The growing influence of financial markets and institutions on national and international economies has profoundly changed the global commodities trade. This project will follow one single commodity – copper – from the mining pits in one of the major copper producing countries, Zambia, through towns and harbours on African transport corridors to the sites of industrial production and recycling in China. It will examine the effects of the financialisation in copper trading on the local lives and elaborate policy recommendations for Swiss and international regulatory actors.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the tropics have the highest annual average application rates of pesticides. So far, only a few studies involving LMICs have examined the interrelation between institutional determinants of pesticide use, actual practices of pesticide applications on small-scale farms, and associated human and environmental health effects. This project will fill this gap and contribute to shaping setting-specific policy recommendations.
To end poverty and hunger, and achieving food security are primary objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Limiting food price volatility is one of the central targets. This project will identify the effects of trade policy measures on global food price volatility. It will examine the mechanisms through which global food price volatility is transmitted to the local level and how it affects local food security. The research seeks to identify measures that can operate as “circuit-breakers” in the transmission process and mitigate the adverse effects on local food security.
Faced with the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, European policy makers are struggling with the design of the asylum process and programmes for the integration of refugees. This project will examine how the key policy parameters of the asylum process affect the subsequent short and long-term integration of refugees in four key receiving countries in Europe: Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath are too often “the forgotten victims of conflict”. Through case studies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Palestine, Ukraine and Vietnam, this project will analyse the legal obligations of states under the international law and explain what laws, policies and practices are required to ensure better protection to persons with disabilities during armed violence.
The current political debate on immigration is characterised by opposing views as to their positive or negative effects on the host countries. While it is widely admitted that migration offers an opportunity for boosting innovation, which is a big economic driver, academic research on the effects of highly skilled immigrants on the host country’s economy is sparse. This project will fill this gap by providing knowledge-based evidence on skilled migrants and their contribution to the host country’s ability to innovate.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are largely considered as contributing to sustainable development. However, ICT have no automatic positive effect but can also empower repressive regimes. The project will provide a systematic and comprehensive analysis of telecommunication and media politics in authoritarian development countries focusing on the influence of foreign investment and sustainable development.
This project focuses on political orders put in place by rebel movements, their strategies to legitimise their existence and claim to power, and on the extent to which they manage to institutionalise their military power and transform it into political domination. It contributes to the current policy debates on peace- and statebuilding in fragile contexts.
Investment is an important driver of the global economy that has endogenous relations with trade, and an indirect impact on other fields like, development, environment, labour mobility and taxation. The global investment regime itself is governed through overlapping fora of intergovernmental treaties, which has led to a fragmentation. Today, there are some 3,000 bilateral investment treaties in place. This project will create a new database in one single format and standardised language of investment treaties, including texts of bilateral investment treaties, the relevant parts of preferential trade agreements, the General Agreement on Trade in Services and double taxation agreements.
This project will carry out a comparative enquiry into racial segregation and illegalisation in European agro-industrial labour markets. It focuses on five case studies located in Italy and Switzerland, complemented with prospective research in the Benelux. The comparative ethnographic analysis of migrant employment regimes will contribute towards a better understanding of the differential exploitation of migrant workers in competitive agri-food chains, aiming to develop a framework for more sustainable production regimes and to improve difficult working conditions of migrants in agriculture.
Classical monitoring tools based on morphological species identification do not satisfy the growing demand for measuring the status of the current marine biodiversity. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, such as the metabarcoding approach, could overcome these limitations. This projects aims at exploring the potential utility of the metabarcoding approach for environmental monitoring of marine ecosystems from biological, legal and economic perspectives. The research outcome will provide information to policymakers and stakeholders for future decisions on the monitoring and protection of the marine environment.
Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States are countries that not only account for a noteworthy share of global emissions but also will have to make significant contributions to tackling climate change that may help realise an effective global climate deal. This research will explore which types of intertemporal cost distributions are likely to find majority support in industrialised emitter countries. The insights gained will generate scientific knowledge that will enable policymakers to design climate policies that are more likely to be politically acceptable in major emitter countries.
Social and Solidarity Economic (SSE) practices are receiving growing attention by scholars and by public authorities. This increasing interest however, remains gender blind, even though these practices are highly gendered and women play a major role in them. This research project aims at addressing these gaps in SSE analysis and policies from a feminist perspective.
There is great concern that rapidly spreading pyrethroid resistance of Anopheles mosquitoes may nullify recent successes in the fight against malaria with insecticide treated nets (ITNs). Further, there is emerging evidence that insecticide-resistant Anopheles might be more susceptible to Plasmodium infection than insecticide-susceptible Anopheles, which could set back malaria control even further. The project seeks to analyse the magnitude of this phenomenon in three localities in Western Africa. The research outcome is expected to provide recommendations about the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and how to reduce the risk of a major crisis in the malaria control.
