- Gregory D. Squires (Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, USA)
Project: Inequality, the Financial Crisis, and the Ameliorative Role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Period: 2nd of June – 16th of June 2018
Short presentation: Inequality has surged in recent years capturing the attention of scholars, policymakers, community organizations, and citizens around the world. While inequality provides a critical context for understanding the many challenges cities and nations confront, it is particularly salient for coming to terms with the financial crisis and its continuing effects, including the persistent segregation of cities and metropolitan areas. My presentation, drawing in part from my recently co-authored book Meltdown: The Financial Crisis, Consumer Protection, and the Road Forward, will examine its first five years of operation, chronicling those factors that contributed to its success and the challenges it has faced and continues to face.
One factor that contributed to the crisis and the disproportionate costs for racial and ethnic minorities has been the longstanding patterns of segregation in US housing markets. Predatory lending practices were targeted at minority communities, facilitated by the persisting segregation of US communities. The underlying causes of segregation have changed over the years, and the growth of various immigrant communities has altered the demography of those communities. But the persistence of racial and ethnic segregation, coupled with rising economic segregation, perpetuates the uneven development of cities and shapes the opportunity structure diverse groups face. The history and ongoing realities of housing discrimination and segregation will be the focus of a workshop I will conduct for graduate students in Sociology. It will draw in part from my forthcoming edited book, The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act. This workshop will examine the dynamics of housing discrimination and segregation in particular but will also explore how scholars in academic settings can work with non-academic organizations in applying the findings of social science research to various public policy issues.
Mr. Squires has recently received the prestigious ”2018 Contribution to the Field of Urban Affairs Award”. For more information, click here.
Institutional profile and CV: https://sociology.columbian.gwu.edu/gregory-d-squires
- Mălina Voicu (Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy)
Project: Social values: modernization, institutional and structural factors
Period: 1st of June 2018 – September 30th 2018
Short presentation: ”According to the literature, there is a strong connection between level of socio-economic modernization and social values, each time in history being connected with a specific set of social values. However, several other factors interfere with modernization and lead the value profile of a given society on a different path. The existing studies refer to social institutions and social structure as complementary factors to modernization. My previous work documents the connection between social values and family policies, social diversity and political institutions. During my stay at ICUB I plan to work further on several items that currently exist on my research agenda, to develop a new research project with colleagues from University of Bucharest and to get involved in knowledge transfer activities. ”
- Cynthia M. Horne (Department of Political Science, Western Washington University, USA)
Project: Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking Toward the Future
Period: June 18th, 2018 – July 10th, 2018
Short presentation: Impact assessments of the efficacy of transitional justice have thus far focused on how certain types of measures, such as truth commissions, amnesties and lustration, affected transition goals like institutional trust, peace-building, and democratization. The creation of new transitional justice databases like Tricia Olsen, Leigh Payne and Andrew Reiter’s Transitional Justice Database and Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Cyanne E Loyle, Scott Gates, Jon Elster’s Post-Conflict Justice dataset have advanced our ability to investigate possible causal relationships. Although impact assessments of transitional justice are still working out the causal relationships between certain accountability and justice measures and transitional goals, there has been a generalized assumption that earlier measures are better than later measures. The literature thus starts with an unproven assumption that late measures are less efficacious, possibly even counter-productive, but certainly suboptimal policy choices compared to measures enacted early in the transition. Given the lack of systematic evidence to support this assertion, this potentially misleading assumption bears empirical investigation.
Institutional profile and CV: https://chss.wwu.edu/people/hornec
- Tatiana Spătaru, PhD (Institute of Juridical and Political Sciences of the ASM, Moldova Academy of Sciences)
Project: The Nature of the Stratification of the Moldovan and Romanian Societies in the Context of International Comparisons (a Cross-national Analysis)
Period: September 1st, 2018 – December 31st, 2018
Short presentation: The nature of social stratification is the basic sociological indicator which allows the assessment of transformational processes of any society, acting as a product of a specific system of social, political and economic relations. Although, on the international level there are acquired considerable expertises within social stratification study, yet there is no commonly accepted concept which would explain the divergent processes of social hierarchies’ transformation within post socialist societies. Taking into account the difficulty and methodological complexity of modern sociological studies of social stratification, these are being developed in specialized centers in countries with high developed economies. The demand for the analytical studies of inequality on the international level is covered by a range of centers specialized in compared analyses. However, the current practice of comparative studies on the international level is still conventional. In order to explain the stratification processes from the post socialist space, a series of concepts and development techniques are being applied by the western sociologists, regarding the description of the inequality structures within western type societies. A priori, these approaches are limited by virtue of incapacity to identify the type of relations and inequalities specific to the type of post socialist societies.
- Ramia Gaby George, PhD (University of Sydney, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)
Project: The Relationship Between Work and Welfare: The Institutions of Social Protection Over Time
Period: January 1st, 2019 – December 31st, 2019
Short presentation: Gaby Ramia is Associate Professor in Public Policy within the Department of Government and International Relations at The University of Sydney. His research uses policy, administration and governance theories in the study of welfare. The population categories he focuses on most intensively are long-term unemployed people, and international students. He was previously Acting Director of the university’s Graduate School of Government, and prior to that at Monash University where he was Director of the graduate program in Public Policy and Management. Gaby is currently leading an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project on governance networks, social networks and the employability and wellbeing of the long-term unemployed. He has ongoing research interests on the relationship between work and welfare, and international education.
