Research Highlights

I. Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (CLARIAH) has awarded Nico Randeraad with a one-year grant to help developing a digital biographical infrastructure for the Low Countries.

The project aims to link and enrich existing national biographical datasets with (meta)data on the transnational mobility of politicians, public officials, scientists, artists, and other ‘experts’ engaged in social reform from the 1840s to the 1910s. The new data originate from ongoing work on participation in international congresses about themes like welfare, prison reform, insurance, hygiene, temperance and housing. When the project is finished it will be possible to query the central biographical repository, and find data about local and national occupations and affiliations on the one hand, and participation in international congresses and membership of international organizations on the other. This will increase our understanding of the transnational connections of people involved in social reform, from the local to the international level.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with Ghent University, Huygens ING (the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences Institute for history and culture), and Lab1100, a private research and development centre for digital humanities based in The Hague.

Screenshot of participation in international congresses

II. Giselle Bosse has acquired funding from NWO Aspasia for her project ‘Sending European citizens to the battlefield: Who decides on EU Security and Defence Operations?’

Despite lacking an army, the European Union (EU) deploys thousands of personnel for its own operations abroad. Since 2003, the EU has launched around thirty-two military and civilian operations across the world, deploying more than 100,000 personnel, with a total budget of over € 13 billion. Yet our understanding of how the EU takes decisions in this important and politically sensitive policy domain remains incomplete. Scholarly work on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) assumes that decisions on operations are taken at the highest political level exclusively, namely by the heads of state and government. Bosse’s preliminary research (VENI project), however, indicated that unaccountable lobby groups (e.g. the arms industry, IT companies) influence EU decisions on CSDP operations.

The aim of the project is to provide the first systematic study into the influence of lobby groups on EU operations. Drawing on Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Action, Bosse introduces her own innovative research angle, the ‘deliberation perspective’, to hypothesise the conditions for lobby group influence in CSDP. The perspective recognizes that decisions on CSDP operations are often ‘precooked’ in consensus-oriented EU-level committees, which lobby groups find easy to access, and whose deliberations lobbies influence by presenting well-prepared and highly convincing arguments. By opening up a new line of research into lobby group influence on CSDP, the project makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how the EU decides on high-risk and high-cost operations.

In line with NWO requirements, the ASPASIA grant also contributes €50,000 to diversity policy measures at FASoS, with the aim of increasing the upward movement of female staff within the institution.

More information about the project here

Giselle Bosse