Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Mediterranean Related Abstracts

4 Networked Media, Citizen Journalism and Political Participation in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia: Insight from a European Research Project

Authors: Andrea Miconi

Abstract:

The research will focus on the results of the Tempus European Project eMEDia dedicated to Cross-Media Journalism. The project is founded by the European Commission as it involves four European partners - IULM University, Tampere University, University of Barcelona, and the Mediterranean network Unimed - and three Tunisian Universities – IPSI La Manouba, Sfax and Sousse – along with the Tunisian Ministry for Higher Education and the National Syndicate of Journalists. The focus on Tunisian condition is basically due to the role played by digital activists in its recent history. The research is dedicated to the relationship between political participation, news-making practices and the spread of social media, as it is affecting Tunisian society. As we know, Tunisia during the Arab Spring had been widely considered as a laboratory for the analysis the use of new technologies for political participation. Nonetheless, the literature about the Arab Spring actually fell short in explaining the genesis of the phenomenon, on the one hand by isolating technologies as a casual factor in the spread of demonstrations, and on the other by analyzing North-African condition through a biased perspective. Nowadays, it is interesting to focus on the consolidation of the information environment three years after the uprisings. And what is relevant, only a close, in-depth analysis of Tunisian society is able to provide an explanation of its history, and namely of the part of digital media in the overall evolution of political system. That is why the research is based on different methodologies: desk stage, interviews, and in-depth analysis of communication practices. Networked journalism is the condition determined by the technological innovation on news-making activities: a condition upon which professional journalist can no longer be considered the only player in the information arena, and a new skill must be developed. Along with democratization, nonetheless, the so-called citizen journalism is also likely to produce some ambiguous effects, such as the lack of professional standards and the spread of information cascades, which may prove to be particularly dangerous in an evolving media market as the Tunisian one. This is why, according to the project, a new profile must be defined, which is able to manage this new condition, and which can be hardly reduced to the parameters of traditional journalistic work. Rather than simply using new devices for news visualization, communication professionals must also be able to dialogue with all new players and to accept the decentralized nature of digital environments. This networked nature of news-making seemed to emerge during the Tunisian revolution, when bloggers, journalists, and activists used to retweet each other. Nonetheless, this intensification of communication exchange was inspired by the political climax of the uprising, while all media, by definition, are also supposed to bring some effects on people’s state of mind, culture and daily life routines. That is why it is worth analyzing the consolidation of these practices in a normal, post-revolutionary situation.

Keywords: Education, Social Media, Tunisia, cross-media, Mediterranean, networked journalism

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3 Neural Networks Based Prediction of Long Term Rainfall: Nine Pilot Study Zones over the Mediterranean Basin

Authors: Racha El Kadiri, Mohamed Sultan, Henrique Momm, Zachary Blair, Rachel Schultz, Tamer Al-Bayoumi

Abstract:

The Mediterranean Basin is a very diverse region of nationalities and climate zones, with a strong dependence on agricultural activities. Predicting long term (with a lead of 1 to 12 months) rainfall, and future droughts could contribute in a sustainable management of water resources and economical activities. In this study, an integrated approach was adopted to construct predictive tools with lead times of 0 to 12 months to forecast rainfall amounts over nine subzones of the Mediterranean Basin region. The following steps were conducted: (1) acquire, assess and intercorrelate temporal remote sensing-based rainfall products (e.g. The CPC Merged Analysis of Precipitation [CMAP]) throughout the investigation period (1979 to 2016), (2) acquire and assess monthly values for all of the climatic indices influencing the regional and global climatic patterns (e.g., Northern Atlantic Oscillation [NOI], Southern Oscillation Index [SOI], and Tropical North Atlantic Index [TNA]); (3) delineate homogenous climatic regions and select nine pilot study zones, (4) apply data mining methods (e.g. neural networks, principal component analyses) to extract relationships between the observed rainfall and the controlling factors (i.e. climatic indices with multiple lead-time periods) and (5) use the constructed predictive tools to forecast monthly rainfall and dry and wet periods. Preliminary results indicate that rainfall and dry/wet periods were successfully predicted with lead zones of 0 to 12 months using the adopted methodology, and that the approach is more accurately applicable in the southern Mediterranean region.

Keywords: Neural Networks, Rainfall, Mediterranean, climatic indices

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2 Italian Colonial Strategy in Libya and the Conflict of Super Powers

Authors: Mohamed Basheer Abdul Atti Hassan

Abstract:

This research paper will follow the main outlines of the Italian colonization in Libya in a historical geopolitical approach; before we reach the contemporary map. In this study, we are also concerned with following the chain's links, not as drama in time, but as a strategy in place, so that it draws to us a map of power and the distribution of political formations throughout this period within and around Libya. From the sum of these variable distributions and successive balances, we can come up with the basic principles that determined the Italian history in Libya and formed its political entity, which is a compass of guidance and an indication of the future.

Keywords: Conflict, colonization, Political History, Mediterranean

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1 China’s Grand Strategy and Greece

Authors: Alexandra Doga, Andreas Lioumpas, Sotiris Petropoulos

Abstract:

This paper assesses China-Greece relations since 2006, examining them as part of China’s Grand Strategy and Greece’s perception of them. Τhe first aim of the paper is to provide an overview of China-Greece relations in connection with its long- and short-term goals. In essence, it focuses on understanding whether a Chinese grand strategy towards Greece exists. Secondly, it aims to examine the perception of Greeks over China’s foreign policy towards Greece. The intended contribution of the paper is to illustrate the response of national discourses over China’s increased presence in both the global sphere and specific countries in particular. This paper is based on qualitative analysis of secondary data as well as a thorough primary research scheme based on semi-structured interviews. The study made use of official Chinese government documents as well as academic journal articles and books. Local news outlets like newspapers provide data, and news surrounding Greece’s perception of China-Greece relations were also included. Moreover, a number of interviews of Greek officials, academics, journalists, and businessmen were conducted. This paper concluded that the period that began with the 2006 Joint Communiqué between China and Greece on the Establishment of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has been one of the rapid strengthening of bilateral economic and political relations and frequent high-level visits. There are diverging/opposing views on whether China’s strategic choices towards Greece form part of a broader strategic approach and on whether this strategy is closely connected to the BRI initiative and its priorities.

Keywords: China, Greece, grand strategy, Mediterranean, BRI, COSCO, Piraeus Port

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