As shown in the recent Ebola outbreak, the increase of actors and funding in global health has not translated into sustainable health systems, effective governance, or decisive global health leadership. The proliferation of actors and institutions has led to fragmentation, competition and - in a word – “gridlock” in global health governance. This research seeks to operationalise the concept of gridlock to account for the deficiencies in global health governance. The comparative analysis will allow to understand the factors that lead to gridlock in global health governance and provide pathways of how to break the impasse.
The research will examine the attitude of individuals towards immigrants over time. The study will focus on three research areas to define the impact of neighbourhoods, socialisation and the persistence of attitudes over time. The results are expected to contribute to debates on immigration and on how the social impact in receiving countries can be managed.
Women and girls and more affected by inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene service provisions, which may have negative health impacts such as maternal mortality rates and reproductive health. This interdisciplinary research project will assess the current situation at public health facilities (HFs) in India and Uganda. The research results will allow to define needs-based, technically appropriate and socially accepted solutions that are gender sensitive in design and implementation for HF sanitation services.
An increasing proportion of the world’s population lives in cities. Few policies however ensure strategic balance between urban development and conservation. This research project assesses the potential and limits of the emerging approach of ‘historic urban landscape’ by analysing the socio-spatial effects of its implementation at the local level in three cities: Beijing, Mexico City and Rome.
A notable development of the past 10-15 years has been the spectacular growth of bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements containing references to labor standards. Yet we know very little about the origins and effectiveness of labor provisions in preferential trade agreements. This project offers the first systematic analysis of the domestic causes and the consequences of labor provisions in PTAs.
Given the rigidity of formal treaties and formal international organisations (IOs), countries and other stakeholders are increasingly resorting to case-by-case networks, expert-driven bodies or club-like arrangements. However, these arrangements may not sufficiently take account of external stakeholders. This project will map the different responses to legitimacy challenges raised by external stakeholders in a series of selected formal and informal governance arrangements, focusing on health and finance and result in set of best practices and guidelines.
This project looks at capital flight from poor to rich countries by going back to the origin of this issue, namely the post World War II period. The research, that will quantify illicit financial flows, will try to understand why no multilateral regulation against capital flight was implemented between 1945 and 1970. The findings will contribute to critical thinking on the use of development aid mechanisms as tools promoting the financial dependence of the South to the North during the decolonization period.
States have recently started to use informal institutions instead of formal organisations to govern global policy issues. Current research on the forms of institutionalisation in global governance focuses on formal modes, which do not exhaust the institutional variety of international and transnational cooperation. This project examines the factors that lead states and transnational actors to choose between formal and informal governance and their interactions.
Inter-state conflicts between state forces and opposition movements often cause considerable harm to civilian populations. Apart from the horrendous suffering that armed conflicts cause directly on the targeted populations, civilian victimization also withholds the risk to trigger or intensify civil wars.
This project seeks to advance our understanding of the consequences of violence against civilians by armed actors for subsequent patterns of conflict escalation.
Between 1972 and 2013, UNESCO recognised 981 world heritage “properties”. While the world heritage system aims to protect sites of outstanding universal value, the human rights system seeks to advance democracy and human rights. In theory, the rights and heritage regimes converge, nevertheless a number of elements hinder effective practice. This project explores how rights issues are being articulated in heritage standards and legislation, and how values, practices and institutional conditions shape rights.
Against a rapidly changing demographic background, private companies are highly dependent on educated and skilled workers. Increasing shortages of qualified resources initiated companies to retain internal labour markets and to integrate disability management. This project replies to the urgent need to improve knowledge about the implementation and impact of DM in private companies. The comparative study of DM in Australia, Canada, China and Switzerland will also look on the impact of different welfare systems.
This project looks into the life course of young women, their decision to migrate and the intersection with other important choices related to education, marriage and having children, which should provide insights into their aspirations and decision-making capacity. Moreover, it is also intended to assess the influence of these factors on the changes in women’s status as a consequence of migration.
This project will examine the reasons, the aspirations and experiences of adolescent girls from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sudan who have migrated internally and internationally. It will provide insights on the effects of such migration, the extent to which it improves girl's and women's status and other indicators of social development in the countries considered.
The transmission of clean energy technologies in developing countries is still facing multiple obstacles - namely commercial ones - that prevent an efficient implementation. It is even more complicated when it comes to implementing these technologies in concrete situations. This project seeks to determine which obstacles hinder their diffusion and to find an appropriate answer in terms of policies.
The conjunction between low levels of trade and international conflicts characterises several regions of the world and has become a widespread preoccupation. Considering that a classical conception implies that where trade exists, conflicts are reduced, this project focuses on the role trade plays in regions prone to conflicts. This research principally aims at assessing whether trade relations may help dissuade violent situations in the regions studied (Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America).
