Top PDF Governance and Civil Society at the EU Level

Governance and Civil Society at the EU Level

Governance and Civil Society at the EU Level

These findings can be compelemnted with other current studies (see Warleigh ; ; Kohler-Koch and B. Finke ; Deth Van et al.  ; Maloney and Rossteuchtscher ) which are suggesting that Eu- ropean civic associations display little interest in educating their mem- bers back in the member states about  issues, but rather get caught up within the ivory tower world of Brussels institutional politics. We can encounter a situation of civil society associations becoming elitist in a way that leadership distances itself from the followers instead of provid- ing incentives for citizens’ active participation. In an attempt to detach the elite networks into which leaders of civic organizations are included, a study was carried out in Slovenia and Poland (in the frame of ’s  th framework Connex project). The study was carried out by coworkers of the Center for Theoretical Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences (see Adam b) in Ljubljana and a research team affiliated to the In- stitute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw (see Gasior-Niemec at al. ). In February and March  we conducted a series of structured interviews. One of the preliminary conclusions of this study concerns the relationships between the leader- ship of national civic organizations (which are usually also the ones who represent the civic organization members in European civic associations) and the members of these organizations. We encounter a situation where non-governmental organizations, in order to exert democratic effects, have to perform in accordance with ‘the logic of influence’. If a particular organization is to be successfully engaged in participation (networking), i. e. being able to effectively represent issues or assert influence, it may be necessary to act in pursuit of influence, even if this would consequently mean putting the role of membership behind (Kristan ). The study confirmed the assumption that the leadership of civic organizations does not necessarily need to consult membership regarding important issues. On the contrary, it happens quite often that only a few people decide, which raises a serious doubts regarding the democratic nature of civic organizational structures. Their democratic effects are thus highly con- tingent. We can also encounter a new type of elitism – civic elitism – that still needs to be researched.
Mostrar mais

18 Ler mais

Civil Society Attitudes towards Wind Power at the National and Local Levels in Portugal

Civil Society Attitudes towards Wind Power at the National and Local Levels in Portugal

a clear increase in the number of windfarms in Portugal, particularly since 2004 (see above). Th e more marked presence in the landscape and the need to live with some of the less positive aspects of these energy infrastructures might form the basis of a slightly less favourable attitude towards wind energy, when compared to the European average. As has been seen in case studies around Europe, especially when analysing local cases of opposition to this source of energy, diff erent reasons emerge as justifi cation and many are related to factors such as noise, pollution, health eff ects, impacts on wildlife or aesthetical and cultural values resulting from the need to live daily with these energy infrastructures (Nadaï & van der Horst, 2010; Wolsink, 2007a; Cowell, 2010; Devine- Wright & Howes, 2010; Havas & Colling, 2011; Krough, 2011; Phillips, 2011). Along with this increased visibility, there is another possible explanation that has more to do with the public debate around the costs of RE and incentives that are being given to RE producers and its impacts on energy prices for the consumer. Although this needs to be confi rmed with other empirical data (notably from media analysis), we believe that this debate may have contributed to a change of opinion regarding RE, particularly in a context of economic crisis.
Mostrar mais

23 Ler mais

PRACTICE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

PRACTICE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

In contrast to the traditional meaning of "governance", some authors like James Rosenau have used the term "global governance" to denote the regulation of interdependent relations in the absence of an overarching political authority. The best example of this in the international system or relationships between independent states. The term can however apply wherever a group of free equals need to form a regular relationship. To complement the macro-level cross-country Worldwide Governance Indicators, the World Bank Institute developed the World Bank Governance Surveys, which are a country level governance assessment tools that operate at the micro or sub-national level and use information gathered from a country’s own citizens, business people and public sector workers to diagnose governance vulnerabilities and suggest concrete approaches for fighting corruption.
Mostrar mais

