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  • ItemOpen Access
    The impact of economic policy uncertainty on cost of capital, stock market development, and debt home and foreign bias: cross country evidence.
    (De Montfort University, 2023-06) Owusu-Manu, Samuel
    The study examines three empirical questions. The first investigates the impact of economic policy uncertainty on the cost of capital. The second examines the impact of economic policy uncertainty on stock market development. The third explores the role of economic policy uncertainty on debt home and foreign bias. In the first empirical chapter, we investigate whether economic policy uncertainty and the interaction of foreign equity portfolio flow and economic policy uncertainty impact the cost of capital. Using panel data from 20 countries from 2001 to 2018, we find economic policy uncertainty to exert a positive effect on the cost of capital. However, the interaction between foreign equity portfolio flow and economic policy uncertainty has a negative effect on the cost of capital, demonstrating that the combined effect of foreign equity portfolio flow and economic policy uncertainty has the opposite effect (i.e., reduces the cost of capital). The results are robust to alternative specifications and endogeneity. In the second empirical chapter, we find that economic policy uncertainty hampers stock market development. This is consistent with our hypothesis and the notion that economic policy uncertainty influences investors to halt investment decisions and adopt a wait-and-see attitude, thereby reducing stock market activities. Nonetheless, the interaction between institutional quality and economic policy uncertainty has a positive impact on stock market development. This implies that institutional quality brings to bear greater transparency and better disclosure practices which are essential for the efficient allocation of financial resources, thereby neutralising the negative effect of economic policy uncertainty. The results of our study are very important as policy decision-makers can appreciate that strong institutions can forestall the negative effect caused by economic policy uncertainty on stock markets. In the third empirical chapter, we find that economic policy uncertainty increases debt home bias. We also find that economic policy uncertainty has a negative effect on debt foreign bias. Further analysis shows that central bank independence and transparency mediate the impact of economic policy uncertainty on debt home and foreign bias. The implication is that countries will continue to attract debtholders during periods of economic policy uncertainty when there is an independent and transparent central bank.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Transitioning to trauma care: A phenomenological study of non-trauma foreign-trained nurses
    (De Montfort University, 2023-02) Al-Sheikh Hassan, Mohammed
    Background: As the global nursing workforce faces an escalating shortage, the recruitment of foreign-trained nurses has become a necessity, particularly in high-income nations, which increasingly rely on them to bridge their nursing workforce deficits. These nurses, estimated at 3.7 million, practice in countries foreign to their birth or training. This leads to a notable non-uniform distribution of the nursing workforce in relation to global population density and healthcare demands, where approximately half the world's populace is covered by merely 20% of the worldwide nursing force. A quintessential example of this phenomenon is Saudi Arabia, a high-income nation and home to one of the highest trauma rates in the world. To meet its healthcare demands, Saudi Arabia employs a strategy of recruiting foreign-trained nurses who constitute two-thirds of its entire nursing workforce, predominantly sourcing from countries such as India and the Philippines. However, a glaring challenge emerges as many of these recruits are thrust into care settings that are often significantly different from their prior clinical experiences. Notably, several are placed within major trauma care environments despite having no prior experience in such settings from their home countries. This potentially jeopardises the nurses' work efficiency, subjecting them to excessive workloads and heightening dissatisfaction levels. These challenges can significantly impede their smooth transition and successful integration into their new professional environments. Aim: The primary objective of this study was to explore and describe the lived experiences of moving to major trauma care in Saudi Arabia as non-trauma foreign-trained nurses. By capturing these nurses' narratives, the study aimed to shed light on the challenges, adaptations, and insights these professionals encounter when acclimating to an unfamiliar and demanding clinical environment in a foreign country. Methods: Grounded by Husserl's philosophy of descriptive phenomenology, this research adopted a descriptive phenomenological approach to explore and describe the lived experiences of foreign-trained nurses transitioning into major trauma care roles in Saudi Arabia from non-trauma backgrounds. Consequently, the study recruited nine foreign-trained nurses from India and the Philippines working at a major trauma centre in Saudi Arabia. Unstructured, in-depth individual interviews were conducted, allowing participants to freely share their unique experiences, illustrated by personal stories and real-life instances. For a comprehensive understanding, each of the nine nurses participating in the study was interviewed on two separate occasions, where the member checking was applied during the second interview. The collected data were then thematically analysed using Colaizzi's descriptive phenomenological analysis method, ensuring a right representation of participants' narratives. Findings: Through detailed thematic analysis, three main themes emerged from the nurses' narratives: (1) 'Facing a New Reality', underscoring the initial shock and adaptation required upon their arrival in a distinct cultural and professional setting. This theme also delves into the 'cultural shock' many experienced as they grappled with divergent societal and workplace norms. (2) 'Adjusting Towards Growth' illustrating the resilience and determination exhibited by these nurses as they navigated the various challenges of adapting to a specialised trauma care role. Within this, the ‘emotional labour’ required to maintain professional composure, despite personal and cultural challenges, was evident. (3) 'Achieving Belonging', highlighting the culmination of the nurses' journey where they not only acquired advanced proficiency but also carved out a sense of belonging and integration within their new professional environment. Collectively, these themes, including the two distinguishing components of culture shock and emotional labour, capture the profound transitions experienced by these nurses across personal, emotional, and professional dimensions, painting a holistic picture of their adaptive journey in Saudi Arabia's major trauma care settings amidst cultural nuances and emotional demands. Conclusion: Extreme cultural, social, and religious disparities, coupled with the demands of nursing within a challenging practice area, became defining elements in the transition experienced by the nurses. This transition frequently brought them face-to-face with both cultural and practice shocks. Nevertheless, by consciously practising emotional labour throughout this transitionary phase, the nurses surmounted these challenges, eventually achieving a sense of belonging within their new care setting. The findings of this study have broader implications for the stakeholders in Saudi Arabia's healthcare system, notably the policymakers, nursing educators, and healthcare administrators. The insights underscore the importance of tailored orientation programmes, ongoing mentorship, and culture-centric training modules to facilitate smoother transitions for foreign-trained nurses. Moreover, these findings can be instrumental in reshaping recruitment and retention strategies for foreign nurses, aiming to enhance their pre- and post-arrival experiences. Consequently, the study lays down a blueprint of recommendations for both contemporary practice and future research. By acknowledging and acting on these insights, stakeholders can further enrich the nursing ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, ensuring a cohesive and integrated healthcare workforce.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Valorising Hidden Culture: Power, Identity and Affect in Leicester Food Practices
