The Preamble to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights speaks of the peoples of Europe who are conscious of its heritage and wish to share a peaceful future based on such common values as dignity, equality and solidarity. One of the crucial sources of these values is Classical Antiquity, which laid the foundations for many ideas shaping our contemporary world. In particular, the ancient myths and their reception build a sense of community and a code of reciprocal understanding – so important in times of growing separatist tendencies – and they permit us to address issues relevant for our societies, e.g. war (Troy), migration (Aeneas), disability (Minotaur), ecology (dryads) and pandemics (Oedipus). Even the “dark sides” of the Classics, like slavery and the discrimination of women, offer vital impulses for discussion of our current challenges, with a limited risk of trauma, for the myths are perceived as both close to and detached from our reality. This heritage of such amazing potential is vanishing, however, from school education, which loses its connection with research. We respond to this problem with a unique programme conveyed via a Handbook for high schoolers. The Handbook will draw on materials from the Our Mythical Childhood Consolidator Grant, incl. the ground-breaking animations of ancient vases. Its chapters will contain examples of myth reception from all the EU member states, along with the extra-European contexts covered by my team members and experts from Australia, Cameroon, Israel, UK, USA, etc. It will have a game format: its users will play Modern Argonauts on a voyage of discovery of the shared mythical heritage. Owing to the collaboration established by the PI, the Handbook will be promoted by such leading bodies as Fédération Internationale des Associations d’Etudes Classiques, Cambridge School Classics Project and Associazione Italiana di Cultura Classica, thus providing societies worldwide with an innovative model for research-based education.
Abortion laws are the crux of human rights diversity today. Abortion laws evidence best how differently human rights meanings are construed in various local settings. However, we know very little about how this diversity is generated in practice. This project will scrutinize the communication processes that use human rights as arguments to change abortion laws. We will contrast abortion debates from the last ten years in pairs of countries that represent three regional human rights systems: Mozambique and Senegal (the African Union), Poland and Ireland (the Council of Europe), and Argentina and Honduras (the Organization of American States). These debates show the ambivalence of human rights: they were used successfully to argue both for more liberal and more restrictive abortion laws. To explain this ambivalence, we will apply concepts of argumentative architecture and involvement patterns, coined by the PI as part of her figurational sociology of law, based on Norbert Elias’s theory of the process of civilization. Using a mixed-methods approach that combines qualitative sociology, legal analysis, and corpus linguistics, we will offer a multi-dimensional model for a globally comparative, interdisciplinary socio-legal study of human rights. We will study the structure, composition, and embedding of arguments, along with group perspectives, emotions, and circles of identification of arguing actors so as to arrive at a heat map that will show the distribution of involvement in argumentative architectures. By constructing a global meta-typology of argumentative architectures and involvement patterns in abortion debates, we will explore the integrative, civilizing potential of human rights and identify the centrifugal forces in human rights figuration that comprise the local, regional, and global levels. Finally, we will revisit the role of human rights as a universal toolbox for ideologies in order to plead their conditional rehabilitation.
LABFER is the first project that will LABFER is the first project that will comprehensively describe and evaluate fertility consequences of the unprecedented changes in the labour market, caused by digitalisation and globalisation. These changes have been taking place during the last three decades and intensified after the Great Recession. They are reflected in: rising demand for skills, massive worker displacement, spread of new work arrangements, increasing work demands and growing inequalities in labour market prospects between the low-and-medium and the highly skilled. They are likely driving the post-crisis fertility decline in the most advanced nations, which is to date not understood. LABFER is thus highly relevant and timely. It has four main objectives: 1) to study the impact of the ongoing labour market change on fertility (macro-level); 2) to examine the individual-level mechanisms behind the observed macro-level fertility effects of the ongoing labour market change; 3) to investigate the role of the growing inequalities between the low-and-medium and the highly skilled for the relative fertility patterns of the two groups; 4) to study the role of family and employment policies in moderating the fertility effects of the labour market change. Our methodological approach is innovative. We will link data at several layers of observation (country, region, industry, firm, couple and individual) to account for the policy, work and family context of childbearing. We will also use novel labour market measures to capture the ongoing labour market change. Mixture cure models will be employed to separate the effects of covariates on birth timing and probability that the birth occurs. LABFER will break the ground by providing understanding of how the dynamic labour market changes are associated with and potentially affect the current and future fertility dynamics and its socio-economic gradients. It will also have implications for family and employment policies.