© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
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
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
Davide Nicola Carnevale
Research Topic: Socio-anthropology of Religions and Political Processes, Ethnography of Post-Soviet contexts, Visual studies.
Rossella De Falco
Research Topic: Public Health, Inequality and Economic Crisis: What Future for the Right to Health?