11 Ler mais

Predicting civil religion at a cross-cultural level

Predicting civil religion at a cross-cultural level

Recently, a cross-culturally valid composite measure of civil religion has been presented (Flere & Lavri č, 2007). The authors indicated, that regarding civil religion, ‘it is evident that it entails some linking of the nation, of the state, of the ethnic group and of sovereign political authority to some principle that is higher than the empirical, the observable or the human, tending towards finding a metaphysical, transcendent, religious or theistic explanation and legitimation of secular phenome- na’. (p. 596) In arriving at a working definition of civil religion the authors follow Coleman's precise definition of civil religion, as phrased by Gehrig, as ‘the religious symbol system which relates the citizen's role and the … society's place in space, time and history to the conditions of ultimate existence and meaning’ (1981, p. 52). Within this framework, the idea of the ‘broken covenant’ between the chosen people and their God is usually included (Bellah 1967; Gehrig, 1981, p. 53).
Mostrar mais

13 Ler mais

Urban activism in Central and Eastern Europe: A theoretical framework

Urban activism in Central and Eastern Europe: A theoretical framework

The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe roused high expecta- tions about a rapid revival of civil society that is recognised as a key factor in the processes of democratisation. A number of scholars made post-communist civil soci- ety the new object of their study. Early publications, however, brought a rather pes- simistic view of the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe (e. g. Rose 1993; Rose, Mishler, Haerpfer, 1997; Rose-Ackerman, 2001; Howard, 2003). They were based mainly on opinion polls and surveys; they used a limited number of indicators and did not take into account a multidimensional character of civil society. Marc Howard, for example, understood civil society as part of public space between the state and the family, and embodied in voluntary organisations (Howard, 2003: 1). Most statements on the weakness and underdevelopment of civil society in the coun- tries of post-communist Europe were built on indicators such as low civic member- ship and low employment in voluntary organisations, weak social and political insti- tutions and high level of mistrust of these institutions – factors being seen as obvious communist legacies. On the basis of these findings, some scholars even questioned prospects for democratic stability in the region. None of these early works mentioned an enormous and rapid growth of registered civil society organisations in Central and Eastern Europe. For instance, in Poland, the number of registered NGOs grew by 400 percent from 1989 to 1994 (Ekiert, 2012), in Slovakia by more than 500 percent (from 158 in 1990 to over 1000 in 1994; more than 40,000 in 2015). 1 These numbers
Mostrar mais

13 Ler mais

Civil society and governance in Mozambique: a case of study analysis of the making of the new mining and petroleum laws in 2014

Civil society and governance in Mozambique: a case of study analysis of the making of the new mining and petroleum laws in 2014

ith the boom of mineral resources from the middle of the 21st century onwards, Mozambique has been targeted by countries seeking investment in the extractive industries sector. Internally, this subject has generated important debates among – but not exclusive to – political parties in the sense of greater regulation of the sector. This led to the formation of a coalition of key actors in Mozambican civil society (CS) leading to the advent of a CS platform for natural resources and extractive industries. However, in 2012, the Mozambican government took an important step in preparing the sector for the upcoming transformations. It is in this sequence of events that, in the same year, the revision of mining and petroleum laws appeared, which led CS to appeal for the need for transparency in the sector. This was accompanied by advocacy campaigns by CS, particularly of the platform referred to above. Thus, this study intends to answer the following question: what is the typology (or nature) of the existing relationship between CS and the Government of Mozambique? The study favours a qualitative methodology based on a case study and self-completion interviews directed at actors in CS that were selected due to their relevant roles in the advocacy campaigns for the approval of the Mining and Petroleum Laws in 2014. The results demonstrated that the relations established mainly have components of complementarity, since this process was driven by different strategies of CS actors as well as the Government of Mozambique. This case study contributes to the literature on the relations between the state and civil society in hybrid regimes. Future studies will be important to verify the extent to which those results are found in other areas of Mozambican politics and what developments have occurred over time.
Mostrar mais

69 Ler mais

What should civilians know about defense? the civil-military relations perspective on information disclosure

What should civilians know about defense? the civil-military relations perspective on information disclosure

Scholars have debated the lack of incentives for civilians to specialize in defense topics in Latin America. Besides the absence of major conflicts in the region, they argue that politicians have no electoral benefits from raising this flag in their campaigns. However, between affirming that civilians do not need to know much about it or should be highly involved, essential questions have been forgotten: what should civilians know about defense? When civilians want to know, can they? The defense marketplace of ideas is perfect only theoretically. In reality, there might be civilian informational demands that are simply ignored, and at the same time, requests of disclosure that could harm important policies. Using Stepan's distinction between state, political society and civil society, this paper debates the types and depth of transparency required for each group of civilians to enhance and exert oversight of (1) civilian control, (2) military effectiveness, and (3) military efficacy.
Mostrar mais

28 Ler mais

The global health watch.

