Shafer-Landau Ethical Theory Summary and Analysis

Brody Kent 
In this section, Shafer-Landau seeks to draw attention to a major flaw which he finds to exist in subjectivism through its incompatibility with an individual’s tendency to question his or her own moral values (p. 296).
To begin his argument, Shafer-Landau states that if subjectivism is correct, whatever is “right” is what he, Schafer-Landau, “approves of.” According to Shafer-Landau, this is because, under the subjectivist model of ethics, a person’s own values are the “ultimate authority” in determining what is morally right and what is morally wrong (p. 296).
In Shafer-Landau’s view, however, this use of personal values as the predominant ethical authority does not make sense, as it does not account for instances where a person may be undecided as to the value of their beliefs (p. 296). Arguing to this end, Shafer-Landau claims that he, himself, has personally experienced circumstances where he has been drawn to question his values and their supporting justifications (p. 296). According to Shafer-Landau, this tendency to for an individual to question their beliefs is incompatible with the use of these beliefs as the basis of moral truth (p. 296).

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Through close analysis of this argument as it is made by Shafer-Landau, it appears that he is thereby reaching this conclusion based on one of two premises: either it is wrong to question one’s values because they represent moral fact, or it is impossible for our individual values to represent moral fact because they are founded in beliefs that may be influenced by internal debate and which may therefore change over time; in other words, these values cannot represent moral fact because they lack consistency and objectivity. To counter this argument, I will seek to show that both of these premises are false: the first, due to its inability to describe a legitimate threat to the status of individual values as moral truths, and the second due to its inability to accurately represent the nature of individual, subjective truth described by the subjectivist model.
Regarding Shafer-Landau’s first possible premise to this conclusion, it seems unsound to conclude that because a fact is questioned it cannot be a fact. Certainly, there are many ideals which we now consider to be fact that have been heavily scrutinized throughout history. As a notable example, the fact that the earth is spherical and not flat has been, and in some cases even continues to be, questioned extensively.
Further, it does not seem that the act of questioning a potential fact plays any role in determining whether or not an idea is truly factual. Consider, as an example, the many conspiracies which assert that the Buzz Aldrin and the United States did not land on the moon. Despite this argument and those counterarguments which assert that the United States did, in fact, place a shuttle on the moon, the actual fact of the matter, whatever it may be, is a fact in and of itself and is not affected in any way by this questioning. In other words, the legitimacy of a fact is independent of and cannot be affected by any acts of questioning its value or legitimacy. Therefore, if it was Schafer-Landau’s intent to argue that our tendency to question our values is incompatible with our values forming the basis of moral fact, this reasoning seems false, as it relies on a poor argument that our act of questioning a fact damages that fact’s legitimacy.
Shafer-Landau’s second possible premise for his conclusion appears to be equally flawed, as it seems to disregard some major components of the essence of subjectivist moral reasoning. According to Shafer Landau, the act of questioning the legitimacy of one’s moral values “cannot make sense, since [one’s own] approvals and disapprovals are the ultimate test of right and wrong” (p. 296). Assuming that, through this argument, Shafer-Landau intends to say that moral values are unfit to represent moral truth because they represent ideas that are subject to change under the influence of internal questioning, it appears that Shafer-Landau is overlooking a key aspect of the subjectivist ideal. According to Merriam-Webster, subjectivism is a moral doctrine which states that “individual feeling or apprehension is the ultimate criterion of the good and the right” (Subjectivism, n.d.).  From this definition, it is understood that under the subjectivist model, there are no objective moral truths; rather, the subjectivist ideal champions that each individual’s values represent subjective moral truths, which are the highest level of moral truth (Ethics Guide: Subjectivism). As a result, subjectivism does not give preference to any single moral value, but supports every individual value as ethically meaningful to that individual. And it seems that the essence of this idea can easily be expanded to the individual level used within Shafer-Landau’s argument. If all ideas between individuals are morally valuable so long as they reflect the subjective moral beliefs of that individual, it seems to follow that all differing values within an individual are morally valuable so long as they reflect that individual’s perspective, feeling, or belief at the given time.
When considered in this light, it no longer appears that the susceptibility of our subjective moral truths to change truly conflicts with the subjectivist model of morality, as Shafer-Landau may be arguing. Rather, it seems that Shafer-Landau’s argument rests on a misrepresentation of subjectivism, whereby he is arguing based on a false perception that subjectivism intends for subjective moral truths to possess the level of infallibility and rigidness held by objective moral truths. Because the kind of subjective moral truths championed by subjectivist theory are not expected to possess this level of infallibility, and are, in fact, often celebrated for their tendency to differ and change across people and cultures, Shafer-Landau’s argument for the presence of a conflict in our tendency to question our own moral perceptions while using them to determine our moral beliefs appears false if it intends to argue that this conflict is derived from the resulting susceptibility of our moral values to our own questioning.
Through his argument in this section, Shafer-Landau seeks to convey that subjectivism conflicts with the tendency of individuals to question their moral beliefs (p. 296). I have objected to this conclusion in two ways, each of which correspond to one of what I perceive to be the two most likely reasons for which Shafer-Landau believes this conflict to exist. First, I have identified that Shafer-Landau’s conclusion is unsound if it is based on the false premise that this conflict exists because of our tendency to question factual moral truths. Second, I have found this conclusion to be unsound if it is based on the premise that subjective moral truths cannot be susceptible to adaptation or change due to our questioning our own moral values.
References

RNA World Theory: Summary and Analysis

This essay will explore the principles of the RNA world theory and supports and criticisms for it. It will look at the properties of RNA which make this theory viable and it will also look briefly at alternate competing theories. RNA, which stands for ribonucleic acid, is a polymeric molecule made up of one or more nucleotides. Each nucleotide is made up of a base: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil, a ribose sugar, and a phosphate which can then form chains. Like DNA, RNA has four main structures: primary, which is the basic polypeptide chain. The Secondary structure is a twisted form of the chain into usually an alpha helix and beta sheet. The tertiary structure is a further folded shape and is often unique. This structure determines the function of the protein. Finally the quaternary is the joining together of multiple tertiary subunits to form one large subunit.

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The discovery of ribozymes supported the RNA World Hypothesis. This is the theory that earlier life forms may have relied solely on RNA to catalyse chemical reactions and store genetic information. This hypothesis was proposed by Carl Woese, Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel in the 1960s, this was decades before the discovery of ribozymes but soon after the double-helical structure of DNA was determined. According to the RNA World Hypothesis, life later evolved to use DNA and proteins due to RNA’s instability relative to DNA and its’ poorer catalytic properties. Gradually, ribozymes became increasingly phased out. A ribozyme, ribonucleic acid enzyme, is an RNA molecule that is capable of performing specific biochemical reactions, similar to the action of protein enzymes.
The structure of RNA nucleotides is very similar to that of DNA nucleotides, with the main difference being that the ribose sugar backbone in RNA has a hydroxyl group that DNA does not. Another minor difference is that DNA uses the base thymine in place of uracil. Despite great structural similarities, DNA and RNA play very different roles from one another in modern cells.
RNA plays a central role in the pathway from DNA to proteins, known as the “Central Dogma” of molecular biology. An organism’s genetic information is encoded as a linear sequence of bases in the cell’s DNA. During transcription, an RNA copy of a segment of DNA, messenger RNA (mRNA), is made. This strand of RNA can then be read by a ribosome to form a protein.
Another major difference between DNA and RNA is that DNA is usually found in a double-stranded form in cells, while RNA is typically found in a single-stranded form. The lack of a paired strand allows RNA to fold into complex, three-dimensional structures. RNA folding is typically mediated by the same type of base-base interactions that are found in DNA, with the difference being that bonds are formed within a single strand in the case of RNA, rather than between two strands, in the case of DNA.
The strongest evidence for the RNA World Hypothesis is the fact that the ribosome, a large molecular complex that assembles proteins, is a ribozyme. Although the ribosome is made up of both RNA and protein components, structural and biochemical analyses revealed that the mechanisms for translation is catalysed by RNA, not proteins. This suggests that the use of RNA by early life forms to carry out chemical reactions may have preceded the use of proteins.
John Sutherland and his colleagues from the University of Manchester performed and experiment that greatly supports the RNA world hypothesis. He and his team created a ribonucleotide, which is a major part of RNA, from simple chemicals. These chemicals are those though to be present on the early earth, or primordial soup. Donna Blackmond, a chemist at Imperial College London, stated that “this is extremely strong evidence for the RNA world. We don’t know if these chemical steps reflect what actually happened, but before this work there were large doubts that it could happen at all.”
Critics of these ideas suggest that other organic molecules, rather than nucleic acids, were the first self-replicating chemicals capable of storing genetic information. According to this idea, these simple hereditary systems were later replaced by nucleic acids during the course of evolution.
Electric Spark – Generation of amino acids and sugars from the atmosphere. The Miller-Urey supports this theory. The experiment in 1952 was one that simulated the conditions thought at the time to be present on the early Earth, and tested for the occurrence of the chemical origins of life. Miller took molecules which were believed to represent the major components of the early Earth’s atmosphere and put them into a closed system. The gases they used were methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), hydrogen (H2), and water (H2O). Next, he ran a continuous electric current through the system, to simulate lightning storms believed to be common on the early earth. Miller observed that as much as 10-15% of the carbon was now in the form of organic compounds. Two percent of the carbon had formed some of the amino acids which are used to make proteins. Miller’s experiment showed that organic compounds such as amino acids, which are essential to cellular life, could be made easily under the conditions that scientists believed to be present on the early earth.
Community Clay – The first molecules of life might have met on clay, according to an idea elaborated by organic chemist Alexander Graham Cairns-Smith at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. These surfaces might not only have concentrated these organic compounds together, but also helped organize them into patterns much like our genes do now.
Chilly Start – As the sun was about a third less luminous than it is now. This layer of ice, possibly hundreds of feet thick, might have protected fragile organic compounds in the water below from ultraviolet light and destruction from cosmic impacts. The cold might have also helped these molecules to survive longer, allowing key reactions to happen.
Simple Beginnings – Instead of developing from complex molecules such as RNA, life might have begun with smaller molecules interacting with each other in cycles of reactions. These might have been contained in simple capsules akin to cell membranes, and over time more complex molecules that performed these reactions better than the smaller ones could have evolved.
Panspermia – Rocks regularly get blasted off Mars by cosmic impacts, and a number of Martian meteorites have been found on Earth that some researchers have controversially suggested brought microbes over here, potentially making us all Martians originally. Other scientists have even suggested that life might have hitchhiked on comets from other star systems.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that RNA is spontaneously being created and capable of forming pre-cellular life today. While some artificial ribozymes have been created in the laboratory (reviewed in Chen, et al., 2007), there are still significant holes in reproducing an RNA world to support the hypothesis. The ribozymes created artificially lack the abilities to sufficiently process themselves, and there is no evidence of them producing large quantities of advantageous nucleotide sequences. Moreover, no system has ever created cellular life. There is even significant debate among scientists over the conditions and constituents of a “prebiotic Earth” model.
 

George Berkeley Philosophy Summary Essay

George Berkeley is a prominent thinker and philosopher of the 18th century which is known for his system of spiritualistic philosophy. He developed the thesis that “existence is the thing that is perceived or the one who perceives” (Berman 1995).
He lived and worked in the era of the industrial revolution, technological progress and the great scientific discoveries that shed light on the nature of the world; in an era when religion began to lose its centuries-long position in the minds of people, giving place to the scientific and philosophical outlook.
Originally from Ireland, the oldest British colony, Berkeley was the eldest of seven children in the family of the landed nobleman. From a young age his life was connected with religion and schooling, he put all his strength into the creation of a philosophical system, designed to eliminate atheism and the related materialist philosophy.
The history of philosophical thought Berkeley entered as one of the most prominent representatives of idealism. His works pursue the only goal – “to remove the cornerstone of matter from the system of atheists, after which the entire building will inevitably collapse.” (Turbayne 1982).
The philosophical system created by Berkeley, was exposed and is still subjected by the deserved criticism. At the same time, it has its followers. His works are still being studying and are of a great interest for philosophers.
The English philosopher George Berkeley (1685-1753) criticized the concepts of matter as a real basis (substance) of bodies, as well as the Newton’s theory of space as a repository of all natural bodies, and the J. Locke’s theory of the origin of the matter and space concepts.
Berkeley remarked that the basis of the matter is the assumption that we can, apart from the particular properties of things, form the abstract idea of the common for all of them material as a kind of substrate. However, according to Berkeley, it is impossible: we do not have the sensory perception of matter; our perception of each item is expanded without any residue on the perception of a certain sum of individual sensations or ideas. Indeed, in this case there will nothing remain from the matter: it seems to be dissolved in some “fog” of uncertainty, which in general can not influence anything. So, here is an aphoristic postulate of Berkeley: “To be – means to be in perception.” (Ewing1957).

