An Examination of Strategies to Mitigate the Number of Motorcycle Rider Fatalities in Thailand

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Announcing:  Meneghella, Karl and John Walsh, “An Examination of Strategies to Mitigate the Number of Motorcycle Rider Fatalities in Thailand” Acta Universitatis Danubius Oeconomica, Vol.14, No.4 (2018), pp.72-87, available at: http://journals.univ-danubius.ro/index.php/oeconomica/article/view/4746/4517.

Abstract: This paper attempts to examine and quantify the degree of safety-helmet use by motorcyclists and their passengers in Thailand. Specifically, the paper examines the phenomena in three separate locations within Thailand. The paper will also review the literature surrounding road safety in general, road safety for motorcyclists, proper helmet use, Thai acts of parliament aimed at motorcyclists, and the degree to which helmet use is enforced or policed in Thailand. Experts posit that road fatalities, and
the serious debilitating injuries caused by road traffic accidents, can impact a nation’s GDP by as much as 5%. Perhaps even more importantly, especially in the context of a developing country, is the direct impact to families who lose their prime bread-winner or wage-earner. This loss may either be permanent, as in the case of a fatality, or extended over a protracted period of time, where families find themselves having to care for severely injured members. In the latter case, the requirement for care is often long-term, with little in the way of insurance or medical benefits to offset the burden. It is hoped
that a study of motorcycle related road traffic fatalities may identify or highlight interventions or strategies that could be employed to mitigate the road toll in Thailand.

Keywords: Thai Helmet Act 1994; Motorcyclists; Road Toll; Policing; Enforcement

JEL Classification: R41

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Review of Dave Simpson’s The Fallen

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The Fallen: Life in and out of Britain’s Most Insane Group

Dave Simpson

Edinburgh and London: Canongate, 2009

ISBN: 9-781847-671448

323 pp

In a slightly manic attempt to interview all the former members of The Fall, Dave Simpson of The Guardian spent from 2005-7 chasing around the country in his car, apparently risking his mental health as well as his marriage. He lists 50 such people and a few others who managed to evade him, including the almost legendary drummer Karl Burns (I was at the Top Rank in Reading when the band, supported by The Birthday Party and an outfit from Iceland whose name escapes me, were at the beginning of the double drums line-up). It seems to be a somewhat quixotic thing to do: the later Mark E. Smith, vocal vocalist until his recently untimely death, once claimed, ‘if it’s me and yer grannie on bongos, it’s The Fall.’ He certainly went through periods of treating band members as the musical equivalent of factory hands, to be hired and dismissed as and when the need arose. His arbitrary decisions as to who was to be accorded credit for writing songs is another sign of the tyrannical reign of a man who would claim credit for himself while being unable to play a single note on any instrument (apart from the toy violin used as the basis for ‘Who Makes the Nazis?’). The banfd itself was kept on a relentless schedule of touring and recording, both of which could be derailed by Smith himself as his behaviour became more erratic and his belief in his own superior understanding of music led to him throwing out weeks of detailed recording work in order to use low-fi demo tracks instead, in the same way he would fiddle with the amplifiers and equipment during live gigs. Does it matter who was involved along the way?

Of course it matters. Anyone who has been enchanted with the work of The fall in any of their various manifestations will, surely, want to know more about what it was like to be part of the group, how the music was made, what were the relationships between the various members and so forth. To a considerable extent, Simson has achieved this, despite the fact that the great range of people involved means that none of them will be dealt with at any length and, also, despite the fact that (for the readers, at least) the most important and interesting aspect of their lives was their relationship with a central figure who is effectively absent from the action. Fall fans will know the intensity of the early music, which brightened with the arrival of Brix Smith when the group achieved a modicum of mainstream success, although nearly always with the cover songs they disdained in the early years. After their divorce, the band changed direction and Smith’s drinking, always extensive, reached a new level as the appetite for whisky which flowered during his sojourn in Edinburgh, took a firmer grip. Is this what really happened? “From the outside, with Brix gone and The Fall making more and more non-commercial music once again, it seemed as if Smith had almost deliberately sabotaged his own success, as if he’d started to fear that too much was beyond his control, or that existing in the ultra-mainstream wasn’t very Fall … live reviews of the period comment less humourously on Smith’s condition, noting how he was suddenly looking aged and was often visibly drunk while performing (pp.193-5).” Smith, of course, passed up on the opportunity to provide real context on this period in his autobiography, Renegade, which is often hilarious and scabrous but not always long on self-awareness.