The global health watch.

Linking Civil Society Groups It is important to say that the three networks and organisations that have convened the Watch are really just its initiators. In the end we hope the Watch will be backed by as many individuals, organisations, and social movements as possible, strengthening the links between civil society organisations across countries and across health- related sectors, and increasing the power and infl uence of the report itself. Already, many have expressed their interest in the project, and their willingness to contribute: through writing chapters, contributing case studies, and launching the Watch and promoting it in their country when it is fi nished. Groups from India and Brazil are planning parallel national Watches. We plan to launch the Watch at the second People’s Health Assembly, which will be held in Ecuador in July 2005. We don’t want this report to be addressed just to health activists or health policy-makers or academics. If we are going to create change we need to capture the imagination of the broader health professional community and the public at large. That is why we encourage readers to get involved and tell others about the Watch and to use it to throw down a challenge to those who call the shots at national and international levels. 
Mostrar mais

2 Ler mais

INTRODUCING THE NEW CONFIGURATION BETWEEN STATE, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE MARKET :: Brapci ::

INTRODUCING THE NEW CONFIGURATION BETWEEN STATE, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE MARKET :: Brapci ::

“To understand in what sense and under what conditions public services can be considered commons, it is necessary to offer some brief notes on what is meant by public service and what by commons. In both cases it is difficult to be concise, because of the breadth of the debate on the areas and the issues. Public Services. As is well known, in most legal systems, the laws do not provide any definition of wh at is meant by the concept ‘public service’. In short, in the doctrinal reconstruction, there are two main positions: the subjective theory focuses attention on the public nature of the subject supplying the service, whereas the objective theory focuses attention on the public interest which distinguishes the activity performed. According to the subjective theory, the elements necessary to identify public service are the direct or indirect responsibility of the State or another public body for the service, and its supply for the benefit of its citizens. On the other hand, for the objective theory, the necessary element is that the service be provided to the collectivity and place public interest at its heart. The EU however prefers to duck the issue and spe ak of “services of general interest”: services (both market and non-market) which are considered of central interest for the collectivity and that for this reason must be subjected to “specific obligations of public service”. In these pages, by public services we mean the services of general interest, that is, that plethora of fundamental services which were once an integral part of welfare services but nowadays have mostly been privatized, following political decisions, or are supplied by public bodies but run along the lines of privatized companies. These services include, although this is not an exhaustive list, health services, schools and universities, power supply, transport and other local utilities such as the water or waste services.
Mostrar mais

24 Ler mais

Contemporary changes and civil society in Portugal and the Russian Federation

Contemporary changes and civil society in Portugal and the Russian Federation

If we consider that civil society depends on the free and sometimes informal activity of individuals pursuing their own objectives, a certain tension would be expected between civil society and legal systems. But the legalization of civil society increases its security, cooperation capacity and integrity (Fries, 2005, p. 221-2), and its regulation is supported on several grounds, whether at national or international levels (Pedraza-Fariña, 2013). Jonathan Garton argues that civil society regulation by the State “can (...) be justified by reference to (a) preventing anti-competitive practices, (b) controlling campaigning, (c) ensuring accountability, and (d) coordinating the sector. However, two further justifications for regulation emerge from contemporary civil society theory: (e) the need to rectify other philanthropic failures; and (f) the need to prevent the erosion of the key civil society organizations structural characteristics” (Garton, 2009).
Mostrar mais

39 Ler mais

Corporate governance at TAP

Corporate governance at TAP

The idea that the governance of a company is the same for all companies has been changing more and more, as the years go by. Over the past years, there have been significant changes in the assumptions that hold the Corporate Governance models. On the one hand, there has been an increasing trend of separation between executive and supervisory functions. Therefore, the power has been decentralized instead of concentrated in a single entity inside the company. On the other hand, it has been highlighted that the members with supervisory functions must be independent. Meaning, their present, or past personal and professional relations cannot interfere with their function within the company. As such, the process of governing the company has been more and more taken care of. This assures that the company's operations are in line with the professional and even ethical standards required by the market and society lowering specific interests of a group of shareholders or managers. Moreover, with better governance, the common objectives defined in the company's strategy would be easily attained. Moreover, there also have been more frequent changes in the equity structure of several companies which generates variations in the respective governance models, namely between a state-owned or a private company. In fact, if in a company the State has a majority, the strategy could comply certain political and social objectives, instead of only maximizing profits. On the contrary, if the company is mainly private, the maximization of shareholder value should be the main objective, including the value creation for all stakeholders. Therefore, there is no longer one model for all the companies, but alternative models, with some variations, which change over time according to the company's equity situation.
Mostrar mais