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The philosophical ideas of Berkeley and his atheist position lead us to the following conclusion. If there is no God, then the things we consider the material objects must have a spasmodic life: suddenly emerged at the moment of perception, they immediately would disappear as soon they leave the field of view of the perceiving subject. But, Berkeley argued that due to the constant vigil of God, everything in the world (trees, rocks, crystals, etc.) exists constantly, as a good sense befits.
Berkeley was an outstanding writer, who had an elegant style (by the way, his numerous works he wrote when he was 28!). He was not only a priest (Bishop in Cloyne,Ireland) and a philosopher but a psychologist also.Berkeley tried to prove that we perceive only the properties of things: how these things affect our senses, but we do not grasp the very essence of things, even though the properties are relative to the perceiving subject. Sensory impressions are the phenomena of the psyche.
The philosophical doctrine of George Berkeley is aimed at a refutation of materialism and the justification of religion. For this purpose he used the nominalistic principles, established by William Ockham. The doctrine, created Berkeley is a subjective idealism. Rejecting the existence of matter, it recognizes the existence only of the human mind, in which Berkeley distinguishes the ideas and souls (minds) (Berman 1995).
Also, Berkeley created the theory of material objects and the theory of idealistic sensationalism, using a notion of secondary qualities of Locke.
Berkeley wrote a lot of works and the most famous works of them are: “An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision”(1709), “Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge”(1710), “Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous” (1713), “Alciphron, or The Minute Philosopher”(1732), “Siris: A Chain of Philosophical Reflexions and Inquiries” (1744) and many other (Hughes 1865).
Berkeley was one of the founders of idealism, taking an active part in the struggle between the two philosophical camps; his teaching put vividly the fundamental question of philosophy.
The philosophy of Berkeley continues to attract the attention of contemporary philosophers because of its educational value, because it clearly shows all the greatest evils of philosophical thought.
Without a doubt, Berkeley is an outstanding classic of idealism. He formulated all the basic arguments of idealism, which can be put against materialism. He clearly raised the question of the relationship between objective and subjective in the feelings and the question about the causes and types of existence. His works affect the fundamental scientific knowledge and raise questions which are still not answered.
 

Historical Institutionalism Summary and Analysis

Introduction
In this essay I will argue that Historical Institutionalism offers a superior and more comprehensive view of change than the Sociological Institutionalism or Rational Choice Institutionalism alternatives. Is important to point out that the definition of change considered for this essay is the intended or unintended consequences of a strategic set of actions taken in a precise and determined time and space, in contrast to other possibilities in the same context (Hay and Wincott, 1998).

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To do this I will compare the competing views of Institutional Change that are presented in Rational Choice Institutionalism, Sociological Institutionalism and Historical Institutionalism to unveil that the view of the latter is more comprehensive than the other two due to the wide scope of the concept of change and the versatility provided by the cultural and calculus approaches included in the branch.
I will examine the proposal of Rational Choice Institutionalism, first. Describe shortly what this new form of Institutionalism introduces to the discipline and evaluate what the scholars of this form consider that institutional change is. Then I will show how and why their vision is narrowed and cannot really explain most of institutional change on its own.
Secondly, I will analyse Sociological Institutionalism, mentioning the elemental characteristics that separates it from the other two forms of New Institutionalism. Following I will explain the engine of change for sociological institutionalism and I will point out why there is not enough comprehension of how context affect the outcomes and why it is inherently contradictory by denying Rational Choice assumptions, yet assuming rationality in the way organizations operate.
Lastly I will describe Historical Institutionalism to recognize their originality and explain the ambidexterity it possesses between Rational Choice Institutionalism and Sociological Institutionalism. I will clarify the calculus and cultural approaches to understand how they bring concepts of the two previously mentioned into the historical study. On the last part I will explain why is the analysis of change superior under the branch of Historical Institutionalism than both Sociological and Rational Choice Institutionalisms by pointing out how scholars on the first one have surpassed the critiques and flaws of the other two.
Rational Choice
Rational Choice Institutionalism is predicated on the idea that the individuals composing a society seek utility maximization (Tsebelis, 1990). In a process of rational negotiation, individuals consciously enact the rules determined to act upon every member of society. In that way, they choose rationally the characteristics that will shape their institutions (Shepsle, 1989). In other words, institutions are, for this approach, a set of rules, agreed by society in order to set the correct behaviour under certain circumstances and in specific situations. This way conflicts are prevented and the social costs of collective actions are contained and reduced (Hall and Taylor, 1996).
To understand more about this current, we need to point out that the genesis of the Rational Choice Institutionalism is the study of congressional behaviour in the United States as a way of expanding classical Rational Choice into matter that did not fit the models provided up until then by the discipline, like stability of congressional outcomes (Hall and Taylor, 1996).
When referring to change in institutions, Rational Choice does not offer much explanation or even -some would argue- does not consider the existence of a possibility that institutions might change. The term renegotiation-proof must come into consideration now. This concept defines the situation where none of the actors with considerable power to change an institution are willing to do so. Since the core affirmation is that institutions are selected rationally by rational thinkers that seek to optimize their benefit within society, it is logical to understand that there was a previous negotiation process prior to the adoption of such institution, in which all the related subjects to the institution where discussed and approved by the individuals.  According to Selten (1975) an institution must be the proof of renegotiation since that particular and central characteristic provides society with the consistency that precludes any deviation of the expected behaviour, therefore eliminating the cost of instability. Since the utility and effectiveness of institutions is locked to its capability to regulate the behaviour of the members of society, changes would bring instability, confusion and unexpected set of affairs that would increase social costs. It is, thusly, understood that one of the main duties of the state and the higher governmental apparatus is to maintain the institutional arrangement among the individuals, utilizing the processes of cooperation and socialization, (i.e. education) to inculcate this and minimize the virtual perception that institution do not serve the common good (Seznick, 1949; Lipset and Rokkan, 1967; Eisenstadt and Rokkan, 1973; Widavsky, 1987; Sunstein, 1990; Greber and Jackson, 1993 in March and Olsen, 1996).
Instead of changing institutions, according to Rational Choice, it is expected that institution, when faced to different context from which it emerged, apply a pre-arranged framework that can support the inclusion of the new ideas and perceptions of the society but keeping the fundamental attributes of the institution itself. Therefore we may say that beforehand, institutions provide a plan of change that is intrinsic to the institution itself, preventing the transition from one to the other but not impeding the transformation of the original one, meaning that this variations are included in the starting vision of the institution (Shepsle, 1989) In other words, institutional change would only consist of institutions following the pre-set plan. For this reason, it is my consideration that the Rational Choice Institutionalism concept of change, should be replaced and referred more precisely as Institutional Evolution since it does not contemplate the substitution of one institution for another nor a transformation that suits better for reality or for the society’s need, rather than the morphology of the existing ones according to the original projection.
In brief, institutions do not really want to change, those who can change it rather reaffirm it through education to avoid the costs of uncertainty and re-adaptation. Therefore, we can state that Rational Choice Institutionalism studies the ways in which an institution is reinforced and reproduced within the members of a state, by sustaining the idea that spontaneous change or diversity has more cons than pros. Also it is comprehended in this argument the idea that a functional society works better with a faulty institution than without institutions. On the other hand, Rational Choice Institutionalism face the undeniable modification of an institution, it is assumed by this view that all transformation occur within the evolutionary plan of an institution, so that it is not viewed as a change, rather than a natural development through time. And, more importantly, departing from the point that institutions are rationally constructed for the benefit of an organised society, one might also ask, as a valid criticism, cui bono from this arrangement.
Sociological Institutionalism
The second current of the new institutionalism is the one that arose from organizational theory in the field of sociology. Since the work of Weber, the sociologists turn their attention to the bureaucracies that shaped structures in different societies. Whether that was on state level, private enterprises, educational organizations, etc. Later in the 1970s, the need to separate those who study organizations from those focused on culture related analysis was explicit. But opposing to this, the new form of institutionalism arrived. It stated that the way bureaucracies where organized was not predicated on the premise of the greater efficiency, but they were often shaped to its core by the particular culture surrounding the structure in question. They found that this mandatory resemblance to the cultural identity was, in that way, in order to secure and support the complex process of cultural transmission. From this perspective, we can say that it seeks to answer the question of why do certain organizations take a particular shape and form (Hall and Taylor, 1996).
Sociological Institutionalism is concerned with the legitimacy of organizations and bureaucracy. This branch of institutionalism considers that legitimate institutions get bureaucratized essentially following the norms that culture imposes. That is to say, institutions are shaped by culture, to the point that it is difficult to find two with a perfect resemblance since they must be adapted to the context in which they are reproduced or take place. Although certain degree of affinity can be found, for example, in the education systems of different countries, which researchers of this form of new institutionalism call isomorphism. If it is so that culture is the ultimate determinant of the shape of organizations and the structures of institutions, then there would be no room in this current for this type of isomorphism, but said concept is cleverly explained by the natural similarity of the needs of every human community in the world. Since we all have the same basic needs, and advances in those specific areas have been done to make them more efficient, it is logical to think that structures in some degree will copy a functioning model (Meyer and Rowan, 1977).
The most important factor for a social behaviour to be transformed into an institution and ultimately bureaucratized is the legitimacy gained among the actors of the society (Finnemore, 1996). The State is considered to be the ultimate example of such phenomenon. Finnemore (1996) argues that institutions are constantly challenged because of the contradictions within the dominant cultural norms, pointing at their constant need to refresh and renew their legitimacy to ensure endurance. In this idea lies the concept of institutional change according to the sociological discipline. They argue that organizations often adopt and promote new institutional practices, leaving aside the rational concern of efficiency and cost reduction, to increase the legitimacy of such organization (Hall and Taylor, 1996). Ironically, though, following Finnemore (1996), institutionalized bureaucracies are rationally substituted for other institutionalized bureaucracies for reasons that go against a rational scope.
As for my opinion, sociological institutionalism does not really focuses on explaining the change in institutions but rather excuses the fact that institutions change by saying it is all a matter of the legitimacy of the organizations trying to stand the test of time. If it is so, that organizations have the power to shape the structural context of behaviour in such way as to regulate what is considered wrong and right behaviour, then there would be little stopping organizations from assuming total control of society they indirectly direct. Further, it is clear that they deny strongly the grand rational assumption that individuals act rationally (which I consider an appropriate critique) upheld by Rational Choice Institutionalism, yet they reinforce with the same effervescence the rational claim that all organizations act rationally in pursue of their interest moulding institutions accordingly. Finally, for a branch of new institutionalism that claims that context is the key concept in the development and understanding of the institutions, saying that change is only promoted by organizations, is undermining the possibilities of cultural diversity, as proven recently by the Arab Spring or , not so recently, the communist revolutions on the beginning of the 20th century.
Historical Institutionalism
Since the 1990s there has been an increment in the importance that ideas, economic interest and political institutions have and the relation between them. This has led to a great transformation of the historical institutionalism school trying to explain political outcomes (Béland, 2005).
Historical Institutionalism took great influence from structural functionalist, but for a change, they reject the idea that psychological, cultural, social or any individual trait could be extrapolated as a general characteristic of the system that contains them. Instead they suggest that institutional organizations shape the behaviour of the collective, thus generating political outcomes (Hall and Taylor, 1996). In this analysis they include the factor of rationality of the individual and the organizations but under an historical interpretation of the culture in order to decode the interpretation of both the norm and what was considered rational in such a context (Ferejohn, 1991; Thelen, 1999). This way, Historical Institutionalism has a pivotal approach that comprehends and exceed the previously two analysed (Hall and Taylor, 1996), specifically when one analyses the cultural and calculus approaches.
Hay and Wincott (1998) argue that Hall and Taylor (1996) are trying to propose a dialogue between the Sociological Institutionalism and the Rational Choice Institutionalism by incorporating the cultural and calculus approaches to the Historical branch. The calculus approach assume that in every period of time, individuals tend to act strategically to maximize their gain, and institution provide a frame to make it easier to predict and limit the set of actions possible to take place. Now the Historical Institutionalism part in this approach is that the possibilities are reviewed into the historical context surrounding the decisions taken. The cultural approach contrast the calculus without denying it, analysing the degree on which individuals leave aside the rational decision, and lean to familiar structures or established routines. But for that it is necessary to comprehend the historical and contextual rational decision that was left aside and the familiar structures and established routines of such individual in that precise time (Hall and Taylor, 1996).
The main contribution of Historical Institutionalism leads logically to the concept of path dependency. This is the assumption that the same processes can generate different results on different places because there are no two equal circumstances, an assumption that can be considered axiomatic, and therefor problematic (Hall and Taylor, 1996). One way to look at it is that the specific order in which things occur affect how they occur (Hay and Wincott, 1998; Fioretos, 2011). Following Fioretos (2011) the particular timing and sequence in which a phenomenon takes place contributes to four characteristics that remark the importance of context: i) unpredictability, by which it is expected that outcomes on similar events vary in great manner; ii) inflexibility, the idea that as more time passes, it gets harder to reverse the effects of such event; iii) nonergodicity, the probability that this effects can stand the test of time; iv) inefficiencies, the fact that abandoned ideas and alternatives might have produced more efficient outcomes but are out of the possibility range anymore.
Another concept that is essential to path dependence is “historical inefficiency” (Fioretos, 2011: 376). The idea that the specific consequences of the path dependence of one precise experience would make institutional alternatives designed in a different context, far more likely to fail, despite of the fact that analysis of utility models may indicate their superior expected performance (Fioretos, 2011).
The concept of path dependence, although taken from a blend between Rational Choice Institutionalism and Sociological Institutionalism, particularly from and formed inside the original contributions of Historical Institutionalism renders the first two approaches out-dated and unhelpful when talking about institutional change (Thelen, 1999). Change is comprehended as the outcomes, whether they are intended or not, of a set of strategic actions that are conceived inside the context of institutions in a definite time and space that provided the conditions needed to favour certain choices over others (Hay and Wincott, 1998). And that exact analysis is only provided by Historical Institutionalism thanks to the incorporation of calculus approach and cultural approach and path dependence.
Since the concept of path dependence tell us that there is no way in which we can calculate with certainty what will be the overall cost of choosing an option over another when undergoing institutional change, considering unknown factors may intervene and affect the outcome, there is no way of formulating a model that can apply to any situation without risking a mayor margin of error (Harty, 2005). By leaving aside grand generalizations Historical Institutionalism can easily surpass the barriers of Sociological Institutionalism and Rational Choice, of assuming that organizations only use institutional change to reinforce their legitimacy and that every institutional change made in any context must fall into a rational choice, respectively.
Moreover by not denying rationality, Historical Institutionalism does not fall in the contradiction of using Rational Choice to understand the behaviour of organizations or individuals, such as the case of the Sociological branch.
Lastly, in my opinion, Historical Institutionalism is stronger than Rational Choice also, because it contemplates real change on institutions and not merely the evolution of them, since they hold no delusion of a supposed pre-calculated plan by institutions to transform within in order to avoid undergo real change. And is stronger than Sociological Institutionalism, also, as a result of giving the deserved and necessary level of importance to context as a determinant of the outcome and structure of the institutional change process.
Conclusions
We have showed that Historical Institutionalism has a more precise and deeper view of institutional change than the other forms of new institutionalism, Rational Choice Institutionalism and Sociological Institutionalism.
I have compared the concept of change in the three branches, and found that Rational Choice Institutionalism and Sociological Institutionalism have a reduced view of what composes and provokes change leading to unsatisfactory conclusions that leave aside important parts of the reality without encompassing the inputs of one another.
Rational Choice Institutionalism, due to its genesis, has defined a very limited scope, and only considers change to happen within and according to the institution’s plan, assuming that in every step of the way, rationality is a perfect process undergone by every individual and actor in the society. Historical Institutionalism embraces a wider view of what constitutes change, enabling it to study a much substantial range of political situations that would be left out by Rational Choice. Moreover Historical Institutionalism goes as deep as to question what seemed like a rational choice in the context of analysis, providing with a view that does not deny rationality but also, does not consider it to be fixed and static.

