Education for forced migrants: Resources for the practitioner

Most who have worked extensively in education agree that mode of delivery largely depends on the student profile. That profile isn’t limited to level of [insert language] or abilities in math, but extends to much more dynamic characteristics such as socioeconomic level, cultural background and past experiences. Through my experiences as an educational practitioner, I can attest that these characteristics become even more important when working with marginalized youth. In many cases, refugee children find themselves within this group, either because of unavailable/inadequate services that support these youth in their healing or because of systemic failures to devise integration strategies that both educate on host country values while respecting personal identity.

As a means of knowledge sharing, I’ve prepared a short list of literary resources that I found particularly useful while working on educational programming for forced migrants. Most of the following works do not conceptualize education as the practice of ‘educating’, but rather as an integrative and holistic approach that asks children to reflect on their past and current existence. They also promote the values that education should be reflexive, collaborative, and informed by student interest and needs.

 The Oxoxfordhandbookford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (2014). Edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long and Nando Sigona. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Although this handbook offers little information on educational projects or approaches for refugees, it’s an essential resource for educators that are new to the field of forced migration. Chapters in both “Part IV: Root causes of displacement” and “Part V: Lived experiences and representations of forced migration” are particularly noteworthy as they illustrate a vivid picture of the refugee experience and some of the challenges they may face.

 

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970). Written by Paulo Freire. Continupedagogyoftheoppressedum International Publishing Group, 2011, New York.

One of the most referenced books on educational philosophy, this work by Freire is essential. A short but heavy read, Freire advances an approach to education that rejects the concept of ‘student as an empty vessel’ (banking model), underlining that personal identities, mutual understandings and shared cultural assets are central to learning for freedom. Throughout the book, Freire advances an empowerment model for education where “(…) those who have been completely marginalized are so radically transformed, they are no longer willing to be mere objects, responding to changes occurring around them; they are more likely to decide to take upon themselves the struggle to change the structures of society, which until now have served to oppress them” (33).

education-refugees-and-asylum-seekersEducation, Refugees and Asylum Seekers (2012). Edited by Lala Demirdjan. Continuum International Publishing Group, London.

A comprehensive resource advocating on why education has such a critical role in the discussion on forced migration, the highlight of this book is undoubtedly its rich bank of case studies. Notably, learnt lessons, observations and research in the implementation of educational programming for forced migrants in Thailand, England, United States and Palestine make up the bulk of this resource. The span of these case studies, spread across various socioeconomic contexts, makes this book versatile and useful to a wide audience of practitioners.

educatingtraumatizedchildrenEducating Traumatized Children (2013). Written by Bernd Ruf. Lindisfarne Books, Great Barrington.

Trauma is consistent with the reality of many fleeing war and conflict, and for those working with individuals having this profile, it is essential to understand it. Having decades of experience working with traumatized children, Ruf digs deep into the psychological process of suffering and how it affects the cognitive ability to learn. Throughout, he outlines an accessible framework for working with those who have not yet healed or are in the process of doing so.

 

supportingrefugeechildrenSupporting Refugee Children: Strategies for Educators (2011). Written by Jan Stewart. University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division, Toronto.

This book is the golden resource for educators working with refugees, asylum seekers and IDPs. The first section of Stewart’s book does a thorough and definitive summary of causes, processes and effects of forced migration. The second, and most useful for the classroom, is a brilliantly assembled collage of lesson plans divided into various character building outcomes: self-expression, personal awareness, resilience, and much more.

Other useful resources:

INEE Minimum Standards Handbook
Global Partnership for Education

Failure to learn: NYPD, police misconduct and demystifying the efficacy of non-jeopardy/just culture reporting

A sea of blue fills Madison Square Garden as 1,359 new polic
Photo source: Craig Warga/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Introduction

Found within the ancient Hindu text of Manusmriti, or Laws of Manu, truth is said to be superior to silence (Wayman, 1974: 389). Yet, mere introspection quickly reveals that this mantra is far from fully integrated within the modus operandi of social interactions, institutional communications, organisational cultures and the like. Orwell (1948) commented on this in his classic novel 1984, in which one of the most poignant examples of doublethink was the Ministry of Truth’s “ignorance is strength” (Orwell, 1948: 27) slogan. The slogan carries a manipulative meaning that suppresses the importance of information, and justifies why it is unadvisable to seek it. Although this book was a work of fiction, the reality of contemporary society is unarguably haunted by silence and secrecy. Many scholars have identified information as the key to progress and change within organisations (Perrow, 1999; Penning-Rowsell, 1996; Toft and Reynolds, 2005). Yet, where individuals fear that whistleblowing and reporting will tarnish their reputation and status, silence and secrecy remain prominent and prevent a comprehensive learning process that can lead to organisational change. Would, non-jeopardy/just culture confidential reporting systems, then, guarantee active learning?

In Toft and Reynolds’ (2005) Steps to active foresight, it is argued that at the onset of a disaster, two linear systems converge to develop foresight (and thus active learning) in organisations. The first focuses on learning from past accidents via isomorphism and hindsight (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 67). The second pertains to individual and organisational factors such as emotional impact, safety culture and organisational reaction (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 67). It is from the latter that this essay will argue that non-jeopardy/just culture reporting does not guarantee active learning, as individual and organisational factors will play an important role as to how information ties into active learning and how it can influence the degree at which organisational change can occur.

This essay will examine the above question by considering firstly what is meant by ‘just culture’, ‘non/jeopardy reporting’, ‘foresight’, ‘active learning’, and ‘organisational culture’. Having clarified these concepts, a case study examining policing, secrecy and corruption in the NYPD since the early 70’s will be outlined. Then, an analysis of police organisational culture will be outlined, providing signposts explaining the prevalence of secrecy and silence in the NYPD that have prevented the reporting of police corruption and misconduct. Finally, this essay will investigate the role that external factors play in legitimising secrecy within police culture.