    (De Montfort University, 2023-03) Parsons, Laura
    This thesis offers a fresh perspective on mainstream cultural studies discourse, in which culture is conceived as capital, through economic valorisation, and a productionist gaze, which favours culture as produced and as product. The thesis highlights the shortcomings of such an approach, expressed as a deficit in our understanding of culture, through which everyday cultural practices are overlooked and the value of ‘high culture’ reinforced over other forms. Responding to the limitations of hegemonic models and approaches, ‘hidden culture’ is developed and presented as an alternative conceptual and analytical framework for cultural studies, and deployed in the thesis through a case study of food practices and everyday materiality. When conceived in this way, people are seen to live rich cultural lives in an everyday context, and cultural production is seen as not exclusively taking place in institutional settings, but in households, community spaces, and in social interactions and behaviours, in a way that is not captured through traditional models and approaches. Hidden culture opens up new avenues of research for cultural studies, by offering a fresh, more nuanced approach to considering cultural value; providing opportunities for a recalibrated scale of research focus which centres individual experiences and concerns, and reappreciates female-coded cultural representation. Moreover, hidden culture has significance for policy and praxis, highlighting the need to reappraise policy design focused on institutional culture, revisit evaluation approaches which emphasise tangible cultural products over cultural production and consumption, and foregrounding the imperative of recognising and valuing everyday activities as culture.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Classroom Photographic Journeys: Alfred Hugh Fisher and the British Empire's Development of Colonial-era Visual Education
    (De Montfort University, 2021-09) Meneghini, Sabrina
    This thesis explores the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee’s (COVIC) conceptualization and use of photography in order to demonstrate the role played by the medium in structuring a visual framework for the imperial indoctrination of children in early twentieth-century Britain. It focuses on photographs made by Alfred Hugh Fisher, an artist photographer who was employed by COVIC between 1907 and 1910 to document the peoples and lands ruled by the British Empire. Fisher was the first and only photographer to have ever been employed by COVIC and many of his photographic images were used in this context for the production of lantern-slide lectures, dedicated for use in children’s geography lessons. In attending to Fisher’s production of visual materials for COVIC, the thesis, therefore, simultaneously reveals how COVIC modified its approach to the importance of photography in imperial education and how personal sensibilities inflected the educational narrative populated by the British Empire during the time period in question. Drawing on material from COVIC archive, the Fisher Photograph Collection, and the Herbert F. West Collection of Alfred Hugh Fisher, the study analyses the relationship between Fisher and COVIC to establish what particular circumstances and imperial desires have led to his employment by the Committee. Similarly, it investigates the impact COVIC aspired to exert on audiences of Fisher’s images through an investigation of the instructions Fisher received from his supervisor, renowned geographer Halford John Mackinder. Particular attention is given to COVIC’s use of lantern slides in its pedagogical approach to the dissemination of visual information, demonstrating how the Committee aimed to involve young learners in emotionally-charged, multi-sensory teaching and learning activities. A discussion of the legacy of Fisher’s work in light of new political debates after World War I brings the study to conclusion. By addressing the context in which Fisher produced his photographs and through consideration of their contents and deployment, the study stresses the complicated institutional and inter-personal structures that materialised the structure of COVIC’s imperial vision
  • ItemOpen Access
    Evolutionary Algorithms for Resource Allocation in Smart Grid
    (De Montfort University, 2023-02) Zheng, Zedong
    As an upgrade and development direction of the traditional grid, the smart grid provides a feasible solution for the global low-carbon targets. The smart grid's bidirectional communication architecture and decentralization control methods contribute to integrating distributed energy sources, energy storage equipment, and interaction or coordination between energy supply and demand. However, resource allocation and energy management are getting more complex due to the heterogeneous of various components, information, and data. At the same time, the penetration of massive electric vehicles generated by traffic electrification has significantly influenced the energy system. Implementing an appropriate strategy to orchestrate the interplay between the smart grid and energy consumers or devices will enhance the resource allocation and management of the energy system. Demand response has recently been proven a reliable management approach for energy systems integrating electric vehicles. In addition, the management decision of the energy system has always been a very complex optimisation problem. Choosing and implementing an appropriate optimisation technology can broaden the smart grid's management ideas and application effects. Therefore, this thesis is dedicated to designing proper energy management strategies and applying evolutionary algorithms in smart grid resource allocation and management. With the massive literature review and analysis, the research mainly focuses on the linkage management of microgrids and electric vehicles, and three specific management scenarios have been studied. Firstly, for the energy management of small microgrids, this paper proposes a novel energy management method, which not only considers the charging demand of electric vehicles parked in the area but also regards electric vehicles as expandable energy storage devices under direct control by the energy system. At the same time, when applying the evolutionary algorithm to search for optimal solutions, the working idea of combining with other strategies to improve the optimisation ability of the algorithm is analysed. Secondly, considering the differences in electricity prices, energy-consuming behaviours and service objectives in different regions, this paper proposes a new idea of using commuter electric vehicles as energy transfer devices for multi-region microgrids based on price demand responses to improve the performance of multiple energy systems. In this scenario, the main consideration in applying evolutionary algorithms is improving the algorithm's performance by adjusting algorithm parameters according to the actual case. Finally, this paper proposes an energy interactive management method to optimize the energy management of community microgrids by coordinating large-scale electric vehicles. In the first stage, the microgrid and electric vehicles freely handle their energy demand and make pre-scheduling plans; in the second stage, the energy supply and demand balance is maintained, and the economic costs of both energy system and electric vehicles owners are reduced through real-time data update and market interaction. In this case, evolutionary algorithms are used to find decision schemes for large-scale optimisation problems. The experimental results show that the evolutionary algorithm can effectively solve complex optimisation problems in the energy system, and the proposed energy system management method also shows its unique advantages.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring Rice Husk Ash As A Supplementary Cementitious Material And Its Impact On Building Energy Performance