36 Ler mais

Corporate governance at BES

Corporate governance at BES

When designing compensation schemes based on performance, one should be careful about short-term incentives based on financial targets in order to avoid maximizing short-term profit rather than long- term. A way of aligning long-term interests is share plans, for example stock options. Stock options give executive directors the incentives to manage the company in a way that share prices increase, which happens by increasing the level of risk. Since increasing risk may misalign shareholders and directors interests, one should carefully anticipate the problems that may arise when planning this scheme. CMVM issued a valuable opinion on this subject by recommending that “a significant part of the variable compensation should be deferred for a period not less than 3 years and its payment should depend on the company’s steady positive performance during said period” and that “when the variable compensation includes stock options, the period for exercising this should be deferred for a period of not less than 3 years”.
Mostrar mais

25 Ler mais

The voice of civil society organizations: engagement of civic organizations in the democratic governance in Cabo Verde

The voice of civil society organizations: engagement of civic organizations in the democratic governance in Cabo Verde

It should be emphasized that 4% percent of the existing CSOs in 2015, emerged from 1980 to 1990, comparing to the 1% that had existed before 1980. This has been in part due to the new aforementioned constitutional provisions on citizens’ roles in the materialization of their granted rights. The fact that the state delegates responsibilities to associations, it prompts the appearance of other organizations interested in collaborating. The skepticism expressed by Costa (2013) and Cardoso (2016) over the existence of an independent civil society in the years following the independence of Cabo Verde, stands exactly on the state’s paternalistic relationship with CSOs, hampering therefore these organizations’ capacity to truly be the citizens’ independent voices. For these critics, the emerging organizations were “colonized” and “coopted” institutions at their outset, by the state itself, the political party or other particularistic interests. Such a situation, argues Costa (2013), has produced a “lethargic civic society” in Cabo Verde, unwilling and incapable to affirm itself as a societal power that can offset the state power, and create a desired power equilibrium in the Cape Verdean political system. As the state assumes to itself the protection of the civil organizations, by promoting their creations, providing funding, and keeping a surveilling eye on their activities, critics undermine the CSOs’ autonomy and independence as they lack any real power capacity to set their own agenda, or exercise any pressure on government. However, what the aforementioned critics have undermined, and often dismissed in their analyses of post-independence civil society in Cabo Verde, are the constitutional principles of CSOs’ engagement in the policy process, as we have seen in the constitutional articles aforementioned. The lethargy theory on Cape Verdean CSOs following the independence is questionable though, if one looks at their engagement from a cooperative and a collaborative governance principles, rather than taking them simply as counter power institutions, provocateurs or instigators of a state of “contentious politics”. If one looks at some of the initiatives taken by CSOs in areas like education, rural development and agricultural development, as well as the government’s policies to enhance their engagement in the aforementioned sectors, they will conclude that post-independent civil society in Cabo Verde had not been totally excluded from the governance process, as the critics claim. As Furtado states (1993), “the constitution of a civil society that can confront the state
Mostrar mais

352 Ler mais

The Canadian Population Society at age thirty: a retrospective and prospective

The Canadian Population Society at age thirty: a retrospective and prospective

Thirty years have passed since the beginning of the CPS in 1974. Much has changed since that time: the discipline of demography has undergone major shifts in orientation and approaches to research, as have the social sciences in general. Demography has been moving away from its predominant traditional macro level approach to research, and is shifting increasingly in favor of micro data analysis on a wide variety of topics that far expand the traditional boundaries of the discipline: overpopulation and development; demography transition; fertility, mortality and migration analysis; population estimates and projections. Judging from the contents of the mainstream journals in our discipline (i.e., Demography, Population Studies, Population and Development Review), one now finds a host of additional concerns spanning diverse topics. For instance, there is growing interest in the bio-demographic foundations of demographic action; and in the area of fertility and family planning, researchers are increasingly relying on anthropological approaches to better understand the micro level foundations of fertility decision making. Also important is an emphasis on the analysis of micro longitudinal data sets, which by their very nature, cover much more ground than could be imagined with the use of more traditional sources of data, namely census and vital statistics.
Mostrar mais