So much for what The Fallen is not; what is it? It is as good an exploration of what it was like to be in The Fall as might be wished. Most commonly, the experience is likened to a drink and drug-heavy cult. “Cults dictate what members wear and where they will sleep (including sleep deprivation techniques). From what I’ve heard so far of The Fall, they don’t sleep very much and Fall musicians almost universally have short hair and basic, functional clothing (p.166).” Most members of the Fallen also retain a devotion to the cult leader that seems difficult to explain, not least by Brix herself, whom he seems to have treated very badly. She speaks of him as a poet and, less persuasively, of having psychic powers such as precognition, while also being a challenging colleague: “She claims he was ‘never, ever sober. He was irrational and scary and almost impossible to work with. When you’re young you can metabolise it and keep [the lifestyle] under control, but it got out of hand (p.154).’” She herself managed to escape and recreate herself, first with the help of punk violin star Nigel Kennedy and then with her third husband and reinvention as a fashion star and pundit.

Others have retained a measure of their younger selves, despite apparent reinvention. An important early figure was Kay Carroll, who helped forge the dictatorial nature of being part of the band:

“I track down Kay Carroll – now married and surnamed Bateman – to Portland. Oregon, where she’s working as a doctor’s assistant. Even with several thousand miles’ distance, I get an immediate sense of the character who so ‘terrified’ the Hanleys [i.e. bassist Steve and drummer Paul] when she emails to ask if I’m ‘a stalker.’ Credentials suitably established, she breaks several decades of near silence to mail me an hour of taped Mancunian vitriol (p.75).”

These episodes are a delight and fascinating in what they reveal about the music and they ways the songs were written and played. Now that the band no longer exists (although it is rumoured that there is one more LP to be released and no doubt previously unreleased and perhaps not very good footage is yet to be discovered), it seems to be a suitable moment at which to celebrate its achievements. This is a book that will help with that.

 

Eco-Efficiency of the Automotive Industry: Evidence from an Industrial Park in Thailand

Announcing: Pinyochatchinda, Supaporn and John Walsh, “Eco-Efficiency of the Automotive Industry: Evidence from an Industrial Park in Thailand,” International Review of Management and Development Studies, Vol.2, No.2 (2018), pp.1-8, available at: http://crcltd.org/Files/Eco_-_Efficiency_of_the_Automotive_Industry_Evidence_from_an_Industrial_Park_in_Thailand.PDF.

Abstract:

Sustainable development has become an important issue for the industrial sector. In
particular, the need to create an efficient level of balance between environment and the
economy has been highlighted. This is the heart of the eco-efficiency concept. This paper
investigates, from a managerial perspective, the physical and environmental eco-efficiency data of the automotive industry in Thailand, which accounted for 11% of national GDP in 2013. The focus is on the Rojana Automotive Industrial Park in central Thailand. It is shown that there is a tendency towards more energy reduction and efficient management of resources. This has had an impact on the relationship between industry and nearby communities. Since industry is extracting more value from existing resources, local communities are able to achieve a good quality of life while industry obtains economic growth with social development. These results are used to establish eco-efficiency indicators for the automotive industry in terms of policy planning and resource allocation. Consequently, an eco-industry assessment has been conducted and the prospects for sustainable development conducted.
Keywords: Eco-efficiency, Automotive Industry, Industrial Park, Eco industry, Rojana
Automotive Industrial Park, Sustainable development

Connectivity and the Healthcare Sector in Myanmar

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Announcing: Walsh, John, “Connectivity and the Healthcare Sector in Myanmar,” paper presented at the First Workshop of the Second Phase of ERIA Digital Economy, Innovation, and East Asia’s Competitiveness (January 21st-22nd, Bangkok).

I attended the first workshop of the second phase of ERIA’s project on the Digital Economy, Innovation and East Asia’s Competitiveness at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, here in sunny Bangkok earlier this week. It went well. Here is my abstract:

One of the results of the long isolation of Myanmar and its people has been the way in which its healthcare industry has become obsolete and lacking in resources. Although wealthy Myanmar people have been able to travel to Thailand or Singapore for contemporary standards of healthcare for the last few years, this option has not been available for the majority of the people. Instead, they have been required to rely on low-cost options, such as the use of generic pharmaceutical products and traditional remedies, in the absence of affordable and high-quality local services. The issues are compounded by the absence of modern healthcare products, the inability of healthcare staff to learn from overseas sources and the limitations on modern communications on almost any subject. However, this situation is changing as the country is opening to the world and burgeoning connectivity is enhancing the ability of individuals and organizations to exchange information, travel and import equipment and expertise. Inevitably, the degree to which people are able to benefit from these changes is uneven because there is not an even distribution of the means of connectivity, i.e. infrastructure, education, market access and equipment. This paper reports on both qualitative and quantitative programmes of research aimed at identifying the different uses of ICT in improving connectivity in healthcare in Myanmar, featuring respondents in both the urban centre of Mandalay and in rural areas. The quantitative research will focus on the everyday life of people and the ways in which aspects of connectivity are incorporated within those lives with respect to various aspects of healthcare. The qualitative research will focus on personal interviews with a range of relevant stakeholders in activities relating to healthcare, including healthcare provision, use of medical laboratories, importing of healthcare equipment, pharmaceutical distribution and hospital management. The results of the research are added to already existing knowledge of Myanmar society to illustrate the nature of rapidly changing lives that are inequitably providing previously unavailable opportunities and aspirations. Some policy recommendations are drawn from the analysis.

