Research Programmes

REGIONAL CHAPTERS.

BELGIUM

Migration

This programme of work will examine how migrants navigate belonging in their new region of settlement. Articles 79 and 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) state that: the EU may provide incentives and support for measures taken by Member States to promote the integration of legally resident third-country nationals; EU law makes no provision for the harmonisation of national laws and regulations.

The extent to which migrants can successfully integrate has repercussions not only for individual feelings of belonging and acceptance, but also for wider social cohesion and race relations. Tensions between social groups also continue to give impetus to the rise of populism we are witnessing across Europe and the rest of the world. This research seeks to analyse this process of integration from a socio-political and socio-psychological lens and examine how migrants experience their own journey of integration, the challenges they face as well as the structural issues they may encounter. As this research seeks to inform policy on the ‘challenges and realities of integration’, we will also seek to conduct fieldwork with local members of the majority group in order to provide a range of perspectives that can be combined to make a contribution to knowledge and, in turn, policy.

The research director seeks to set the fieldwork location and parameters in collaboration with the research team. This research will utilise a triangulated methodology. Therefore, a requisite for this work is the willingness to conduct both desk and active fieldwork with participants.

Dr. Manmit Bhambra

Research Director

Manmit Bhambra is the Research Officer of the Religion and Global Society research unit and is coordinating its inaugural project, Strengthening Religious Cooperation in Global London. The project is exploring the impact of COVID-19 on interfaith relations and the potential for interfaith collaboration in these circumstances. Educated at LSE and the University of Oxford, she holds an Oxford doctorate in Sociology. Her thesis explored how national identity is understood and experienced in multicultural contexts and the impact of this on minority groups in the United Kingdom. Her research interests are centred around identity politics and formation, ethnic, religious and national identities as well as the broader themes of race, inclusion and minority rights. She has recently worked on research projects with young people at the LSE’s European Institute and Middle East Centre. She works actively with youth organisations throughout the U.K. and is interested in issues facing young people today. She is also Lecturer in Global Politics at Imperial College London.

Innovation

The amount of collected data is increasing exponentially, our skills in data analysis are ever-advancing, and applications of artificial intelligence are becoming commonplace across industries. Big data, in combination with predictive analytics, enables increasingly granular prediction of future risks, events, and people’s behavior.

Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of methods of data science, statistics, and machine learning, which are applied to data to identify patterns and to draw predictions.

Data-driven innovation offers countless opportunities for business and possibly technological solutions to systemic challenges such as climate change, the aging population, and the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, society could benefit greatly from the ability to predict traffic accidents and environmental disasters, predictive repair of machinery, as well as more effective and sustainable energy usage and agriculture.

Yet, not all data-fueled innovations lead to outcomes that are desirable from the societal perspective (See Ezrachi & Stucke, Digitalization and its impact on innovation, 2020) and they may even undermine European social order. For example, technology may be used to predict, track, and suppress citizen movements, hamper competition, and assess a person’s future financial or health status to their disadvantage.

The project will start with building an understanding of what predictive analytics are, their dependency on big data, and their role in the context of data-driven innovation. On this basis, the team will investigate specific sectors where predictive analytics are applied. Preliminarily, the focus will be on the use of predictive analytics in the context of Internet-of-Things, where the analyzed data is collected from is a physical environment, as well as their application at the interface of public and private sectors, such in mobility and urban environments.

The objective of the project is to:

  • understand what predictive analytics is and the implications of its adoption.
  • identify applications of predictive analytics that are desirable to support on the European level.
  • identify challenges and undesirable effects associated with technology relying on predictive analytics.
  • identify policy measures to mitigate them.

The relevant normative criteria of the evaluation of threats and opportunities associated with predictive analytics and focus on specific applications/sectors/policy instruments will be selected with consideration of the disciplinary background and personal interests of the group members.

Alina Wernick

Research Director

Alina Wernick is an associated researcher at the The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the lead of the project of “Smart city technologies’ long-term human rights risks”. In the project, which is funded by the Kone Foundation, she investigates the interrelationship of innovation, surveillance and fundamental rights in smart cities.

Besides her work on data-driven innovation in fields such as automotive and digital health, she conducts legal research in the field of data protection, intellectual property and competition law as well as open innovation. At the HIIG, she has contributed earlier to the “Data Governance” and “The Futures of Telemedicine” projects.

Alina Wernick completed her doctoral degree at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität on the topic of patent law and open innovation. Prior to that, she completed the International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation as well as conducted doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition.

Alina Wernick has obtained master and bachelor degrees in law from the University of Helsinki. During her legal studies, she worked at an interdisciplinary laboratory Simlab at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management of the Aalto University.

Besides her academic experience, Alina Wernick has interned inter alia at a large German law firm and the European Patent office. She has obtained further international experience through a research exchange at the University of Texas and a study exchange at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Climate

This programme of work will research the ways in which climate change has begun to generate heightened security challenges for the European Union.