Conceptual framework

As the essay question implicates the notion of ‘non-jeopardy’ and ‘just culture’, these terms warrant a clarification. As identified through the work of Hood (2002; 2011a; 2011b), blame is prevalent within contemporary society and results in blame-avoidance behaviour that is interested in “ (…) reducing perceptions of harm or on reducing perceptions of responsibility (or both)” (Hood, 2011a: 71). Commenting on Frankfurt’s (2006) book On Truth, (Mullender, 2008: 280) explains that blame culture has devalued social capital and threatens the notion of truth. This truth, arguably, is what leads organisations to learn about mistakes and improve safety. Non-jeopardy reporting seeks to gain this truth by offering organisational members a blame-free means of reporting in order to “(…) discover safety attitudes, behaviours, culture, and information flow” (Tesmer, 2007: 15). The spirit of non-jeopardy reporting claims “it is more important to collect threat and error data to understand what is happening in the system than to blame and punish the individual” (Tesmer, 2007: 15). Just culture, similarly, is the implementation of organisational measures where “(…) people will feel free to share safety-critical information (…)” (Dekker, 2012: 7). A just culture aims at reaching two goals: “satisfy demands for accountability; contribute to learning and improvement” (Dekker, 2012: 9). As with non-jeopardy reporting, where “(…) there will be jeopardy (…) if the error is intentional, deal with illegal/criminal operations, drugs/alcohol or falsification of records/documents/statements (…)” (Tesmer, 2007: 15), the intention of just culture is to avoid single-loop learning “(…) which focuses on the first part (possibly a human) that can be connected to the failure [and] does not get at the heart of the issue” (Dekker, 2012: 18). Both just culture and non-jeopardy reporting will be used interchangeably throughout this essay.

The intention of non-jeopardy and just culture reporting can be correlated to the concept of ‘active learning’, as the information provided by these reporting systems can lead to an understanding of ‘isomorphism’, where it is recognised that accidents do appear to have similar features at some level of analysis” (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 72). Toft and Reynolds (2005) argue that a systematic understanding of isomorphism can be used to gain insight on patterns of causation and as indicators to draw universally applicable lessons (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 66). If these lessons are applied to gain foresight, it is referred to as ‘isomorphic learning’. ‘Foresight’, being “(…) a social practice that confronts managers with the limits of their knowledge” (e Cunha et al., 2006: 943), pushes toward ‘active learning’, the notion that organisations, through learning from past events, actively implement changes to organisational structure, culture and policies in order to overcome the injurious factors that led to disastrous consequences. Yet, foresight and active learning are not exclusively dependent on the availability of information, as organisational factors must also create an environment where information leads to learning from the past to ensure active learning for the future. Notably, an organisations ‘safety culture’, described as “(…) those sets of norms, roles, beliefs, attitudes and social and technical practices within an organisation which are concerned with minimising the exposure of individuals to conditions considered to be dangerous” (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 26) can contribute to an organisational climate and its choice to adopt a conservative or progressive approach to how new sources of information are implemented in their policies, procedures and culture. This is part of ‘organisational culture’, the “(…) shared values, attitudes, beliefs, and customs of members of an organisation” (Ramachandran, Chong and Ismail, 2011: 618).

Silence, corruption and misconduct in the NYPD: The Knapp Commission and onwards

On February 3rd 1971, a New York Police Department Narcotics unit police officer engaged in a drug bust operation in Brooklyn. Next thing he knew, his head was wedged between a door and its frame, he was shot in the face and left for dead by his fellow patrolmen (Serpico, 2014: 1). This man was Frank Serpico, one of America’s most notorious whistle-blowers on police corruption. It was after multiple attempts to report incidents of police misconduct and corruption to his superiors, with no avail or remedial action taken, that Serpico secretly contacted the New York Times in order to expose his experience within the NYPD (Plouffe, 2012a: 964). As the story began to gain momentum within media circles, Mayor of New York John Lindsay launched the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption and the City’s Anti-Corruption Procedures, “(…) popularly known as the Knapp Commission (…)” (Brown, 1974: 227). The commission found that NYPD officers had been “(…) collecting ‘protection money’ and were on the ‘pad’, which meant that they took bribes from criminals to ensure the criminals that their illicit activities could continue without the threat of being investigated or arrested by the police” (Pascarella, 2007: 747). The Knapp Commission’s findings made a distinction between two types of police involvement: “Meat eaters were those who actively pursued opportunities for extortion and graft [and] grass eaters would not directly confront people and demand money, but they would accept the money that was offered from people or other officers to turn the other way or to forget something happened.” (Plouffe, 2012a: 964)

The blow to Serpico’s face should have been fatal, but a neighbour of the suspect rapidly called the emergency services, resulting in the saving of the officer’s life. When he woke up in the hospital, he realised that his officers may have set him up to get killed, as he had broken the ‘blue code of silence’, having consequences such as “(…) being shunned, losing friends, having no on to work with, losing backup support, harassment, physical threats, permanent stigmatization, and exposure of one’s own misconduct” (Rothwell and Baldwin, 2007: 612). The code of silence, also known as simply the ‘Code’ (Skolnick, 2002: 8) and similar to that of Omerta within the Italian Mafia (Plouffe, 2012b: 280; Serpico, 2014: 1), is an “(…) occupational norm that precludes officers from exposing acts of misconduct to police administrators” (Long et al., 2013: 242). The Knapp Commission had determined that the code was deep-seeded within the NYPD, where “(…) corruption permeated the branches and ranks of the department from patrol officers to high-ranking department officials” (Moloney, 2007: 537).

The Commission made several recommendations, suggesting “(…) to eliminate those police duties that provide the greatest temptation for graft [and] the shift of enforcement responsibilities to other agencies” (Brown, 1974: 228). It also recommended for more accountability and transparency at all responsibility levels within the department, including more opportunities for anonymous reporting within the department, alongside taking citizen reports more seriously (Brown, 1974: 228-229). Mayor Lindsay now had closure on the corruption scandal, but as time went on, more corruption scandals emerged.

