The first project call for CIVICA Research, with the aim to fund projects that “foster new, innovative research and deepen cooperation between CIVICA’s eight member universities” has yielded awards for 11 of 27 proposals. Faculty members and fellows from every academic unit of the EUI are participants in six of the winning projects, two of which will be led at the RSC. The alliance announced its selection on 19 May.
In CIVICA’s announcement of the results, Carsten Schneider, Professor in the Political Science Department at Central European University (and EUI alumnus) and chair of the evaluation committee noted “We were impressed by the number of outstanding proposals we have received.” Mark Hallerberg, Acting President at the Hertie School and member of the evaluation committee, stated “These projects will work on the cutting edge of social science to provide new perspectives on the present and future of our societies.” CIVICA also announced that thanks to the quality of the research proposals received, its members have agreed to increase the available funding.
Contesting the court
‘Contesting the Court: Examining Judicial Politics in the European Union’ is a joint EUI and Hertie School project that brings together a group of leading lawyers and political scientists within the CIVICA network to examine the constitutional resilience of the EU political order. The project, led by Robert Schuman Centre Professor of Law Bruno de Witte and Hertie School Professor Mark Dawson, seeks to determine how judicial politics and contestation impact and alter the EJ judiciary, and will explore how the EU judicial branch safeguards basic principles such as the rule of law. With ‘Contesting the Court’, De Witte and Dawson hope to prepare the ground for a broader and more ambitious collaboration between CIVICA and the European constitutional order.
While the key partners of this project span across five of the alliance institutions, the EUI is a unifying element in the careers of all the members. As De Witte explains, “the EUI connection facilitated the composition of the research network. Loic Azoulai at Sciences Po is a former EUI faculty member, Mark Dawson at Hertie and Mathias Moschel at CEU both obtained their PhDs from the Institute, and Eleanor Spaventa, now on faculty at Bocconi, was a Fernand Braudel Fellow in the Law Department.”
Digital trade integration
‘Digital Trade Integration - Dataset & Index’ is the second EUI-led project, with Max Weber Fellow Martina Ferracane as team leader. This research initiative brings together four of the CIVICA partners, and includes from the EUI Professor Bernard Hoekman, Director of Global Economics at the RSC; RSC Visiting Fellow Andrew Calderaro; Professors Madeleine de Cock Buning and Andrea Renda from the School of Transnational Governance; Professors Nicolas Petit and Giovanni Sartor from the Department of Law; Professor Pier Luigi Parcu, Director of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom; Lisa Ginsborg, STG Teaching Associate; and Professor Giacomo Calzolari from the Department of Economics. The project’s goal is to launch an international network on digital trade that uses cross-disciplinary research on best practices to create both a dataset of digital trade restrictions and an index on digital trade integration (DTII).
‘Digital Trade Integration’ will bring together academics, NGOs, policy-makers and others to discuss issues related to digital trade such as privacy, cybersecurity, censorship and disinformation, and will attempt to shed light on how economic and non-economic objectives can be balanced. The project will also launch a dedicated webpage with open data on the DTII and deliver a report on key findings.
Reacting to the announcement, project leader Martina Ferracane stated, “I am so happy to start this project that brings together four great universities […] Digital trade has grown to become an important component of our daily life. This project will help to identify how to best regulate digital trade so that countries can reach their policy objectives while avoiding unnecessary costs for the economy."
New research networks across the alliance
In addition to the two projects being led at the Schuman Centre, four other of the new projects will include EUI academics.
Professor Elias Dinas from the Department of Political and Social Sciences will join colleagues at the Hertie School and the LSE on the CIVICA Research funded project ‘Migration, Terrorism, and Democracy’.
Department of History and Civilisation Professor Lucy Riall will collaborate with colleagues from Sciences Po, Bocconi, CEU and the LSE on their project 'Democracy and Its Discontents. A Historical Examination of the Current Predicament of Democracy'.
Alexandru D. Moise, a Max Weber Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Sciences, is part of the team working on 'Welfare, Democracy, and Populism under COVID-19', along with researchers from CEU, the LSE, and Bocconi.
Finally, incoming RSC Max Weber Fellow Silvia Pianta will add her expertise to the project 'Sustainable energy and food transitions', a project run with partners from Bocconi and CEU.
Read more about all 11 projects funded by CIVICA Research on the CIVICA website.
Photo: RSC Max Weber Fellow Martina Ferracane, pictured above, is the team leader for the project ‘Digital Trade Integration - Dataset & Index’.