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Sociological Institutionalism denies the absolute rationality that is assumed by Rational Choice Institutionalism. Scholars in this branch understand institutional change as the tool that organizations use to endure in time. They suggest that organizations are the ones that promote and seek institutional changes that fit their own maximization of benefits, but by doing this; they make use of the principle that they so firmly oppose from Rational Choice. Sociological Institutionalism only analyses context as a force that shapes the form of the institutions upheld by a society. Historical Institutionalism gives much more importance to context, saying it can determine not only the particular shape of an institution, but also argues that we should take into consideration the values and possibilities provided by the context. It also calls upon the importance of context in the elaboration of the concept path dependency under which it is understood that due to the specifics of some situations, the same process may have different results. Lastly, since Historical Institutionalism does not deny rationality of actors, rather than question what rationality is, it does not fall on the contradiction that we saw on Sociological Institutionalism.
We have seen how Historical Institutionalism, thanks to the calculus and cultural approaches and the path dependency concept is a synthesis of the Rational Choice Institutionalism and Sociological Institutionalism. Historical Institutionalism is capable of analysing much deeper into political phenomena by bringing together concepts of both and stating that results may not replicate in the exact same way due to the differences in context. Therefore not intending to push grand assumptions or create laws on studies and in that what being able to widen the range of situations to study.
Bibliography
Béland, D. (2005) ‘Ideas, Interest, and Institutions: Historical Institutionalism Revisited’ in Lecours, A. ‘New Institutionalisms. Theory and Analysis’, University of Toront-o Press. 29-50
Ferejohn, J. (1991) ‘Rationality and interpretation: Parliamentary elections in early Stuart England’. In Monroe K, ‘The economic approach to politics’ Harper-Collins, 279-305.
Finnemore, M. (1996) ‘Norms, culture, and world politics: Insights from sociology’s institutionalism’, International Organization, vol. 50, no. 2, 325-47.
Fioretos, O. (2011) ‘Historical Institutionalism in Intenational Relations’, International Organizations, 65, 367-99.
Hall, P. and R.C.R. Taylor (1996) ‘Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms’. Political Studies, Vol. 44(5): 936 – 57.
Harty, S. (2005) ‘Theorising Institutional Change’ in Lecours, A. ‘New Institutionalisms. Theory and Analysis’, University of Toronto Press. 51-79
Hay, C. and Wincott, D. (1998) ‘Structure, Agency, Historical Institutionalism’, Political Studies, Vol. 46: 951-57.
March, J.G. and Olsen, J.P. (1996) ‘Institutional Perspectives on Political Institutions’, Governance, 9 (3), 247-64.
Meyer, J.W. & Rowan, B. (1977) ‘Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony’, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 83, no. 2, 340-63.
Selten, R. (1975) ‘A Reexamination on the Perfectness Concept for Equilibrium Points in Extensive games’ International Journal of Game Theory, 4, 25-55.
Shepsle, K.A. (1989) ‘Studying Institutions: Some Lessons from the Rational Choice Approach’, Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1 (2), 131-47.
Thelen, K. (1999) ‘Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Politics’, Annual Review of Political Science, 2, 369-404.
Tsebelis, G. (1990) ‘Nested Games: Rational Choice in Comparative Politics’, University of California Press.   

Parmalat Accounting Scandal | Summary

The Parmalat Accounting Scandal
1. What were the events leading up to the Parmalat accounting scandal and ultimately the revelation of the accounting fraud and the reasons behind the scandal?
Evolving from a small dairy shop into an international concern, Parmalat appeared to be a gigantic and stable dairy producer. At some point in time, it may well have been gigantic and stable, but in December 2003, shocking news was broken to Parma, Italy, and the world at large. Parmalat was no longer a success as it once may have been, and it was bankrupt, and had been bankrupt for several years without this ugly truth being exposed. The truth had apparently been concealed due to a number of people being at least somewhat aware that something was amiss with transactions on the books, but had not spoken out. Through the years that Parmalat was going bankrupt, there were several events that took place before Parmalat’s condition was finally exposed. To begin with, as early as 1990, there were signs that Parmalat was in debt. In accordance with what has been uncovered, Parmalat’s fraudulent activities are said to have ‘taken off’ in 1990. This was when their stock went public, and reflected the need for a big company like Parmalat to perform in the international market so that their performance improved and met investor expectation (Family Arrests in Parmalat Scandal, 2004).

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The following year [1991] the Tanzis purchased Parma Football Club of which Tanzi’s son, Stefano, was president, and also was Parmalat board member. With this purchase, the football club rose to fame quickly, but faced large losses that recorded a deficit of over €77m in 2002. According to investigations, Parma Football Club was the first asset to be sold[1].
Another set of purchases that went along with purchasing the Parma Football Club included Tanzi buying up his competitors. Once he had established Parmalat Milk in the global market, his financial ventures proved to be devastating. This included his family’s financial interest in football and tourism, as well as his failed attempt to outdo Belosconi when he purchased a TV network, Odeon TV. At this point, Parmalat’s finances were a mess.
Purchasing Odeon TV Network was a disaster as Tanzi had to sell the network off for a around £30m. From this point on though, it is said that Parmalat still progressed in spite of its major losses. This was largely achieved through altering the books and attaining bank loans and investments against falsified figures.
Parmalat had spent €130 million on Odeon TV, but it collapsed within 3 years. In order to prevent bankruptcy at this point, Parmalat had to sell itself to a company that was already listed on the Milan stock exchange. This helped to produce €150 million from external investors, and paved the way for Parmalat to be in public view in 1990. It also enabled them to patch up some of its accounts[2].
It is thought that Parmalat began altering its books in 1993. If Parmalat had not ‘cooked’ its books it would have registered financial losses every year. However, they registered profits, which meant that they would still be viewed as a viable organization and one that was worth investing in. Therefore, they managed to avoid being suspected of any losses and attracted much investment.
Parmalat managed to cover losses through a combination of fictitious transactions and aggressive acquisition. This commenced in 1992, when Parmalat started ‘snapping up’ various companies in Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Hungary and the U.S. However, beyond 1995 it is thought that Parmalat was not able to fund its own needs. Yet it managed to prove to investors that it was registering significant profits. Perhaps, Parmalat’s profits registered were so convincing that the Bank of America alone, in 1997, provided $1.7 billion through bonds and private placements for U.S. investors. It also received $30 million or more as payments and commissions[3].
One of the main events that lead up to the Parmalat accounting scandal exposure includes the company changing its external auditor. In accordance with Italian law, an external auditor can be changed once in 9 years. So, in 1999, Parmalat, in accordance with Italian law replaced Grant Thornton with DeLoitte and Touche.
Grant Thornton was keen to keep working with Parmalat, which was a high profile company, as it would be good for their reputation still being developed. Therefore, they recommended that Parmalat spin off its travel and other businesses, and permit these to be under them [Grant Thornton]. Such an arrangement would be convenient to both Parmalat itself and Grant Thornton. Through such an arrangement Parmalat could then satisfy its new external auditors [DeLoitte and Touche] with Grant Thornton making illicit payments to Parmalat. This was made possible through the executives at Parmalat creating debts, and Grant Thornton creating false accounts from which Parmalat could be paid. Grant Thornton would then produce these records to DeLoitte and Touche who saw little wrong with them.
Numerous reports reinforce that Grant Thornton was aware of the ‘shell games’ that Parmalat was playing. One example of these games includes case of “cooking the books,” that reports the Cayman Islands subsidiary Bonlat claiming to have sold a large quantity of powdered milk in a span of one year to Cuba. It claimed that this quantity was sufficient to produce 55 gallons of milk for every individual on that island.
Another interesting event that lead up to Parmalat’s exposure of the accounting scandal was that Grant Thornton and Deloitte & Touche signed off on its increasingly surreal accounts. In return, it is said that they booked millions of dollars (Parmalat Scandal Deepens…, 2006).
In Parmalat’s final weeks, Deutsche Bank had taken on helping it work with Standard & Poor’s, hardly ten days before the exposure. Around this time, analysts around the world kept encouraging investors to continue purchasing its stocks and bonds.
In 1999, finance director Alberto Ferraris laid out a financing scheme. He managed this through a Delaware company known as Buconero. This was the Italian for “black hole,” that Citigroup established for Parmalat in 1999[4]. This company loaned out $137 million to a Swiss subsidiary of Parmalat. From here, the money was transferred to Parmalat companies. In return for Buconero’s service to Parmalat, it received a return of around 6%, in addition to $7 million in payments for Citigroup. Just like Parmalat made use of Buconero, it also used other offshore companies to dress up its debt till the time of its exposure[5].
Back in 1995, Parmalat also commenced concealing its debt through shell companies. It had been losing $300 million annually in Latin America, and decided to wipe this debt off the company’s financial records. It managed to do so by using 3 shell companies situated in the Caribbean.
The huge debt patchwork through the 90s began to raise concern by the end of the decade. Esteban Pedro Villar, expressed concern and filed an “early warning report” (Gumbel, 2004). This was regarding Parmalat’s Latin American set-ups. He had so many questions that his concerns were termed as “offensive and ridiculous” (Gumbel, 2004). Then suspiciously, Deloitte’s Parmalat business in Argentina was terminated. In response, Deloitte was silenced, and the accounts were certified.
In addition to the above concern that was demonstrated by a Deloitte partner in Latin America, there were others. On March 28th, 2003, Deloitte’s Maltese office raised questions regarding a $7 billion intercompany transfer they suspected was fictitious. Wanderley Olivetti, the Deloitte auditor in Brazil, raised such concern at the Milan office regarding Parmalat’s Brazilian accounts that the matter went straight to Deloitte’s chief executive in New York City at that time, Jim Copeland. However, Olivetti’s objections were mysteriously ignored and he was soon removed from dealing with the Parmalat account. Deloitte claims it behaved within its rights to remove any employee it wishes to, and this may be done for a number of reasons. It also said that the investigation of Parmalat started in October 2003, after Deloitte Italy had drawn attention to Parmalat’s financial dealings[6].
Following the suspicions raised by auditors, Epicurum was established in an attempt to show that Parmalat was due considerable amounts of money. However, this attempt to erase debt from the records at Parmalat failed, and the company admitted that it could not retrieve the amount they were due from Epicurum.
One of the key events that led to the exposure of Parmalat includes Tanzi and his son’s meeting with private equity firm Blackstone Group in New York. Tanzi and his son Stefano, one of the main executives at many of the family’s concerns, met with the Blackstone Group to discuss the sale of 51 percent of the family’s share in the food empire. It was in the course of conversation regarding preparation for the books to be opened to a transition team from Blackstone, that Tanzi and his son slipped out with the fact that the cash on hand was less than the 3 billion Euros registered in the company’s annual report. In addition to this, they revealed that there were barely any liquid assets. They even further stated that the company was in debt of about 10 billion Euros.
In addition to the suspicion that was brought against Parmalat through observations of its faulty accounting records, it is this final attempt to sell of 51 percent of family shares that marks the end of the road for Parmalat’s long trail of fraud.
The following facts presented date-wise are interesting to note as they map the path that Parmalat took since its inception till its end on 13th December 2003:

