Announcing winners of the 2017 Ernst Haas Fellowships!

We are pleased to announce Ernst Haas Fellowships have been awarded to the following graduate students-

Bilyana Petrova, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

My dissertation examines the determinants of economic inequality in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. I argue that the patterns of specialization adopted in the course of economic restructuring strongly affect market inequality while the quality of governance shapes post-taxes-and-transfers inequality. While the growth of the manufacturing sector results in higher remuneration for low-skilled workers, the expansion of the service sector is associated with a more polarized employment structure. Furthermore, countries with lower corruption and a better application of the rule of law attain higher redistribution than poorly governed environments, which generally have difficulties raising funds, allocating them to social protection, and delivering them to lower-income constituencies. These relationships are complemented by the complex interplay between economic structure and the quality of governance, whereby better governed economies promote the development of vibrant industries whereas economic prosperity facilitates better governance.

The 2017 Ernst Haas Fund Fellowship will enable me to travel to Poland over the summer to conduct archival and interview research. Incorporating an additional case study will greatly strengthen my project by allowing me to better understand the impact of economic liberalization and institutional reform on the income distribution and to test the generalizability of the theoretical insights that I gained after fieldwork in Bulgaria.

 

Alexandra Liebich, Queen's University 

Change, Continuity, and Contestation: Transforming Education Regimes in Post-Communist Eastern Europe

When the communist regimes collapsed, states across the region of Eastern Europe were faced with a unique opportunity for policy and institutional (re)design. Against the backdrop of Europeanization, democratization, and competitive nation-building, education became a key domain of contestation about continuity and change in these societies. One big question facing post-communist states was about how to manage ethno-cultural difference in educational institutions. What explains the education policy regimes that emerged in the multi-ethnic societies of Eastern Europe after 1990? And what factors are conducive to an open and inclusive education regime? My dissertation project seeks to answer these questions by exploring the transformation of education regimes in Lithuania (in relation to Polish and Russian-speaking minorities); and Romania (in relation to Hungarian and Roma minorities). The Haas fellowship will facilitate the collection of empirical data for this project, through eight months of field research I will conduct in these settings in 2017-18.

Tracing the influence of European integration on the emerging higher education regimes is a major aspect of this research. A “Europe of Knowledge” is seen as essential for the development of stable, peaceful, democratic societies and for the enrichment of European citizenship. Given European efforts to support minority inclusion, and to promote a common framework in higher education (i.e., the Bologna Process), a comparative investigation of the impact of Europeanization on these education regimes is particularly timely. Moreover, examining the debates over education policy in these two post-communist settings can advance our understandings of national and pan-European projects of institutional transformation and diversity management.

 

Julia López Fuentes, Emory University

Thinking Europe: Intellectuals and the Struggle for Europe in Spain, 1953-1986 

What does it meant to be European? My project traces the development, in the mid- to late-twentieth century, of a self-conscious European identity based on a shared culture and values – and especially on a democratic ideal. I locate the origins of this transition in the discussions over the nature of European politics, culture, and unity among intellectuals in Spain during the late Franco regime. In the 1960s, dictator Francisco Franco sought to prove Spain’s “European vocation” through membership in the European Economic Community (EEC). In response, the EEC found itself faced with the question of whether it was geographic and economic factors alone that defined it, or whether the unspoken commitment to peace and democracy shared by its original six members defined the community as a whole. My research aims to show how Spain’s intellectuals mobilized to undermine the Francoist application for membership, using their seminars, workshops, and trans-European networks to lobby for a political definition of European belonging based upon democratic values and practices, rather than upon geography or economics. Their emphasis on the need for political and democratic change in Spain before the country could join the EEC, and the widespread discourse linking EEC membership with European belonging, made Spanish society see “Europe” and democracy as concomitant goals to strive for. In the wake of the so-called “Brexit” movement and the spread of similar movements across Europe, my research can help explain why no such movement has arisen in Spain and why Spaniards remain so committed to the European Union. Furthermore, by examining what drove people to invest themselves in the European project in the first place, my project may help shed light on where EU membership fell short of their expectations.

 My dissertation project is based upon research in archives throughout Spain and Italy. With the Haas Fellowship, I will be traveling to Florence, Italy, to conduct three months of research at the Archive of the European Union, housed at the European University Institute. There, I will be consulting a variety of documents, including diplomatic work papers and correspondence, records from international conferences with Spanish participation, such as the congresses of the European Movement, and minutes and notes from EEC meetings and debates. While in Florence, I will also be working with the archives of the Spanish branch of the European Movement and the Spanish Association for European Cooperation, two of the main organizations through which Spanish intellectuals organized themselves and participated in postwar trans-European intellectual networks.