    (De Montfort University, 2023-10) Onyenokporo, Nwakaego
    Global cement production is responsible for 5-7% of anthropogenic greenhouse gases produced annually and is one of the biggest contributors to the reduction of finite natural resources. This excessive production and utilisation of cement is currently considered unsustainable due to its negative impacts on the environment, especially with regard to climate change and its resulting effects. Alternative measures have been recommended to reduce the negative impact of cement production. One of these alternatives is the use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) for the partial replacement of cement in construction. Rice husks, an agricultural waste, are one of these SCMs and have been selected for this study due to the large quantities being produced in the study context and their ability to combine with hydrated cement to form compounds possessing cementing properties. In addition to rising global cement consumption and waste production, energy consumption is also rising. Building operations account for 55% of global energy consumption. As the building envelope is a major contributor to building energy performance, especially the external walls, its optimisation is therefore imperative to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. This research aimed to critically investigate the use of Nigerian rice husk ash as a supplementary cementitious material, its influence on the thermal properties of sandcrete blocks, and the resulting impact on building energy performance. A mix of methods, including observations, surveys (questionnaires and interviews), experimental investigation, and simulation study, were employed for this study to properly address each of the objectives set out. The results of the interviews and questionnaires served to provide evidence on the perceptions of householders and building professionals on the use of rice husk ash (RHA) and RHA blended blocks and also gather reasons for its low utilisation from building experts and researchers who have done similar studies. The environmental investigation included the production of RHA using rice husks from a major rice mill in Nigeria to justify rice husk ash as a suitable supplementary cementitious material for partial cement replacement. The production of the RHA masonry blocks followed, and tests were conducted in line with the research questions set out for this study to determine the effects of Nigerian rice husk ash on the physical and thermal properties of sandcrete blocks. Amorphous RHA was produced, which complied with the ASTM C618-19 standard for testing and utilisation of SCMs. Three variations of RHA block samples were then created for this investigation: RHA 5%, RHA 10%, and RHA 15%. For the three variations used, RHA15% recorded the best thermal performance when compared to the control sample. It recorded a U-value of 3.04 W/m2K. This was followed by the RHA10%, which recorded a U-value of 3.34 W/m2K. The average values for RHA5% did not record any significant difference in thermal properties when compared to the control sample, which had a U-value of 3.67 W/m2K. The building simulation results helped quantify the improvements to building energy performance from reuse of the rice waste using prototype buildings from the study context (a bungalow and a duplex/storey building). The largest improvement to the building fabric was recorded with the RHA15% blocks, which resulted in a 9.9% and 11.3% reduction in solar heat gains through the external walls for the bungalow and duplex/storey building, respectively. This led to a 6.55% and 4.2% reduction in cooling loads and a 4.1% and 2.8% reduction in CO2 emissions, respectively, for the bungalow and duplex/storey building. Furthermore, questionnaires and interviews revealed that participants would readily use the RHA blended blocks if they were inexpensive, strong enough for use, and blended well with other materials. The outcomes of this research will prove useful to householders, researchers, architects, and policymakers in their decision-making processes, and will be valuable in bridging the knowledge gap as well as introducing new methods that can be adopted for similar studies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Navigating Landscapes of Longing and Belonging: Dialogues of Capoeira and Welsh Folk Dance in Intercultural Performance
    (De Montfort University, 2023-07) Harrop, Angharad
    This thesis is an autoethnographic critical enquiry exploring the innovative methods and processes employed throughout Perguntas & Atebion (2011-2013), an intercultural practice research exchange project between artists from Wales and Brazil, that was co-led by myself, a Welsh dancer and choreographer and Brazilian musician and capoeirista, Ruan de Vargas. Perguntas & Atebion took place between Wales and Brazil with dancers, musicians and capoeiristas drawing upon their practices of capoeira and dawnsio gwerin (Welsh Folk Dance) to create intercultural performance. Facilitated by an interrogation of the creative and critical processes that supported the collaborators on Perguntas & Atebion to bring their embodied knowledge of these cultural art forms into dialogue, this thesis offers a new methodology for creating intercultural performance. Thus, this thesis aims to contribute to renewed interest in intercultural performance making and offers a significant contribution to the paucity of academic writings about capoeira and performance and dawnsio gwerin. The thesis distinctively works from the perspective of the artist providing insight from the lived experiences of the process. It proposes an approach that combines collaborative improvised practices, and reflective writing as a process of sense-making. In so doing, it creates an innovative approach to the processes of writing about dance practice. It also revisits written journal reflections from the period of practice research to consider the embodied insights from it within the context of wider discourse from a variety of fields including: dance studies (Midgelow 2011, Roche 2015); intercultural performance studies (Knowles 2010, Loukes 2016, Fischer-Lichte, 2014); dance and cultural studies (Rosa 2015); geography (Anderson 2010); Brazilian and Welsh history (Assunção 2005, Lile 1999). The chapters address: autoethnography as a research method; approaches to intercultural performance creation; the practices of capoeira and dawnsio gwerin and their historical parallels; notions of embodiment and identity, place, space and temporality, and belonging that arise from both practices of capoeira and dawnsio gwerin within the context of intercultural performance making. Key themes of saudade and hiraeth offer lenses through which presence and absence, and bringing the past into the present, are examined to frame our intercultural collaboration in the contexts of Brazilian and Welsh culture.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Joining Non-Signatory Third Parties to Arbitration Agreement with Particular Reference to Construction Disputes: Comparative Study Between England and Jordan (Lessons to Learn)
