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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.
Disciplines: Sociology of Religion; Political Science; Qualitative Methods.
Research topics: Orthodox Christianity; Human rights; Diaspora.
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.
Right to Freedom of Religion: A Sociological Comparison among Italy, Belarus, and Norway
The new growing subfield, which James T. Richardson named Sociology of Religious Freedom, becomes a constituent part of emerging sociology of human rights. We can find legal, philosophical, historical description of freedom of religion, while sociological focus has been underrepresented till recently.
Recent comparative empirical data collection on religious freedom (Grim, Finke, Martin, Van der Ven, Ziebertz) introduced sociological instrument for the measurement of legal, political, social-cultural (including religious) contexts of religious freedom maintenance and violations. Covering institutional dimension and value studies research on religious freedom, these studies induce to rethink the very concept of religious freedom with sociological arguments and to develop a deeper understanding how religious freedom structures political and religious possibilities in a particular way in different contexts.
This project is aimed to address the theoretical questions: how the sociology of religious freedom is constructed, what kind of disciplines, approaches, and practical issues contributed to and still continue to shape the subfield of sociology of religious freedom in a wider discourse of sociology of human rights? How the conceptualization of religious freedom could be developed for the further sociological empirical research? At the level of empirical analysis the research project will explore how different Christian confessions affect the religious freedom understanding among young people in three European countries. In this project Olga will compare attitudes towards religious freedom in Italy with strong Catholic tradition, Lutheran Norway, and Orthodox Belarus.
Silvia Marinella Fontana
The role of multinational enterprises in peace and sustainable development
Silvia is a Peace Ambassador for the Institute for Economics and Peace; her PhD focuses on the economic determinants of conflict. Her research will further analyze the impact of FDIs on conflict dynamics. In particular, Silvia is interested in the role of multinationals in resource-rich countries. Silvia has an integrated profile of academic and professional accomplishments. She has experience in developing and managing complex projects in crisis and post-conflict zones: she coordinated an impact evaluation project for the World Bank and held increasingly responsible positions with Médecins Sans Frontières, including Human Resource and Administrative Coordinator with a staff of 460 in the DRCongo. As a Rotary Peace Fellow, she studied international development policy and peace and conflict resolution at Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University (USA). She is a committed citizen, involved in many initiatives for the public good. For instance, she is the Scientific Committee Coordinator of "Premio Valeria Solesin", award in memory of Valeria Solesin, Italian researcher killed in the Paris terrorist attack at the Bataclan, in 2015. Recently she has been selected as moderator for the “States General of the Erasmus Generation” in Rome, to support the Youth in better understanding the meaning of European citizenship today.
Cristina Yasmine Ghanem
Muslim women's agency in European integration policies from a human rights perspective: the cases of Berlin and Brussels
This research project focuses on the integration policies of two European capitals, the cities-states of Berlin and Brussels, and the way these policies address and frame the issue of Muslim women’s agency. While taking into account the copious literature on the relation between religious identities and agency, this research will challenge the existing discourse surrounding Muslim women in Europe, often portrayed as disempowered and as victims of patriarchy.
The aim of the research is to understand how different integration policies at the local level address the issue of Muslim women’s integration (whether they use a multicultural, intercultural, universal or assimilationist approach) and whether there is a multilevel approach to issues of gender and diversity between various units of government, specifically the European Union, the nation state and the local/regional level. In doing so, this research will analyze whether there is a clear presence of the intersectionality framework to the integration discourse in these two local contexts. Furthermore, through a policies’ analysis of the integration agenda in Berlin and Brussels, this research will try to understand whether policy makers see Muslim youth and younger generations as a target of policies framed for Muslim women.
Child Trafficking within China from a Perspective of Human Rights
This research is aimed to answer two questions: what are the root causes of child trafficking in China and how to better understand and combat child trafficking. Adopting the theory of Cameron and Newman into Chinese context, the causal factors of child trafficking can be divided into two broad categories: socio-political factors and personal-family factors. The empirical research will be conducted in Shanxi, Guangdong and Yunnan province of China, identifying relevant factors at affect victims and offenders in different patterns of child trafficking. Managing to connect some of the factors with human rights instruments, some possible solutions might be identified in the end of this project.
