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Department of Political and Social Sciences

SPS theses of the month: June

The Department of Political and Social Sciences is delighted to announce that during the month of June seven PhD researchers successfully defended their dissertation.

10 July 2024 | Research


Congratulations to Azizjon Bagadirov, Anne Sofie Nielsen, Marcus Hagley, Joakim Brattvoll, Lars Erik Gjerde, Nerea Gándara-Guerra, and Luca Cigna from the Department of Political and Social Sciences, for receiving their doctorates in June 2024, after unanimous decisions from the jury.

Aziz Bagadirov successfully defended his thesis, Human Flourishing and Structural Injustice, on 3 June. All of his examiners – Serene Khader, Maeve McKeown, Anton Hemerijk, and Andrea Sangiovanni – agreed that this was a thesis of the highest calibre, and he passed without corrections.

Read Aziz Bagadirov’s thesis in Cadmus.

Anne Sofie defended her thesis, Navigating Social Media Environments The Influence of Social Media Environments on Attitudes Towards Immigration in Denmark and Sweden, on 5 June. The thesis addressed the timely and important question of how political information and discussion on social media can affect peoples’ attitudes to immigration. Rather than changing peoples’ attitudes, Anne Sofie shows that social media tends to activate and channel existing beliefs and dispositions. The distinctive contribution offered by the thesis is its specification of the underlying mechanisms by which political attitudes can be influenced by online information and its demonstration of the intricate interplay between values, information, and peoples’ social environments. 

Read Anne Sofie Nielsen’s thesis in Cadmus.

Marcus Hagley defended his, Remnants of Kin: Three Essays on Kin Loss, on 7 June. In the thesis, he presents analyses based on high-quality population data from Sweden on interesting questions concerning the impact of deaths in the family on social and economic outcomes. Almost everyone experiences a death of a loved one at some point of their life course. Beyond emotional ones, do these events have effects on our socioeconomic trajectories? The answers from the first two papers are affirmative. The first paper shows that losing a sibling in young adulthood has negative effects on earnings and labour market attachment, and the second paper concludes that deaths in the kin network – and loss of a spouse in particular – affect the timing of retirement. The third paper asks how migrants’ kin networks develop as migrants age. Microsimulation results show a bifurcation of kin availability in many migrant groups: on the other hand, some immigrants will have large kin networks present in Sweden, but others will be kinless, raising questions of their access to social support in old age.

Read Marcus Hagley’s thesis in Cadmus.

Joakim Brattvoll defended his thesis, Understanding Russia’s Legalism. Challenging and Reproducing Western Hegemony in the Fight Against Terrorism, on 11 June. The examiners agreed that the thesis represented an important contribution to the literature on Russian foreign and security policy, and that it was based on thorough and illuminating research and post-structuralist methodologies.

Read Joakim Brattvoll’s thesis in Cadmus.

Lars Gjerde defended his thesis, Leviathans of Scandinavia: A Weberian-Foucauldian Study of the Politics of COVID-19 in Norway and Sweden, on 12 June. In the thesis, Lars develops a new theory of the state to explain the pandemic politics that played out in Scandinavia during Covid-19. Bringing together insights from the social theory of Foucault and Weber, Gjerde offers compelling and novel insights on how Norway and Sweden 'governed' during the pandemic. The jury - Jeff Checkel (EUI; supervisor), Stefano Guzzini (EUI), Julie Hassing Nielsen (Lund University), and Ole Jacob Sending (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs / NUPI) - was unanimous in praising Lars for both the theoretical depth and empirical richness of the thesis.

Read Lars Gjerde’s thesis in Cadmus.

Nerea Gándara-Guerra defended her thesis entitled, From the feminist void to the feminist club. Three essays on feminists movements and social change, on 13 June. Nerea's thesis explores the origins of social change, focusing specifically on attitudes towards women's roles in society. By employing cutting-edge research designs and leveraging a wealth of original data, Nerea examines how social movements act as catalysts for change. Her research suggests that these movements influence change not directly, but through shifts in beliefs and perceptions among opinion leaders such as politicians and media celebrities. This thesis makes significant contributions both theoretically and in terms of policy implications.

Read Nerea Gándara-Guerra’s thesis in Cadmus.

Luca Cigna, defended his thesis entitled, Union Matters. The New Politics of Collective Action, on 14 June. Against the backdrop of decreasing union membership and power, trade unions are expected to preserve narrow insider-interests to the disregard of labour-market outsiders, reinforcing dualisation. The thesis shows that dualisation drift is not the only show in town. By highlighting how progressive union collective action plays a key role in reversing dualisation and promoting gender-balance social investment reform, and by employing a creative methodology of contextualised comparison between Italy and the Netherlands, Luca brings to fore how different institutional contexts conjure up manifold opportunities for public regarding collective action in the 21st century.

Read Luca Cigna’s thesis in Cadmus.

Last update: 10 July 2024

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