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Ex Aula Research Journal

Economic Reform in Countries of the Global South: The Peruvian Experience

In the year 1990, Peru seemed a country in the brink of collapse. The Andean nation had gone through decades of successive ideologically-opposed governments that enacted incoherent social and economic policies. The country was battling with one of the world’s highest hyperinflations (7,650%). It also faced a crisis of representation: political parties had lost the trust of the majority of the population. Democracy was also threated by an internal armed conflict, in which the state was battling two sanguinary terrorist groups. The Peruvian Truth Commission estimates the death toll of this conflict at approximately 70,000 people.

Therapeutic? Exploring the Foster Home as a Therapeutic Landscape

The term therapeutic has gained a lot of momentum within the state’s child protection and family welfare services over the past decade, particularly within the provision and practice of foster care placements for teenagers in the UK. The proliferation of this term is due perhaps to a deepening in our understandings of the prevalence of developmental trauma/complex PTSD (Frogley, 2018) throughout the population of young people who are removed from their birth families due to abuse or neglect. Many of these young people may have been exposed to multiple traumas in childhood, as well as the experience of loss and displacement that being taken into state care can create. There is also a growing awareness of impact that these negative past experiences can have on an individual’s level of disadvantage in the personal, social, and economic spheres across one’s lifespan if left unaddressed.

Social Protection for the Unprotected: the Guatemalan Case

In Guatemala, social protection coverage is marred by significant challenges, particularly in the realm of pensions and healthcare. The inequalities within the pension system are glaring, with only a privileged few, consisting of formal workers from the private and public sectors, enjoying its benefits. Guatemala’s social protection system corresponds to a Global South model where poverty is high (54% below the poverty line, according to the WB) and the high informality (71%) causes a weak collection of taxes. The allocation of resources for social protection is influenced more by political considerations than by a fair distribution of resources. This piece aims to shed light on the main challenges faced by Guatemala's social protection system and explore potential political changes and reforms that could enhance coverage.

Socialist Cybernetics Around the World

In 1961, a group of architects gathered in a Soho loft to gripe about the inequalities of the world. As they looked around London, they wondered: if they could imagine a better city, would they imagine a better world? My research investigates how 1960s-1970s architects and theoreticians used emerging technology to revolutionize city, and even country, planning.

The Evolution of Colour in 19th Century Visual Arts and Literature

The 19th century witnessed a growing interest in the visual arts, particularly in the relationships between pictures and text. During this period, two significant debates emerged: the truthful representation of nature and the interplay of line and colour. Scientific advancements in colour pigmentation and dyes revolutionised artistic practices, challenging traditional notions of colour usage and meaning. My research explores the impact of these developments on the works of renowned artists such as J.M.W. Turner and John Ruskin, as well as their integration into the literary landscape through the writings of Thomas Hardy.

Jailbreak – Preventing Metastatic Cancer

Punishing fluorescent lights cast a synthetic glow across the corridors of the high-security facility. Armed guards shuffle nervously at their posts. The eerie quiet is broken intermittently by muffled orders on crackly walkie-talkies. Suddenly, a piercing siren fills the silence. Panicked guards march hurriedly to join the search team. But it’s too late. The prisoner is gone. The guards are terrified – this inmate was bad news.