1961 Parmalat was founded by 22-year-old Calisto Tanzi. It was established as a small family food business that pasteurised and sold milk
1963 Parmalat introduces Tetrapak for packaging its ‘long-life’ milk products.
1980s Parmalat starts producing fruit juice, biscuits and ready-made sauce.
1990 Parmalat is listed on the Milan stock exchange.
Through the 1990s Parmalat grows after flotation. It then reaches into America, Brazil, few South American countries, and Eastern Europe and Australia. Tanzi aims at expanding a television network to outdo tycoon Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. However, his Odeon television foray flops and costs Parmalat £30m. Parmalat products also get sale in 20 countries.
1999 Parmalat‘s Bonlat subsidiary is established in the Cayman Islands.
2003

11 November Crisis escalates when shares are hit after auditors raise questions regarding accounting of transactions with mutual fund Epicurum [a Cayman-based company linked to Parmalat].
15 November Alberto Ferraris resigns from the position of Finance director.
8 December Parmalat admits failure to recover €496.5m from Epicurum. This amount was needed to service debt.
15 December Tanzi resigns as chairman and CEO.
16 December Enrico Bondi takes control of the company.
17 December Bank of America denies the credibility of documents that affirm Bonlat account existence.
24 December Parmalat files for irregular administration operations.
27 December Italian authorities hold Tanzi in their custody in Milan [7]
29 December Tanzi admits to siphoning off €500m of company funds; Bondi takes charge as Parmalat administrator; US Securities and Exchange Commission bring charges against Parmalat for fraud.
30 December Tanzi is formally charged with fraud.

31 December Parmalat officials are arrested. These included former CFO Fausto Tonna and Luciano Del Soldato, and two officials from Grant Thornton’s Italian branch that audited Bonlat.

2. How was fraud perpetrated and how was the company able to continue with the fraudulent practice for such a long time?
Parmalat started out as many other businesses have. It was first a small dairy shop that slowly progressed and expanded its range of products, and finally turned into a large dairy producer that sold its products in several countries. From the early 1990s and onwards, Parmalat appeared to make significant progress, registering profits annually that was encouraging enough for investors to go on investing in the company. However, the truth of the matter was that these very investors were all being deceived due to Parmalat’s fraudulent practices largely perpetrated by Tanzi, top managers, the Parmalat’s external lawyer, Gian Paolo Zini, and two external auditors, Maurizio Bianchi and Lorenzo Penca. However, Zini, Bianchi and Penca claim that they are innocent[8].
Falsifying Credibility and Obtaining Loans and Investments:
Tanzi and all those who were allegedly involved in what is known to be one of the biggest scams, managed to borrow money from banks and even justified these loans for Parmalat through inflating revenues and fictitious sales in records between 1990 and 2003. They would also ‘cook’ its books in order to make debt vanish. They managed to do this through transferring debt to offshore ‘shell’ companies. In addition to covering up debt in this manner, there were other tactics that Parmalat resorted to (Parmalat Dream Goes Sour, 2004).
One of the other methods Parmalat used in order to cover their debt when it got too big to cover with the offshore shell companies included their invention of a bogus milk producer, supposedly situated in Singapore. Parmalat claimed that the company had supplied 300, 000 tons of milk powder to Cuba. This process included Bonlat, a Caymen Island subsidiary of Parmalat. Bonlat had a fictitious account in the Bank of America. This whole setup is so surprising that it has left many baffled as to how could such a fraudulent concept have been so successful and convincing when there was no concrete evidence in it[9].
Looking at the above example of the manner in which Parmalat faked transactions, it can be observed that the whole concept is such that it would have an ordinary person believe that it was authentic. Who would have suspected that any of it was fictitious, particularly because Parmalat had been a company in operation for several years? Ordinarily, one would suspect a company if it had a single concern that was being publicized. However, since Parmalat was projecting trade being conducted that included different physical points, there was little suspicion raised. There was the exporter in Singapore, the importer in Cuba, and Bonlat involved too in the Caymen Islands. The scheme thought up was very believable also because of the fact that Bonlat supposedly had an account in the Bank of America.
Different Roles Played to Conceal Debt:
Considering the debt that was actually showing up in the books, Parmalat had to have people who could cover it up well enough. This called for people on the inside as well as the outside to co-operate. External auditors, internal auditors as well as the top-notch individuals at Parmalat had to play their roles. One the inside, the books were maintained in the hands of trusted people. External auditors were told to keep this quiet. In this case, it was chiefly Grant Thornton that aided Parmalat in carrying out its fraudulent practice for so long.
Grant Thornton’s Role:
Grant Thornton played a major role in helping Parmalat continue its long-term fraudulent practice. It did so because it had a great deal to gain from Parmalat, and so did Parmalat have a lot to gain from Grant Thornton working with them.
Grant Thornton was and up and coming auditing firm that needed to be have sound clients in order to help its reputation in the market. Parmalat paid Grant Thornton considerable amounts to conceal debts. Quite obviously, this seemed to work for several years, and did so till 1999, when Parmalat were compelled to replace Grant Thornton with DeLoitte and Touche. This was necessary because by Italian law, an external auditor should be changed every nine years. Parmalat abided by the law, but was also proposed a way of continuing its fraudulent practice.
With DeLoitte and Touche taking charge as external auditors meant that debts would no longer be concealed, and Parmalat could be exposed. This could have happened in 1999. However, since Parmalat maintained Grant Thornton for its spin offs [its travel and other businesses], they were able to continue tricking everyone far and wide. This scheme was simple as well, and included another series of false records in order to show that Parmalat was still making profits annually. This was possible through illicit payments that these spin offs could make to Parmalat. Executives at Parmalat would create debts while Grant Thornton would create false accounts from which they could make payments to Parmalat. They would produce these records to DeLoitte and Touche, and they would be approved[10].
More Actions that helped to Conceal Parmalat’s Debt:
Basically, it could be asserted that it was the executives on the inside of Parmalat and the external auditors that were hand in glove; together they managed to conceal debt. However, in addition to this practice that lasted for many years, the innovative idea of offshore concerns enhanced credibility. In addition to this, the fact that Parmalat products were popular in several countries meant that fewer questions would be asked. Also, for a whole decade none of the auditors in any location raised any concerns. It is thought that the amount concealed by 1995 amounted to $300 million annually in just Latin America. By this time, debt was already enormous and it is obvious that a great deal was being done to conceal it well enough. However, since Parmalat’s increasing debt went unnoticed for a few more years, it is obvious that more action needed to be taken in order to make sure that it stayed covered. This meant that Parmalat had to transfer debt off its financial statements. In order to do this, it had to make use of ‘shell’ companies in the Caribbean. These companies had to show sales, and Parmalat would send them fictitious invoices in order to legitimize the sales. Parmalat would then make out notes to banks in order to show them that they were owed so much finance. Against these notes, Parmalat would be granted loans, as it appeared that the Parmalat was making profits. In order to make their debts disappear, Parmalat transferred its debts to its offshore subsidiaries that were based in tax havens (Parmalat Dream Goes Sour, 2004).
The Beginning of the End:
Parmalat had been making use of offshore shell companies until 1999. Parmalat shifted operations of its three offshore shell companies to Bonlat, in the Cayman Islands in 1999. This is thought to be the beginning of the end for Parmalat. At this point, debt was so high that it was becoming difficult to conceal it. Fictitious assets at Bonlat amounted to around $8 billion, which forced Parmalat to create a Cayman Islands-based investment fund, Epicurum, which would take over part of the fictitious credit. It was Epicurum that caught auditors’ attention as well as Italy’s stock market regulator [November 2003]. It was just a matter of a month before everything was exposed and the company officially was declared bankrupt[11].
Finally, it may be asserted that it was the auditors through which Parmalat managed to deceive everyone for so long with the help of top-level management at Parmalat. If Parmalat had not been able to get Grant Thornton to work in their favor along with their internal auditors and top-level management, the entire scam would not have been possible. This dates back to the beginning of the fraud when Parmalat first began to conceal its debt. If it did not have an external auditor on its side to conceal the large debt it incurred because family business and unnecessary purchases, Parmalat’s debt would have been in public view in the early 1990s. However, this was not to be due to a ring of people working to conceal debt. Though there were several people involved in making debt disappear off the records, it can be observed that it was the auditors that made each of Parmalat’s fraudulent schemes possible. This is true to say whether one looks at the debt covered in the earliest days of fraud or towards the end. The fictitious transactions with shell companies too were made possible due to the auditors who ‘cooked’ the books. However, it can also be asserted that the auditors were not solely to blame in making sure this fraud lasted for so long, as there had to be others in on these schemes too. This included key people of Parmalat such as the executives, its CEO, its internal auditors as well as external auditors and individuals at key financial institutions. In order for a fraudulent scheme to last as long as it did in the case of Parmalat, there had to be a whole ring of people involved, which also explains why it took such a long time and deep investigation to uncover all those were responsible for the scandal.
3. The role and the responsibility of auditors in preventing financial scandals and ensuring and upholding the principles of good corporate governance.
In organizations such as Parmalat and other large organizations where there are several shareholders and many people dependent on the progress of these corporations, executives and top-level managers have a responsibility towards them. Generally, it can be asserted that corporate governance refers to ways in which rights and responsibilities are shared between various corporate participants, the management and the stakeholders[12]. Governing corporations such as Parmalat consists of fixed processes, customs, policies, laws and institutions that impact the way it is directed and administered. These are processes that should have been conducted responsibly in order to make sure that Parmalat made progress. If Parmalat was facing debt, executives and all those concerned should have been honest and made sure that these debts were made known (Gumbel, 2004). This would have saved the organization in its earliest days of trouble. Therefore, it can be asserted that being honest and responsible in corporate governance is important.
It is important to assert that corporate governance also encompasses the relationships among the many participants involved in the process (the stakeholders) as well as the goals for which the corporation is managed or governed. The principal participants are the shareholders, management and the board of directors. In addition to these main players there are other stakeholders: employees, suppliers, customers, banks and other lenders, regulators, the environment and the even community[13]. This is because all these people and institutions are affected in one way of another by the actions and repercussions of a corporation and the decisions it makes.
In view of the many people that corporate governance impacts as in the case of Parmalat, accountability, fiduciary duty and mechanisms of auditing and control are of immense importance.
Responsibility of Auditors:
Auditors, whether they are external or internal auditors, have responsibility towards all those involved with a corporation. Particularly, it may be asserted that there are many individuals who are not directly involved with the operations of a corporation, but they may be dependent on its operations significantly. These are the kinds of people that really need to be protected, and auditors have a great responsibility towards them (Gunz and McCutcheon, 1996, 7-15).
To begin with, a very basic and generally stated duty of auditors is to make sure that a corporation’s operate efficiently, their records are maintained properly, and its taxes are handed in on time. Auditors generally offer these services to their clients, which include government, public and management accounting. In offering these services, their role includes preparing reports, analyzing, and verifying financial statements and documents for the purpose of providing information to their clients. By performing these tasks honestly and not concealing any information auditors fulfill their duties (Gunz and McCutcheon, 1996, 7-15). This is precisely what is required of them when they deal with huge corporations like Parmalat. The role of auditors would include exposing whether the corporation is actually making huge annual profits or whether they are concealing their debts[14].
In addition to the roles that auditors play in offering their services to corporations, other services they provide include financial and investment planning, budget analysis, information technology consultation, and limited legal services. However, these are services can only be carried out if they perform their fundamental duties responsibly. This is because the figurers that they provide after performing their fundamental tasks impact these additional processes. For example, if debts of a corporation are not presented accurately and annual profits are fictitious, how can an authentic and realistic budget be prepared? Therefore, it can be asserted that auditors cannot work and produce any realistic figures if they distort debts and profits made annually. In recent times, this is what has been occurring. Corporations hire auditors to check their statements. Somehow, these auditors have gotten involved in illegal behavior and have hidden debts and elevated profits. Based on these figures they helped in painting pretty pictures for the corporation’s reputation in the market. This is how Parmalat managed to remain in the global market for a long time without being suspected of having immense debt.
Having asserted the above, it is also important to consider the fact that in the US there are limitations imposed on auditors that investigate a corporation’s financial statements. Due to the fact that there have been corporate scandals that have involved auditors being involved, it is now illegal for an accounting firm that audits a corporation’s financial statements, to advise areas such as investment banking, legal matters, etc. of that firm. One exception to this prohibition is that auditors may provide advice on tax issues that would benefit the company (Young, 1997).
Forensic Auditing:
Having asserted the necessity of making accurate reports of financial figures regarding a corporation’s annual budgets or debts, it must be asserted that one major and specialized accounting practice is forensic accounting. Several public accountants specialize in this, as it is of growing importance in today’s world where corporate scandals appear to occur frequently.
Forensic accounting includes investigation and interpretation of white-collar crimes. This type of crime includes bankruptcies, securities fraud and embezzlement, and contract disputes. In addition to this, criminal financial transactions, such as money laundering, are also included in white-color crime. It can be asserted that auditors who specialize in forensic accountancy play an important role in preventing corporate scandals such as the one that took place with Parmalat. However, it should be remembered that auditors who do not specialize in forensic accountancy are no novices. This means that if there are any unusual entries and irregularities in records, any auditor should be to detect them, and this is why all auditors are said to have responsibility to report any irregularities[15].
Though auditors generally are able to detect any irregularities, those that specialize in forensic accounting make use of accounting and finance knowledge, law and investigative techniques. They use this combination in order to detect illegal activity in a corporation, and it is obviously a greater advantage to them as they are more specialized.
It is known that there are several forensic accountants that work in tandem with personnel from law enforcement departments during investigations. However, this occurs normally after a corporate scandal has been detected. Considering this, it might be a good idea for forensic accountants to work in this manner as part of regular and standard procedure in order to safeguard everyone involved with a corporation. If such a practice were adopted as standard procedure, it would become more difficult for financial scandals to take place. This is considerate of acknowledging that corporations usually appoint their own auditors. Auditing firms might be required to adhere to practices that would make regular procedures more thorough and transparent as a result[16].
Aside from considerations for current practices of audit firms and ones that could be included in order to prevent financial scandals, the general concept of internal and external auditors reviewing and analyzing financial statements of firms aims at doing the same thing.
Fundamental Responsibilities of Auditors:
It is the primary responsibility of internal auditors to make sure records are accurately maintained. These records are also checked for any form of irregularity, which may include things like mismanagement or even fraud.
Internal auditors are not only supposed to maintain records of financial figures, but their roles also encompass examining the firm’s operations with regard to finance and information systems, management, and internal controls. Examining these operations are important as they help to make sure that financial records are accurately maintained. In addition to this, these steps also examine the adequacy of controls to protect the firm against financial scandals (Gunz and McCutcheon, 1996, 7-15).
Further, it can be asserted that internal auditors have the responsibility of evaluating important areas of the corporation such as effectiveness, compliance with all standards and corporate policies and procedures, efficiency, laws, and government regulations.
Since there are so many types of operations to take care of in a corporation, there are areas of specialization for internal auditors as well. Some of these may include environmental, engineering, electronic data-processing, legal, insurance premium, banking, and healthcare auditors.
The reason for specialization in these areas is because there are technical procedures that need to be understood in order to evaluate things like efficiency and effectiveness. Having deeper understanding of individual industries helps internal auditors to evaluate a corporation’s operations more specifically (Bavly, 1999, 25-30).
Among the important steps that internal auditors may take towards better controls within a corporation, recommendation of better controls is high on the list of priorities for better auditing processes. An example of recommendations that internal auditors may make in a firm, internal auditors may help managers through co
 

