautions might be taken to counter these potential threats? These concerns are the main focus of the following essay. The paper is structured as follows: in Chapter 2, we analyze the anthropological foundations of German Ordoliberalism in general and the Kantian ‘program of liberty as autonomy’ in particular. Chapter 3 discusses potential threats to the ordoliberal idea of man. Among these threats are the re-feudalization of the economy as well as the instrumentalization of (economic) science – both topics are investigated thoroughly. Finally, chapter 4 evaluates frequently mentioned institutional precautionary measures such as Hayek’s constitutional model and Röpke’s concepts of Clercs and Nobilitas naturalis. The paper ends with some concluding remarks.
Walter Eucken on patent laws: are patents just nonsense upon stilts’?
- As recent newspaper headlines show the topic of patents/patent laws is still heavily disputed. In this paper I will approach this topic from a theoretical-historical and history of economic thought-perspective. In this regard I will link the patent controversy of the nineteenth century with Walter Eucken’s Ordoliberalism – a German version of neoliberalism. My paper is structured as follows: The second chapter provides the reader with a historical introduction. At the heart of this paragraph are the controversy and discourse on patent laws in nineteenth century Europe as well as the pro and contra arguments presented by the anti-patent/free-trade movement respectively by the advocates of patent protection. The focus of my paper is on the struggle for the protection of inventions and innovations in nineteenth century Germany, since Walter Eucken, main representative of the Freiburg School of Law and Economics, picks up the counter-arguments presented in the national debate and in particular by the Kongress deutscher Volkswirthe. The third chapter deals intensively with the question whether patent laws are just ‘nonsense upon stilts’ from an ordoliberal perspective. Here, Eucken’s arguments against the current patent system are elaborated in great detail. The paper ends with a summary of my main findings.
Trickle-down processes and their boundaries
Steven Neil Evans
- It is possible to represent each of a number of Markov chains as an evolving sequence of connected subsets of a directed acyclic graph that grow in the following way: initially, all vertices of the graph are unoccupied, particles are fed in one-by-one at a distinguished source vertex, successive particles proceed along directed edges according to an appropriate stochastic mechanism, and each particle comes to rest once it encounters an unoccupied vertex. Examples include the binary and digital search tree processes, the random recursive tree process and generalizations of it arising from nested instances of Pitman's two-parameter Chinese restaurant process, tree-growth models associated with Mallows' ϕ model of random permutations and with Schützenberger's non-commutative q-binomial theorem, and a construction due to Luczak and Winkler that grows uniform random binary trees in a Markovian manner. We introduce a framework that encompasses such Markov chains, and we characterize their asymptotic behavior by analyzing in detail their Doob-Martin compactifications, Poisson boundaries and tail σ-fields.
Schneise in die Anderswelt : Arno Schmidts Gedicht "Der goldgetränkte Himmel über mir"
- Trotz seiner Abneigung gegen die lyrische Form schrieb Schmidt in den 1950er Jahren einige beachtliche Gedichte. [...] Obwohl gerade diese Gedichte mit ihrer ausgreifenden, originellen Metaphorik und ihren zahlreichen Anspielungen der Deutung bedürfen, ist bisher keines eingehend analysiert worden. Wo überhaupt einzelne Gedichte betrachtet wurden, ist dies in größeren Zusammenhängen ohne die eigentlich nötige genaue Ausdeutung geschehen. Die vorliegende Arbeit soll am Beispiel des 1950 entstandenen Widmungsgedichts zu "Brand's Haide" – "Der goldgetränkte Himmel über mir" – zeigen, dass eine tiefer gehende Analyse Schmidtscher Gedichte durchaus ergiebig sein und einen weiteren Blick auf die Werkgeschichte eröffnen kann. Auch zu diesem Gedicht liegt bisher – außer einigen Bemerkungen in zwei Überblicken über Schmidts lyrisches Schaffen bzw. über die Paratexte der Erstausgabe von "Brand's Haide – keine Interpretation vor.
Endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibits glioma angiogenesis and normalizes tumor blood vessels by inducing PDGF-B expression
Cathrin J. Czupalla
Makoto M. Taketo
Karl H. Plate
- Endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling is necessary for angiogenesis of the central nervous system and blood–brain barrier (BBB) differentiation, but its relevance for glioma vascularization is unknown. In this study, we show that doxycycline-dependent Wnt1 expression in subcutaneous and intracranial mouse glioma models induced endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling and led to diminished tumor growth, reduced vascular density, and normalized vessels with increased mural cell attachment. These findings were corroborated in GL261 glioma cells intracranially transplanted in mice expressing dominant-active β-catenin specifically in the endothelium. Enforced endothelial β-catenin signaling restored BBB characteristics, whereas inhibition by Dkk1 (Dickkopf-1) had opposing effects. By overactivating the Wnt pathway, we induced the Wnt/β-catenin–Dll4/Notch signaling cascade in tumor endothelia, blocking an angiogenic and favoring a quiescent vascular phenotype, indicated by induction of stalk cell genes. We show that β-catenin transcriptional activity directly regulated endothelial expression of platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B), leading to mural cell recruitment thereby contributing to vascular quiescence and barrier function. We propose that reinforced Wnt/β-catenin signaling leads to inhibition of angiogenesis with normalized and less permeable vessels, which might prove to be a valuable therapeutic target for antiangiogenic and edema glioma therapy.
Betriebliche Weiterbildung bei den Feuerwehren : Start einer Seminarreihe zur pädagogischen Professionalisierung
- Der vorliegende Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit den Lehrenden in der betrieblichen Weiterbildung und deren pädagogischem Professionalisierungsbedarf. Beschrieben wird ein von der Feuerwehr- und Rettungsdienstakademie der Branddirektion Frankfurt am Main (FRA) und dem Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaften der Goethe-Universität entwickeltes Konzept zur Aus- und Weiterbildung pädagogisch tätiger FeuerwehrbeamtInnen, das 2012 erstmals umgesetzt wird. Bislang existierten hierfür weder in Deutschland noch in Österreich einheitliche Vorgaben. Ausgehend von den Bedürfnissen der Feuerwehren und geleitet von theoretischen Positionen der Erwachsenenbildung wird mit dem Konzept nicht zuletzt auch eine lernende Organisation zu verwirklichen versucht. Der Beitrag erläutert Ausgangslage, pädagogische Grundhaltung, Ziele und Ergebnisse der Voruntersuchung und skizziert die konkreten Modulinhalte und den Seminarablauf. Fazit der Autoren: Analog zu der bereits begonnenen Entwicklung in Wirtschaftsunternehmen wird das Niveau der pädagogischen Kenntnisse von lehrendem Personal auch bei den Feuerwehren steigen müssen. (DIPF/Orig.)
Germination performance of native and non-native Ulmus pumila populations
Henrik von Wehrden
- Germination is a crucial step for invasive plants to extend their distribution under different environmental conditions in a new range. Therefore, information on germination characteristics of invasive plant species provides invaluable knowledge about the factors which might contribute to the invasion success. Moreover, intra-specific comparisons under controlled conditions will show if different responses between non-native and native populations are caused by evolutionary changes or by phenotypic plasticity towards different environmental influences. This paper focuses on the germination of native and non-native Ulmus pumila populations. We expected that non-native populations would be characterized by their higher final germination percentage and enhanced germination rate, which might indicate an influence due to corresponding climatic conditions. Germination experiments with a moderate and a warm temperature treatment did not reveal significant differences in final germination percentage. However, seeds from the North American non-native range germinated significantly faster than native seeds (p < 0.001). Additionally, mean time to germination in both ranges was significantly negatively correlated with annual precipitation (p = 0.022). At the same time, this relationship is stronger in the native range whereas mean time to germination in nonnative populations seems to be less influenced by climatic conditions. Different germination responses of the North American populations could be caused by a fast evolutionary change mediating a higher tolerance to current climatic conditions in the non-native range. However, our findings could also be caused by artificial selection during the introduction process and extensive planting of U. pumila in its non-native range. Nevertheless, we assume that the faster germination rate of non-native populations is one potential explanation for the invasion success of U. pumila in its new range since it might provide a competitive advantage during colonization of new sites.
