Brief reviews of the journals:
In the current September issue of Linguistica Uralica, Niklas Metsäranta from the University of Helsinki writes about Uralic kinship terminology: “’Sister’, ’daughter’ and ’brother’ – etymological discussion of a few borrowed Uralic kinship terms”. The background of his research is the interdisciplinary Kone funded project KINURA, which studies the evolution of kinship relations and contacts of Uralic speaking populations. In the current study, the Indo-European origin of the words for ‘sister’ (e.g. in Erzya sazor ’younger sister’), ‘brother’ (e.g. in Finnish veli ’brother’), and ‘daughter’ (e.g. in Estonian tütar ’daughter’) are discussed in detail. The etymological relationship of these words can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Metsäranta untangles this multitude and provides the most probable scenario for whence the words have entered the lexicons of the Uralic languages in question. He pays equal attention to phonology and semantics, focusing on the relative chronology of the loanwords.
The new issue of Oil Shale contains five articles with authors from three countries (China, Estonia and Kazakhstan). The articles “Selection of favourable targets for the in-situ conversion of continental oil shale in China” and “Numerical simulation and optimization of the in-situ heating and cracking process of oil shale” deal with the conversion of oil shale using in-situ methods. The article “The Lille-Blokker model – an excellent tool to describe the structure of kukersite” is certainly of considerable interest. The structure of kukersite organic matter has been a matter of scientific investigation and disputes over a hundred years, but the authors show that kukersite is well described by a model proposed independently by Ülo Lille and Peter Blokker at the beginning of this millennium. However, knowing the structure of oil shale predicts the behaviour of oil shale kerogen in oxidation and other chemical transformations.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ESTONIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
The September 2023 issue of the Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences is dedicated to the international interdisciplinary conference “Empowerment of Public Health, Health Care and Wellbeing – Education, Research, and Practice” held on 10 November 2022 in Tallinn. The issue consists of 17 articles by Estonian and foreign authors from the field of health and well-being, which were presented at the conference as oral presentations.
The special issue focuses on several important topics, such as patient health and well-being, chronic illness management and prevention, care coordination, mental health, health care management, health care training, advance practise nursing, occupational health care, and work culture.
Although the average life expectancy in Estonia is increasing, the number of healthy years has remained at the same level. In other words, the population is living longer, but sicker. The prevalence of chronic diseases is on the rise, which is due to both risk behaviour and unhealthy lifestyles, which are more common in Estonia than in Europe on average. The interdisciplinary team has a unique opportunity to influence the patient by empowering them to take responsibility for their own health and health behaviours. Proactive management affects the patient’s health outcomes, improves the quality of life and satisfaction with the healthcare service received. Quality assurance of healthcare services is based on qualified and competent personnel oriented to teamwork.
TRAMES. A JOURNAL OF THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
The latest edition of Trames (2023, No. 3) delves into the dynamic partnership between Europe and Japan. Within its pages, readers will encounter a collection of seven articles, each shedding light on distinct dimensions of the European-Japanese relationship.
In the introduction piece, Patrik Ström from the European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics, and Maaja Vadi from the University of Tartu expound upon three perspectives that form a thematic framework for the subsequent six articles. These perspectives delineate thematic clusters encompassing geoeconomic and geopolitical viewpoints, international relations, as well as sustainability and the green economy. These thematic clusters accentuate collaborative opportunities and offer insights into the synergy achievable through combined efforts between Europe and Japan.
Bart Gaens, affiliated with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, meticulously examines how the European Union and Japan are endeavouring to present an alternative model to China’s political and economic initiatives. This article reveals the intricacies of connectivity and underscores its interplay with geopolitics. The concept of connectivity serves as the cornerstone for both cooperation and competition, spotlighting the significance of synergy, complementarity, and shared interests within the context of European-Japanese relations. Additionally, Gaens constructs an analytical framework comprising six key elements, all rooted in the concept of connectivity.
The article by Erja Kettunen from the University of Turku and Claes G. Alvstam from the University of Gothenburg delves into the realm of European business barriers – ranging from formal barriers like tariffs to informal ones such as social norms – confronted within Japan. The focus lies on the period preceding and following the establishment of the European Union–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. This article brings to the fore crucial issues from a Japanese perspective. Insights gathered from expert interviews and diverse sources underscore that the realization of the Economic Partnership Agreement has encountered slower progress than anticipated, owing to a combination of formal and informal obstacles.
Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, affiliated with the University of Iceland, provides a comprehensive analysis of Nordic cooperation with an emphasis on initiatives targeting Japan. The research probes into the practical implementation of joint endeavours and uncovers varied processes and methodologies within Nordic collaboration. The triumph of these collective initiatives validates the feasibility of realizing Nordic cooperation in a practical context.
Marco Zappa from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice undertakes an evaluation of the transformation of urbanization and energy production and distribution systems into more sustainable entities, following seismic events in both Japan and Italy. This transformation is analysed through the application of the ‘smart city’ concept. The article shows how the notion of a smart city serves as a catalyst for cross-sector cooperation and highlights the key facets that warrant careful consideration to align outcomes with stakeholder expectations and endeavours.
Kie Sanada from the European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics, conducts a thorough analysis of the policy implementations pertaining to the smart city concept in both Japan and the European Union. The article elucidates the common ground shared by the European Union and Japan in their approach to smart cities. Convergences are observed in elements such as decentralized administration and financial strategies tied to regional policy measures. Sanada posits that these mechanisms inadvertently amplify domestic regional inequalities, with neoliberalism serving as a rationale for such disparities.
Oana-Maria Bîrlea from Babeș-Bolyai University dissects the evolution of Japanese advertising post-World War II, as it gravitated towards the utilization of ‘soft power’. This transformation was driven by a complex set of values, which also impacted the development of export capacity. Central to this analysis is the exploration of the concept of kawaii, an amalgamation of diverse values encompassing nostalgia, vulnerability, cuteness, innocence and purity, among others. The article provides illustrative examples that unravel the triggers and propagation process of this cultural phenomenon.