Institutional profile: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/staff/profiles/gaby.ramia.php
Former Visiting Professors
Michael G. Flaherty (Eckerd College, USA)
Project: Time and Society (5th of May 2018 -1st of June 2018)
Short presentation: A temporal regime governs the operation of American correctional facilities. This temporal regime determines how inmates experience time and space in prison. Convicts have been “given” time (i.e., their sentences), but the temporal resources allocated for their various activities are quite limited. They are serving time, not deciding what to do with it. In addition, indeterminate sentences, the cyclical character of their schedule, and the cyclical pattern of recidivism combine to deprive prisoners of any future on the horizon. Incarceration makes it self-defeating to count standard temporal units (i.e., hours and days), but, wanting to mark the passage of time, prisoners develop unique ways to structure their temporal experience. Moreover, inmates engage in various forms of “time work” (or temporal agency) in an effort to resist the temporal regime and exert some degree of self-control over their own experience of time.
Institutional profile and CV: https://www.eckerd.edu/sociology/faculty/flaherty/
Dragoș-Paul Aligică (George Mason University, Mercatus Center, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
Project: Epistocracy, Elitism and the New Paternalism: New Challenges to Liberal Democracy in Contemporary Political Thought (7-31 May 2018)
Short presentation: The recent developments in behavioral economics and political philosophy have profoundly challenged the very foundation of the pro-democracy and self-governance argument. The ideal of rational, active and informed democratic man was subjected to a variety of empirical and conceptual criticisms. The realism and feasibility of self-governance was questioned on the grounds of the very limits of citizens’ competence.The emerging view suggests that any governance theory based on citizens’ capacities and on expectations of public entrepreneurship, is doomed to be unrealistic and not feasible: The epistemic and competence resources of citizens are rather limited and public entrepreneurship is far from able to effectively overcome collective action problem. In fact, it is rarely triggered, given the incentive structure of the public action arenas and the ways social actors perceive and react to those incentives. And thus a revival of revamped anti-democratic doctrines shifts the attention towards various forms of epistemic-asymmetry-based alternatives to liberal democracy.The growth of anew form paternalism is already featuring concrete applied formulas: At the most basic level is the so called “Nudge” technology of public policy, as an example of the elemental policy intervention unit (basic building block) of the approach. Then is “Libertarian Paternalism,” as the theory justifying the technique and the intervention. And finally is the so called “Epistocracy,” as a larger doctrine of governance, within which technical social engineering interventions on the architecture of choice (such as “Nudging”) or normative justifications such as “Paternalism,” combine to generate a model or ideal of a defensible system of governance (Thaler and Sunstein 2003; Brennan 2016). There is no doubt that the idea of self-governance is seriously put on the defensive in the light of the theories and doctrines noted above, as well as of the resurgence of more traditional, authoritarian and collectivistic views, reasserting on the global arena.
Institutional profile and CV: https://ppe.mercatus.org/paul-dragos-aligica
Tamara Cărăuș, PhD
Project: Revisiting the Idea of a Cosmopolitan Institution: Cosmopolitanism as the Institution of Critique (April 15th, 2018 – May 14th, 2018)
Short presentation: ”This project is a continuation and development of my previous research on cosmopolitanism from below and contestatory politics. The project addresses the reluctance of political philosophy, which endorses the Kantian warning against the world state as a global Leviathan, to take into consideration the idea of a world state, and the failure of the few proposals defending a world state to provide an account of agency who will bring these institutions into being, relying implicitly on the idea of an enlightened sovereign that will impose cosmopolitan institutions from above. To redress these gaps, the project advances an approach of cosmopolitan institutions in a new key, that is, as practice and action from the bottom up. The institutional experimentation practiced within three case-studies selected from the global social movements allow mapping the institutional ideas emerging from the bottom up and theorizing cosmopolitan institutions in terms of critique, practice, and transformation. The contestation inherent in the social movements makes possible the de-structuring of what is unjust in current institutions and opens up a process of institutional experimentation. The contestation and critique point to a cosmopolitan institution not as an unchanging structure and apparatus, but as a permanent process of de-structuring and re-structuring of the existing institutions. Thus, the project offers a non-totalizing approach of a cosmopolitan institution compatible with the plurality of social and political standpoints in the contemporary world and with the reality of disagreement and conflict.”
Victoria Seitz – ”Thinking Beyond Our Borders: Developing Strategies for Internationalization of Romania’s Products and Services” (November 27th, 2017 – December 22nd, 2017)
Héctor Calleros-Rodríguez – ”The Politics of Judicial Appointments and the Legitimacy of Constitutional Judges” (September 15th, 2017 – November 30th, 2017)
Stephen J. Cutler – ”Promoting Interests and Competence in Ageing Research: A Joint Project of the Institute for Research at the University of Bucharest and the Doctoral Program of the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Bucharest” (October 15th, 2017 – January 15th, 2018)
Alexandru Minea – ”Can inflation targeting promote institutional quality in developing countries?” (May 31st, 2017 – June 13th, 2017)
Tamara Cărăuș – ”Migrant Cosmopolitanism” (October 1st, 2016 – July 31, 2017)
Irene Peano – ”Gender in Global Care-Commodity Chains: A Research on the Supply End and Reproduction of Romanian Farm-Labour Migration in Italy” (December 1st, 2016 – February 28th, 2017)
Paul Dragoș Aligica – ”David Mitrany” (June 26th, 2016 – July 10th, 2016)
You can find out more about our Former Visiting Professors here.