14 Ler mais

JISTEM J.Inf.Syst. Technol. Manag.  vol.10 número2

JISTEM J.Inf.Syst. Technol. Manag. vol.10 número2

The first phase is dedicated to the Evaluation of the current state of IT governance in the organization. It begins with the conformation of the team and the second stage proceeds with the general characterization of the organization. The third stage is dedicated to analyzing the alignment of IT resources to the business objectives of the organization, proposing a set of tools to carry out this assessment. In the fourth stage we propose a specific procedure to analyze IT risk management, whcih let you get an assessment of risks in the organization. Because of its importance as a reflection of the actions of IT management, stage five is characterized by employee level of satisfaction with IT services and resources. The maturity diagnosis takes place at the sixth stage and the calculation of a comprehensive indicator of IT governance that characterizes the current state of the organization take place in stage 7. This phase of the procedure culminates with the proposal of improvement actions, depending on the assessment (stage 8).
Mostrar mais

16 Ler mais

Individuals, knowledge and governance in the 21st-century society

Individuals, knowledge and governance in the 21st-century society

The Homo sapiens species manages to build its (from what we know) still unmatched knowledge heritage through the forms taken by the socio-cognitive work of its members – the same forms it can profit from altogether. Certainly, neither all of the people produce the same amount of knowledge, nor everyone can equally benefit from it – at least up to now it has been so. However, the social dimension in the life of our biological species is the element that characterises us as individuals and differentiates us from individuals belonging to other biological species. Furthermore, it characterises the knowledge regarded here as a scientific knowledge and thus differentiates it from ideological forms, exclusively playful or pathologically idiosyncratic. Each and every one of us leads an individual’s life (as an individual human being), as much as they lead a life in the social species (fulfilling themselves as a person, given their nature of social being) and, at the same time, a life within humankind (as participants in the general intellect, given its nature of symbolic being). In fact, an individual who is isolated (homo clausus) is merely a mental or scholastic abstraction, as much as a society (social structures) not based on individuals. In both cases, they are historical productions that cannot explain anything. Instead, all of them need an explanation. The same applies to a humankind deprived of the concreteness of concrete individuals (starting from their corporeity) and without social configurations (starting from their historicity).
Mostrar mais

9 Ler mais

How does civil society influence WTO's governance system

How does civil society influence WTO's governance system

Finally, Delimatsis ( 2014) points that by submitting amicus brief reports, the degree of influence CSOs may exercise at WTO has definitely increased over time. Nevertheless, authors like Charnovitz (2000), Van den Bossche (2008) and Hanegraaff et al. (2011) highlight the low frequency such briefs are in fact included in the proceedings which evidences some limitations to the effective power of this influence channel. Additionally, calls for more inclusiveness and openness for non-state actors representation are still very active (Esty, 2002 & Dunnof, 2004) under the argument that they are essential players in evaluating the broader impacts of the matters debated by member-states (Cottier, 2007). This drives us again to the insistent and much debated limitations of the observer status CSOs are subdued to within the WTO arena (Charnovitz, 2005; Piewitt, 2015). Another example of participation limit is that interest groups cannot start a dispute settlement proceeding (Piewitt, 2015). Departing from this last example, one can wonder: Why not? Why can’t the WTO formally become a sort of international court of trade, open, to a certain extent, to ordinary citizens? Why is the WTO still so member-driven, as only government representatives (who are all appointed and not elect) can directly participate in the DSS? If it would be the case of a change in this sense, national authority would not necessarily be at stake regarding the quality of trade policies but rather with regard to their international legality. This would be possible if we accept as beneficial the implementation of a multilateral liberal international trade system sustained by global legal standards (which is actually one of the main flags of the WTO Agreement: single undertaking) in which all member-countries participate under the same fair, transparent and non-discriminatory conditions. If we accept it then we must assume it also at the citizens-level, the maximum users of the system, and provide them with means of participation for the development of international trade law through a more representative and robust advocacy body (the DSB).
Mostrar mais