    (De Montfort University, 2023-05) Al-Maaiteh, Yazan
    This thesis conducts a comprehensive analysis of the regulations pertaining to the participation of third parties in arbitration proceedings as outlined in the Jordanian Arbitration Law No. 31 of 2001 and its subsequent amendment No. 16 of 2018. The objective of this research is to conduct a thorough evaluation of the intricacies and difficulties related to the enforcement of arbitration agreements on parties that have not signed them. This is a highly delicate and controversial matter within the present context of international arbitration. The research methodology employed in this thesis encompasses a thorough examination of comparative law and a doctrinal legal approach, drawing upon a diverse range of primary and secondary sources. Furthermore, this thesis examines the English and Welsh Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) as a comparative framework in order to identify potential approaches for Jordan to tackle the problem of non-signatory third-party participation in arbitration proceedings and effectively navigate around the doctrine of privity. In order to address these challenges, the thesis proposes the modification of the current national legislation, particularly the Arbitration Law of 2001. The proposed amendment seeks to explicitly acknowledge the possibility of third parties being obligated by arbitration agreements and engaging in the arbitration process, drawing inspiration from section 82(2) of the AA 1996. The proposed amendment aims to optimise the efficiency and efficacy of arbitration as a method of resolving disputes in Jordan. In summary, this thesis constitutes a noteworthy addition to the realm of international arbitration and dispute resolution. The thesis not only presents significant observations regarding the difficulties and intricacies of third-party engagement in arbitration within the context of Jordan, but also puts forth practical suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of arbitration as a means of resolving disputes that involve multiple parties across different legal jurisdictions. Given the similarities observed in the legal systems of Middle Eastern nations, it is plausible that the outcomes of this thesis could have broader implications beyond the specific context of Jordan. The primary objective of this thesis is to enhance the overall comprehension of third-party arbitration and make a valuable contribution to the advancement of more efficient and effective methods in the field of international arbitration.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Electromagnetic Risk Management for Dependability of Road Vehicles using Discrete Bayesian Networks
    (De Montfort University, 2023) Devaraj, Lokesh
    The analysis of functional safety, cybersecurity and other risks has become an integral part of the development of modern road vehicles, which are increasingly reliant on the correct functioning of lectrical/electronic/programmable electronic (E/E/PE) systems. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) originating from on-board and off-board radio frequency (RF) sources are well-known common cause of failures or malfunctions in E/E/PE systems. Although vehicle electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements take some account of safety issues, they are mainly concerned with interoperability and their separate and independent development means that they are not directly connected with the more recently developed interests in other dependability aspects e.g., cybersecurity. From the system assessor’s perspective, functional safety issues caused by EMI have mostly been believed to be handled by legislative EMC measures. However, this position is highly questionable for systems that contain new technologies that are not considered in existing EMC standards. A unified approach that enables EMC risk management for the wider aspects of vehicle resilience as well as for functional safety and cybersecurity would increase the efficiency of the additional analyses by promoting the sharing and reuse of information. Based on the identified challenges for adopting a risk-based EMC approach, the application of probabilistic graphical models called Bayesian network (BN) is proposed in this thesis for two main purposes. First, to graphically model the epistemic uncertainties considered for electromagnetic (EM) immunity risk assessment, second, to overcome the limitations of assessing EMI risks due to multiple disturbances that can be simultaneously present (multitone) in the system EM environment. Two new multi-causal effect prediction models are proposed in this thesis to predict the failure probability of E/E/PE systems due to multitone EMI. The proposed models are verified with experiments to have an enhanced prediction accuracy when compared to the existing models in literature.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring resilience in pre-registration undergraduate nursing students: A constructivist grounded theory study
    (De Montfort University, 2023-03) Welyczko, Nicola Ann
    Resilience has been posited as an important characteristic in nursing and identified as a key factor in managing stress, promoting wellbeing and reducing attrition in university students (USs). Despite this, resilience in the context of nurse education remains under-researched, particularly in the United Kingdom (UK). This study aimed to address this gap in extant knowledge and develop a more comprehensive understanding of resilience in UK undergraduate (UG) student nurses (SNs). A constructivist grounded theory (CGT) approach, underpinned by symbolic interactionism and social constructivism, was utilised to investigate how UG SNs in one UK university conceptualised resilience and to identify the factors that support and challenge it. Factors that co-created, sustained, and developed resilience in SNs were termed ‘constructs of resilience’ (CoR). Second-year student nurses (n=24) were interviewed using focus groups. Data were analysed by using initial, focussed, and theoretical coding, supported by constant comparative analysis and reflexivity. The analysis generated six key themes: the challenges of studying nursing; organisational belonging and connectedness; struggling to maintain balance; external CoR; internal CoR; and the components of resilience. Internal CoR that enhanced resilience included persevering, coping, prioritising, recognising and expressing, courage, balancing, bouncing back, accepting, and a passion for nursing. External factors were relational in nature and centred on the relationships students had with family, friends, peers, patients, mentors and academic staff. Two over-arching themes were found to be significant in SN resilience: connectedness and belonging; and positive relationships. A new definition and grounded theory of resilience in SNs are presented, contextualising resilience as a transactional constructivist concept. The Chain Theory of Resilience in Student Nurses (CTRSNs) evolved from synthesising the SN voice captured in this study with four existing theories Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979); salutogenesis (Antonovsky, 1979); Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) (Jordan, 2006); Ungar’s (2004) transactional constructivist approach to resilience and three concepts: co-creation; holism; and connectedness. The theoretical perspectives elicited from this study provide a novel insight into understanding resilience in SNs, presenting an original contribution to the extant knowledge base and an opportunity to further enhance resilience in SNs. The developed grounded theory offers a foundation for further research to explore and identify the CoR in other nurse education settings, both nationally and internationally. The model also has broader applicability to other disciplines, and settings, outside of nursing and higher education (HE).