In 1994, after allegations of “(…) cops actively selling drugs and ripping off drug dealers” (Messing, 2012), the Mollen Commission was formed. What set off the establishment of the Commission came after “(…) six police officers assigned to two separate Brooklyn precincts were arrested on charges of participating in a conspiracy to sell narcotics in Suffolk County (…) in May, 1992” (Baer and Armao, 1995: 73-74). The Commission learnt that “(…) much drug-related police corruption involved officers using their authority as law enforcement officers to allow open-air drug markets to flourish in the city” (Stinson, 2009: 531), and that some police officers used their connections in the narcotics network to use and sell drugs themselves (Stinson, 2009: 532). It was identified that the increasing usage of crack and cocaine in New York City provided “(…) corrupt officers with abundant opportunity to steal money, drugs and guns from drug dealers and to assist drug traffickers who pay handsomely for non-enforcement of the law” (Baer and Armao, 1995: 76). The Mollen Commission did not establish a direct connection between corrupt patrolmen and high ranking police workers (Pascarella, 2007: 748), but did note that “brutality, regardless of the motive, sometimes serves as a rite of passage to other forms of corruption and misconduct” (Hentoff, 1998) and that: “As important as the possible extent of brutality is the extent of brutality tolerance we found throughout the Department (…) This tolerance, or willful blindness, extends to supervisors as well (…) because they believe that this is the only way to fight crime today.” (Hentoff, 1998)

As brutality was prevalent within the department, and tolerated by police supervisors, “the commission concluded that the police department had abandoned its responsibility to police itself and failed to take any substantive steps to create a culture dedicated to rooting out corruption within the New York Police Department” (Stinson, 2009: 533). Its recommendations included internal modifications in the areas of training, recruitment and leadership (Baer: 1995), and the establishment of an external permanent oversight commission tasked to collect internal and external reports on police corruption (Baer and Armao, 1995: 83). The still standing Commission to Combat Police Corruption (CCPC) was established in 1995.

In the CCPC’s 2014 Sixteenth Annual Report, it concluded that “(…) the Department is dealing well with its always-present potential for corruption (…)” (Commission to Combat Police Corruption, 2014: 108). However, many instances of corruption and departmental secrecy have come to light in recent years. 2011 was hit, for instance, with a series of police corruption scandals: “The eight officers charged with gun smuggling. The seven drug cops convicted of planting evidence on people to hit their arrest quotas (…). Three others convicted of robbing a perfume warehouse. Sixteen officers charged with crimes in connection with ticket fixing, and hundreds of others swept up in looming disciplinary cases related to that probe.” (Rayman, 2011)

Yet, the most apparent topic of corruption in recent years has been the constant resurfacing of the ‘stop and frisk’ quota issue, “(…) a practice with constitutional implications in which an officer stops someone suspected of a crime, and may subsequently frisk that individual if they have justification for doing so” (Flatow, 2013). Although consistently denied by NYPD supervisors (Rayman, 2010; Belle Isle, 2015), officers such as Adrian Schoolcraft, who secretly recorded roll call proceedings and conversations with other officers, have confirmed the use of quotas, claiming that this leads to occupational pressure, omitting to report certain activities and the falsification of crime statistics within the NYPD (Rayman, 2010). In July of 2015, attorney Elinor Sutton found “ (…) ‘a stunning pattern of evidence destruction in a high-stakes class-action case alleging cops have issued 850,000 bogus summonses due to a quota system (…)” (Brown, 2015). Mayor Bill de Blasio, since his inauguration in 2014, has attempted to face the existence of quotas and pledged to eliminate them from the NYPD (Levitt, 2014), but this has come with much disapproval from NYPD officers that have accused him of “(…) fueling anti-police sentiment (…)” (Berman and Tumulty, 2014). De Blasio’s critique of ‘stop and frisk’ policing and quotas has created tension with NYPD police officers (Laughland, 2015), police unions (Tumulty, 2014) and new police recruits (Berman, 2014).

Boin and ‘t Hart explain that “in public organizations, a routine incident can trigger a crisis when media and elected leaders frame the incident as an indication of inherent flaws and threaten to withdraw their support for the organization” (Boin and ‘t Hart, 2007: 43). This is seemingly the case for NYPD, where police officers feel as though there is a “(…) a serious threat to the basic structures or the fundamental values and norms of a system (…)”(Rosenthal, Charles and ‘t Hart, 1989: 10). The Knapp and Mollen Commissions may have passed, but where Rosenthal, Charles and ‘t Hart (1989) describe crisis as “(…) the phase during which order-inducing institutions stop to function (…)” (Rosenthal, Charles and ‘t Hart, 1989: 10), the NYPD may be entering a new time of crisis. This paper moves forward from this point, explaining that although accountability, transparency and reporting have been recommended throughout the years, the NYPD still fails to learn actively and move forward from its tarnished reputation of corruption and secrecy.

Organisational culture and secrecy legitimisation

The core argument of this essay is that non-jeopardy/just culture reporting systems are insufficient to ensuring active learning, due to important organisational barriers that prevent learning from occurring. In police organisations, the most prevalent organisational barrier to active learning is in regards to its safety philosophy, “(…) the ideas expressed (…) when discussing matters relating to safety” (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 68). As police organisations are preoccupied by the issue of safety, and are empowered to ensure it, their perspective is deeply integrated within the values, norms and behaviours of their organisational culture. However, as seen with the Knapp and Mollen commissions, along with modern controversies within the NYPD, police corruption and misconduct has cast doubt on the validity of their safety philosophy. Learning from these instances, calls for an updated safety philosophy and increased opportunities for reporting have been perpetually recommended over the last forty years. Yet, as corruption and misconduct still prevail, this essay contends that learning from past legitimacy crises has been hindered by a seemingly static organisational culture.

Police academy’s are the starting point for all wanting to join the ‘force’, and share characteristics of total institutions where “(…) a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from wider society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life” (Goffman, 1961: xiii). Much like total institutions, where importance is made on “(…) group cohesion, intense training, prolonged socialization, and strict discipline (…)” (Sagan, 1993: 253), police academy’s adopt an “(…) authoritarian-based model [that] is geared to produce a student who obeys orders without question (…)” (Vander Kooi and Palmer, 2014: 176). Amongst its teachings, police academies are the first exposure points for the “(…) ‘we against them’ tenant of police work” (Baer, 1995: 8). When new recruits enter the police department after training, socialisation continues as “(…) rookie officers are socialised by ‘old timers’ to participate and uphold the code to demonstrate loyalty to fellow officers” (Ivkovic and Shelley, 2008: 446).

Toft and Reynolds (2005) claim “the type of organisation (…) and hence its relative distance from the incident” as an important contributing factor as to how much change can occur in an organisation’s safety culture. It is through this intricate scheme of socialisation that make police organisations “(…) closed systems in that they are self-governing with respect to personnel policies, and decisions, and most notably, closed to outsiders (…)” (Rothwell and Baldwin, 2007: 611). Thus, it is argued that when corruption and misconduct allegations make surface in the public, police organisations feel removed from the incident as their culture instructs them to do so.