Pablo Picasso Biography Summary

“Unlike in music, there are no child prodigies in painting. What people regard as premature genius is the genius of childhood. It gradually disappears as they get older. It is possible for such a child to become a real painter one day, perhaps even a great painter. But he would have to start right from the beginning. So far as I am concerned, I did not have that genius. My first drawings could never have been shown at an exhibition of children’s drawings. I lacked the clumsiness of a child, his naivety. I made academic drawings at the age of seven, the minute precision of which frightened me.” (Matayev)

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881. His full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Crispiniano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz which according to Spanish tradition was the sequence of names of the honourable Saints and relatives of Picasso’s family. Picasso is the surname of his mother which he took as his father’s surname seemed to the painter too ordinary and primitive.

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From the age of seven, Picasso took lessons from his father Jose Ruiz, who was a painter himself specialized in naturalistic depictions of birds and sometimes even let his little son finish some of the paintings. But one day when Jose Ruiz was drawing a still life and charged his thirteen year old son to finish the picture he was fascinated by his son’s technique that he gave up painting immediately.
The same year Pablo entered the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. He easily passed the entrance examination preparation to which took him less than a week. There in Barcelona he made the first artistic friendships and allegiance, with Manuel Pallares, Carlos Casagemas and Jami Sabartes.
Three years later Picasso’s father and uncle sent the young artist to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando. In Madrid Pablo first saw the paintings Diego Velázquez, El Greco, Francisco Goya, and Francisco Zurbarán.
While he was studying in Madrid, Picasso made his first trip to Paris where he visited the Louvre in October 1900. The works of impressionists changed his vision of art completely and that was the beginning of the so called Blue Period of Picasso (1901-1904) when the blue and blue-green color prevailed in the paintings. The main themes of the paintings of this period were death, old age, poverty, melancholy and sadness. The main characters were old, blind people, beggars, prostitutes and alcoholics (“The Frugal Repast”, 1904, “The Blindman’s Meal”, 1903, “The Tragedy”, 1903).
The more optimistic and positive Rose Period came to take the place of the gloomy mood and feeling of despair. Pink and red became the dominant colors. The theme also changed. The funny harlequins, strolling musicians and actors and deft acrobats became the characters of the paintings of Rose Period (“The Acrobat and the young Harlequin”, “Actor’s family”, “The jester”, 1905). The real popularity came to the artist at the age of 25 and he even complained that the public believed blindly into his talent and could not evaluate his works properly.
The next period (1909 -1912) is called Cubism Period. Pablo Picasso moved toward abstraction and played with dimensions (“Still life with wicker chair”, 1911, “Violin and guitar”, 1912),
World War I changed everything: mood, vision of the world, style of the painting and the whole life of Picasso. Picasso’s pictures became somber and more realistic.
In 1916, the young poet Jean Cocteau introduced the famous Russian ballet impresario Diaghilev to Picasso. He wanted Picasso to make decorations for his ballet “Parade”. Picasso gave his consent and in 1917 went to Rome where he worked on decorations for “Parade”. There, Picasso met the young Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova with whom he fell in love. He proposed to her and after the performance in Barcelona she agreed to marry him.
After cubism, Picasso decided to change his style to the more traditional one and this period is known as his Classicist period (“The Lovers”, 1920, “The Pipes of Pan”, 1923).
The Surrealism movement was growing in popularity at that time, and Picasso was also influenced by it. His “Woman with Flower” (1932) was a portrait of Marie-Thérèse in the manner of Surrealism with distortion of proportions and deformations of details.
When the artist heard about the bombing of the undefended town Guernica in 1937 he decided to express his own thoughts about the tragedy. His big mural “Guernica” has remained a forceful reminder of the event. This large canvas embodies for many the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war.
In 1944, Picasso made a decision to join the Communist Party. Picasso repeated publicly that the aim of his art was to fight like a revolutionary and be a weapon in a political struggle.
After the WWII in 1955, Picasso moved to the large villa “La Californie” that was situated near Cannes where he wanted to live till the end of his life. From the windows he had a view of the big beautiful garden, full of his sculptures. But soon “La Californie” had become a place of tourist attraction. A constantly increasing stream of admirers crowded around it and Picasso, who disliked public attention, had to move from the villa to Chateau Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence.
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 when he was 92 years old.
There is a tendency to estimate Picasso’s art by evaluating only his painting, giving to his work as a sculptor the minor value and considering it almost as a hobby of the artist. However only after looking at his sculptures it is possible to estimate the creative force of this hardworking and inspired master.
Picasso has amazed the world with an abundance of the inventions though many of them are a little known as have been made of fragile, short-lived materials.
“The head of a bull” marks the beginning of rather successful period in Picasso’s creative life.
The general characteristic of the creativity of Pablo Picasso in the field of a sculpture leads to a conclusion that it was amazing as well as his painting. In his sculpture you can feel freedom from any norms and improvisation, it is far from the academic solemnity, so often inherent this to this kind of art.
The paintings of Pablo Picasso which were first presented in Spain and then in Paris could be seen now in many museums of the world such as Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain, Musée Picasso, Paris, France, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA,
Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, Switzerland, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, USA, Tate Gallery, London, UK, State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, The State Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and some others. Many of his pictures are in private collections.
During the last ten years of his life Picasso was extremely popular. Picasso became a celebrity, there were a lot of films, articles and television programs about him and the public wanted to know his every step. In his late works Picasso prefers the use of simplified imagery which turned the attention of the public away from him.
Through all his life Picasso was often compared to the other famous artists. Some of the paintings of Blue Period the people on which had long bodies resemble the early works of another Spanish painter El Greco whom Picasso really admired.
The technique of faceting which Picasso used during Cubism Period originated from Georges Braques with whom Picasso was also compared. Some painters find the similar features in the works of Picasso and Salvador Dali.
Pablo Picasso was the only painter of his time who introduced history into his art. He is still very popular and his paintings are invaluable. But people are still trying to get them at any price by paying huge sums of money or just steeling the paintings from the museums. Nowadays 547 works of Pablo Picasso are in search.
 