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Footballer of African Heritage in Ireland (1948-2004): Migration, Identity, and Racism
    (De Montfort University, 2023-03) Redmond, Patrick Raphael
    This thesis aims to explore the African heritage footballer in Ireland over a period between 1948 and 2004. These dates correspond to the year that the first known footballer of African heritage played in the top two tiers of Irish soccer (1948), and the year that Ireland finally removed the universal right to Irish citizenship of anyone born in Ireland (2004). This thesis also adds to the limited historiography on both Irish soccer and Africans in Ireland: by introducing the African footballer in Ireland as a case study, it focuses on societal reactions to African-heritage people in Ireland as a whole, and the ‘hegemonic racism’ of the Irish government with regards to people of colour. The thesis explores African-heritage footballers in Ireland through the prisms of identity, migration and race, comparing their lives, careers and experiences with similar footballers elsewhere, principally in Britain. It investigates how well these footballers were received in a largely monocultural society and how they were able to move into situations of sporting leadership often denied in Britain, its colonies, and the United States. It also explores the complexities and ambiguities of Irish race-relations, especially with regards to its own historical intercourse with the African through Irish missionaries and Irish-America, and Black mixed heritage children born outside of marriage. Furthermore, this thesis highlights how international soccer in the Republic became one of the very few sporting organisations that manifested itself as a representative of state: it thus demonstrates how important ‘Black’ footballers, all born abroad and mostly growing up in the Irish diaspora rather than in Ireland, were to making soccer a popular sport throughout the Republic following Ireland’s qualification to major international tournaments from the 1988 onwards. This thesis examines the African-heritage footballer in Ireland through four different chapters, centring on a single footballing aspect of Irish soccer: the student from Africa, the footballer of African heritage from Ireland, the foreign import of African heritage, and finally the ‘Black’ Irish international representative born in the diaspora. It explores the vagaries and intricacies of each group and their relationship with the Irish state, as well as the reactions to them as footballers from the Irish public and press. This thesis contends ultimately that the ‘hegemonic racism’ of the Irish state was far more welcoming to African-heritage visitors than many other nations. But it also argues that it was harsh towards those African-heritage population permanently settled in the state: either those born out of wedlock in the 1950s and 1960s, or the African immigration that arrived after 1997.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ramadan Fasting during the COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on Young and Adult individuals with and without Type 2 Diabetes.
    (De Montfort University, 2022-12) Elmajnoun, Hala Khalifa Said
    Background: Many Muslims in the UK perform dawn-to-dusk fasting, with no food and water, for 29–30 days during the month of Ramadan. However, there has been no research regarding Ramadan fasting (RF) among young people in the UK, including children with type 2 diabetes (T2D), compared to adults with T2D. The COVID-19 pandemic created unique circumstances for fasting during Ramadan that have not been previously experienced in recent history. The quarantine restriction measures were associated with a significant impact on human health and lifestyle. The potential benefits or harms associated with fasting during a pandemic period have not been well investigated. Therefore, this thesis aimed to explore the impacts of RF on diet, physical activity, sleeping pattern, mental health, and glycaemic control among people with and without T2D during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020 and 2021) in the UK. Methods: Based on secondary/primary research approaches and descriptive quantitative research methods, three studies were undertaken. First, a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies was conducted to explore the impact of RF on glycaemic control in patients with T2D. The quality assessment was examined using the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) tool. RevMan software was used to conduct the metaanalysis. Second, a cross-sectional retrospective survey-based study examined the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ramadan 2020 among people with and without T2D aged 12-80 years old. The study was conducted in Muslim communities in the UK from November 2020 to February 2021. Third, a prospective, observational, cross over, pilot study investigated the effects of RF during the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young adults with T2D aged 12-24 years old. This study was conducted in three diabetes centres in the UK from March 2021 to June 2021. The COVID-19 restrictions created recruitment challenges, and face-to-face contact with the participants was not possible. Therefore, online questionnaire surveys were used to collect data before and after RF. SoGoSurvey software was used to design both retrospective and prospective questionnaires, and they were sent to the target age group, which planned to fast during Ramadan for a minimum of 10 days. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS, and FFQ EPIC Tool for Analysis (FETA) software was used to determine the intake of different nutrients. Ethical approvals were obtained from the Health Research Authority (HRA) and the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Research Ethics Committee (EREC) at De Montfort University. Results: The systematic review included 5,554 participants, comprising 54% males and 46% females. The pooled analysis showed that HbA1c and FBG significantly decreased after RF compared to the pre-fasting stage, with WMD = 0.55 mg/dl, CI: 0.33-0.77, P < 0.00001, Ι2 = 93%, and WMD = 12.42, CI: 6.46-18.38, P < 0.0001, Ι2 = 81%, respectively. However, a non-significant difference was observed in body weight in fasting patients after RF compared to the pre-fasting stage. Although, the 12 selected studies contained young adults with T2D, studies that solely focused on this group were not identified. In the retrospective study, eighty-one participants, including 49 females (aged 12-51) and 32 males (aged 13-65), were enrolled. The vast majority of the participants are healthy individuals, and 4 participants with T2D were recruited. In addition, 52 participants, including children (4 out of 11) and individuals with T2D (2 out of 4), fasted the whole month of Ramadan 2020. The diet pattern was balanced with good consumption of fruit and vegetables, with a slight increase in carbohydrate and protein intake compared to the recommended levels. There was evidence of a relationship between weight gain and eating desserts (X2 = 27.187, P = 0.026). The sleeping pattern varied, and most people were physically inactive. This was significantly associated with the reported impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on body weight in Ramadan 2020 (X2= 26.749, P = <0.001). Furthermore, there was strong evidence of a relationship between the reported less physical activity and the COVID-19 associated mental health problems (Χ² =37.530, P = <0.001). In the prospective study, 9 participants with T2D, including 7 females and 2 males aged from 14-22 years old (mean age 17±3) with no comorbidities, fasted safely during Ramadan 2021. The glucose parameters, including HbA1c (P = 0.715), weight (P = 0.343), and body mass index (BMI) (P = 0.249) did not change after Ramadan. Most participants (N=8) were less active during fasting, and a sleeping pattern was reported (N=4) to be fairly bad. However, RF was associated with increased consumption of healthy food and decreased consumption of sugary 3 drinks. The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with weight gain, decreased consumption of healthy food, and deterioration in mental health (depression and anxiety). However, this improved during fasting, and no weight gain was reported. Conclusion: This is the first research study to provide evidence that some young people, including children in the UK, including those with T2D, fasted the whole month of Ramadan with no comorbidities. This study reported that fasting during the COVID-19 pandemic was not stressful, and the diet pattern was balanced, with improvement in mental health in patients with T2D in particular. However, restrictions on physical activity were associated with negative impacts on body weight and mental health in some people. A meta-analysis study revealed that RF improves glycaemic control in adults with T2D. In the future, much bigger studies are necessary to determine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people with T2D. This could be done through retrospective data from patients in hospitals and medical centres, especially in terms of their adherence to medication, diet, and physical activities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘Let Us Compare Mythologies’ or Raising Hell?: Rebellious Actors in 1960s British Cinema