Filstad and Gottschalk (2010) claim that “(…) in every police organization, elements of dishonesty, lack of professionalism and criminal behaviour occur [and] can be related to a weak learning culture within the police force (…)” (Filstad and Gottschalk, 2010: 404). The case of the NYPD, where it has “since the early 70’s (…) been subject to no less than three major investigations” (Manning, 2001: 320), active learning has undoubtedly not properly occurred. The code of silence has been maintained, and Dornbusch and Scott’s (1975) four pillars of legitimacy can aid in explaining it. Propriety “(…) refers to an individual’s belief that particular rules and norms of conduct are proper and appropriate patterns of action (…)” (Long et al., 2013: 246). One “(…) excuse used by police officers to justify the code of silence is the pressure of the job and the proposition that because the public hates cops, police officers need to receive special consideration or breaks when they engage in misconduct (…)” (Plouffe, 2012b: 281), and that due to the “(…) high probability for mistakes in police work, the ever-present threat of danger” (Long et al., 2013: 244), police officers must “(…) possess an unparalleled need for loyalty, solidarity, and protection” (Rothwell and Baldwin, 2007: 610). Endorsement “(…) is the support from peers and subordinates” (Long et al., 2013: 246). Chappell and Piquero (2004) assert that “(…) one of the most profound pressures operating in police agencies is peer influence” (Chappell and Piquero, 2004: 93), as is seen in police academies and through the trickling down of cultural norms from more experienced officers. Fear is the most prominent reason why officers do not report others’ misconduct or corruption (Plouffe, 2012b: 281), as “(…) mechanisms of informal social control are often utilised by the police subculture – ostracism, harassment, and physical threats” (Ikovic and Shelley, 2008: 446). This ties into validity, the understanding that a normative order is in place “(…) and the obligation to obey these norms even in the absence of personal approval” (Long et al., 2013: 246). Similar to the desired result of training in total institutions, “(…) regardless of personal differences, individuals adopt the beliefs and definitions of the department” (Chappell and Piquero, 2004: 94) as “the code of silence ensures that officers will act in accordance with their collective well-being rather than their personal self-interest” (Rothwell and Baldwin, 2007: 610). The last pillar of legitimisation is authorisation, described as the “(…) support of the normative order from people in power (…)” (Long et al., 2013: 246). Specific examples of organisational structure and the reactions to particular citizen and internal reports show that authorisation may implicitly be granted to the code of silence. For instance, as the demand increases for supervisors to crack down on corruption, organisational culture change has been ineffective “(…) because the top wants their statistics, their figures, and likely they were involved in the same misconduct when they were in that position” (Andersen, 2002: 39). In short, “(…) supervisors can comprise an integral part of a subculture that is supportive of misconduct and corruption because they were socialised into the subculture and the use of the code as police officers” (Ivkovic and Shelley, 2008: 447). This permeates through the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IA), tasked to tackle internal corruption and misconduct allegations, where in 2010, it was shown that IA had the triple amount of citizen and internal tips on corruption, but that “the number of investigations pursued over the same period [had] dropped by more than half” (Baker and McGinty, 2010). Where Toft and Reynolds (2005) assert that “whether or not the management attributes the disaster to internal or external factors” as an important factor in safety culture change, it is argued here that authorisation of the code of silence in the NYPD has limited the ability to effectively take responsibility for and act on its corruption and misconduct scandals, resulting in missed learning opportunities.

This last section has shown that silence structures have been deeply imbedded and legitimised within police culture. As Toft and Reynolds (2005) assert that “the degree of organizational ‘surprise’” (Toft and Reynolds, 2005: 85) to a crisis can determine the amount of organisational change that will follow, history and current corruption unveilings cannot validate an excuse of surprise within the NYPD. This limits the amount of learning that can occur, and the potential for just culture reporting. The next section will outline external factors that legitimise the culture of secrecy.

Further legitimisation of secrecy from outside pressures

As discussed in the previous section, departmental propriety, endorsement, validity and authorisation have legitimised the code of silence inside police departments, including the NYPD. Yet, external factors and pressures may also contribute to the perpetuation of a silence doctrine within police organisations. Rothwell and Baldwin (2007) state that “whistle-blowing is rare because it threatens the solidarity and sense of oneness of police who feel victimized by a critical media, an intolerant general public, and a demanding police administration” (Rothwell and Baldwin, 2007: 611). This perception has reinforced the ‘us versus them’ complex previously documented within this essay, and has arguably defined the day-to-day role and cultural assumptions of police officers.

Since the end of World War II, the role of police as ‘crime fighter’ has been the “(…) dominant police strategy” (Moore and Kelling, 1983: 56). This was reinforced within the NYPD during the 90’s (Fagan and Davies, 2000: 470), when Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Bratton made “(…) a shift from (…) community policing to a crime control model” (Manning, 2001: 321). This was part of a tactical shift to professionalise police officers. Yet, in doing so, “(…) ‘volunteers’, citizens on whom so much used to depend, have been removed from the fight” (Moore and Kelling, 1983: 58), further polarising police departments and the citizens they must protect. Now, “(…) police officers are trained to see every person and every situation as potentially dangerous” (Maskaly and Donner, 2015: 207), reinforcing solidarity within police communities and leading to operational practices that mimic the ‘us versus them’ paradigm. Examples include the NYPD’s broad use of ‘order maintenance policing’ (OMP) (Fagan and Davies, 2000: 462) and ‘zero tolerance’ (Manning, 2001: 321) tactics in the 90’s, and its current ‘stop and frisk’ approach. Although these may seem like internally decided protocols and procedures, they are based on the external assumption and perception that the public cannot be trusted (Long et al., 2013: 244). This is amplified by the accountability and transparency demands put onto police departments by the media and public when corruption and misconduct surface, as was seen during the Ferguson and Baltimore riots of 2014 and 2015.

Moon and Zager (2007) assert that “active cooperation through the increased contacts with citizens is crucial to the success of community policing” (Moon and Zager, 2007: 485), and that such cannot occur “without mutual trust, respect, and support between police and citizens” (Moon and Zager, 2007: 485). Yet, where political instruments such as the police militarisation ‘1033 program’ still prevail, authorising “(…) the transfer of DOD [Department of Defense] personal property to (…) all law enforcement agencies (…) for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission” (Defense Logistics Agency, undated), the narrative of trust between citizens and police cannot succeed. The same can be said for the departmental mandatory quota systems, where “(…) cops are forced to be predators” (Andersen, 2002: 38).

