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The impacts of participatory governance on cultural development: evidences from European Capitals of Culture
This research project focuses on the analysis of the impacts of participatory governance on cultural development. The positive effects of participatory cultural decision-making processes are increasingly advocated both in the academic and political discourse at European and international level. However, participatory governance of culture and its effects on society have received only sparse scientific attention to this moment. In order to fill this gap, the research project proposes an innovative theoretical model for evaluating the impacts of participatory processes in culture. Specifically, the model identifies the causal mechanisms through which participation is supposed to affect the different dimensions of cultural development at local level. Imagined as being applicable to multiple forms of case-based investigations, in the research project the proposed theoretical framework is put at the basis of a comparative analysis of various small-scale participatory processes promoted in recent European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) according to the “City and Citizens” criteria. The analysis of these projects contributes at enriching and adjusting the theory with empirical insights. Indeed, thus being realised with the same requirements and institutional objectives, the participatory processes in ECoC are highly diverse in terms of contextual conditions, typology of actors involved and long-term effects on the cultural life of the territory.
Human rights in a biopolitical frame
The classical vision of the human rights, inspired by the Declarations of Rights of eighteenth century, is founded on the idea of their universal validity as a protection for the individual against the states. All humans are entitled to such protection by virtue of some universal nature which constitutes them as rights bearers. Biopolitics challenges these ideas from many perspectives. According to an Agambenian vision, human rights are not the proclamations of eternal metajuridical values aimed at binding the legislator to respect such values, but they are the originary figure for the inscription of natural naked life in the political-juridical order of the nation-state. According to the Foucauldian biopolitical vision, power is focused on a new organic subject, the population, which is not the sum of all the single individuals but an autonomous biological organism, a global mass that is affected by overall processes characteristic of birth, death, production, illness, and so on. In neither case is there a subject which is stable and which can refer to the universal. The aim of this research is, therefore, to investigate the political possibility of human rights in a biopolitical frame, namely under a new political paradigm which acknowledges that the way in which power relates to its objects has changed, along with the relations between individuals and institutions.
The aim of the research project is to identify current types of collaborative governance in Croatian large cities, in a form of a cross-sectoral study in three policy areas: communal utilities, social welfare and urban development. After the analysis of legal framework and institutional setting of Croatian cities and their position and role in the multi-level governance context (vertically in relation to central government, EU, Council of Europe and other supranational institutions; horizontally in relation to other units of local self-government and externally in relation to private and civil sector stakeholders), a review of theoretical approaches to governance of cities (urban regime, urban governance, public management and network theory) is given, as well as the normative concept of collaborative governance. A collaborative urban governance index will be created as a theoretical framework that will be used to test research propositions about actors, drivers, processes and results of the collaborative governance in the aforementioned policy areas in 25 Croatian cities. Empirical research will be implemented by using surveys for city officials and non-governmental stakeholders and content analysis of city governments decisions.
The research project concerns Orthodox Christianity and Human Rights, currently a much-debated topic in the sociological discussion on this religious tradition. It deepen on the study of the Orthodox diaspora in Italy and especially on the Romanian one, the largest community of immigrants in the Italian penisula. The first part of the thesis focus on the Romanian Orthodox Church in Italy, and investigate the settlement of this church abroad. It study at the institutional level, and throughout quantitative and qualitative data, changes and strategies of adaptation of this religious organization. The second part of the project, instead, focus mainly on modernity issues and human rights: it analyze their trends and dynamics within the Romanian Orthodoxy in the Italian host context. It deepen, at the individual level and throughout a qualitative survey, the processes of hybridridizations of this Orthodox Eastern Church in a Western country.
Non-judicial Mechanisms for Economic and Social Rights Accountability: The Role of National Human Rights Institutions In Africa
The proposed research project examines the roles of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Africa in monitoring social and economic rights (SER) at national level. Particular focus given to Africa, the research will use three African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Zambia) as case study. The objective is to examine what influential roles NHRIs can play within the national human rights system as monitors of SER in the African context and suggest approaches for their effective interventions. A study of this kind is significant in mapping out effective domestic mechanisms for the enforcement of SER at the national level. In particular, in the context of the proliferation of NHRIs in Africa in the past few decades, and the attention given to such institutions at the domestic and international level, on one hand; and in light of the growing concern regarding the domestic implementation of international human rights law on SER, on the other hand, such a critical assessment is highly merited. The intended outcomes are both at the level of systematic analysis and documentation of the mandates, roles, impacts, challenges, interactions, monitoring approaches, etc. of the NHRIs in respect to SER monitoring; and laying out a set of strategic recommendations to enhance their interventions as key SER monitors in the countries under consideration.