Climate change has aggravated instability and conflict dynamics; has begun to increase the number of migrants fleeing from the states hardest hit by global warming; increasingly puts global supply chains at risk; strains multilateral institutions and risks a confrontational zero-sum security panorama. More generally, it has repercussions for international power balances: as fossil-fuel suppliers lose power, other countries will gain power as exporters of power generated by renewables and the minerals that have become crucial to new battery technologies. Even if states meet their current carbon emissions targets, these security consequences will still be far-reaching and long-lasting. Covid-19 was also in part related to climate stresses and an example of the kind of global event set to become more prevalent in the future. While climate change has already begun to have a profound impact on European security, the EU response to date has been underwhelming.

This research programme will critically examine the EU’s emerging climate-security policies and generate ideas for how these need to develop in the future.

Dr. Richard Youngs

Research Director

Richard Youngs is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, based at Carnegie Europe. He works on EU foreign policy and on issues of international democracy.

Youngs is also a professor of international relations at the University of Warwick. Prior to joining Carnegie in July 2013, he was the director of the European think tank FRIDE. He has held positions in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as an EU Marie Curie fellow. He was a senior fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, from 2012 to 2013.

Youngs has authored thirteen books. His most recent works are Civic Activism Unleashed: New Hope or False Dawn for Democracy? (Oxford University Press, 2019), Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU (I.B. Tauris, 2017), and Europe’s Eastern Crisis: The Geopolitics of Asymmetry (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Regions

The debate developed in Europe around the word ‘region’ is extraordinarily rich and involves several academic disciplines. However, it is a debate involving also professionals and policy makers working on regional development and territorial cohesion.

It seems thus relevant to state first what the Regions research program is not. The program is not aimed at providing yet another assessment of the territorial cohesion at the EU or local level: there is strong scientific literature available, including several models and the data necessary to run them.

Usually these models are proposed as tools to inform and support the policy makers in reducing the differences in regional development, frequently correlated with the presence (or absence) of urban elements and features.

The “Regions” program focuses on attempting to contribute in filling the gap between the urban and non-urban areas. This does not mean that we believe that non-urban territories have not been investigated or adequately considered by policies. We note, instead, that the non-urban territories are almost always scrutinized standing from an urban point of view: a consequence is, e.g., that they are usually defined with privative adjectives, such as: marginal, inner, peripheral, etc. Frequently, urban people (scholars, professionals, but even writers and reporters) “come down” to the non-urban areas in order to study them and this contributes to a narrative and to some extent also to the elaboration of policy options.

In the 89ers “Regions” program, we would like to contribute to the policy debate with a narrative in which the voices of the non-urban world, in which so many Europeans live, will be not represented by someone living (working, being educated, etc.) in a big city.

 

The research team will work with an open and interdisciplinary approach, starting from representative study areas, with two methodological pillars:

  1. listening. Thanks to the linguistic skills and local presence (chapters) of the 89ers, we will be able to access and share the richness of knowledge produced at the local level, eventually bringing it to higher levels of government or to the scholarly debate;
  2. walking. In order to put a place on the map and know more about it, it is necessary to go there. The research group will thus perform coordinated fieldwork in order to observe, hear, interview and collect information and stories, right there, in place.

 

The analysis of study areas will be conducted, listening and walking, in order to build comparisons and collect ideas and solutions, to inform and stimulate the decision makers both at the European and at the local level.

 

A prerequisite for participation is willingness to conduct fieldwork. The research will be performed combining desk research and fieldwork. Desk research will include analysing documents (research papers, policy documents, reports – but also newspapers and social media) and, in some cases, collection and analysis of data.

Fieldwork entails working in the study area, observing, taking pictures, recording, talking with people (citizens, policy makers, business owners, etc.), conducting semi-structured interviews. The researchers involved should thus be available for travelling and working in the study area (the study area will be defined together by the research team, also in consideration of the eventuality of restrictions due to the health emergency and the academic calendar). Both the desk research and the fieldwork will be conducted and coordinated among the members of the team.

Dr. Daniele Ietri

Research Director

Daniele is full professor of Geography at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. He holds a PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Torino. He authored, with Peter K. Kresl, Creating Cities / Building Cities. Architecture and Urban Competitiveness, Smaller Cities in a World of Competitiveness, published by Elgar, Urban Competitiveness: Theory and Practice, The Aging Population and the Competitiveness of Cities: Benefits to the Urban Economy, published by Routledge.

He is co-founder of La Fournaise, a collective of artists and researchers active in the production of documentaries. The movies produced by the group participated and were awarded at film festivals in Italy and abroad. In the last years, Daniele organised and coordinated a residency for artists and researchers in a small village in the western Alps. The residency produced a book Studi sul Qui (Studies on Here), a book collecting the experience of the participants which is forthcoming with the Italian publisher Mimesis. Daniele’s mother tongue is Friulan, but he also speaks Italian, French and English, and studies German.

