Corona Virus: Consequences for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) projects and related activities

  • The Commission understands that the current containment measures taken at national level may have consequences on MSCA projects.
  • This may concern the regular mobility activities of MSCA fellows and other project staff as well as the participation of individuals in meetings and events organised by beneficiaries in the framework of MSCA projects.
  • To respond to these uncertainties, the European Commission is applying the maximum flexibility in the implementation of the programme, within the limits of the applicable legal framework.
  • The Research Executive Agency (REA) has informed all project coordinators about the possibility to invoke the “force majeure” clauses: REA will assess the circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
  • Project coordinators should liaise with their Project Officer as soon as possible to notify them of the situation and receive support.
  • The Commission is monitoring this situation very closely and will adopt any additional measure that may become necessary.

Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe by Marco Damiani

Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe by Marco Damiani

This book provides a comparative analysis and a systemic categorization of the Populist Radical Left Parties (PRLPs) in Western Europe.

Institutional and socio-economic aspects have transformed the political culture of many modern democracies, leading to the creation of radical left-wing parties who, by combining a strongly populist political offer with the historical demands of the traditional left wing, are capable of electoral success. This book analyzes a range of different Populist Radical Left Parties (PRLPs) in Western Europe through in-depth case studies. The author uses statutes, internal documents, programs, election results, membership data, and international political literature combined with interviews with executives and national secretaries to describe and interpret the main features of PRLPs, their paths of formation and political transformation.

More info: Routledge

The UK’s points-based immigration system – University researchers

Johnson’s government wants a “points-based system” – a minimum of 70 points – which takes different key skills into account when giving visas, which would allow people to find a job in the UK.

Among these factors, it is necessary to have proof both a job offer from an employer and an appropriate English level. That will get an applicant to 50 points.

Moreover, the applicant will have to earn at least £25,600 – not applicable for the job in which the UK has a shortage – in order to get 20 points.

As for university researchers, the future applicant could be also gain extra points for having higher qualifications, e.g., 10 points for a relevant Ph.D.; or 20 points for a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, or maths.

More info here

Source: BBC

From Populism to the People

Fata Morgana Web, 10 February 2020

populism

Populism (Pablo Compagnucci)

More than twenty years of ideas and reflections are enclosed in a dense and recent book: “Me, the people” by Nadia Urbinati which represents the most recent contribution on populism, a concept still too ambiguous and challenging to clearly determine. Populism flows, like a karst river, without a trace only to re-emerge in periods of substantial uncertainty, in traumatic moments and phases of crisis, in the forms that we know and with all of its disruptive force.

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Dal populismo al popolo

Articolo apparso nella rivista Fata Morgana Web 27.01.2020

The English version of the article will be available shortly


populismo

Populism (Pablo Compagnucci)

Più di venti anni di idee e riflessioni racchiuse in un libro denso ed attuale. “Io, il popolo” di Nadia Urbinati, nella sua versione italiana del gennaio 2020 – quella inglese pubblicata da Harvard University Press è dell’agosto 2019 – rappresenta il più recente contributo sul populismo, un concetto ancora troppo ambiguo e difficile da determinare. Come un fiume carsico, il populismo scorre sotto traccia per riemergere in periodi di forti incertezze, momenti traumatici e fasi di crisi, nelle forme che conosciamo e con tutta la sua forza dirompente.

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More info about the project (last version 28/11/2020)

The POSTBREXIT Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Project is active in the Department of Politics at the University of Sussex, and currently, it is developing an important study on the Brexit consequences.

The Brexit case is particularly interesting for this research. Hence, this project aims to offer a comprehensive analysis of this new phenomenon and its impact on your party politics, thereby enabling to understand its structures, organisation and membership; the key issues and claims that define its agenda; and also how it seeks to challenge UK parties.

To this end, we are particularly keen to include the “voice” of the party members in this research.

Hence, in the following, if you  sign up for our newsletter, you will be contacted in the spring-summer of 2021 by a researcher from the University of Sussex to receive all the information necessary for participation in the research project.

In particular, in the next spring-summer, you will receive an invite to complete a short web survey with some questions concerning political activism, participation as well as relevant current affairs. The results of this survey will be of invaluable help to understand the profile, views  and aims of your party’s supporters.

This survey will only take 10 minutes to complete. The participants’ privacy will be fully protected. Indeed, the survey is completely anonymous, and, therefore, no personal data will be disclosed. Furthermore, the information   provided will be used solely for this research, and no one else will have access to it.

For this reason, we ask you to send this communication to people potentially interested in this research to inform them that Brexit research is underway and that any help provided will be valuable to understand the importance and impact of this phenomenon.

Participation in the research is voluntary.

Should you have any queries concerning the survey, please do not hesitate to contact us at the e-mail address provided below. Thank you very much.

Informed consent form (last version 28/11/2020)

[Researcher contact details]: MSCA-IF at University of Sussex [Purpose of Study]: Analysis of  intra-party decision-making related to populist issues

This agreement is made in regard to the web survey/internal debate forum which took place on (date):

………

Declaration:

I, the interviewee, confirm that

  • I have read and understood the Participant Information Sheet.
  • I have had the opportunity to ask any questions about the study and have received satisfactory answers or the additional information I requested.
  • I understand that I may withdraw from the study at any time, and will not be asked for reasons of withdrawal.
  • I understand that this study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Sussex’s Central University Research Ethics Committee.
  • I understand how my interview will be stored, who will have access to my interview, and what will happen to my interview at the end of this study.
  • I understand that the research will be written up as scientific outputs and how personal data from this research will be published and archived.
  • I understand how to raise any concerns or complaints about this study.
  • I understand that sensitive personal data may be collected during this interview. This may include information relating to race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, physical/mental health, trade union membership, sexual life or criminal activities.
  • I understand that, in this project and all future works using this interview, all personal and sensitive data will be anonymised.
  • I consent to participate in this study and recording, and hereby assign to the researcher all copyright in my contribution for use in all work stemming from this project and future projects.

Please note that you may only participate in this web survey internal debate forum if you are 18 years of age and above.

  • I certify that I am over 18 years of age.

If you agree to participate and have read the terms above, please check the relevant box below to get started.

  • Yes, I agree to take part in the first web survey analysis (WS1)
  • Yes, I agree to take part in the second web survey analysis (WS2)
  • Yes, I agree to take part in the internal debate forum analysis
  • No, I do not wish to take part

Information sheets (last version 28/11/2020)

Please take some time to read this information and ask any further questions if anything is unclear. Contact details can be found at the end of this document.

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this research is to investigate the phenomenon of political populism after the Brexit referendum and how intra-party democracy processes can influence the populism impact.

Who is organising and funding this research?

The research for this study is being undertaken by a MSCA-IF fellow at the University of Sussex. This research is funded by the European Commission and has been reviewed and approved by the University of Sussex Research Ethics Committee.

Why have I been asked to participate?

This project aims to interview 500+ members/supporters of political parties.

Do I have to take part?

It is not compulsory to take part in this study and you may ask the researcher questions or ask for more information before deciding whether or not to participate. However, I believe that you have something important to contribute to this study and to further researchers who want to study populism effect, and, as such, I hope that you will contribute. If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Please note, however, that you are free to withdraw from the study at any time and will not be asked to give any reasons if you do choose to withdraw.

What will taking part in the study involve?

If you agree to take part in this study, you will complete two web surveys (named WS1 and WS2) roughly four months apart  from each other.

Each web survey will likely last between 15 and 20 minutes. You will be able to take breaks throughout the web survey and complete it on multiple occasions. You may also be asked to participate in a follow-up web survey, although participation in this is optional.

After the first web survey, you could be asked to participate also in a debate on a party forum in order to better analyse some issues and understand the general approach to a collective discussion.

All of this is, of course, optional and you may choose which one/s you want to participate in.

Please note that you are free to withdraw from both web surveys and forum debate at any time and will not be asked to give any reasons.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The aim of this project is to create a database of answers of people whose political experiences reflect the everyday lives related to the populist issues. The everyday lives and experiences of ordinary members are very important in allowing researchers to understand the populism effect, which is the aim of this project. I hope that you will find it rewarding to have your contributions publically recognised and that you will be pleased to be able to add to a significant collection of archived web surveys that will enable researchers to understand more about populism.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

I hope that the experience of taking part in this study will be enjoyable for you. However, there is the possibility that, as with all research, some opinions may be requested. You will at no point be obliged to answer about any topic that makes you uncomfortable.

How will my web survey be used?

The web survey collected in this study will be used alongside other surveys to uncover more about populism. Publications which arise from this project may use quotations from your answer, but in an aggregated way. Once the answers have been deposited at the end of the project, future researchers may also wish to use and quote aggregated answers in their work. In all works produced using your answers, your name and other personal information will be anonymised.

What happens to the web surveys collected during the study?

Answers will be collected in a database by the researcher for the duration of the project. Only the researcher will have access to the answers and personal information.

What happens at the end of the project?

All participants are able to request a summary of the research findings should they wish to by contacting the researcher. The digital online copy of the papers, reports and articles will be published with open access, meaning that it will be available to all internet users.

What should I do if I have any concerns or complaints?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this project, please speak to the researcher who will do her best to answer your query. The researcher should acknowledge your concern within seven  working days and give you an indication of how she intends to deal with it. If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the chair of the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Sussex who will seek to resolve the matter in a reasonably expeditious manner.