All of these factors contribute to the everyday roles and cultural assumptions that the police appropriate, of which Toft and Reynolds (2005: 85) identify as a key factor in change of organisational safety culture and philosophy. Just culture confidential reporting systems may well be in place, but optimal reporting on corruption and misconduct can only take place in an occupational environment that is willing to sacrifice the deeply ingrained identity of police work and can only lead to learning if members within the respective departments truly believe that change must occur.

Conclusion

 The essay outlined above discussed the organisational factors that uphold secrecy in organisations, of which must be considered when reviewing the efficacy of just culture/non-jeopardy confidential reporting systems. As was shown throughout this essay, active learning is not exclusively the result of available sources of information gained through reporting outlets, but is also the result of an organisational desire to implement changes in its safety culture and philosophy. This essay has given clear evidence that this largely depends on norms, values and behaviours upheld within organisational culture.

Where Filstad and Gottschalk (2010) explain that “the learning organization is a concept of the ideal organization with its own capacity to learn and therefore be able to change (…) as a result of its experiences” (Filstad and Gottschalk, 2010: 409), the NYPD, having faced multiple inquiries and scandals over time, cannot be considered a learning organisation. Confidential reporting systems have indeed been implemented throughout the years, giving potential for active learning, but the legitimisation of secrecy has prevented its follow through.

It is concluded here that just culture/non-jeopardy reporting systems cannot guarantee active learning, particularly in the scope of the unique example of police organisations where secrecy is prevalent and well documented. However, where the code of silence “(…) varies by agency and department (…)”(Long et al., 2013: 244), a deterministic claim about police organisations and the efficacy of their reporting systems cannot be fully asserted.

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Gecekondus and sites of refugee homelessness: Two tales of contested spaces in Izmir [photos + map]

Prior to Ataturk’s ambitious plan to unite Turkey, there was a city named Amed. In an attempt to uproot regional histories and tame cultural divergences, it simply appears as Diyarbakir on modern maps of Turkey. Diyarbakir was, and arguably still is, the city at the heartland of Turkey’s Kurdish region. Serkan, a neighbourhood baker on Izmir’s busiest street – Kibris Sehitleri – was given a choice in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s: stay and fight in one of Turkey’s most brutal civil wars, or flee westward to safety. He chose the ladder and for the last 20 years has been running what he claims is “the bakery that makes the best gevrek in all of Izmir”. Yet, his fate is currently facing uncertainty, as his habitual place of residence in Izmir’s predominantly Kurdish area of Kadifekale is being transformed: “the cranes arrived years ago and never left (…) slowly our community is being fractured as people are moved to new buildings in Uzundere (…) God willing I will be able to avoid this because if I get moved as well, this will add hours to my commute every day (…) sometimes I wish I would have stayed in Amed”.

Mahmoud, another character in this story, is a 58 year old Syrian man. He has a long white beard, beautifully balanced with his dark complexion and bright green eye. Poor dental care has rendered his speech devoid of eloquence and shrapnel in his left leg has impaired his ability to walk without a cane. Unlike the thousands of transient refugees that have passed through Izmir as a stop off point before crossing the Aegean Sea onwards to the EU, greeted by smugglers and other shady opportunistic personalities, Mahmoud is part of the over 70,000 refugees currently residing in Izmir. He recalls the summer months of 2015: “There were thousands of my Syrian brothers coming and going in Izmir (…) sometimes for two days, one week at most, waiting for the smugglers to call them to inform them about the status of their crossing”. Those of which had disposable income stayed in cheap hotels, but most stayed homeless in public parks. “At first they stayed in Fuar, then Aziziye Parkı, and after the police evacuated both areas and gathered many of them, most camped out uneasily on Kordon”, Mahmoud explained. They had reasons to be nervous, as Atatürk Stadium in Izmir’s Halkapınar neighborhood became a transit location where refugees collected by police forces in Izmir were then sent to camps across Turkey, undoing their efforts toward transiting to Europe (Hürriyet Daily News, 2015).

Serkan and Mahmoud come from very different backgrounds, but both their stories lay the foundations of this article. The circumstances they describe have a great deal of overlap when considering that space is indeed not free or devoid of interests, that contests emerge at various sites in one given city.

1.1 – Contested spaces

To think of the city as neutral, where residents, workers of all walks of life, business owners, transient visitors, officials and planners cohabit peacefully, is nothing short of fantastical thought. The city is charged with interests held by individuals and groups – some of which lead the way for creativity, others that constrain it. These contests, between those who successfully attain the loudest voice and those in resentful bondage, embody the spirit of contested spaces. Reyes (2016) describes contested spaces as the condition where there is “(…) an arena of struggle for social control – the authority to impose what is and what is properly public – between one side, the private managers and, on the other, the public users” (Reyes, 2016: 201). Morrissey and Gaffikin’s (2006) description of what constitutes contested spaces is not confined to public spaces, outlining two forms of contested spaces:

“The first is where the contest relates to issues of pluralism, and centres on disputes about imbalances in power, welfare and status between distinctive rival groups (…) the other kind is about sovereignty, where there are similar pluralistic disputes about equity and access, but [that] these are interlocked with an ethno-nationalist conflict about the legitimacy of the state itself” (Morrissey and Gaffikin, 2006: 874)

In short, spaces face contests between actors representing various interest groups. Cities, densely populated and likely the areas of most cultural diversity, are thus naturally the breeding grounds of contested spaces. Some identities thrive while others are silenced, making cities the breaking point where spatial inequalities become most evident. Reyes (2016) explains that there has been a rise in such contests, as there has been a “(…) sharp decline of democratic public spaces brought about by the phenomenal rise of highly regulated private built environments [that] do not embody a public space (…)”(Reyes, 2016: 201).