LONDON

Democracy

This research investigates the role of civil society in sustaining UK-EU relations post-Brexit.

Last decade was marked by unprecedented political upheaval in Europe, beyond the level of high politics new types of civil society began mobilising within and across countries in response to new challenges. Many of these movements or organisations are defined by shared values and agendas rather than political badges, or national belonging. Equally, the visions of Europe articulated by bottom-up civic activity no longer fit into the old dichotomy between those espousing euro-scepticism and those exhibiting euro-enthusiasm, they do however utilise the opportunities, networks and frames of reference associated with European integration. This research evidences the practices and agendas of civil society groups, organisations, and other various actors that have the capacity to uphold close UK-EU relations in the post-Brexit era.

Dr. Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

Research Director

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz is a sociologist. He graduated from the New School for Social Research in New York City and received his PhD from the LSE European Institute.

Currently, he is a Research Officer at LSE IDEAS, where he studies European civil society for the Visions of Europe project, and is also Managing Editor of the LSE Brexit blog. He is the author of numerous reports on the social organisation and civic identity of Polish migrants in the UK based on original survey and ethnographic research across the country (2013-2017). He was one of the core investigators of the LSE—based Generation Brexit project, which crowed-sources a millennial cohort vision for a post-Brexit future among British and European youth. His recent research covers young Ukrainians’ political activism in Poland. He teaches sociology at the UCL Social Research Institute.

Innovation

Surviving and striving in a pandemic: Exploring successful SMEs across regions and sectors.

Given the global pandemic, many small businesses have closed and will find it difficult to survive in the market once lockdown is eased and businesses are re-opened. Most governments and academics have concentrated on the ‘bleak house’ scenario facing the small business sector but very few have focussed on the successes and those businesses that have seen the opportunities arising from COVID19. Thus, the focus of this research is small businesses who have adapted well to their environment. By adaptation, we are referring not only to the short-term but have also planned and strategized long-term as we come out of the pandemic to a new norm. This research will also take into consideration regional elements and sectorial variations, and explore promising practices through case studies to inform and influence policy.

Norin Ashred

Research Director

Norin Arshed joined the University of Dundee in October 2017. She is an economist by background with professional experience both in the public and private sectors. Her work focuses on enterprise policy, especially the role and contribution of those linked to enterprise policy formulation (ministers and civil servants) and policy implementation (national, regional and local economic development agencies).  She is also interested in how entrepreneurs and SMEs experience and use such policy initiatives, women’s entrepreneurship and scale-ups. Much of her work draws on institutional theory to shed light on the dynamics of the policy process.

As a direct result of her work in women’s enterprise, Norin was appointed as an Independent Government Advisor to the Scottish Government’s Minister of Business, Fair Skills and Work in April 2019. She has also recently been awarded a Scottish Parliament Fellowship to undertake a Scotland-wide research project on how women entrepreneurs are coping in the pandemic. She is also a subject expert on the external Peer Review Group at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy which involves providing an independent and transparent assessment of the quality of their evaluations prior to publication. Further to her external roles she is a member of the advisory board for Innovation Caucus (ESRC and Innovate UK) and Innovate UK’s strategy working group. She is a visiting scholar at IÉSEG School of Management in Paris and an external examiner at the University of Glasgow for the MSc FinTech programme.

Norin has published in leading international journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, the Journal of Business Research, and International Journal of Management Reviews. She also contributes to research with numerous stakeholders including various governments, SMEs, entrepreneurs and; prominent think tanks.

Health

Dr. Iris Mosweu

Research Director

Iris is an LSE Fellow in the Department of Health Policy. She is a seminar leader for various modules provided by the department. Iris is also a final year PhD student and her research examines the economic impact of late uptake and non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among HIV patients in England. Her PhD work is primarily based on an NIHR funded program evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an engagement support intervention for HIV patients initiating ART (SuPA). The health economics component of the program is a trial-based economic evaluation, augmented by a Markov model to assess the long-term cost-effectiveness of this complex intervention.

Her previous role as a Research Associate with King’s College London, focused on the economic evaluation of interventions in both physical and mental health.
Iris started her career with the Ministry of Health in Botswana in 2000 where her research included evaluating the health financing system in Botswana and assessing national health accounts. In 2005 she joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Project Associate responsible for monitoring and evaluation of programs in Botswana. In 2007 she moved to the UK to study for her MSc, and subsequently joined King’s in 2008.

Research interests

Iris works on the cost-effectiveness of interventions -within randomised controlled trials and the use of decision modelling- in HIV, cardiology, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and mental health. Her interest extends to applying health economics methods in different contexts.

Her interest extends to applying health economics methods in low- and middle-income countries, and to support this she has published a book chapter, assessing Economic evaluations in global mental health. She is currently involved in research investigating evidence of the economic impact of different health programs and interventions in Africa, with a particular interest in mental health.

Publications

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