Ahmed Abidur Razzaque Khan
The psychosocial impact of labour trafficking in Asia: a mixed-methods study of returned Bangladeshi survivors
Bangladesh is a source country for undocumented migrants seeking to work in wealthier neighboring countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. Individuals involved in this form of migration frequently endure ongoing extortion, substantial abuse and even murder at the hands of traffickers. The issue came to international prominence during the Andaman crisis in 2015 when the Bangladesh Government and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) worked to repatriate around 2,813 survivors. While research has examined the health and mental health effects of trafficking for sexual exploitation, the experiences and potential health effects of labor trafficking have not been examined. This mixed methods study will use semi-structured interviews and an online survey to gather qualitative and quantitative information regarding potential social, health and mental health (MH) impacts on labor trafficking survivors from Bangladesh. These data, along with a systematic review of the relevant literature, constitute a triangulation methodology which can provide a comprehensive picture of the health effects of labor trafficking. The outcomes of this study will help policy makers to develop concrete policies to support safer migration, and non-government organizations to increase community awareness of these risks, as well as more effective resettlement programs and support interventions for trafficking survivors themselves.
His research project focuses on citizenship and human rights education in Italian primary and secondary school cycles, and looks at how international and regional standards on human rights education have impacted on policy and practice at the national level. In particular, the research aims to analyse the content and methodology of the subject "Cittadinanza e Costituzione" (Citizenship and Constitution), introduced by Law 30th October 2008, No. 169 in the curricula of all Italian primary and secondary school systems. The objectives of this subject are, among others, to develop the concept of active citizenship, and to increase the knowledge of the Italian Constitution, European citizenship, human rights and intercultural dialogue. The main research question is whether citizenship education in Italy is aligned with the concept of human rights education as enshrined in international and regional standards. The analysis focuses not only on a theoretical level but also on a practical level, namely if and how human rights are conveyed in the school classrooms through the subject “Cittadinanza e Costituzione”.
Research Topic: Restorative Justice in the Western Balkans
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions are established in post-conflict societies as a non-judicial institution to determine the societal impact of human rights violations. They are meant to redress past abuse, reduce inter-ethnic tensions and prevent recidivism rates within vulnerable communities. Given the ethno-political wars of the 1990s in the Western Balkans, it seemed promising that this initiative would succeed in restoring social relations. When the Commissions resulted in failure, there was minimal interest given to researching the reasons why. This study attempts to close this literary gap by:1)examining the social conditions obstructing the practice of truth commissions,2)analyzing the progress of current restorative justice programs in the region,3) exploring public perceptions on the need for alternative justice initiatives.
Research Topic: Public policy, human rights and mixed migration flows: addressing the challenge of identification of women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation applying for international protection
The project focuses on the women who are eligible for international protection and at the same time victims of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation. The aim is to examine the situation of women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation arriving through the “mixed flows” who are either claiming for asylum or involved in the international protection system, in order to better understand the efficiency of the identification procedures and to define policy recommendations to improve them. The work will pay particular attention to the situation of Italy and Greece. The project wants to answer to the following questions: “Are the identification procedures of women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation adequate considering the related guidelines of UNHCR and the Human Rights paradigm?” and “What about the possibility to develop public policy human rights oriented on the matter?”. At the end of the research we expect to have an overview of the European situation, public policy and procedures implemented, national referral system; an in-depth analysis of the two European countries Greece and Italy; and proposals of possible improvement actions.
Davide Nicola Carnevale
Project description: Moldovan Orthodoxies. Social Insecurity, Political Borders and the debate about Religious Freedom.
This project aims to investigate the forms of political transfiguration and the processes of re-elaboration of individual and social resources operating in a post-Soviet context, the Republic of Moldova, through a socio-anthropological analysis of its religious scenario.
The religious debate faces the delicate repositioning of this country in the european and global context, addressing all its crucial aspects. It is no coincidence that, two different official national Churches stand together, in a non-canonical condition which mirrors the fragile Moldovan geopolitical position. Through the debate on the freedom of religion in particular we be outlined some aspects of the Moldovan reconfiguration processes, in institutional relations, in the management of a “bipolar” religious hegemony, in the re-adaptation of Orthodox beliefs to the new ideologies, with a look on how this dialectical debate is changing among Moldovan priests in Italy.
The religious rooting will therefore be investigated both as an interpretative instrument of adaptation to a context of widespread socio-economic insecurity and as a governmental instrument. If the grow of Orthodox communities emerge as a conscious form of adaptation to the ineffectiveness of the new secular local policies, Orthodox institutions have a political role also at a larger scale, with political parties fluctuating between the rhetoric of religious freedom and the promotion of Orthodoxy as the pillar of the national-traditional identity.