Strauss and Liebenberg (2014) describe that as cities have “(…) become the loci of contested spaces, (…) legal norms and institutions are invoked to effect the eviction of impoverished communities from heavily populated areas (…)” (Strauss and Liebenberg, 2014: 429). These forceful evictions, they claim, have been “(…) motivated by the assertion of ownership rights against unlawful occupiers (…)” (Strauss and Liebenberg, 2014: 429), as has been seen in different squatter scenarios in North America and Europe (Frances Street squat, Vancouver; Seven Year squat, Ottawa; Pope squat, Toronto;  Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin; East London squat, UK) (Freeman, 2004; Jones, 2012; De Peyer, 2015), “(…) the gentrification of inner-city areas” (Strauss and Liebenberg, 2014: 429), exemplified in Neil Smith’s comprehensive study on New York’s Tompkins Square Park in The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City (1996), “(…) or the upgrading of informal settlements” (Strauss and Liebenberg, 2014: 429), as experienced by slum dwellers in Nairobi (Society for Threatened Peoples, 2004; Syagga, 2011). These are only a slim number of examples where contests of space result in eviction and displacement. The following sections focus on two tales with such a resolve, exploring the urban contests surrounding both gecekondu neighbourhoods and sites of transient refugee homelessness in Izmir, Turkey.

 2.1 – Two Tales

What follows are two case studies – two tales – about contested spaces in Izmir. They have a great deal of overlap. The first at hand, those living in gecekondu’s – informal settlements comparable to Brazil’s favela’s – are predominantly of Kurdish ethnicity. On the other, those squatting in parks (particularly in the summer months of 2015) were refugees of various Arab ethnic groups. Transcending from historical divisions, both Kurds and those holding Arab ethnicities continue to be marginalised within the borders of Turkey. Saraçoğlu (2011), for instance, describes the reality that “(…) where Kurdish migrants live are typically the poorest gecekondu zones of the city with the worst living and housing condition” (Saraçoğlu, 2011: 119) as nothing short of “spatial separation” (Saraçoğlu, 2011: 119). Sabli (2015), in her article on Turkish identity, illustrates the divide between Turks and Arabs. These divisions that have been drawn up culturally, politically or linguistically translate to spatial divisions. As with any marginalized group, those living in gecekondu’s or squatting in public parks have difficulty asserting their voice in spatial contests. This is further exacerbated by the fact that both communities in this story are comprised primarily of migrants, of which – historically and at present time – are usually a target of local discontent. Map 1 identifies key areas of contested spaces in Izmir, specifically relating to this story. As with all cities, many other contests for space exist within Izmir, but those are not the primary foci of this article and have thus been omitted.

gecekondurefugeemap copy 

2.2 – Gecekondu’s, neoliberalism and displacement

 Since the early years of Turkish leadership by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), a strong move towards neoliberalism has taken place across Turkey’s largest cities. This has been part of AKP’s vision of “New Turkey” (Yavuz, 2006), a state built upon the two strong pillars of neoliberalism and Islam (Moudouros, 2014). Within this context, both private and public spaces have been transformed by intensification, adaptive reuse, redevelopment and development. One such transformation did not sit well with the Turkish public – that of Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim district – leading to mass mobilisation of over 3.5 million across the country in 2013 (De Ballaigue, 2013). However, prior to the Gezi Park movement and after its dissolution up to our present time, various contests for space under the umbrella of neoliberalism have thrived. One such project is the Konak Urban Transformation Project in Izmir, of which incorporated the Kadifefale Urban Transformation Project into its framework in 2005 (Demirli et al., 2015).

For context, Kadifekale is a hill looking directly onto Izmir’s central Konak district. On top sits a castle originally conceived by Lysimachos, as part of New Smyrna, but its current walls date back to the medieval era. The surrounding hill of Kadifekale is covered by gecekondu neighbourhoods. Gecekondu’s, a word combining “(…) gece, ‘night’ in Turkish, plus kondurmak, meaning ‘to happen’ or ‘appear’” (Neuwirth, 2006: 144), are informal settlements built by (mostly migrant) squatters. Throughout Turkey’s history, multiple laws have been put in place in order to protect and legalise these settlements, for instance, Law no. 775 of 1966 that “(…) legalised the existing illegal settlements and required public institutions whose land was squatted to transfer these areas to the municipalities [and] provided a fund for the provision of land for cheap housing” (Duyar-Kienast, 2005: 34).

However, in 1983, as an increasing number of urban areas were becoming occupied by gecekondu settlements, Law no. 2805 regularised gecekondu neighbourhoods to consider them as “(…) regular parts of urban areas” (Duyar-Kienast, 2005: 34) and introduced the Improvement Plan where a redevelopement fund was established to renovate gecekondu areas. This was the early beginning of resettlement of gecekondu dwellers to make way for new urban projects. In compensation for forfeiting land rights, the squatters were provided financial rewards and housing in newly developed areas. In 2003, with the establishment of Toplu Konut Idaresi (TOKI), a new approach that is still standing today was devised in order to accelerate redevelopment. In this model, municipalities identify determine target gecekondu areas and sign an agreement with TOKI for site analysis (feasibility, real estate value, etc.) and to begin the drafting of a redevelopment plan. Then, “the slum owners proving their ownerships in the project area earn the rights of having house/houses based on the value of their real estate and costs of the project. The slum owners signs contracts with TOKI, and declare that they pay the difference between the values of the newly constructed house and the slum in a 15 year-period” (Uzun et al., 2010: 207).

Many negative implications, however, have been identified within this new model. Although TOKI is identified as a non-profit organization, it has yielded massive capital gains in the last years, mostly due to the sale of newly built apartment and commercial complexes. Its governing structure justifies these profits as a means to reinvest in social housing, albeit multiple sources of criticism. In Ekümenopolis: City Without Limits (2012), a documentary extensively following redevelopment of gecekondu neighbourhoods in Istanbul, multiple urban planning experts criticise the agreement signing process between gecekondu dwellers and TOKI. For instance, for squatters that refuse to sign the agreement with TOKI, their land can be forcefully (and legally) expropriated (Uzun et al., 2010: 207). However, squatters that do not know about land value and accept TOKI’s terms often receive lower compensation than what is legally acceptable. Furthermore, when they are moved to modern housing and asked to share costs with TOKI, they discover that what is asked of them is far above their financial means. Social repercussions also take place, where squatters that have developed gecekondu communities with a high degree of social cohesion over many decades are left in isolated neighbourhoods at the urban periphery (Demirli et al., 2015). Whether all of this has been intentional or not – a question of collateral damage versus unintended consequences – academics (see Saraçoğlu, 2014 and Demirtas-Milz, 2013) have drawn parallels between this model of reckless redevelopment with pervasive neoliberal narratives currently operating and driving contemporary urban environments. Furthermore, for areas such as Kadifekale, of which have mostly been occupied by ethnic Kurds, questions about institutionalised discrimination have effectively surfaced (Saraçoğlu, 2011).