Keywords: connectivity; healthcare; inequitable change; Myanmar; social change

The next workshop is likely to be in Indonesia in April, by which time a draft paper should be available for all participants.

The Basis of Industrial Policy

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Announcing:

Lao-Hakosol, Wilaiporn and John Walsh, “The Basis of Industrial Policy,” International Review of Management and Development Studies, Vol.2, No.1 (December, 2017), pp.31-7, available at: http://crcltd.org/Files/The_Basis_of_Industrial_policy.PDF.

Abstract:

This paper outlines the basis for industrial policy as part of the means by which statelevel developmental goals might be achieved. Some ideas are provided for bringing this basis up to date bearing in mind contemporary issues in the external environment.

Keywords: Policies, Industrial Policies, Framework, Components of policies, International Policies

Power and Technology in the Stargate Universe

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Announcing:

Sujarittanonta, Lavanchawee and John Walsh, “Technology and Power in the Stargate Universe,” International Review of Management and Development Studies, Vol.2, No.1 (December, 2017), pp.19-30, available at: http://crcltd.org/Files/Technology_and_change__To_improve_Myanmar.PDF.

Abstract: The central thematic act of Stargate takes place before the action begins: the death of the son of Colonel Jack O’Neill, which occurs when the boy accidentally shoots himself with his father’s service pistol. From the very beginning, technology is marked with certain characteristics that recur frequently through the unfolding narrative: it consists of a single, discrete item; it is portable; it has few if any positive externalities; it is either explicitly a weapon or has a direct military application; and it is lethally dangerous to those unprepared to deal with it. In subsequent events, O’Neill’s attempt to rewrite the past by plunging through the dangerous and unpredictable, womb-like nature of the Stargate so as to obtain such technological artifacts is of mixed success and, in due course, he retires to allow the next leader of SG-1, who has himself been physically regenerated by technology deemed appropriate to the societal level of earth, to demonstrate the positive externalities that such technology might provide. The new hero is met by a new threat: instead of the scavenger Goa’uld, whose use of technology is opportunistic and mostly uninventive, the Ori emerge as a set of powerful beings
bent on deliberately misrepresenting their technology as a means of power that combines the sacred and the magical. The new hero, Cameron Mitchell, demystifies the Stargate, calculating the exact number of times he passes through it and studying the past records relentlessly to learn all of the secrets that can be learned before explicitly accusing the Ori of their crime of obfuscation. Meanwhile, the central figures of Daniel Jackson and Samantha Carter have the role of uniting ancient knowledge with present learning and uniting unearthly technology with present earthly capability respectively. It is no surprise that both act most effectively when acting alone: the central vision of technology does not change. This paper traces the emergence of technology as a theme in the Stargate universe, primarily but not exclusively in the case of Stargate SG-1, while analyzing the ideological implications this has with respect to existing frameworks of the political economy of technology.
Keywords: Technology, Fictions, Stargate, Pplitical and Economical impacts, Practical emergence

Peer Reviewing 2017

Peer Reviewing

Eight times for the Journal of Economics, Management and Trade

Fifteen times for the African Journal of Business and Management

Issues in Business Management and Economics

Three times for the African Journal of Marketing Management

Two times for Asian Journal of Economics, Business and Accounting

Three times for ICBMR (conference in Indonesia)

Asian Journal of Advances in Agricultural Research

Ten times for Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology

Asian Education and Development Studies

Archives of Current Research International

Twenty times for ICMC 2017

Six times for Acta Universitatis Danubius Oeconomica

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International

Current Journal of Applied and Science and Technology

Two times Journal of Economics and International Finance

International Journal of Livestock Production

Five times for African Journal of Agricultural Research

European Journal of Family Business

Journal of Contemporary Asia

Advances in Research

Fifteen papers for ICMC Young Scholars award.

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

Two times for Pertanika

Seven times for Journal of Perspectives on Development Policy in the Greater Mekong Region

Three papers for the 2018 AIB conference