Rossella De Falco
Research Topic: Public Health, Inequality and Economic Crisis: What Future for the Right to Health?
I am investigating the impact of post-2008 fiscal consolidation measures on the enjoyment of the right to health in a representative pool of countries in the European Union (EU). Such a study falls in the broad category of post-facto human rights impact assessments (HRIAs), making extensive use of human rights indicators and rights-based budget analysis. However, while building on existing literature, I am also trying to address the many gaps and challenges in the field. In fact, I am bringing into my research quantitative methods derived from econometrics and statistics as to solidly underline correlations and any causal relationship between variables. This involves mainly secondary data modelling through software such as STATA and R. Once data will be collected and interpreted, I will outline possible human rights’ responsibilities, primarily on the side of EU’s member states as well as regional and financial international institutions lending on the sovereign bond markets. The proposed reconstruction of the accountability chain will be conducted in line with recent developments in the framework on right-based economic recovery, which is gradually emerging from the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ (CESCR) letters and recommendations, UN Independent Experts’ activities, legal opinions, civil society’s voices, and the still limited case-law at regional and global level. The main methodological challenges I am facing are: lack of disaggregated data; vagueness and gaps in the legal framework dealing with ESCR and financial resources. Such gaps, rather than discouraging research in the area, signal that much more work is needed in order to clarify and deepen existing advocacy tools. The aim of my research is to provide socio-economic rights advocacy in with a new, comprehensive, reliable and evidence-based analysis of the effect of public policies on the right to health in the EU. This kind of analysis are urgently needed, as economic recovery measures are triggering socio-economic malaise in developed and non-developed countries alike, putting the realisation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR) at risk.
This research project aims to evaluate the impact of the evolving interplay between sex, gender and law on the human rights of people with intersex traits.
About 1.7% of people has an intersex condition, this means that they present a biological variation of sex characteristics which do not fit the typical binary socio-cultural notions of female and male bodies. As such, intersex conditions directly calls into question sex and gender categories and notions that are embedded in western social and legal systems. This research will challenge the long-lasting discourse surrounding intersex traits as a psycho-social emergency that has to be cured immediately through medical procedures and focus on the rights of people with intersex traits. During the first stage of the research, with a look to the Italian case, an evaluation of the living situations of people with an intersex condition will be carried out, to examine the social and legal implications relating to the status of such children and adults. During the second part of the research, starting from the major international and European human rights framework and concepts (universality, equality and non-discrimination), a comparative analysis will be done, concerning the national laws, policies and case law that contribute to the recognition and protection of the fundamental rights of intersex people.
Project description: Security and human rights in the context of migratory trends. The case of Greece
The project aims to investigate the relation between security threats and human rights in the context of immigration. Immigration has evolved to be one of the most pressing problems of the European Union (EU) for the past decades. Since 1980 the political construction of migration presented the influx of citizens of third countries as a potential destabilizer of the process of European integration. The Middle East turmoil of the past decade and the rise of terrorism reaffirm the notion that the 3d country citizens’ influx in EU soil, have been seen through security lenses, presenting migration as an existential threat to state sovereignty, European Identity, and the process of European Integration among others. Given the focus on the security aspect of immigration, security logic used to justify a series of human, civil and humanitarian rights violations, giving EU countries the impetus to deny their international responsibilities and implement policies of wartime nature (e.g. Militarization of the borders). The project, using Greece as a case study, aims to trace the process by which immigration has turned in to security consideration among European countries, and the impact of security logic in the status of the human rights of Immigrants, with special focus on refugees and asylum seekers. The main ambition if the project is to justify that the current immigration crisis has created a human rights deficit in EU, and that the European policies must look away from security logic in to the respect of human rights in order to overcome with the current immigration crisis.
Summary of research project topic: her main research area is citizenship and human rights education, focusing on how topics such as democratic citizenship and human rights are taught in secondary schools in Europe. More specifically, the research project aims to explore how secondary-level teachers in France understand their role of educators, and what needs to they identify in relation to teaching these topics in the classroom. Moreover, the research seeks to analyse the impact of the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe in the last years on teachers’ perceptions and practice. In order to answer the main questions, this project is intended as a mixed-methods applied research, using quantitative and qualitative instruments to collect and analyse the data.