The following photograph shows a contrast between a current gecekondu area (right) and a section that has been cleared within the scope of the Kadifefale Urban Transformation Project.

Kadifekale

The following photographs show a small section of Bayraklı, another area of Izmir where redevelopment is currently thriving in a gecekondu-rich area. This is part of another project named Izmir Manhattan Projesi (Internet Haber, 2015; Capital, 2011).

BayrakliGecekondu4BayrakliGecekondu3BayrakliGecekondu1

2.3 – Homelessness of transient refugees and displacement

Last summer, Izmir surfaced in world news as “the main smuggling hub on the Turkish coast” (Kingsley, 2015). It is one of Turkey’s largest transportation hubs, with regular buses to auxiliary coastal cities to the North and South – many of which are only a few kilometers away from Greek islands. Although very little data has been officially collected in respects to the number of transient refugees that passed through Izmir in order to make their way across the Aegean Sea and towards Europe, it is widely accepted by local NGO workers that many of the hundreds of thousands that successfully crossed onto the Greek islands did so.

Whilst stopping over in Izmir, many of the refugees stayed in cheap hotels, but as availability of cheap accommodations were limited, many squatted in public areas. Notably, they stayed in Fuar, Aziziye Park and on the Kordon (amongst others) – central locations near the Basmane neighbourhood where many of the smugglers operated. However, as international attention rose vis-à-vis the increasing influx of refugees onto European territory via the Aegean Sea, many of these areas became hot spots for police raids aimed at collecting refugees to send them back to camps.

These areas, effectively, became contested spaces. On one side, transient refugees seeking a place to rest before a stressful journey. On the other, State interests based on maintaining good diplomatic relations with the EU and a desire to reduce visual pollution at home. Effectively, this was a good manifestation of Michel Agier’s (2011) portrait of humanity’s relationship with refugees as “(…) two great world categories that are increasingly reified: on the one hand, a clean, healthy and visible world; on the other, the world’s residual ‘remnants’, dark, diseased and invisible” (Agier, 2011: 4).

The following photographs show the above-stated areas (Fuar, Aziziye Parı and Kordon) where transient refugees temporarily squatted before making their journey across the Aegean and towards Europe.

FuarNearBasmaneKordon

 

 

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References

Agier, M. (2011) Managing the Undesirables: Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Government, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Campaign Against Forced Evictions (2004) ‘Kenya: Campaign against forced evictions in the informal settlements’, Society for Threatened Peoples, (Bolzano); available online at: http://www.gfbv.it/3dossier/africa/nairob-en.html; accessed 23 March, 2016.

Capital (2011) ‘Izmir’in yeni New projeleri’, Capital, October 1; available online at: http://www.capital.com.tr/iller/izmir/izmirin-yeni-projeleri-haberdetay-7947; accessed 17 April, 2016.

De Ballaigue, C. (2013) ‘Turkey: “Surreal, menacing… Pompous”’, The New York Review of Books, (New York), December 19.

Demirli, M. E., Ultav, Z. T. and Dermirtas-Milz, N. (2015) ‘A socio-spatial analysis of urban transformation at a neighborhood scale: The case of the relocation of Kadifekale inhabitants to TOKI Uzundere in Izmir’, Cities, 48 (1): 140-159.

Dermirtas-Milz, N. (2013) ‘The regime of informality in neoliberal times in Turkey: The case of the Kadifekale Urban Transformation Project’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37 (2): 689-714.

De Peyer, R. (2015) ‘East London squat which was littered with needles and faeces is shut down’, Evening Standard, (London), October 6; available online at: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/east-london-squat-which-was-littered-with-needles-and-faeces-is-shut-down-a3083936.html; accessed 23 March, 2016.

Duyar-Kienast, U. (2005) The Formation of Gecekondu Settlements in Turkey: The Case of Ankara, Berlin: Lit Verlag Munster.

Freeman, L. (2004) ‘Squatting and the city’, Canadian Dimension, (Winnipeg), November 1; available online at: https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/squatting-and-the-city-lisa-freeman-and-sarah-lamble; accessed 21 March, 2016.

Hürriyet Daily News (2015) ‘Aegean city cleared of thousands of Syrian refugees’, Hürriyet Daily News, (Istanbul), August 14; available online at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/aegean-city-cleared-of-thousands-of-syrian-refugees.aspx?pageID=238&nID=86990&NewsCatID=341; accessed 14 April, 2016.

Internet Haber (2015) ‘Izmir Manhattan için sıraya girdiler’, Internet Haber, October 28; available online at: http://www.internethaber.com/izmir-manhattan-icin-siraya-girdiler-554272h.htm; accessed 17 April, 2016.

Jones, J. (2012) ‘The closure of Berlin’s Tacheles squat is a sad day for alternative art’, The Guardian, (London), September 5; available online at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2012/sep/05/closure-tacheles-berlin-sad-alternative-art; accessed 23 March, 2016.

Kingsley, P. (2015) ‘Lifejackets going cheap: People smugglers of Izmir, Turkey, predict drop in business’, The Guardian, (London), September 24; available online at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/24/refugee-crisis-people-smugglers-izmir-turkey-predict-drop-business; accessed 18 April, 2016.

Morrissey, M. and Gaffikin, F. (2006) ‘Planning for peace in contested space’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 30 (4): 873-893.

Moudouros, N. (2014) ‘Rethinking Islamic hegemony in Turkey through Gezi Park’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 16 (2): 181-195.

Neuwirth, R. (2006) Shadow cities: A billion squatters, a new urban world, New York: Routledge.

Reyes, R. C. (2016) ‘Public space as contested space: The battle over the use, meaning and function of public space’, International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 6 (3): 201-207.

Saraçoğlu, C. (2011) Kuds of Modern Turkey: Migration, Neoliberalism and Exclusion in Turkish Society, London: I.B. Tauris Publishers.

Saraçoğlu, C. (2014) ‘Disasters as an ideological strategy for governing neoliberal urban transformation in Turkey: Insights from Izmir/Kadifekale’, Disasters, 38 (1): 178-201.