    (De Montfort University, 2023-02) Langhorst, Caroline
    This PhD thesis undertakes an interdisciplinary investigation that seeks to integrate star, gender and theatre and performance studies with a cultural history perspective on post-war British screen actors. Starting with actors associated with the Angry Young Man generation and the British New Wave, the project conducts several comparative analyses of ‘rebellious’ male actors through four main case studies (Richard Burton, Patrick McGoohan, Dirk Bogarde and Terence Stamp). The thesis aims to discover how gendered forms of 1960s transgression are rehearsed through specific onscreen performances and star personae. It charts how certain male actors came to prominence in unconventional screen roles in British cinema of the ‘long 1960s’ and how their performances and star images helped construct discourses around new kinds of deviant masculinity. Key actors have been identified as ‘zeitgeist icon’ stars (Shingler, 2012:150; Gaffney and Holmes, 2007:1) who embody the tensions in British culture of the time and articulate changes in codes of masculinity in response to the emergence of the so-called ‘affluent’, ‘permissive society’, its related consumerism, liberal attitudes towards sexuality and an ambivalent countercultural mindset that was marked by a rebellious, anti-authoritarian stance. By juxtaposing selected rebellious male actors from different backgrounds in terms of star images, role repertoires and performance styles in key films, this PhD presents a critical interrogation of the relationship between British cinema and codes of masculinity during the ‘long 1960s’ that endeavours to question and deconstruct clichéd narratives about the affluent, permissive society, Swinging London and the counterculture. From this analysis, which showcases an evolution of male screen acting styles towards more non-verbal, physical modes of acting, the thesis argues that it is possible to consider acting styles as periodised and as embodying broader sociocultural transformations of the era.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Engineering Biomaterials using Quality by Design for the delivery of Ibuprofen for use in Cardiovascular therapy
    (De Montfort University, 2022-08) Yousef, Bushra
    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide representing 32% of global deaths in 2019 alone. This percentage has been steadily rising. Pharmaceutically, many strategies have been implemented worldwide to help fight the consequences of this disease, such as polymer heart patches and pacemakers. Treatment of damaged tissue may involve the delivery of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medicines to target damaged areas. However, challenges arise as these medications present as poorly water-soluble, limiting the options available for treatment of the damaged tissue. Strategies such as spray drying, solvent evaporation and encapsulation of these drugs have been previously implemented to overcome present limitations. In this thesis, Ibuprofen drug was loaded into two types of mesoporous silica (MCM-48 and MCM-41) via Electrohydrodynamic atomisation (EHDA). The Quality by Design (QBD) process was carried out prior to loading in order to identify optimum parameters (flow rate, voltage, distance from the needle to the platform) in the EHDA technique. All formulations were found to hold ideal viscosity, surface tension and electrical conductivity values and were then carried out to investigate the effect of the technique on the physicochemical properties (entrapment efficiency, uniformity of morphology and size, permeability, dissolution, crystallinity and thermal behavior) of the particles produced. It was found that uniform morphology and size of the silica particles were obtained at a flow rate range of 30-35 µm/min and a voltage range of 18-23(KV) Following this, these ibuprofen loaded mesoporous silica particles were then encapsulated in PLGA using the coaxial EHDA method with an aim to sustain the release of the drug from the pores of the silixa. It was concluded from TGA and XRD analysis that the ibuprofen drug was successfully encapsulated in a complete amorphous form into the mesoporous silica pores via XRD analysis. It was found that using EHDA resulted in dissolution rates 3.8 folds higher compared to the raw crystalline form of the drug, taking the original 17% release in 24 hours to a maximum of 73% in 24 hours. It was also concluded that the encapsulation in PLGA resulted in a 2 fold dissolution in comparison to the loaded mesoporous silica alone, resulting in a maximum of around 50% in 24 hours. QBD was then used a second time to identify optimum parameters in the formulation of PVA-PVP-GLY polymer films. The physicochemical properties were then investigated as in previous chapters. It was found that the films presented excellent flexibility, uniform topography, and ideal swelling properties. Furthermore, both the tensile strength and contact angle results demonstrate an ideal film for use in drug delivery. Finally, these encapsulated particles previously created were then loaded onto these films using single needle EHDA at the optimum ranges identified previously and their physicochemical properties were them investigated again in order to see if desirable results had been met. These included XRD, DSC, Tensile strength, flexibility, TGA,FTIR and Invitro drug release. It was concluded that successful loading of the encapsulated loaded silica onto the polymer film had taken place via EHDA. Furthermore, an amorphous state was maintained for both the film and the encapsulated ibuprofen loaded silica particles. This was confirmed using multiple characterization methods such as XRD, DSC and TGA. This displays the potential of this drug delivery system in tissue regeneration and targeted drug delivery treatments.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An investigation of bioremediation for the conservation of petroleum-contaminated stone monuments
    (De Montfort University, 2005-04) Kliafa, Maria
    Today, great effort is made for the protection of cultural heritage. Natural or anthropogenic factors decrease the conservation condition of the cultural artefacts, while their protection and survival mainly depends on political, financial, and technological issues. This project concerns the influence of the environmental pollution on cultural heritage and focuses on the potential effect of chronic petroleum hydrocarbon ground leakage on the subterranean parts of stone monuments. Bibliographic research revealed that there are many references on the effect of air pollution on building stone. However, research has not been expanded to the field of underground pollution in relation to the condition of the stone. Thus, the sources of petroleum pollution are presented, the paths of migration to the monument, the physical phenomena concerning the entrance of such pollution into the pores of the stone, as well as its potential movement in the porous net. The main effort was to assess the protection of a monument subjected to chronic petroleum pollution, by reducing the pollutant content of the stone. The existing methodologies on the reduction of hydrocarbon content in soil and groundwater were assessed, and criteria were set for a remediation method applicable to the treatment of the foundations of stone monuments. The method identified as most appropriate was bioventing, which is the use of air to stimulate indigenous microorganisms that have the ability to transform petroleum hydrocarbons into harmless by-products. Three types of limestone (grey-, marly-, and sandy-) were shown to be significantly weakened by a non-immiscible mixture of water and petroleum hydrocarbons when present in the pores of the stone. The bioventing treatment was shown to reduce the hydrocarbon content of the stone by 75% after a 60-day treatment. The rate of biodegradation achieved was 30 times higher than when no treatment was administered. Recommendations on future management and conservation policies of stone monuments are given.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “A sticking plaster over a burst artery” An explanatory theory of moral distress: Frontline workers experience of supporting rough sleepers with a mental illness through austerity, welfare reform and the COVID-19 pandemic.