Summary and Analysis of the Compton Effect

En = nhf (1) where En is the energy, n is a non-negative integer, h is Planck’s constant, and f is the frequency of the photon.2 In 1905, Albert Einstein extended Planck’s inference to include not only black body radiation but all electromagnetic waves! Therefore, Einstein hypothesized that light is quantized with energy proportional to its frequency.3 The obvious principle to be deduced from these discoveries is that light possessed attributes of waves and particles! In 1922, Arthur Holly Compton solidified Planck’s assumption and therefore firmly established a new era of physics. Compton theorized and then experimentally demonstrated that electromagnetic waves had the properties of particles. Classically, x-rays would shake the electrons of a target material at the same frequency of the x-ray. Hence, the wavelength of radiation from the oscillating electrons would be identical to the wavelength of the incoming xrays. 1 However, it was observed that x-rays were more easily absorbed by materials than waves of longer wavelength. In other words, the scattered x-rays were of longer wavelength.4 This was contrary to the predictions of classical physics. Compton realized though, that if the interaction was modeled as a collision between two particles (electron and photon), the scattered x-rays would-be of longer wave length (compared to the incident-rays) because the recoiling electron would acquire some of the energy and momentum of the incoming x-ray.4 Since wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency, the frequency of the scattered x-rays was less. From eq. (1), it is seen that the energy would also be decreased. When Compton carried out this experiment in 1922 using molybdenum as his target, he verified his theory and provided even more evidence that light also possessed a mass less particle nature
Detailed Description of Compton Effect 
the elastic scattering of electromagnetic radiation by free electrons, accompanied by an increase in wavelength; it is observed during scattering of radiation of short wavelength-X rays and gamma rays. The corpuscular properties of radiation were fully revealed for the first time in the Compton Effect.
The Compton effect was discovered in 1922 by the American physicist A. Compton, who observed that X rays scattered in paraffin have a longer wavelength than the incident rays. Such a shift in wavelength could not be explained by classical theory. In fact, according to classical electrodynamics, under the influence of the periodic electric field of an electromagnetic (light) wave, an electron should oscillate with a frequency equal to that of the wave and consequently should radiate secondary (scattered) waves of the same frequency. Thus, in “classical” scattering (the theory of which was provided by the British physicist J. J. Thomson and is therefore called Thomson scattering) the wavelength of the light does not change.

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An elementary theory of the Compton effect based on quantum concepts was given by Compton and independently by P. Debye. According to quantum theory a light wave is a stream of light quanta, or photons. Each photon has a definite energy ع =hv=hc/λand a definite momentum pγ= (h/λ)n, where λ is the wavelength of the incident light (vis its frequency),cis the speed of light,his Planck’s constant, and n is the unit vector in the direction of propagation of the wave (the subscript γ denotes a photon). In quantum theory the Compton Effect appears as an elastic collision between two particles, the incident photon and the stationary electron. In every such collision event the laws of conservation of energy and momentum are obeyed. A photon that has collided with an electron transfers part of its energy and momentum to the electron and changes its direction of motion (it is scattered); the decrease in the photon’s energy signifies an increase in the wavelength of the scattered light. The electron, which previously had been stationary, receives energy and momentum from the photon and is set in motion (it experiences recoil). The direction of motion of the particles after the collision, as well as their energy, is determined by the laws of conservation of energy and momentum (Figure 1).
Elastic collision of a photon and an electron in the Compton effect. Before the collision the electron was stationary:pγand p’γare the momentum of the incident and scattered photons, pe=mvis the momentum of the recoil electron (vis its velocity),(is the photon’s scattering angle, and ø is the angle of escape of the recoil electron relative to the direction of the incident photon.
Simultaneous solution of the equations expressing the equality of the summed energies and momentums of the particles before and after the collision (assuming that the electron is stationary before the collision) gives Compton’s formula for the shift in the wavelength of the light:
=λ’ −λ=λ0(1 Ë- cos θ)
Here λ’ is the wavelength of the scattered light, θ is the photon’s scattering angle, and λ0=h/mc= 2.426 Ã- 10Ë-10cm = 0.024 angstrom (Å) is the “Compton wavelength” of the electron (mis the mass of the electron). It follows from Compton’s formula that the shift in the wavelength does not depend on the wavelength λ of the incident light itself. It is solely determined by the scattering angle θ of the photon and is maximal when θ = 180°, that is, when scattering is straight back: max= 2λo.
Expressions for the energy عeof the recoil, or “Compton,” electron as a function of the angle ø of its escape may be obtained from the same equations. The dependence of the energy ع’ γ of the scattered photon on the scattering angle θ, as well as the dependence of عeon ø, which is related to it, is shown in Figure 2. From the figure it is apparent that the recoil electrons always have a velocity component in the direction of motion of the incident photon (that is, ø does not exceed 90°).
Experiment has confirmed all the above theoretical predictions. The correctness of the corpuscular concepts of the mechanism of the Compton effect-and thus the correctness of the basic assumptions of quantum theory-has been experimentally proved.
In actual experiments on the scattering of photons by matter, the electrons are not free but are bound to atoms. If the energy of the photons is high in comparison with the binding energy of the electrons in the atom (X-ray and gamma-ray photons), then the electrons experience a recoil strong enough to expel them from the atom. In this case the photon scattering proceeds as if with free electrons. However, if the energy of the photon is not sufficient to tear the electron from the atom, then the photon exchanges energy and momentum with the entire atom. Since the mass of the atom is very great compared to the photon’s equivalent mass (which, according to the theory of relativity, equals £y/c2), the recoil is virtually nonexistent; therefore, the photon
Dependence of the energyع’λof the scattered photon on the scattering angleθ(for convenience, only the upper half of the symmetrical curve is depicted) and the dependence of the energy عeof the recoil electron on the angle of escape 0 (lower half of the curve). Quantities related to the same collision event are labeled with identical numbers. The vectors drawn from point 0, at which the collision between the proton with energy عγ and the stationary electron occurred, to corresponding points on the curves depict the state of the particle after scattering: the magnitudes of the vectors give the energy of the particles, and the angles formed by the vectors with the direction of the incident photon define the scattering angle ø and the angle 0 of the recoil electron’s path. (The graph was plotted for the case of scattering of “hard” X rays with wavelengthhc/عγ= γo= 0.024 Å.) is scattered without a change in its energy (that is, without a change in its wavelength, or “coherently”). In heavy atoms only the peripheral electrons are weakly bound (in contrast to the electrons filling the inner shells of the atom), and therefore the spectrum of the scattered radiation has both a shifted (Compton) line, from scattering by the peripheral electrons, and an un-shifted (coherent) line, from scattering by the entire atom. With increasing atomic number (nuclear charge) the electron binding energy increases, the relative intensity of the Compton line decreases, and that of the coherent line increases.
The motion of the electrons in atoms leads to a broadening of the Compton lines in the scattered radiation. This occurs because the wavelength of the incident light appears to be slightly changed for moving electrons; in addition, the amount of change depends on the magnitude and direction of the electron’s velocity (the Doppler effect). Careful measurements of the intensity distribution in a Compton line, which reflects the velocity distribution of the electrons in the material, has confirmed the correctness of quantum theory, according to which electrons obey Fermi-Dirac statistics.
The simplified theory of the Compton Effect examined here does not permit the calculation of all characteristics of Compton scattering, particularly the intensity of photon scattering at various angles. A complete theory of the Compton Effect is provided by quantum electrodynamics. The intensity of Compton scattering depends on both the scattering angle and the wavelength of the incident radiation. Asymmetry is observed in the angular distribution of the scattered photons: more photons are scattered forward, and the asymmetry increases with increasing energy of the incident photons. The total intensity of Compton scattering decreases with an increase in the energy of the primary photons (Figure 3); this indicates that the probability of the Compton scattering of a photon passing through matter diminishes with decreasing energy. Such a dependence of intensity on £y determines the place of Compton scattering among the other effects of interaction between matter and radiation that are responsible for loss of energy by photons in their passage through matter. For example, in lead the Compton effect makes the main contribution to the energy loss of photons at energies of the order of 1-10 mega electron volts, or MeV (in a lighter element, aluminum, this range is 0.1-30.0 MeV); below this region it is surpassed by the photoelectric effect, and above it by pair production.
Compton scattering is used extensively in studying the gamma radiation of nuclei; it is also the basis of the principle of operation of some gamma spectrometers.
The Compton effect is possible not only for electrons but also for other charged particles, such as protons; however, because of the proton’s large mass its recoil is noticeable only during the scattering of photons with very high energy.
The double Compton effect consists of the formation of two scattered photons in place of a single incident photon during scattering by a free electron. The existence of this process follows from quantum electrodynamics; it was first observed in 1952. Its probability is approximately a hundred times less than that of the ordinary Compton effect.
Graph showing the dependence of the total Compton scattering intensityInverse Compton effect.
If the electrons on which electromagnetic radiation is scattered are relativistic (that is, if they are moving with speeds close to the speed of light), then in an elastic collision the wavelength of the radiation will decrease: the energy and momentum of the photons will increase at the expense of the energy and momentum of the electrons. This phenomenon is called the inverse Compton effect and is often used to explain the radiation mechanism of cosmic X-ray sources, the production of the X-ray component of the background galactic radiation, and the transformation of plasma waves into high-frequency electromagnetic waves.
Description of the phenomenon
By the early 20th century, research into the interaction ofX-rayswith matter was well underway. It was known that when a beam of X-rays is directed at an atom, an electron is ejected and is scattered through an angleθ.Classical electromagnetismpredicts that the wavelength of scattered rays should be equal to the initial wavelength;-9-2″[3]however, multiple experiments found that the wavelength of the scattered rays was greater than the initial wavelength.
In 1923, Compton published a paper in thePhysical Reviewexplaining the phenomenon. Using the notion ofquantized radiationand the dynamics ofspecial relativity, Compton derived the relationship between the shift in wavelength and the scattering angle:
Where
λis the initial wavelength,
λ′is the wavelength after scattering,
his thePlanck constant,
meis the mass of the electron,
cis thespeed of light, and
θis the scattering angle.
The quantityh⁄mecis known as theCompton wavelengthof the electron; it is equal to2.43Ã-10−12m. The wavelength shiftλ′−λis at least zero (forθ= 0°) and at most twice the Compton wavelength of the electron (forθ= 180°).
Compton found that some X-rays experienced no wavelength shift despite being scattered through large angles; in each of these cases the photon failed to eject an electron.Thus the magnitude of the shift is related not to the Compton wavelength of the electron, but to the Compton wavelength of the entire atom, which can be upwards of 10 000 times smaller.
Compton Scattering
the scattering of3.html#c4″x-raysfrom electrons in a carbon target and found scattered x-rays with a longer wavelength than those incident upon the target. The shift of the wavelength increased with scattering angle according to the Compton formula:
Compton explained and modeled the data by assuming a particle (photon) nature for light and applying conservation of energy and conservation of momentum to the collision between the photon and the electron. The scattered photon has lower energy and therefore a longer wavelength according to the2.html#c3″Planck relationship.
At a time (early 1920’s) when the particle (photon) nature of light suggested by the1.html#c2″photoelectric effectwas still being debated, the Compton experiment gave clear and independent evidence of particle-like behavior. Compton was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1927 for the “discovery of the effect named after him”.
Compton Scattering Data
Compton’s original experiment made use of molybdenum K-alpha x-rays, which have a wavelength of 0.0709 nm. These were scattered from a block of carbon and observed at different angles with a2″Bragg spectrometer. The spectrometer consists of a rotating framework with a calcite crystal to diffract the x-rays and an ionization chamber for detection of the x-rays. Since the spacing of the crystal planes in calcite is known, the angle of diffraction gives an accurate measure of the wavelength.
Examination of the Compton scattering formula shows that the scattered wavelength depends upon the angle of scattering and also the mass of the scattered. For scattering from stationary electrons, the formula gives a wavelength of 0.0733 nm for scattering at 90 degrees. That is consistent with the right-hand peak in the illustration above. The peak which is near the original x-ray wavelength is considered to be scattering off inner electrons in the carbon atoms which are more tightly bound to the carbon nucleus. This causes the entire atom to recoil from the x-ray photon, and the larger effective scattering mass proportionally reduces the wavelength shift of the scattered photons. Putting the entire carbon nuclear mass into the scattering equation yields a wavelength shift almost 22,000 times smaller than that for an unbound electron, so those scattered photons are not seen to be shifted.
The scattering of photons from charged particles is called Compton scattering after Arthur Compton who was the first to measure photon-electron scattering in 1922. When the incoming photon gives part of its energy to the electron, then the scattered photon has lower energy and according to the2.html#c3″Planck relationshiphas lower frequency and longer wavelength. The wavelength change in such scattering depends only upon the angle of scattering for a given target particle. The constant in the Compton formula above can be written
and is called the Compton wavelength for the electron. The formula presumes that the scattering occurs in the rest frame of the electron
Compton scattering occurs when the incident x-ray photon is deflected from its original path by an interaction with an electron. The electron is ejected from its orbital position and the x-ray photon loses energy because of the interaction but continues to travel through the material along an altered path. Energy and momentum are conserved in this process. The energy shift depends on the angle of scattering and not on the nature of the scattering medium. Since the scattered x-ray photon has less energy, it has a longer wavelength and less penetrating than the incident photon.
Compton Effect was first observed by Arthur Compton in 1923 and this discovery led to his award of the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics. The discovery is important because it demonstrates that light cannot be explained purely as a wave phenomenon. Compton’s work convinced the scientific community that light can behave as a stream of particles (photons) whose energy is proportional to the frequency.
The change in wavelength of the scattered photon is given by:
Where:
L
=
wavelength of incident x-ray photon
 
l’
=
wavelength of scattered x-ray photon
 
H
=
Planck’s Constant: The fundamental constant equal to the ratio of the energy E of a quantum of energy to its frequency v: E=hv.
 
me
=
the mass of an electron at rest
 
C
=
the speed of light
 
Q
=
The scattering angle of the scattered photon
The applet below demonstrates Compton scattering as calculated with the Klein-Nishina formula, which provides an accurate prediction of the angular distribution of x-rays and gamma-rays that are incident upon a single electron. Before this formula was derived, the electron cross section had been classically derived by the British physicist and discoverer of the electron, J.J. Thomson. However, scattering experiments showed significant deviations from the results predicted by Thomson’s model. The Klein-Nishina formula incorporates the Breit-Dirac recoil factor, R, also known as radiation pressure. The formula also corrects for relativistic quantum mechanics and takes into account the interaction of the spin and magnetic moment of the electron with electromagnetic radiation.Quantum mechanics isa system of mechanics based on quantum theory to provide a consistent explanation of both electromagnetic wave and atomic structure.

