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Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, France

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2013

The strong temporal dynamics of the East African landscape and natural-resource distributions have always encouraged people to innovate and adapt to changing conditions. However, increasing population growth, changes in patterns of land tenure, industrialization, weak systems of governance, and global climate change have exacerbated previously localized environmental problems such as soil erosion, depletion of water catchments, loss of forests and grazing land, falling soil fertility and biodiversity. Novel approaches for resolving these challenges are thus urgently needed. Based on the premise that the past is key to understanding the present and planning for the future, this ITN will establish a leading European training network devoted to combining state-of-the-art research methods to tap into under-appreciated knowledge of how indigenous peoples have previously adapted to East Africas intrinsically unstable climate and land/water resources. By bringing together ecologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, geographers, historians and agronomists the ITN will provide cross-disciplinary training to a new generation of researchers, enabling them to interpret data relating to past and present socio-cultural and ecological dynamics from across the environmental and social sciences and the humanities. Organized by researchers from seven European universities in partnership with Bayer East Africa and U&We, the ITN will co-operate closely with academic counterparts, private-sector stakeholders, NGOs and local communities in East Africa. It will highlight how detailed awareness of the complex history of human-environment interaction in East Africa is central to well-founded and ecologically sustainable resource management, thereby restore the important function of indigenous know-how crucial for devising development policies and climate-risk management for specific areas, and train a new generation of future ecosystem-service managers, policy makers and entrepreneurs.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 778.50K | Year: 2015

The project INCAS aims at creating a top-level research and advanced training network on institutional change in Asia, in comparative perspective with Europe. The coordinator, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France), promotes this network together with Oxford University, Freie Universitt Berlin, in collaboration with Waseda University (Japan). The partners have chosen Japan as a reference point because of its comparability with Europe as shown by previous studies, its historical influence on development and further institutional changes in Asia, and the expertise accumulated within our research team. Our approach, which refers to the literature on comparative capitalism, is fundamentally interdisciplinary by nature, as it aims at gathering economists, economic historians, political economy specialists, sociologists, and lawyers, who are specialized in various fields such as finance, labor economics and sociology, Asian studies, etc. Our major aim is to propose a new theory of institutional change that better takes into account diverse dimensions that have been overlooked by previous attempts such as: the historical experience of institutional change in Asia that went hand in hand with growth and development; the relations between (especially financial) liberalization and corporate diversity; the interaction between political economy, socio-economic and legal variables. It requires not only the interdisciplinary approach described above but also an empirical investigation that mobilizes a database for corporate characteristics. Each institutional member of INCAS has developed its own research strategy on a similar object (institutional change in Asia and Europe) and the goal of this project is to organize a knowledge transfer within our team (and later outside the research team) in order to build a comprehensive research program.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 185.08K | Year: 2016

Aesthetic behaviours and expressive activities carry out a crucial role in human cultural evolution. Aesthetic cognition is important for intersubjective attunement already in early childhood, and attends to cultural emergence and transmission of ideas, practices and norms. However, anthropological scholars havent ever investigated the cognitive dynamics whereby aesthetic behaviours shape the symbolic processes of constitution and re-enactment of cultural heritage. The proposed research project seeks to address this lacuna by dealing with key issues relating to the role of aesthetic behaviours in cultural transmission. The study focuses on how aesthetic and expressive elements are mobilized in the course of social interaction creatively transforming and communicating knowledge. The originality of the proposed approach lies in the interdisciplinary methodology that has not been used in previous studies of the subject matter. For the first time, a naturalistic and cross-cultural model of aesthetic behaviour will be applied to the context of cultural evolution. Existing naturalistic studies of aesthetics are characterized by a reductionist approach, whereas research on cultural transmission suffers due to the divide between cultural and evolutionary perspectives. This project aims to overcome the traditional opposition of evolutionary psychology versus ethnography through an interdisciplinary study of the multimodal, expressive, symbolic, and non-verbal practices whereby human beings collectively perform and share knowledge. The principal result of the project will be the first systematic and comparative analysis of aesthetic behaviours as operative components of cultural transmission. This result will be of interest to a broad scientific audience and will enhance several branches of European research and education, including aesthetics, cultural evolution, anthropology of art, and cultural heritage, by combining research methods derived from different disciplines.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-SH2 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2013

DISCONEX investigates two types of text-processing practices by means of which academic researchers are classified in different national and disciplinary fields of the social sciences and humanities (SSH). The research project will produce theoretically informed and empirically grounded insights into the social organization of SSH research. Drawing from constructivist social theory and qualitative methods in discourse analysis and pragmatics, the research team investigates the discursive construction of excellence as a practical accomplishment of readers cooperating with texts. In a first step, we collect CVs from confirmed SSH researchers from France, Germany, the UK and the U.S.. Then we carry out reader interviews to investigate how membership is negotiated in specialized knowledge communities of the SSH. In a second step, we investigate non-academic practices of processing large text collections in order to account for how academic producers are ranked by evaluation professionals and calculative technologies. Finally, by comparing representations of excellence produced by academic and non-academic actors, DISCONEX will show how knowledge producers and ranking experts account for the representations of other types of readers respectively. In the light of the complex interpretive problems involved in the reading and writing of academic texts, we will produce reflexive knowledge on how SSH researchers are classified in the light of new modes of academic knowledge production. Given the important role that written texts play in SSH discourse, the exchange between the sociology of science and discourse analysis can help establish a new field: the social sciences and humanities studies (SSHS).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-GF | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-GF | Award Amount: 201.02K | Year: 2016

In contemporary warfare the power to destroy cities exists alongside with the power to built urban places ex nihilo. In the 70s and 80s, various Latin American States forcedly displaced people to villages created as an instrument of counterinsurgency; at the same time massacres and forced disappearances occurred in these regions. How does the simultaneous creation of strategic villages and clandestine burial sites affect the ways of inhabiting and imagining space in the aftermath of political violence? My study aims at analysing for the first time the connexion between mass violence and the forced creation of built environment. Based on qualitative fieldwork undertaken in Tucumn (Argentina) and Ayacucho (Peru) and framed within social anthropology, sociology and human geography, this research will produce a seminal in-depth study of the daily life among the strategic villages in Latin America, by analysing the experience of subjects that were forced to inhabit there.

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