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Current Research

A selection of our current research projects will be listed here.

A Global Anthropology of Transforming Marriage

This research will create a new theoretical vision of the importance of marriage as an agent of transformation in human sociality. Marriage globally is undergoing profound change, provoking intense debate and anxiety. These concerns refract wider instabilities in political, economic, and familial institutions. They signal the critical role of marriage in bringing together - and separating - intimate, personal, and familial life with wider state institutions. But we have little up to date comparative research or general theory of how marriage changes or the long-term significance of such change. Paradoxically, social scientific and public discourse emphasise the conservative and normative...

Arts For Advocacy: Creative Engagements And Experiences Of Forced Displacement In Morocco

This project will develop innovative, interdisciplinary, and participatory arts-based methods to facilitate creative engagement with forced displacement in Morocco. Morocco has become a country of transit and immigration, notably for sub-Saharan migrants fleeing persecution and poverty and for those fleeing conflict and persecution in Syria. Morocco is a strategic partner for the EU in the 'management' of trans-Mediterranean migration. Nevertheless, Morocco has featured little in recent depictions of the 'migration crisis' and has been overlooked by research. In this context, interculturality, migrants' rights, violence, and racism in Morocco urgently require new modes of critical engagement for research oriented towards the...

Global Power Shifts and The Changing Dynamics Of Export Finance

State-backed export credit (the use of loans and other forms of financing by states to boost exports) has recently burst onto the public stage, becoming a highly contentious area of both national policymaking and international negotiations. States have used export credit as a tool to encourage exports and stimulate their economies since the Great Depression of the 1930s (and in some cases, even earlier), although, since the 1970s, competition among states has been suppressed by a set of international rules established at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that restricted the use of export credit as a form...

Smart Urban Intermediaries – Trans-European Research, Learning, and Action

Urban neighbourhoods are sustained and mobilised by networks of key individuals who forge connections between communities and the institutions of urban governance, and work between these different institutions and different communities. This project aims to surface the often hidden contribution of these urban intermediaries as catalysts for smart urban development and crucial complements to technological and structural fixes, through introducing an emphasis on intermediation and collaboration practices for social innovation. Building on systematic, comparative and empirical pilot research already conducted in three European countries, this project addresses how urban intermediaries work to facilitate interactive urban governance and foment vibrant, accessible...

Engineering Life: Ideas, Practices, and Promises

“Engineering Life” is one of two major European Research Council grants currently held by staff in Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies (STIS). This €1.5 million Consolidator Grant leverages the extensive long-term research and engagement of Jane Calvert (PI, STIS), Pablo Schyfter (STIS), and Emma Frow (now Arizona State University) with synthetic biology. The multi-disciplinary team also includes Research Fellows Dominic Berry, Deborah Scott and Erika Szymanski, and several PhD students. Synthetic biology promises to inaugurate a new biotechnical revolution by developing tools to engineer the living world. Social scientists are asked to participate in synthetic biology research and governance to...