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The applet shows that when a photon of a given energy hits an atom, it is sometimes reflected in a different direction. At the same time, it loses energy to an electron that is ejected from the atom. Theta is the angle between the scattered photon direction and the path of the incident photon. Phi is the angle between the scattered electron direction and the path of the incident photon.
Derivation of the scattering formula
A photonγwith wavelengthλis directed at an electronein an atom, which is at rest. The collision causes the electron to recoil, and a new photonγ′with wavelengthλ′emerges at angleθ. Lete′denote the electron after the collision.
From theconservation of energy,
Compton postulated that photons carry momentum;-9-2″[3]thus from theconservation of momentum, the momenta of the particles should be related by
Assuming the initial momentum of the electron is zero.
The photon energies are related to the frequencies by
Wherehis thePlanck constant. From therelativistic energy-momentum relation, the electron energies are
Along with the conservation of energy, these relations imply that
Then
From the conservation of momentum,
Then by making use of thescalar product,
Thus
The relation between the frequency and the momentum of a photon ispc=hf, so
Now equating 1 and 2,
Then dividing both sides by 2hff′mec,
Sincefλ=f′λ′=c,
Detector characteristics
Even large Compton-scatter telescopes have relatively small effective areas. This is because only a small number of the incident gamma-rays actually Compton scatter in the top level. So even if an instrument like COMPTEL has a geometric area of several thousand cm2, the effective area (weighted for the probability of an interaction) is a few tens of cm2.
Energy resolution is fairly good for these detectors, typically 5-10% This is limited by uncertainties in the measurements of the energy deposited in each layer. Compton scatter telescopes have wide fields-of-view and can form imageseven though the so-called point spread function (the probability that an event came from a certain area on the sky) is a ring.
Applications
Compton scattering is of prime importance toradiobiology, as it is the most probable interaction of gamma rays and high energy X rays with atoms in living beings and is applied inradiation therapy.3″[4]
In material physics, Compton scattering can be used to probe thewave functionof the electrons in matter in the momentum representation.
Compton scattering is an important effect ingamma spectroscopywhich gives rise to theCompton edge, as it is possible for the gamma rays to scatter out of the detectors used.Compton suppression is used to detect stray scatter gamma rays to counteract this effect.
Inverse Compton scattering
Inverse Compton scattering is important inastrophysics. InX-ray astronomy, theaccretion disksurrounding ablack holeis believed to produce a thermal spectrum. The lower energy photons produced from this spectrum are scattered to higher energies by relativistic electrons in the surroundingcorona. This is believed to cause the power law component in the X-ray spectra (0.2-10 keV) of accreting black holes.
The effect is also observed when photons from thecosmic microwave backgroundmove through the hot gas surrounding agalaxy cluster. The CMB photons are scattered to higher energies by the electrons in this gas, resulting in theSunyaev-ZelHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyaev-Zel’dovich_effect”‘HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyaev-Zel’dovich_effect”dovich effect. Observations of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect provide a nearly redshift-independent means of detecting galaxy clusters.
Some synchrotron radiation facilities scatter laser light off the stored electron beam. This Compton backscattering produces high energy photons in the MeV to GeV rangesubsequently used for nuclear physics experiments.
Future developments
Current research on Compton telescopes is emphasizing ways of tracking the scattered electron. By measuring the direction of the scattered electron in the top level, a complete solution for the incoming trajectory of the cosmic gamma-ray can be found. This would allow Compton telescopes to have more conventional data analysis approaches since the “event circle” would no longer exist.
 

Summary of American Idol’s Target Market

PRODUCT
American idol is a popularity contest and a talent contest searching for a superstar on FOX Network realty show where in a weekly base contestants get to show their ability of singing and choose the right contestants to go through the 3 stages of the program. The first stage is when contestants from a series of nation-wide in different countries get to show their ability of singing and directly they either get accepted or rejected. The second stage after the contestants have been chosen, the show’s judges provide feedback to the contestant about his performance and style. At the end of the show, audience members vote for their favorite performer. Because American’s votes determine who leaves the show each week, this audience participation which makes them feel that they are a part of the show had resulted in a product popularity in the 18 to 49 years old age.

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The program itself is heavily depending on the audience; actually it’s all about getting to communicate with the audience through word of mouth. 0.Audiences feel that their vote matters and enjoy influencing the outcome of the show. 1.It’s like putting the customer at the heart of the product development, choosing what the customer want and what the customer like avoiding any risk of failing and gain popularity. 0.0This is by giving an opportunity for the records label to test whether the artists have a public appeal to succeed without the need to invest. Secondly, they actually make money because they charge people to cast their votes plus, profit from sponsorship of the TV broadcast. The idea is appealing to the audience where they make their vote of choosing their favorite contestant, vote for him through telephone and SMS text all the way till the end of the show and becoming a big fan of them.
What determine American idol’s popularity is that it had a continues of 8 seasons and opening the 9th season now. America’s past winners were2Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin sparks, David cook, Kris Allen. Its popularity wasn’t only in America but as a worldwide as in the Middle East. Its popularity had reached the Arab world where even Arabs watch it. Me as a watcher of American idol, i do watch this program in a regular base even the monthly aired one after the season finale because it’s entertaining and it’s not only about a talent show, but also a mixture of a humor show. This proves that marketers have worked hard to maintain the program world popularity of reality television and a well known house hold name. Marketers of American Idol had also promoted the show successfully by the sense of sight of the logo and hearing of the music show. This is by designing American idol’s logo insuring simplicity and easy to memorize where the colors are blue and white simply saying ” American Idol”. The white color represents perfection, the color of contemporary and the blue defines intelligence and dignity. The music during the starting of the show is really attractive and a trademark that represent American idol show. As for example of me, when i’m not physically watching TV and suddenly hear the music i immediately know that American idol is on TV.
The question then comes, what are the decisions facing American idol marketers? Marketers have to maintain American idol’s popularity in new and innovate ways, maintain the success of the show and promote the show to attract as much audience to get as much votes and make the use of the marketing mix. The factors important in understanding the decision situation are the amount of ratings increasing and declining. Marketers have to plan and think in how to make the show much more entertaining and fun and maintain creativity in every season to draw in more watchers and make them loyal viewers to the show. Marketers must take into consideration in defining potential winners, feed those that look like winners and starve for those that don’t. As mentioned earlier, the product is heavily depending on the audience votes to insure a continues success. In this case, the strategy of extension can be implemented. This is by increasing the bracket of watchers of a younger generation allowing them to apply to the show and attract teenagers who are under 18 years old of age to watch the show and vote for their favorite contestant. Win the younger generation hearts by telling stories of the contestant to attract the hearts of the watchers. These stories will help the contestant to stand out of their local audience and showing what they are good at. The part where we tell stories of the contestant can be viewed and aired in another day of a week for an hour where the contestant can show their other abilities for example dancing, their humor side of their personality etc. This will help to attract the viewer more to love the contestant.
PLACE
As mentioned earlier, American idol’s target audience are 18-49 years of age. This means that the timing where the show takes place is an appropriate timing for these ages whereby American Idol is aired on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the evening where it’s time to relax after having a long day at work.
The timing and the week days where American idol is aired on is an important line to success where marketers make the product a part of the target audience life. These days where chosen as they are almost the end of the week and before the weekend starts where people had already got back home from their work and schools and want to relax infront of the TV watching American Idol on FOX TV.
American Idol can be a family show where almost all ages can watch this show and have a relaxing time with children listening to music and having a gathering funny moment together. This had led American Idol a routine show and a must watch every Tuesday and Wednesday where the show became a part of the audience’s life.
Marketers must take into consideration that target audience mood, interests, culture and technology may change overtime where TV will not be the first best media. Decisions must be made to reach their target audiences. So, marketers have to keep making decision in how to make the consumer engaged to their product. This is an important factor to marketers to develop the product’s technology and insure creativity to satisfy their audiences wants.
As mentioned earlier of increasing the bracket of watchers of a younger age, marketers must plan for a new strategy of a new product placement. This is because teenagers today are mostly spending their full time online. So marketers in order to reach their new bracket segment they must insure a new product placement. 6. As an IMC, product placement can be used to push and position a brand into the public eye making consumer want more of it. For example: American Idol is a TV show where they use the medium of Television. Today, internet had been the most popular media between ages 15- 50. So, American Idol must reach their target audience through internet by watching their program through the internet, live shows on their official website, downloading videos from Youtube, blogs, myspace pages, chat zones, fan pages, facebook pages and videos where today facebook is taking away large scale of age groups. 0.There is also a possibility where audiences will watch American idol video on their iPod, downloading ringtones and mobile trivia games and mobile platforms. The idea here is marketers must reach their target audience depending where their interests heading to. This is a good strategy to invest potential and new viewers at once.
 

Interest theory of rights, a summary and evaluation

Theoretical Foundation of Human Rights: What is the interest theory of rights? Does this theory fail to answer any important questions?
“If the concept of human rights is universal, that is, possesses a validity which is good for all places and for all times, then it is apparent that there is a significant disparity in the way in which these rights are concretised from place to place and from time to time. While the idea of human rights may have a discernible homogeneity, perhaps derived from some kind of natural law theory or social theory, it is nonetheless clear that the implementation of these rights by states lacks a corresponding identity.” (Davidson, 1993:89)