Smith, N. (1996) The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City, New York: Routledge.

Strauss, M. and Liebenberg, S. (2014) ‘Contested spaces: Housing rights and evictions law in post-apartheid South Africa’, Planning Theory, 13 (4): 428-448.

Syagga, P. (2011) ‘Land tenure in slum upgrading projects’, Les cahiers d’Afrique de l’Est, 2011: 103-113; available online at: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00751866/file/Paul_Syagga_-_LAND_TENURE_IN_SLUM_UPGRADING.pdf; accessed 23 March, 2016.

Uzun, B., Cete, M. and Palancioglu, M. (2010) ‘Legalizing and upgrading illegal settlements in Turkey’, Habitat International, 34 (1): 204-209.

Yavuz, M. H. (2006) The Emergence of a New Turkey: Islam, Democracy and the AK Parti, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

 Recommended related resources

The Beat of Frances Street (1990), film, Vancouver: Eleven Foot Productions; available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ1qSwo3kmE; accessed 18 March, 2016.

Ekümenopolis: City Without Limits (2012), film, Istanbul: Kibrit Film; available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maEcPKBXV0M; accessed 18 March, 2016.

Brosseau, M. (2015-2016) “GEG2108 Contested Spaces” [EN] and “GEG2508 Espaces sous tensions” [FR], university courses, Ottawa: University of Ottawa ; course listing available online at: https://www.uottawa.ca/academic/info/regist/calendars/courses/GEG.html; accessed 18 March, 2016.

Cultural worldviews: Test, theory and limitations

The test

To improve the reliability of your responses, complete both cultural worldview tests before reading further sections of this article. Following the completion of the surveys, your results for both scales will be indicated in bold on the “Thank You!” page.

culturalworldview

culturalworldview2

The above online surveys will be live only until 20.04.2016. If you still wish to determine your cultural worldview after this date, you will have to be do so manually via this file. These survey instruments were designed by Kahan et al. (2007), as part of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale.

The theory

Since the 1970’s, academics have sought out explanations for why individuals perceive certain aspects of society as risky or not. For instance, personality theory claims that certain personality traits make individuals risk takers or risk averse, economic theory proposes that those who have wealth have lower perceptions of risk due to their ability to afford losses, and political theory suggests that demographic characteristics and access to power have a great influence on how individuals perceive certain risks (Wildavsky and Dake, 1990: 42-43). However, for the purpose of this article, cultural theory is of most relevance. Initially advanced by the anthropologist Mary Douglas (1970; 1978), the theory claims that there are two social dimensions of which can help explain cultural diversity and the dialectical relationship between culture and attitudes (cultural worldviews).

These two dimensions are made up of grid and group, each having two possible outcomes to which build a cultural worldview profile for individuals. Grid is understood as the relationship to power, where individuals can be either egalitarian, seeking to “(…) reduce inequalities between people” (Oltedal and Rundmo, 2007: 122), or hierarchist, upholding a belief that “(…) all roles and tasks are assigned, the division of labor is clearly defined and ‘everyone remains in the same post’” (Cerroni and Simonella, 2014: 121). Group, on the other hand, represents “(…) the outside boundary that people have erected between themselves and the outside world” (Douglas and Wildavsky, 1982: 225). Here, individuals can be considered as either individualists, emphasizing individual freedom and autonomy in various aspects of society, or communitarians, affiliating and contributing to groups as a form of social support and protection from vulnerability.

gridgroupAll told, the theory claims that individuals can have one of four cultural worldview profiles:

  • Egalitarian-Individualist
  • Egalitarian-Communitarian
  • Hierarchist-Individualist
  • Hierarchist-Communitarian

Limitations

All theories experience limitations. Beck (2009), for instance, asserts “(…) it is difficult to square the claims of cultural theory to transhistorical, context-independent validity with its interest in precision, relativity and cultural construction” (Beck, 2009: 239), accusing that its foundational pillars are most likely based on an ethnocentric narrative. More importantly, Marris et al. (1998) have questioned the analytical purchase of cultural theory, claiming that correlations between the four cultural biases and risk perception are generally weak, and that placing individuals in these categories funnels analysis into generalisations that can “(…) only be used to measure worldviews at a collective level” (Marris et al., 1998: 644).

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References

Beck, U. (2009) World at Risk, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Cerroni, A. and Simonella, Z. (2014) ‘Scientific community through grid-group analysis’, Social Science Information, 53 (1): 119-138.

Douglas, M. (1970) Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology, London: Barrie & Jenkins.

Douglas, M. (1978) Cultural Bias, London: Royal Anthropological Institute.

Douglas, M. and Wildavsky, A. B. (1982) Risk and Culture: An essay on the selection of technical and environmental dangers, Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kahan, D. M., Braman, D., Gastil, J., Slovic, P. and Mertz, C. K. (2007) ‘Cultural and identity-protective cognition: Explaining the white-male effect in risk perception’, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 4 (3): 465-505.

Marris, C., Langford, I. H. and O’Riordan, T. (1998) ‘A quantitative test of the cultural theory of risk perceptions: Comparison with the psychometric paradigm’, Risk Analysis, 18 (5): 635-647.

Oltedal, S. and Rundmo, T. (2007) ‘Using cluster analysis to test the cultural theory of risk perception’, Transportation Research Part F, 10 (3): 254-262.

Wildavsky, A. and Dake, K. (1990) ‘Theories of risk perception: Who fears what and why?’, Daedalus, 119 (4): 41-60.

 

A personal response by Noam Chomsky

Two months ago, I wrote an article titled “Paris and Facebook: Fear, cognition and manufacturing consent”. Within the body of this article, one of Chomsky’s early publications Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was referenced.

A few months before writing the article, I had seen an interview with the famed scholar, ground-breaking linguist and revolutionary political scientist. He mentioned a slight disappointment in the way people corresponded with him these days, preferring hand-written letters over emails.

So, given the coincidence of writing an article referencing his work, I decided to write to him… by hand. Today, I found a surprise in my letter box.

LetterFromChomsky.jpg

I found this letter to be sincere, on point and filled with powerful statements about the current state of the refugee reality.

Indeed, “the rest is a matter of asking who and what we are and aspire to be”, and that “the current callousness and brutality is painful to behold”.