104 Ler mais

The Good Society: Lessons for Integrated Governance

The Good Society: Lessons for Integrated Governance

Abstract: In this paper I argue that philosophies of the good society can inform theories of integrated governance in two significant ways. Firstly, they can provide a reasonable foundation for legitimating forms of authority to govern a society across the government, corporate and civil sector. Secondly, they promote value systems that can be constitutive of a normative theory of integrated governance. In developing this argument, I explore conceptions of the good society put forward by Marquis de Condorcet, Adam Smith and Karl Marx, and evaluate the modalities in which the social projects proposed by these authors involve issues of integrated governance. For this purpose, I examine the three theories in relation to three questions: (1) What goals (or objectives) should social action be directed to? (2) What should be the scope and limits of social responsibility lying behind the social authority of each sector (government, market or civil society)? (3) How is social authority to be exercised beyond legislation? What source(s) of legitimacy should one appeal to? Although Condorcet’s idea of the natural social order, Smith’s system of natural liberty and Marx’s political economy of human value have all received their fair share of criticism from empirical theories of society, I suggest that these conceptions are still useful to us today as radical normative experiments. These experiments can have guiding value in formulating models of integrated governance. However, the fundamental differences displayed by these three conceptions reveal the importance of determining whether one can develop models of integrated governance that would accommodate plural, incompatible, or unknown conceptions of the good society.
Mostrar mais

18 Ler mais

Abstract Faced with the historical role of or-

Abstract Faced with the historical role of or-

Abstract Faced with the historical role of or- ganized civil society in the social responses to AIDS and the global health governance, this paper analyzes the biography of women living with HIV/AIDS, members of the National Mo- vement of Posithive Citizens (MNCP), a natio- nal network of HIV-positive women. We used a qualitative approach with observations about the actions of the MNCP in Rio de Janeiro and individual interviews with eight members of the MNCP about their motivations and experiences in the movement. Most of the respondents were older than 50 years and had been diagnosed in the 1990s. Their biographies have been marked by so- cial and gender inequalities. Their entry into the MNCP resulted from the need for HIV post-dia- gnosis support and in health servicesill-equipped to receive them. The movement contributed to the reconstruction of social identity, access to infor- mation on care and social support. According to the findings, the actions of the movement do not prioritize the feminist movement’s agenda and co- ping with AIDS-related stigma and HIV vulnera- bility. Faced with the current global and national context of increased biomedical interventions in AIDS policies and declining resources for the so- cial movement, the study fosters reflections on the challenges of organized civil society in local social responses to the AIDS epidemic.
Mostrar mais

10 Ler mais

Rev. katálysis  vol.20 número1

Rev. katálysis vol.20 número1

One approach of great relevance present in the texts analyzed is the need to define a concept of state and civil society to understand social control, with an emphasis on the Gramscian perspective. Gramsci become the main theoretical reference, chosen “because of the fact he is a Marxist author and has contributed in an indelible way to the understanding of the category of civil society, understood as part of the state “ (CABRAL, 2012, p. 3). Even if the contemporary state seeks to establish its control over the whole of society and guarantee the maintenance of the interests of the dominant class, it is in this contradictory terrain that civil society organizations and participatory spaces aimed at the exercise of democracy and deliberation about the public sphere stand out (CORREIA, 2004; DELGADO, 2008). These spaces, understood as fields of disputes of interests and of a correlation of forces, are supported by Gramscian concepts, especially those concerning civil society, the sphere where hegemony and the confrontation of class projects is constructed (CORREIA, 2004). The administrative councils are considered to be important “trenches” in the “dispute for hegemony” (CAVALCANTE, 2008), which requires “reviving the concept of civil society (...) as a space of organized and articulated struggle of the subaltern classes in the search for edification of a new counter-hegemonic project” (DURIGUETTO, 2008, p. 99), capable of overcoming capitalist rationality (BRAVO; CORREIA, 2012) and confronting “big politics”.
Mostrar mais

9 Ler mais

Show all 10000 documents...