    (De Montfort University, 2023-08) Hall, Victoria
    For a decade, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline homelessness workers in England have worked within national and local policies of welfare reform and austerity, within which there was a major cut to public spending. After the COVID-19 outbreak frontline workers began working within policies relating to the pandemic and homelessness. There is little empirical research on how these policies have impacted frontline workers who support rough sleepers with a mental illness as previous research focuses on people experiencing homelessness and/or mental illness during austerity and welfare reform, rather than the experience of the frontline homelessness worker. The purpose of this empirical research was to explore the experiences of homelessness frontline workers supporting rough sleepers with a mental illness post austerity, welfare reform and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Midlands geographical area. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, ten frontline workers, who worked within a variety of statutory and third sector organisations, took part in sixteen semi-structured interviews. The study offers an explanation of how working within welfare reform, austerity and COVID-19 has affected frontline workers who support rough sleepers with a mental illness. An explanatory theory of moral distress was co-constructed with the research participants. The frontline workers worked within disconnected systems across, housing, health, social care and the department of work and pensions, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating this. They were frequently restricted in supporting their service users as they saw fit. This caused them to experience moral distress. The findings have significance going forward as due to the cost-of-living crisis, homelessness may increase, and planned cuts to public services will put additional pressure across housing, health, and social care services, which in turn will impact on homelessness organisations and frontline workers in the sector. If this does occur without any increase to funding to homelessness and mental health services, along with changes to policy and legislation, frontline workers will be under even higher risk of experiencing moral distress.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Educare, Educere and Enterprise Education in schools. A case study approach to identifying effective policy initiatives to prepare young people and their teachers for an entrepreneurial future.
    (De Montfort University, 2023) Hoare, Malcolm
    This submission reflects on my publications as a university researcher, and former teacher, from 2000 to 2020 , during which time enterprise education in schools across much of Europe saw a significant increase in interest and engagement from the teaching profession and school leaders , supported by a commitment of substantial funding from regional, national and European agencies.Enterprise Education was to be developed as an entitlement for all pupils and as an integral part of a broader commitment to a more entrepreneurial economy. English schools were initially at the forefront of this development, at least until 2010 when the commitment to national coverage was amended, and some would say, watered down, to target ‘priority areas’.The funding available was also considerably reduced. My research work from 2010 onwards largely focused on developments in Europe and beyond, collaborating with colleagues at both the European Commission and OECD and working with the Ministry of Education in Helsinki. It became apparent that enterprise education in schools was an under researched area, certainly in England, falling as it did between the two stools of Business Schools ,focused largely on higher education programmes and Education faculties concerned essentially only with national curriculum subject coverage. My research also required me to revisit the fundamental debate about the nature of education – to mould (educare) or to guide or draw out ( educere) ? If we mould we can employ didactic techniques to transfer knowledge. If we guide, we have to create a supportive environment in which the learner can take more control of their own development. The power relationships of teachers vis a vis learners are diametrically opposed for each approach and the implications for professional development are also profound. The focus shifts from ‘what should we teach‘ to ‘how should we deliver’. Pedagogy takes precedence over curriculum development. And all at a time when there is also a call from some for a more ‘back to basics’ approach to school education.How then might a quality framework for enterprise education in schools have to structured to impact on the task of professionals tasked with introducing and developing this government initiative? The research centre where I was based successfully bid for a range of enterprise education research projects and the findings consistently showed that the teaching profession and school leadership teams in particular were struggling with a) what constituted good quality enterprise education and b) how to implement enterprise education programmes which could realistically deliver on their aspirations. This submission charts the development of a Quality Framework for Enterprise Education (Hoare,2011) which the profession could use to support the review of their existing provision and to guide future development. All of the development process was research led, with reference to current research findings to ensure the validity and applicability of the developed framework. Revisiting this evidence has been a salutary experience, realising that the English school system, once a beacon of good practice in enterprise education, has experienced a rapid decline in dedicated provision and ,consequently, practitioner expertise.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An Exploratory Study of Lived Experiences of Black African Highly Qualified, Highly Skilled Migrant Women’s Career Mobility in England’s Public Sector Organisations
    (De Montfort University, 2022-11) Chitembo, Amina Chapopa
    This qualitative research explores how Black African Highly Qualified Highly Skilled Migrant (HQHSM) women's lived experiences have influenced their identities and likelihood of attaining leadership roles in England’s public sector organisations. Social identity, self-categorisation, and personal identity theories, fused with intersectionality, were employed as lenses for examination. Applying these lenses holistically expanded the contextual views of multiple identities interplaying as the participants experienced juxtaposition of supposed privilege (having a job unlike other migrant groups) and disadvantage (career progression challenges), paying attention to social group re-socialisation, identity meaning-making and reconstruction as drivers for career trajectories. It focused on illuminating the participants’ journeys, from restricted stay visa holders to British citizens (acquiring similar rights and freedoms as natives). Through an interpretivist epistemology and constructivist ontology, semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty-one first-generation Black African HQHSM women in public sector organisations in England. Thereafter, a reflexive Thematic Analysis (TA) was conducted, which revealed