Plant invasions in China: an emerging hot topic in invasion science
- China has shown a rapid economic development in recent decades, and several drivers of this change are known to enhance biological invasions, a major cause of biodiversity loss. Here we review the current state of research on plant invasions in China by analyzing papers referenced in the ISI Web of Knowledge. Since 2001, the number of papers has increased exponentially, indicating that plant invasions in China are an emerging hot topic in invasion science. The analyzed papers cover a broad range of methodological approaches and research topics. While more that 250 invasive plant species with negative impacts have been reported from China, only a few species have been considered in more than a handful of papers (in order of decreasing number of references: Spartina alterniflora, Ageratina adenophora, Mikania micrantha, Alternanthera philoxeroides, Solidago canadensis, Eichhornia crassipes). Yet this selection might rather reflect the location of research teams than the most invasive plant species in China. Considering the previous achievements in China found in our analysis research in plant invasions could be expanded by (1) compiling comprehensive lists of non-native plant species at the provincial and national scales and to include species that are native to one part of China but non-native to others in these lists; (2) strengthening pathways studies (primary introduction to the country, secondary releases within the country) to enhance prevention and management; and (3) assessing impacts of invasive species at different spatial scales (habitats, regions) and in relation to conservation resources.
An inventory of invasive alien species in China
- Invasive alien species (IAS) are a major global challenge requiring urgent action, and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011–2020) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) includes a target on the issue. Meeting the target requires an understanding of invasion patterns. However, national or regional analyses of invasions are limited to developed countries. We identified 488 IAS in China’s terrestrial habitats, inland waters and marine ecosystems based on available literature and field work, including 171 animals, 265 plants, 26 fungi, 3 protists, 11 procaryots, and 12 viruses. Terrestrial plants account for 51.6% of the total number of IAS, and terrestrial invertebrates (104 species) for 21.3%. Of the total numbers, 67.9% of plant IAS and 34.8% of animal IAS were introduced intentionally. All other taxa were introduced unintentionally despite very few animal and plant species that invaded naturally. In terms of habitats, 64.3% of IAS occur on farmlands, 13.9% in forests, 8.4% in marine ecosystems, 7.3% in inland waters, and 6.1% in residential areas. Half of all IAS (51.1%) originate from North and South America, 18.3% from Europe, 17.3% from Asia not including China, 7.2% from Africa, 1.8% from Oceania, and the origin of the remaining 4.3% IAS is unknown. The distribution of IAS can be divided into three zones. Most IAS are distributed in coastal provinces and the Yunnan province; provinces in Middle China have fewer IAS, and most provinces in West China have the least number of IAS. Sites where IAS were first detected are mainly distributed in the coastal region, the Yunnan Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The number of newly emerged IAS has been increasing since 1850. The cumulative number of firstly detected IAS grew exponentially.
A conceptual framework for prioritization of invasive alien species for management according to their impact
Tamara B. Robinson
- The number of invasive alien species is increasing and so are the impacts these species cause to the environment and economies. Nevertheless, resources for management are limited, which makes prioritization unavoidable. We present a prioritization framework which can be useful for decision makers as it includes both a scientific impact assessment and the evaluation of impact importance by affected stakeholders. The framework is divided into five steps, namely 1) stakeholder selection and weighting of stakeholder importance by the decision maker, 2) factual description and scoring of changes by scientists, 3) evaluation of the importance of impact categories by stakeholders, 4) calculation of weighted impact categories and 5) calculation of final impact score and decision making. The framework could be used at different scales and by different authorities. Furthermore, it would make the decision making process transparent and retraceable for all stakeholders and the general public.