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Department of Political and Social Sciences

SPS theses of the month: October

The EUI Department of Political and Social Sciences is delighted to announce that during the month of October three PhD researchers have successfully defended their dissertation.

07 November 2023 | Research


Congratulations to Alessandro Ferrara, Luuk Schmitz, and Lukas Schmid from the EUI Department of Political and Social Sciences for receiving their doctorates in October 2023, after unanimous decisions from the jury.

In his dissertation, Alessandro Ferrara investigates the phenomenon known in social stratification literature as the "immigrant paradox". The paradox consists in the repeatedly observed finding that immigrants in affluent countries tend to enjoy advantages in certain outcomes compared to natives, in spite of their disadvantageous position due to their migration status. In his thesis, Alessandro studies the unexpected advantage of the children of immigrants in terms of educational aspirations, track choices in secondary education, and final educational attainment. How can we explain the immigrant advantage in educational transitions? Are immigrants positively selected on traits that make them also more optimistic with regard to educational choices? Or do they lack proper information? Do we find the "immigrant paradox" in all countries and among all ethnic groups? And, what are the later consequences of initial ambitious educational choices? Do they lead to higher chance of later educational failure? In his exhaustive and sophisticated study, Alessandro addresses these type of questions and investigates the causes, scope, and consequences of the "immigrant paradox" using data from Italy, Germany, France, and UK.

Read Alessandro Ferrara's thesis in Cadmus.

On Luuk Schmitz' thesis defence: The European Union is in flux! Moving beyond the Single Market, Europe faces the uncomfortable industrial policy truth of state-building, with important implication for fiscal governance. There is a need to better allow for long-term public investment in the EU economy, and to overcome the disproportionate reliance on private capital. Luuk Schmitz' dissertation is an unusually strong, detailed, and nuanced account of how industrial policy, or state-activism, resurfaced in Europe.

Read Luuk Schmitz' thesis in Cadmus.

Lukas Schmid defended his dissertation with Paulina Espejo, Ashwini Vasankathumar, and Rainer Bauböck as examiners, and Andrea Sangiovanni as supervisor. The dissertation challenged our assumptions about the legitimacy of border controls across a range of different scenarios. All felt that Lukas defended it with grace and precision, and that it was an excellent thesis overall. Well done Lukas!

Read Lukas Schmid's thesis in Cadmus.

Last update: 09 November 2023

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