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Budapest, Hungary

For other uses, see European University Central European University is a graduate-level, English-language university accredited in the U.S. and Hungary and located in Budapest. The university offers degrees in the social science, humanities, law, public policy, business management, environmental science, and mathematics. CEU has more than 1500 students from 100 countries and 300 faculty members from more than 30 countries. CEU was founded by philanthropist George Soros, who has provided an endowment of US$880 million, making the university one of the wealthiest in Europe.CEU has two schools, including the School of Public Policy and CEU Business School, 14 academic departments, and 17 research centers. Wikipedia.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that as of July 2009 there were 52 countries interested in building their first nuclear power plant. This paper characterizes and evaluates these "Newcomer Countries" in terms of their capacity and motivations to develop nuclear power. It quantifies factors historically associated with the development of nuclear energy programs and then benchmarks the Newcomers against these data. Countries with established nuclear power programs, particularly where nuclear facilities are privately owned, are typically larger, wealthier and politically stable economies with high government effectiveness. Nuclear power was historically launched during periods of high electricity consumption growth. Other indicators for the potential of nuclear power include: the size of the national grid, the presence of international grid connections and security of fuel supply for electricity production. We identify 10 Newcomers which most closely resemble the Established Nuclear Power Countries and thus are most likely to deploy nuclear energy, 10 countries where the development of nuclear energy is uncertain due to high political instability, 14 countries with lower capacities where pursuing nuclear energy may require especially strong international cooperation and 18 countries where the development of nuclear power is less likely due to their significantly lower capacities and motivations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Mercier H.,University of Pennsylvania | Sperber D.,French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences | Sperber D.,Central European University
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2011

Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. Poor performance in standard reasoning tasks is explained by the lack of argumentative context. When the same problems are placed in a proper argumentative setting, people turn out to be skilled arguers. Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views. This explains the notorious confirmation bias. This bias is apparent not only when people are actually arguing, but also when they are reasoning proactively from the perspective of having to defend their opinions. Reasoning so motivated can distort evaluations and attitudes and allow erroneous beliefs to persist. Proactively used reasoning also favors decisions that are easy to justify but not necessarily better. In all these instances traditionally described as failures or flaws, reasoning does exactly what can be expected of an argumentative device: Look for arguments that support a given conclusion, and, ceteris paribus, favor conclusions for which arguments can be found. © 2011 Cambridge University Press. Source

This paper examines three different governance approaches the European Union (EU) and Member States (MS) are relying on to reach a low carbon economy by 2050. Current governance literature explains the operational methods of the EU's new governance approach to reduce carbon emissions. However, the literature neglects to account for the perceived risks that inhibit the roll-out of new low carbon technology. This article, through a novel approach, uses a grounded theoretical framework to reframe traditional risk literature and provides a connection to governance literature in order to assess the ability of EU governance mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions. The empirical research is based on responses from European energy stakeholders who participated in a Delphi method discussion and in semi-structured interviews; these identified three essential requirements for carbon emissions to be reduced to near zero by 2050: (1) an integrated European energy network, (2) carbon pricing and (3) demand reduction. These features correspond to institutionalized responses by the EU and MS: the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER); European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and energy efficiency directives and policies integrated into existing MS institutions. The theoretical and empirical findings suggest that governance by facilitation (energy efficiency) fails to induce significant investment and new policy approaches and cannot be relied on to achieve requisite reductions in demand. Governance by negotiation (ACER) and governance by hierarchy (EU ETS) do reduce risks and may encourage the necessary technological uptake. The term 'risk governance' is used to explain the important role governance plays in reducing risks and advancing new technology and thereby lowering carbon emissions in the energy sector. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

K-means is one of the most widely used clustering algorithms in various disciplines, especially for large datasets. However the method is known to be highly sensitive to initial seed selection of cluster centers. K-means++ has been proposed to overcome this problem and has been shown to have better accuracy and computational efficiency than k-means. In many clustering problems though - such as when classifying georeferenced data for mapping applications - standardization of clustering methodology, specifically, the ability to arrive at the same cluster assignment for every run of the method i.e. replicability of the methodology, may be of greater significance than any perceived measure of accuracy, especially when the solution is known to be non-unique, as in the case of k-means clustering. Here we propose a simple initial seed selection algorithm for k-means clustering along one attribute that draws initial cluster boundaries along the "deepest valleys" or greatest gaps in dataset. Thus, it incorporates a measure to maximize distance between consecutive cluster centers which augments the conventional k-means optimization for minimum distance between cluster center and cluster members. Unlike existing initialization methods, no additional parameters or degrees of freedom are introduced to the clustering algorithm. This improves the replicability of cluster assignments by as much as 100% over k-means and k-means++, virtually reducing the variance over different runs to zero, without introducing any additional parameters to the clustering process. Further, the proposed method is more computationally efficient than k-means++ and in some cases, more accurate. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Alongside the increased mobilization for mega-events, multiple immobilities and partial mobilities can be witnessed. Although the literature on the ‘mobility turn’ and the scholarship on urban policy mobilities both acknowledge the existence and importance of immobilization and immobility, immobility is under researched and relegated to a passive position. (Im)mobility is neither a thing nor a characteristic of things: a country or city are not mobile in themselves but in relation to (im)mobilization processes. By using the case of the lobbying by Perm (Russia) for the European Capital of Culture (a cultural policy and mega-event reserved for European Union member states), this paper focuses on the politics and practices of (im)mobilization and on the membership in awarding institutions as one of the factors which limit the mobilization of mega-events. Based on semi-structured interviews with key actors and archival research examining official policy documents and media accounts, the paper documents the politics, channels and practices of the mobilization of an immobile policy. The mobilization of immobile policies works by trying to overcome the constitution of policies as (im)mobile and the factors which limit mobilization, in this case the identity-building and region-building project of the European Union. The European Capital of Culture is a highly mobile policy within the European Union, which was constructed to produce ‘Europe’ as a political, economic and cultural space. The ‘role of elsewhere’ and of the informational infrastructure (reports, models, experts, consultancies, etc.) which was developed for a smoother circulation inside the geographical scope of the policy, permitted it to travel outside, and enables the creation of new policies and events modelled on an immobile policy. © The Author(s) 2014 Source

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