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European Research Council Projects

LOGO-ERC160 The Robert Schuman Centre hosts a number of research projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC), which span a wide range of topics and research questions.

Currently the Centre hosts ERC projects on issues such as, the state-religion relationship in western countries, and the EU relationship with Middle-East and North-African countries through the concept of borderlands. 

The projects are directed by leading academics in the respective fields, with the support of vibrant research teams of professors and scholars. 


Global Citizenship Governance (March 2017 - February 2022) 


Director: Professor Liav Orgad (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre and the Global Governance Programme)

Governing global migration is one of the most pressing issues of our time. With more than 250 million international immigrants, the question of how citizenship should be distributed has become a controversial issue, morally and politically.

The Global Citizenship Governance project advances the establishment of a new subfield in public international law – International Citizenship Law (ICIL) – which aims to formulate international standards by which states can admit migrants without fundamentally changing their cultural heritage and slipping into extreme nationalism.


EU Border Care (August 2015 - July 2020)

Director: Professor Vanessa Grotti (European University Institute)

EUBorderCareEU Border Care is a comparative study of the politics of maternity care among undocumented migrants on the EU’s peripheries. Empirical analysis of personal and institutional relations of care and control in the context of pregnancy and childbirth will support an innovative critique of the moral rationale underpinning healthcare delivery and migration governance in some of Europe’s most densely crossed borderlands in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

Unlike other categories of migrants, undocumented pregnant women are a growing phenomenon, yet few social science or public health studies address EU migrant maternity care. This subject has urgent implications: whilst recent geopolitical events in North Africa and the Middle East have triggered a quantifiable increase in pregnant women entering the EU in an irregular situation, poor maternal health indicators among such women represent ethical and medical challenges to which frontline maternity services located in EU borderlands have to respond, often with little preparation or support from national and European central authorities.


MIGPROSP (April 2014 – March 2019)

migprospDirector: Professor Andrew Geddes, Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute (EUI) 

The project ‘Prospects for International Migration Governance (MIGPROSP)’ analyses the drivers of migration governance. It focuses on how ‘actors’ within migration governance systems understand international migration, its causes and effects and key risks and uncertainties, and how these understandings shape or affect institutional responses. Before being hosted at the EUI the project was managed by the University of Sheffield  (from April 2014 to August 2017).


POLCON (March 2014 - February 2019) 

Director: Professor Hanspeter Kriesi (European University Institute)

POLCONlogoPOLCON assesses the contemporary development of European democracies and the politicization of the European integration process in the shadow of the Great Recession, which started with the breakdown of Lehman Brothers in Autumn 2008 and is still ongoing. To grasp the political consequences of the economic crisis, the project proposes a combination of a comparative-static analysis of thirty European countries and a dynamic analysis of political conflict in a selected number of cases. It intends to link the study of elections to the study of political protest, covering Western, Southern, as well as Central and Eastern European countries. For this purpose, the project will be based on survey data and on an original content analysis of protest events, election campaigns, and issue-specific public contestation across territorial levels and political arenas.


Willing to Pay (September 2012 - August 2017) 

Director: Professor Sven Steinmo (European University Institute)

WillingToPayLogoOne of the major challenges facing rich democracies is that of raising sufficient revenues to finance their fiscal commitments. This project aims to examine the “Willingness to Pay". This five-year project aims to integrate methods and insights drawn from Historical Institutionalist theory on the one side, and Experimental Methods on the other. Traditionally historical/interpretive methods have been quite divorced from more formal methodologies.  In this project many of the hypotheses generated through historical/institutional analysis will be tested through both laboratory and field experiments in Sweden, Italy, Britain and the United States. The research will specifically examine tax systems, citizens’ willingness to pay taxes in different contexts, as well as attitudes and beliefs about redistribution both across incomes and generations. 


Borderlands (October 2011 - March 2017) 


Director: Professor Raffaella A. Del Sarto (European University Institute and SAIS Europe, Johns Hopkins University)

"BORDERLANDS: Boundaries, Governance, and Power in the European Union's Relations with North Africa and the Middle East" investigates relations between the EU and Middle-East and North Africa countries (MENA) through the concept of borderlands. Aiming at re-examining one of the core concepts of international relations, namely borders, the project explores the complex and differentiated process by which the EU extends its functional and legal borders to the MENA countries, thereby transforming such area into borderlands.

The project produces research publications as well as databases and interactive maps on EU-MENA relations in the fields of security, migration, transport and trade.  


ReligioWest (June 2011 - October 2015) 

Director: Professor Olivier Roy (European University Institute)

ReligioWest studies how different western states in Europe and North America are redefining their relationship with religions under the challenge
of increasing religious activism in the public sphere due to new religious movements and Islam.

Although each country starts from very different and specific contexts of the relationship between state, religion and public sphere, this move seems to lead to a more uniform perception of what the relationship should be.

ReligioWest carries out research, produces publications and fosters debate on the following research issues:

  • Rethinking the concept of religious freedom
  • The intellectual independence of justice
  • Freedom of religion

Page last updated on 04 June 2019