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Both international relations and moral theories feature prominent debate on the concept and the purpose of human rights yet there appears little by way of consensus with regards to what these rights mean, where the judicial boundaries of action and inaction meet or how to implement the utilitarian principles first adopted by the United Nations in response to the humanitarian horrors witnessed during World War Two. The crux of this theoretical problem resides in the evolution of the concept of human rights – an evolution that has worked in tandem with the evolution of liberal democracy in the West since 1945 when “Western tradition required, as a response to totalitarianism, a reassertion of individual liberty, and for that liberty to be protected by an international law rather than diplomacy.” (Robertson, 2006:29) By this we mean to say that whereas historical notions of human rights were underpinned by the spectre of the state and the state’s ability to defend persecuted minorities, contemporary notions of human rights have moved beyond the confines of the state and the public sector to incorporate the private citizen and the defence of his or her individual human rights (as opposed to the collective human rights of a people or a state). This is a reflection of the shifting paradigms that have affected liberal democracy at the dawn of the twenty first century where the merging of the public and the private sectors has created a moral, judicial and ideological black hole into which uncertainty and indecision have stepped.
The following essay seeks to look at the ways in which this political sense of uncertainty has pervaded the ideological sphere of human rights where according to Saladin Meckled-Garcia and Basak Cali (2005:10-30) the human rights ideal has become ‘lost in translation.’ We propose to look in particular at the ‘interest’ theory of rights, analysing the ways in which it has helped to shed new light on the topic of human rights in general while at the same time highlighting its theoretical flaws. A conclusion will be sought that attempts to underscore the link between rights, indecision and inaction particularly when we view the issue from an international perspective. Before we can begin, though, we need to offer a definition of the interest theory of rights.
The interest theory of rights was first proposed by Bentham (1987) who argued that a person has a distinctive human right when others have duties which protect one of that person’s interests. Thus, viewed from the perspective of the interest theory of rights, “human rights takes their role to be to protect a person’s basic interests.” (Pogge, 2007:186) This constitutes the most fundamental interpretation of human rights within the liberal democratic ideological framework alluded to in the introduction, falling within the theoretical parameters of what Meckled-Garcia and Cali (2005:10) refer to as the ‘normative rights model’ (NRM) which “identifies features or aspects of our humanity which contribute to our well being and which are vulnerable to the actions of others.”
The interest theory of rights therefore seeks to safeguard these features or aspects of our humanity by protecting a citizen’s rights against wrongdoing from another citizen within the same social, political and judicial framework. That it is to say that if, for instance, it is in one’s interests to not to be physically assaulted then, as far as the interest theory is concerned, it is the responsibility of both the individual and the state to ensure that this does not happen lest the basic interests of another individual be impinged upon. Moreover, there is, as Meckled-Garcia and Cali (2005:11) declare, “no principled difference is made between individual and collective.” This is in direct contrast to international human rights law (IHRL) where only the state can impinge upon the basic human rights of individuals or groups of individuals living within that sovereign state.
As a consequence, we can see that the first and most prominent drawback to the interest theory of rights is that there exists such a wide divergence between theory and practice; between the interpretation of the rights and responsibilities of the individual citizen versus the interpretation of the rights and responsibilities of the sovereign state. This is to say that while the interest theory of rights brings to the fore important concepts relating to the synthesis of the values pertaining to liberty, community and mutuality – concepts which Francesca Klug (2000) refers to as values for a ‘godless age’ – it falls of short establishing important criteria with regards to who these rights apply to (the rights holder), who these rights impose duties upon (the duty bearer) and what exactly these duties entail. Therefore, we can see that, rather than seeking to impose values for a godless age, interest theories relating to rights merely help to perpetuate the misunderstanding and the misconception of the ideal of human rights so that the definition, interpretation and subsequent implantation of rights remains an ideological and theoretical quagmire (Cali and Meckled-Garcia, 2005:1‑9). As a result, we can deduce that the first and most prominent failure of the interest theory is that it does not address the concept of establishing a universal concept for human rights and that it fails to address the question of what human rights are and how they are best protected. Addressing the moral aspect of human rights at the expense of the broader legal and judicial imperative only ensures additional questions will be raised as to the purpose of rights as a social, cultural and political ideal.
We can also declare that the interest theory of rights is, in its bid to politicise every sphere of human relationships and human interaction, wholly incompatible with international human rights law because “international law, by its nature, contains traits which alter the nature of human rights provisions” (Meckled-Garcia and Cali, 2005:23). That is to say that, as a branch of international law, international human rights law is distinct from domestic law of sovereign states that act as the defining means of arbitrating power between individuals on a state by state basis. Yet, as is the case with all law, human rights law clearly and identifiably differs when the concept is transferred from territory to territory; state to state. Human rights in the United Kingdom are, for instance, an inherently different moral concept from human rights in the United States where the boundaries between the legal and the illegal are set by democratically elected domestic governments. Likewise, there are distinct judicial differences between domestic human rights law and international human rights law, certainly in the application and exaction of these laws on a worldwide basis.
“Unlike domestic legal systems, there is no such legislature (making laws for the entire international community) nor is there an executive which enforces the decisions made by the legislature. There are also no comparable judicial institutions which would try violations of law and award a judgement against the offender.” (Rehman, 2002:15)
This ongoing discrepancy between the ideal of the interest theory of rights and the practical application of this theory across trans-national borders where there is a discernible lack of international consensus with regards to enforcing decisions renders the interest theory an ideologically weak hypothesis. More importantly, we can see further evidence of how the interest theory fails to answer the question of how best to bridge the theoretical divide between domestic human rights law and international human rights law.
We can also find fault in the interest theory of rights when we pause to consider the flip-side of the argument by looking at those rights that are not in the interest rights holder. If, for instance, we consider the legal rights involved in the exchange of property inheritance we can understand the extent to which unwanted goods can be effectively tithed to a person simply because the interest-based law states that it is in the citizen’s best interest to have the property passed down to them. Likewise when we turn our attention to public officials, we can again see the in-built limitations inherent within the interest based right theory. If, for instance, the handing down of custodial sentences was left to solely the best interests of the judge (as opposed to the best interests of the public community whom the judge is supposed to be representing) then the core structures of the criminal justice system would come crashing down with a sense of arbitrary judgement replacing liberal, democratic rule. It is for this reason that Meckled-Garcia and Cali (2005:24) note that:
“The transformation of a moral right into a legal right, as desirable as it may be, comes at a price. A compromise must be struck with other principles in law.”
In this way we can see how the interest theory of human rights represents a paradox whereby in trying to establish a moral imperative to underpin the concept of human rights, the theory has instead given birth to new conceptual confusions with regards to the blurring of the boundaries of the public and the private and the intermeshing of the paradigms of the individual and the state. With this in mind we must now turn our attention towards establishing a conclusion.
Conclusion
The concept of human rights by nature implies a deep-seated association with the concept of interest with the best interests of the individual being intrinsically linked to the ongoing strive for the “state of equality and freedom” between individuals that defines the most basic and fundamental theories of human rights (Freeman, 2002:20). Likewise international law by nature implies a deep-seated association with the concept of interest with the best interests of the sovereign state being the primary determining factor behind the most basic and fundamental theories relating to international relations (Brown and Ailey, 2005:63-77).
However, in the final analysis, there is an equally deep-seated chasm between the interest theory of rights and the practice of translating western moral imperatives (which have grown exclusively in tandem with the evolution of western liberal democracy) on both a domestic and, especially, on an international scale. There must, ultimately, be a limit to the freedom of the individual and a point at which the best interests of the individual have to be subjugated in favour of the best interests of the state. For as long as this theoretical and practical divide exists, we should presume that the interest based theory of rights will remain rooted in the realms of utopia as opposed to flourishing in the realms of realism.
References
Bentham, J. (1987) Anarchical Fallacies, in, Waldon, J. (Ed.) Nonsense upon Stilts New York: Methuen
Brown, C. and Ailey, K. (2002) Understanding International Relations: Third Edition London: Palgrave Macmillan
Cali, B. and Meckled-Garcia, S. (2005) Introduction: Human Rights Legalized: Defining, Interpreting and Implementing an Ideal, in, Meckled-Garcia, S and Cali, B. (Eds.) The Legalization of Human Rights: Multidisciplinary Perspectives London and New York: Routledge
Davidson, S. (1993) Human Rights: First Edition Buckingham: The Open University Press
Freeman, M. (2002) Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach Cambridge: Polity Press
Klug, F. (2000) Values for a Godless Age London: Penguin
Meckled-Garcia, S. and Cali, B. (2005) Lost in Translation: International Law and the Human Rights Ideal, in, Meckled-Garcia, S and Cali, B. (Eds.) The Legalization of Human Rights: Multidisciplinary Perspectives London and New York: Routledge
Pogge, T.W.M. (2007) Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rehman, J. (2002) International Human Rights Law: A Practical Approach London: Longman
Robertson, G. (2006) Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice: New Edition London: Penguin
 

Germany’s Political System | Summary

German Political System

 
Introduction
Political system is basically a structure to decide, govern, implement, and authorize policies and procedures to the citizens of a country. Each country has their own political system developed or designed under which policies, procedures, and legislations to run the country and the citizens. Each nation has some sort of uniqueness in formation of the political system and how to form policies, procedures, and govern the nation. Unlike US, Germany has its own political system to run the country. Germany is a federal parliamentary system country. It has different components of political system and they are constitution, the executive, legislature, judiciary, different states, composed of different political parties. Like all other political system, parliamentary system also has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Constitution
The basic law of the land in Germany is the constitution. The constitution of Federal Republic of Germany was passed after World War II in 1949. Germany is a social Democratic country. In the constitution, the basic rights of German citizens are guaranteed. All federal and state authorities are bound by the constitution. They cannot do anything that is against what is written in the constitution. It was the constitution that has established democratic parliamentary system in Germany. After the constitution was written it helped to separate powers of German into executive, legislative, and judiciary branches. This constitution helps all these branches to maintain checks and balances to run the country.
The Executive
The executive branch basically consists of the head of the state, and head of the government. The head of the state is the president and this president is mostly ceremonial but the ceremonial president is also responsible in representing the state, states’ existence, and their legitimate causes, and overall unity of the states in the country. The president also has the power to practice politics and implement laws and order in the country when there are crisis in the parliament and their cabinet members, and is also responsible to handle international issues, sign treaties in the situation when the parliamentary system is in unstable state, and these are all written in the constitution. The president is elected by the legislative team members. The president is elected for two five year terms for maximum time frame. The head of the government is the federal chancellor. In Germany, the federal chancellor is responsible person to run the government and the overall country polices and politics. The chancellor of the federal republic of Germany is responsible for the parliament of the country. It is the responsibility of the chancellor to select the members of the cabinet for the government.
Legislature
Legislature is another branch of the federal parliamentarian government of Germany. Legislature assembly is divided into two champers and they are Bundestag, and Bundesrat and its bicameral system. The Bundestag and Bundesrat are lower house and upper house of German political system. The Bundestag members are elected for four year terms in the government. Bundestag will have more than 598 members of representations. Current lower house of chamber has 622 members. It is required by the party to have at least five percent of the national vote in the Bundestag to have the seats.

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Upper house of the German parliament is called Bundesrat. Bundesrat is a representation from all other states in the country. They are appointed by the state cabinets and can remove them any time if they want to. States selects the representatives to serve in the Bundesrat. The number of house members in Bundesrat is smaller than Bundestag. The lower house of the parliament has the power and authority to veto state level legislation and that will ultimately affect the governing power on the state level.
Judiciary
The judiciary system of federal republic of Germany is responsible to interpret, explain, and apply the law to the country and other states. German judiciary system practices civil law. The judiciary system of German has three court system and they are ordinary courts, specialized courts, and federal constitutional courts. Ordinary courts basically are responsible to dealing with criminal and civil cases. The federal court of justice of Germany is the highest ordinary court in the country. It is also the highest court of appeals that most of the cases go there for the highest appeals to be heard by the federal judges. Specialized court systems in Germany deals with issues that are related to administration, labor laws, social laws, budget and financial laws, and the patent laws. Any cases related to these issues are directed to the specialized courts in Germany. The highest federal Germany court is called as the constitutional courts and this court focuses on judiciary system and any constitutional issues. If there are any issues related to the constitution of the federal government, the Federal Constitutional court will be involved.
The States
Germany is divided into sixteen states. It is also called Landers. The government of Germany has federal constitution, all the sovereignty are given to the state and they manage and govern the state level affairs abide by the federal constitution. Since the population on these states are not same and can vary therefore, the size and territory of these states also vary. Each state has its own capital and has their own local and regional government to govern the people of the state.
Political parties
In democratic countries there will be political parties to run for the government. In the federal parliament government of Germany there are two major political parties and they are Center-Right and Center-Left. The Center-Right has two other parties and they are Christian Democratic Union, and Christian Social Union. These two parties operate differently and they operate thought the country. The Centre-Left Party is the Social Democratic Party. There are other parties as well and they are named as The Left Party, and the German Green Party. The current political party in the government now is Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Angela Merkel is the present head of the government of Federal Republic of Germany. Currently Joachim Gauck is serving as the head of the states in Germany.
Strengths and Weakness of Parliament System
Any political system has strengths and weaknesses. Political system in federal parliamentary system also has strengths and weakness. One advantage of parliamentary political system is that the executive branch is dependent on Bundestag and Bundesrat and its easy and fast to pass the legislation that was proposed. Strength is that the executive power is divided into states and is not fully concentrated to the head of the federal government. The most significant strength I like is based on the series of debates, it can change the power without election and then allow election to be held at any time, so there is flexibility if need be.
One weakness of the parliamentary system is that the head of the government, the chancellor is not directly elected. Also, there is no any group or body that they oppose the legislation that is passed by the parliament. Executive branch and legislative branches are closely connected and the checks and balances between them are poor. There are possibilities of having informal constitutions Sometimes reserve powers are used which are not democratic and can cause crisis in the constitution. It is also possible that the parliamentary system can develop political authority from the executive branch.
Conclusion
The political system of Republic of Germany is very interesting. The political system of Germany is fairly decentralized system in which the system is categorized into executive, legislative, judiciary, and cabinets. In this system, the people will elect legislation, the legislation body elect executive, and the executive body produces public policy. There are both good side and bad side of parliamentary political system. The judiciary system of German is called the basic law of the land. There are different political parties in the Republic of Germany and all can participate in the political process and involve in the election processes. In Germany, chancellor is the head of the government, and the president is the head of the sixteen states.
References
Caramani, D. (2011). Comparative politics (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
German political system. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/Germanpoliticalsystem.html
Neil, P. (2007). States. In Essentials of comparative politics (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton &.