Polotical & Social Sciences

Fostering the establishment of strong democracies across European Countries, standing-up for Democracy and European values!

 

Modern democracies nowadays seem to be more fragile and vulnerable, while several European surveys refer to a “global political crisis”. Levels of trust in governance and democratic systems in the current political scene are lower than ever, while digital evolution and social media reflects the distrust phenomenon. Democratic challenges such as polarization, immigration and the challenge of sustaining multiethnic/multicultural democracies, globalization, economic inequality, and democratic discontent, the causes of populism and its consequences for democracy and the debate over institutional solutions are some of them.

ViLabs applies traditional and innovative methods, to address those phenomena:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research, focusing on emerging political, social and cultural developments and phenomena
  • Analysis of historical, sociological and philosophical factors
  • Investigation and mapping of present challenges and tensions in democratic institutions
  • Literature review on past efforts and initiatives and mapping of needs and shortcomings
  • Development of innovative approaches, toolkits, proposed policies, as well as institutional frameworks to enhance political participation, social dialogue, civic engagement, gender equality, anti-discrimination and inclusiveness
  • Participatory and co-creation approaches, to enhance active engagement of interested parties, citizens, public actors and representatives and other stakeholders
  • Policy design and recommendations to improve, refine and reshape the accountability, transparency, effectiveness, and trustworthiness of institutions and public policies, with respect to fundamental human rights

Related to Political & Social Sciences, ViLabs offers the following services:

Relevant EU-funded projects

AI4PP
FAMILIES-SHARE
SavingFood

Relevant Scientidic Publications and Initiatives

Publications

  • Policy Recommendations SavingFood: SavingFood Policy Recommendations present evidence from four EU Member States: the UK, Greece, Hungary and Belgium. It is intended as a contribution to the discussion of food surplus redistribution which provides a particular focus on an often-overlooked part of the redistribution supply-chain, farm-level surplus.
  • Policy Recommendations Families_Share: Families_Share Policy Recommendations Report elaborates on policy-related impacts of digital social innovation on work-life balance and child-care services, local social cohesion as well as gender equality. It is based on a review of the literature on social innovation and childcare in Europe and in the 4 Families_Share countries and stakeholder interviews with key members of staff at each Families_Share programme country organisation, as well as some external organisations.

Initiatives

  • Reassess Economic and Social misperceptions of migrants by Evaluating integration policies in EU regions and Territories (RESET): RESET intends to critically analyse and deconstruct misconceptions about integration and misperceptions about the role of migrants within the host societies.
  • Preventing Radicalisation Processes through Experimentation and Social Inclusion (PRAXES): The major goal of PRAXES is to design innovative solutions for countering radicalisation processes in Europe by examining and analysing different situational contexts (geo-political, social, educational, urban and peri-urban). PRAXES generates empirical scientific evidence by focusing both on religious and right-wing radicalisation, as well as on the role of the youth in this process.
  • Investigating Migration Narratives and in Europe: challenges & opportunities (INMOVE): INMOVE is to contribute to understanding how public attitudes and opinions, political and media discourses and overall narratives towards migrants and immigration have emerged, developed, transformed and circulated, in particular within receiving societies. The vision of INMOVE project is to investigate the different and changing narratives and discourses in diverse contexts in relation to migrants and to understand and interpret the causes and consequences of such narratives and discourses, by: 1) examining their overall construction; 2) assessing their implications and effects on perceptions of minority populations.
  • Migrant Integration Policy Labs (MIGRATIS): MIGRATIS aims to develop a common and inclusive space for interaction and discussion among academics, local authorities and migrant populations, to collectively shape integration policies while it also offers groundbreaking action in the promotion of an innovative public mindset and new inclusive practices of integration policy design in the public sphere.
  • Rights Enhancement, Social Citizenship and EU Legitimacy (RESIL): RESIL will produce high impact research by devising the new concept of Social Rights Citizenship in and for the EU, which is capable of enhancing the European Union’s legitimacy. RESIL’s overall aim is to explore the potential of Social Rights Citizenship to generate new rights and as well as upward convergence and social cohesion, and to boost the resilience of the EU, its Member States and its citizens to future crises, with a view to enhancing legitimacy of EU integration.
  • Democratisation of EU policies in the EU-neighborhood through co-creation approaches (DEBATE): The aim of the DEBATE project is to contribute to the understanding of how public attitudes and opinions, political discourses, and overall perceptions towards democratisation in the EU-neighbourhood have evolved, within the societies of the region. One of the main objectives of this project is the development of a comparative research approach which aims at identifying and mapping the different approaches on democratisation elaborated within and across diverse arenas and contexts. Moreover, DEBATE will conduct an analysis of how positions, discourses and narratives about democratisation and Europeanisation have emerged, developed, and circulated over time and within the different contexts analysed. Finally, the project will enhance the efforts for a more informed debate on democratisation policies, opening new opportunities for the effective and successful cooperation between the Neighbourhood and the EU.
  • Re-Inventing Democracy (RIDEMO): RIDEMO aims to enhance the participation of citizens and communities to democratic processes at all levels (local, national, European) and provide to policy makers the tools to understand the opinions of diverse groups and communities. Advanced feedback mechanisms are also applied establishing direct links between citizens, communities and policy makers. RIDEMO will produce a series of information and insights that will support the constant adaptation to new needs, gaps, technologies, types, tools, uses and forms of participation in different governance levels.
  • Disrupting European Citizenship Education (educ-aid): The project aims to act as a bridge, as it builds upon good practices on educational frameworks and brings together an active community of stakeholders. Through the understanding of education as the most important predictor of the forms of social participation and inclusiveness, the project aims at perceiving European citizenship education in its holistic dimension through the combination of formal and non-formal educational activities both for learners but also for educators.
  • Innovations in Democratic Communication to Counter Political Extremism (VOICE): The VOICE project aims to build new theoretical and methodological tools that will integrate new kinds of data paradigms on the development and transformation of extremisms, combined with ethnographic participatory research recognising that communications are not simply words, but embodied affects and deeds. It will also analyse new languages of extremism, in particular the place of memes in contemporary extremism while addressing the emergence of transnational cultures and networks and engaging with national and historical specificities across key areas of Europe.
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