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Presentations by Probationary Doctoral Candidates in the Comparative Politics and Political Economy Tracks

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

Probationary Doctoral candidates are required to present the topic of their dissertation in an online seminar of faculty and students. The Political Economy and Comparative Politics track students of the Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations are scheduled for a presentation at a regular departmental seminar as below.

Political Economy

Cagla Deste Ekin Güner: Labor Market Integration of Refugee Youth: The Impact of City-Level Educational Programs in Germany and Turkey
Abstract: The project is about the impact of educational programs on labor market integration of refugee youth. The aim is to analyze the local level integration policies in different contexts and how they reflect on a spectrum of different patterns (of labor market participation), outcomes (of different types of (non)employment) and perspectives (of refugee youth regarding their labor market integration). My focus will be on local educational programs offered to refugees, with an emphasis on language and vocational training as the most common ones. Hence, the central research question is “Why do similar educational program practices lead to different labor market integration patterns and outcomes for young refugees?”. By focusing on Syrian refugee inflow and two main host countries in their respective regions, I am planning on observing the educational programs on selected cities in Germany and Turkey. The research question will be approached from different aspects, including the impact of the interactions between integration policy governance levels on city-level policy practices, the national economic structures, specific labor market dynamics at city-level, and individual level differences of program participants.


Comparative Politics

Elisabetta Mannoni: Tackling the gap between environmental concern and environmental action: Evidence from cities
Supervisor: Florian Weiler
Abstract: The research aims at tackling the gap between environmental concern and environmental action, focusing on cities and individuals living in urban settings. A first goal will be to identify the determinants of environmental action undertaken by city-level institutions – namely, to explain why different cities, even within the same countries, perform better than others on environmental issues. A quantitative statistical analysis will test the hypothesis that mayors’ individual characteristics are significant predictors of a city’s environmental performance; it will also investigate whether other city-level and country-level variables are significantly related to the city’s performance. A second goal will be to understand what kind of barriers to pro-environmental action city-level actors face, impeding them from translating their intentions to behave sustainably into consistent, sustainable actions. This question will be answered by paired comparison of cities with similar characteristics that nevertheless perform very differently in environmental terms; this part of the analysis will involve documentary analysis and interviews with relevant actors. Finally, in an attempt to remove part of those barriers, a green nudge experiment will be devised during the third phase in one of the selected cities, in order to come up with a strategy that, if successful, other similar cities might reproduce to foster pro-environmental behavior. The research aims to contribute to the debates in the literature on the relevance of cities in climate governance and the role of key actors such as mayors in bringing change. It also wants to contribute to the literature on the value-action gap and the efficacy of green nudges as a tool to bridge it. Finally, beyond the academic contribution, the ultimate purpose of this research is to identify a cost-effective exportable strategy implementable at the city level to foster pro-environmental behavior and green change in urban societies.

Franziska Wagner: Balancing nationalism and internationalism: Globalisation and cultural challenges for left parties in Western Europe.
Abstract: In recent years, centre-left parties’ dramatic shift in immigration rhetoric and Euroscepticism as a common denominator of radical right and radical left has received growing scholarly attention. However, while studies on party strategies proliferate, we remain under-informed about how parties make sense of this position themselves and how they combine them with their other ideological positions. This research aims at tackling this gap by investigating how left parties face cultural challenges of globalisation with particular focus on the conflict between internationalism and nationalism. Bridging intellectual debates and party positions, I am planning to deconstruct how different ideological impulses interact. The project is subdivided in three parts following sources of conflict related to globalisation in Western Europe. The first part investigates how left parties conceptualise ‘the national’ in contrast to ‘the international’, meaning understandings of nation and national identity. The second part addresses the discourse related to European integration and Euroscepticism in left parties. And lastly, I am analysing how issues of immigration have been constructed in the wake of the 2015 migration crisis. Methodologically, all three parts will be approached in different ways based on interviews, discourse analysis, party positions, and parliamentary behaviour.