Ferroelectric vortex has attracted much attention as a promising candidate for memories with high density and high stability. It is a crucial problem to precisely manipulate the vortex chirality in order to utilize it to store information. Nevertheless, so far, a practical and direct strategy for vortex switching is still lacking. Moreover, the strong coupling of chirality between neighboring vortices in continuous systems like superlattices limits the application of ferroelectric-vortex-based memories. Here, we design a ferroelectric nanoplate junction to break the strong coupling between neighboring vortices. Phase-field simulation results demonstrate that the vortex chirality of the nanoplates could be efficiently tuned by sweeping local electric and thermal fields in the nanoplate junction. More importantly, the weak coupling between two neighboring nanoplates through the intermediate junction brings a deterministic vortex switching behavior. Based on this, we propose a concept of vortex memory devices. Our study provides an effective way to control the vortex chirality and suggests an opportunity for designing new memory devices based on ferroelectric vortex.
AbstractIn high-conflict scenarios, humanitarian needs often surpass resources, and humanitarians are faced with ongoing challenges of whom to prioritise and where to work. This process is often referred to as ‘targeting’, but this article uses the concept of ‘triage’ to emphasise how prioritisation is a continuous and political process, rather than a one-off exercise to find the best match between needs and programme objectives. This study focused on South Sudan, exploring the formal and informal dynamics at the national, regional and local levels of humanitarian decisions. The article is based on semi-structured interviews and multiple meetings and observations of programmes over four months of fieldwork in 2017. This fieldwork was beset by many of the problems that humanitarians also encounter in their work, including complicated access, logistics difficulties and security challenges. Humanitarian action is meant to be flexibly deployed to respond to priority needs resulting from conflict or disasters, and agencies have multiple tools and policies to facilitate this. However, in reality, we find humanitarian action largely locked into path-dependent areas of intervention because agencies must rely on logistics, trust and local partners, all of which take years to develop, and because local actors’ commitment to see programmes continued.
We measure and interpret the evolution of labour market protection across 21 high-income countries over three decades, employing as conceptual foundations the ‘regime varieties’ and ‘trajectories of change’ developed by Esping-Andersen, Estevez-Abe, Hall and Soskice, and Thelen. We measure labour market protection considering four institutional dimensions – employment protection, unemployment protection, income maintenance and activation – and the evolution of the workforce composition. This measurement accounts for the joint evolution of labour market institutions, their complementarities and their relation to outcomes, and mitigate the unrealistic Average Production Worker assumption. We handle the multi-dimensional nature of labour market protection with Principal Component Analysis and capture the characteristics of countries’ trajectories of change with a composite score. We contribute to the literature in three ways. (1) We portray a revised typology that accounts for processes of change between 1990 and 2015, and that clusters regime varieties on the basis of coordination and solidarity levels, that is, Central/Northern European, Southern European, liberal. (2) We illustrate that, despite a persistent gap, a large majority of Coordinated Market Economies experiencing a decline in the level of labour market protection became more similar to Liberal Market Economies. (3) We develop a fivefold taxonomy of countries’ trajectories of change (liberalization, dualization, flexibility, de-dualization and higher protection), showing that these trajectories are not always path-dependent and consistent with regime varieties previously developed in the literature.
Delays in the propagation of scientific discoveries across scientific communities have been an oft-maligned feature of scientific research for introducing a bias towards knowledge that is produced within a scientist’s closest community. The vastness of the scientific literature has been commonly blamed for this phenomenon, despite recent improvements in information retrieval and text mining. Its actual negative impact on scientific progress, however, has never been quantified. This analysis attempts to do so by exploring its effects on biomedical discovery, particularly in the discovery of relations between diseases, genes and chemical compounds. Results indicate that the probability that two scientific facts will enable the discovery of a new fact depends on how far apart these two facts were originally within the scientific landscape. In particular, the probability decreases exponentially with the citation distance. Thus, the direction of scientific progress is distorted based on the location in which each scientific fact is published, representing a path-dependent bias in which originally closely-located discoveries drive the sequence of future discoveries. To counter this bias, scientists should open the scope of their scientific work with modern information retrieval and extraction approaches.
AbstractThe article analyses drivers as well as coordination mechanisms and instruments for the energy transition in Italy from a multilevel governance perspective. It addresses the structural constraints that influenced the decision-making processes and organisation of the Italian energy sector and the socio-technical challenges opened up by enhancing renewables. The current energy system is making the move from a centralised, path-dependent institutional and organisational structure to a more fragmented and pluralistic one. Renewables and decentralised patterns of production and consumption are key elements of this paradigmatic shift, which is paralleled by a multiplication of decision-making arenas and actors. These actors follow different interests, problem understandings and green growth narratives, increasing the complexity of governing the energy transition. Against this background, community-based renewable energy policy is assuming a very important role and Italy is putting efforts to establish an enabling framework in line with the requirements of the European Union. The goal of this strategy is to foster a positive link between acceptance of the energy transition and decentralised local activities. In the conclusion we address problems and barriers to new modes of governance, and discuss possible approaches to improved cooperation.
Violent geo-political conflicts are on the rise across the globe, particularly within fragile states. Using path-dependency theory, this paper aims to explore Fiji in the context of its public administrative history examining the legacies of history that have contributed to its ongoing conflicts.
An archival document analysis along with a theoretical thematic analysis was used to collect and assess data. Themes were identified that explain how and when the conflict became path-dependent.
Analysing conflict as path-dependent demonstrates how indirect rule while Fiji was under colonial rule, and the short time it has taken for the nation to transition from a colony to an independent State contributed to the eruption of conflicts in Fiji.
The research makes two key contributions, namely, it develops a theoretical understanding of conflict using path-dependency theory and it uncovers legacies of colonialism that have shaped conflict in Fiji.