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Vol 2013 no 2

Religion || Education || Public Issues

Critical Public Issues

Coping Mechanisms of Nigerian Women Balancing Motherhood and Managerial Roles
Amao-Kehinde Atinuke and Amao-Kehinde Adesola, Federal College of Education, Lagos

Background Information
Undeniably, the participation of women in the labour force is now a global phenomenon that has developed significantly over the past several decades such that majority of women including those with toddlers now work as paid labour in previously male dominated jobs especially in the field of management (Kroska, 2004). Jenson, Hagen and Reddy (1988) referred to this trend as the ‘feminization of the labour force’. Casale (2004) recently noted that the percentage of economically active women in the labour market is on a steady rise, as more women are becoming more career oriented and are seeking higher education qualification. In addition, Davidson and Burke (2004) identified a number of changes as providing an impetus for an increase in the number of women entering managerial and professional careers. These include industrialization of world economies, modification of societal attitudes towards the career woman (especially those with children), growth within the public sector, expansion of financial services and a shift from manufacturing to service sector (Davidson & Burke, 2004). Given that these women are often always mothers, it is most likely that they would wrestle more with the issue of Work Life Balance (WLB) than their male counter parts or husbands. This has triggered concerns bordering on the balanced commitment of women to work and their personal life (i.e. WLB).

Bretton Woods Twins and the Odious Debts of Poor Countries    
Kema Irogbe, Professor of Political Science,  Claflin University
The economies of most of the underdeveloped countries have greatly been influenced by the World Bank and the IMF that imposed structural adjustment programs in order to make it possible for the repayment of odious debts.  The austerity measures often include cuts in health, education and other social services as well as liberalization and privatization that cause   enormous hardship on the vast majority in the periphery.  Yet, the World Bank’s motto remains: “Our dream is a world without poverty.”  Do the operations of the Bank contribute to that imperative? Are the IMF and the World Bank accelerating prosperity for some countries and accentuating poverty for others?  Whose interest do they serve?

Applying an aggregate of empirical evidence and logical plausibility, it is argued in this paper that the IMF and the World Bank immensely contribute to poverty and backwardness in a number of the poor countries due to the prescribed structural adjustment programs and the odious debts.  In doing so, the study has examined the operations of the Bretton Woods’ financial institutions in selected countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and concluded that the most viable alternative to the institutions is the establishment of regional rather than global banks for addressing the needs of the marginalized countries.  



Foreign Policy Dialectics: Realism in International Politics
Kunirum Osia, Professor, Department of Applied Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling Coppin State University
The discipline of International Relations has been largely based on two fundamental assumptions: first, that there is a basic distinction between domestic and international forms of governance; second, that it is possible to derive broad explanations of patterns of behavior of nation-states from this distinction (Griffiths 1992, ix). These theoretical assumptions form the core of the ‘realist’ tradition in the field. Realism sees state behavior as sufficient unto itself for the purposes of explanatory and normative justification. Our premise is that political realism is immutable irrespective of the times and circumstances in which it is invoked.
            Our purpose is to find out whether two distinct United States foreign policy pronouncements made by two presidents decades apart, were dictated by ‘political realism’ or by ‘political idealism’. President Truman’s 1945 proclamation about United States’ sovereignty over the continental shelf and George W. Bush’s declaration about Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction gave validity to the use or invocation of ‘political realism’ as justification for action.
Our method will utilize content analysis of available data which would provide comparative perspectives on the actions of two presidents at two different times. We will review the literature on realism. We will define realism as a set of views about the world rather than a particular theory (Griffiths, Ibid, 3). In its most abstract interpretation, it is based on the assumptions that there exists an objective and universally valid truth about matters political in our universe of experience. Our conclusion will affirm the immutability of political realism despite the changing times.  


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