three career trajectories that resulted from how the women responded to their challenges. The three trajectories revealed were: (1) Self-inclusion into leadership advancement to more senior roles, (2) Entrepreneurial orientation, and (3) Tactical disengagement. The research found that though the precarious conditions in the early days became the source of camaraderie and strength, the women’s’ sense of self and personal identity reconstruction eventually influenced their trajectory. This research contributes to the extension of the social identity approach; i.e., Social Identity Theory (SIT), Self-Categorisation Theory (SCT) and personal identity theory, to foreground how Black African women have navigated the challenges and intersecting identities they were assigned upon their arrival in the UK, and their experiences in organisations in which prior research indicated they were more likely to be deskilled, despite their high qualifications and skills. Additionally, it contributes to scholarship on the impact of international recruitment on the careers of Global South employees. Furthermore, it acts as a catalyst for more leadership and organisational studies researchers to examine this group's career progression and self-inclusion into leadership positions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Breadboarding as a Musical Practice
    (De Montfort University, 2023-07) Frize, James Michael
    Breadboarding is an essential part of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) electronic music. It is often used to investigate, test or refine a design prior to the construction of a finished instrument. It is part of a well-established design process that is often regarded as a stepping-stone or means to an end, and breadboard-based prototypes are generally not viewed as practical or complete instruments in their own right. Instead, they are viewed as fiddly and imprecise, with their intermittent connections and delicately mounted controls. Despite these, and other shortcomings, breadboard-based instruments have a number of features and affordances that make them worthy of exploration as legitimate musical instruments. Furthermore, the practice of breadboarding can be seen as an act of musical composition or performance. This thesis sets out to define and defend a domain that I will refer to as breadboard music. I will also present an appropriate framework or set of strategies, including the underpinning logic and philosophy behind them. The research undertaken is practice-related and uses empirical and iterative processes to derive new knowledge and understanding of breadboard music and DIY electronic music. I refer to the research as practice-related because it is both practice-based and practice-led; as well as presenting a framework developed through the practice of creative breadboarding, I will also present a series of original artefacts in the form of creative works. To conclude, I explore the limitations of black box devices and the importance of breadboarding and experimentation as a means to combat the shortcomings of such designs. I postulate that despite advancements in technology, breadboarding will continue to remain relevant as a creative musical practice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Smart and Secure Augmented Reality for Assisted Living
    (De Montfort University, 2022-12) Machado, Eduardo
    Augmented reality (AR) is one of the biggest technology trends which enables people to see the real-life surrounding environment with a layer of virtual information overlaid on it. Assistive devices use this match of information to help people better understand the environment and consequently be more efficient. Specially, AR has been extremely useful in the area of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). AR-based AAL solutions are designed to support people in maintaining their autonomy and compensate for slight physical and mental restrictions by instructing them on everyday tasks. The discovery of visual attention for assistive aims is a big challenge since in dynamic cluttered environments objects are constantly overlapped and partial object occlusion is also frequent. Current solutions use egocentric object recognition techniques. However, the lack of accuracy affects the system's ability to predict users’ needs and consequently provide them with the proper support. Another issue is the manner that sensitive data is treated. This highly private information is crucial for improving the quality of healthcare services. However, current blockchain approaches are used only as a permission management system, while the data is still stored locally. As a result, there is a potential risk of security breaches. Privacy risk in the blockchain domain is also a concern. As major investigation tackles privacy issues based on off-chain approaches, there is a lack of effective solutions for providing on-chain data privacy. Finally, the Blockchain size has been shown to be a limiting factor even for chains that store simple transactional data, much less the massive blocks that would be required for storing medical imaging studies. To tackle the aforementioned major issues, this research proposes a framework to provide a smarter and more secure AR-based solution for AAL. Firstly, a combination of head-worn eye-trackers cameras with egocentric video is designed to improve the accuracy of visual attention object recognition in free-living settings. A heuristic function is designed to generate a probability estimation of visual attention over objects within an egocentric video. Secondly, a novel methodology for the storage of large sensitive AR-based AAL data is introduced in a decentralized fashion. By leveraging the power of the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) protocol to tackle the lack of storage issue in the Blockchain. Meanwhile, a blockchain solution on the Secret Network blockchain is developed to tackle the existent lack of privacy on smart contracts, which provides data privacy at both transactional and computational levels. In addition, is included a new off-chain solution encapsulates a governing body for permission management purposes to solve the problem of the lost or eventual theft of private keys. Based on the research findings, that visual attention-object detection approach is applicable to cluttered environments which presents a transcend performance compared to the current methods. This study also produced an egocentric indoor dataset annotated with human fixation during natural exploration in a cluttered environment. Comparing to previous works, this dataset is more realistic because it was recorded in real settings with variations in terms of objects overlapping regions and object sizes. With respect to the novel decentralized storage methodology, results indicate that sensitive data can be stored and queried efficiently using the Secret Network blockchain. The proposed approach achieves both computational and transactional privacy with significantly less cost. Additionally, this approach mitigates the risk of permanent loss of access to the patient on-chain data records. The proposed framework can be applied as an assistive technology in a wide range of sectors that requires AR-based solution with high-precision visual-attention object detection, efficient data access, high-integrity data storage and full data privacy and security.