Conceived as an interdisciplinary research, this project seeks to analyze the impacts of large-scale land acquisition on the food system. It is also intended to take into account gender relations and consecutive decision-making concerning food security. As large-scale land acquisition tend to redefine these relations, the project intends to suggest ways to mitigate negative effects of LSLA on food security.
International human rights law has traditionally defined discrimination as a singular phenomenon, based on one personal attribute. In reality, discrimination is often a combination of several, intersecting forms of oppression. Intersectional discrimination is both qualitatively and quantitatively different from discrimination based on one ground (sex, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, migration status etc) and therefore requires new institutional responses. This project will examine the multiple dimensions of intersectional human rights violations and make proposals to the UN human rights system regarding potential strategies for effective change.
The number of refugees living in Europe has significantly increased since the 1960's and they represent nowadays a major challenge for communities in terms of inclusion and social cohesion. While previous research has mainly explored all aspects of refugees' lives in Europe, the children of refugees have not yet been the subject of scientific investigation. Consequently, it is essential to take them into account and investigate on their trajectories, their aspirations and, generally speaking, their insertion in the environment of their new homeland.
Theoretically, peacebuilding processes in conflict-affected countries have to take into account local institutions and their continuous alteration. However, Western countries, as main donors, often tend to influence these processes in order to implement their own political structures instead of showing flexibility. In this context, it is necessary to assess their behaviour and observe whether it may harm or enhance reconstruction.
In emerging economies and among the growing middle classes, changing labor markets and production processes along with rising purchasing power is translating to a “moving up” on the energy and protein ladder. The consumption patterns of these new consumers raises concern in terms of environmental impact and social inequalities. This project will shed light on consumption practices in Bangalore (India) and Metro Manila (The Philippines) towards the goals of understanding opportunities for more sustainable forms of consumption.
The issue of climate change is becoming increasingly significant, especially for managing water. In some mountain rural regions, it has even strong consequences on migration to urban areas. The effects are a feminization of the population that have to struggle with daily life. This project addresses the impact of outmigration and climate change on the demographics in the mountains of Bolivia and Nepal.
In the context of the global financial and economic crisis, the International Labour Organization gives particular importance to independent worker organization and social dialogue. A great deal of research exists on “private” governance, but less attention has been paid to regulatory approaches in the public sector.
The project takes the example of the International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending and investment arm of the World Bank, which has made it a condition of financing that client firms conform with a code of social and environmental practice. The research project seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of this type of contractual governance mechanism with respect to the ILO’s key labour standard of freedom of association.
The global burden of diseases in resource-constraint countries have raised concern about the global health architecture and the need to find new schemes of collaboration and partnerships. The tendency of private-public partnerships is becoming more and more widespread in order to meet the health needs of poorer countries. This project seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of private financing on global health initiatives and to understand the impact of the growing trend of private philanthropy in developing countries. Results of this study will contribute to a better understanding of the global health architecture and the challenges it faces in the near future.
More and more, non-core multilateral aid has been increasing over the last twenty year in place of traditional multilateral aid. This multiplication of funds may lead to a fragmentation of aid, and therefore affects its effectiveness. This project seeks to understand the mechanisms of this new trend for non-core multilateral aid and proposes to be the first in depth analysis on that matter.
The last 20 years have experienced significant reshaping of the world economy with the emergence of new economic powers. However, how they influence and impact the international trade rules still needs clarification. Therefore, this project will investigate, with the involvement of economists, legal experts and political scientists, different angles of the interaction and implication of the emerging powers in the world economy.
Despite many studies on the impact of climate change on migration, little has been done to understand that phenomena on a larger scale and what are the significant factors. This project intends to bring further expertise on whether, when and how the environmental change affects migration; and how it relays on social, economic and political institutions.
Studies have shown that the main border crossing point between Brazil and Peru is an important factor of spreading various endemic diseases. Government of both countries are required to unify their effort to face that challenge and analyze it in depth. For a better handling of the situation, this project focuses on the link of cross-border migration and the spread of the diseases in order to control and eliminate the risk.
Isolated mountain and Arctic communities and ecosystems are suggested to be some of the most sensitive to climate change, while historically suffering from economic, cultural and political neglect. This project seeks to identify key socio-cultural, relational and behavioural factors that increase or inhibit adaptation and resilience in the two case study regions: the Norwegian Artic Island of Svalbard and the Surselva-Andermatt Region in Switzerland.
The overall aim of this project is to provide a methodological and conceptual contribution to address the governance of natural resources as a complex process involving multiple levels and scales. The main objective is to develop a comparative geographical information system methodology to address land governance at multiple levels by investigating interrelations between land tenure, land use, land cover and biodiversity in the cases of Bolivia and Laos. The identifications of these complex geographical context and their local dynamic outcomes will allow finding processes that are globally relevant to policymakers in development and conservation.
Literature on globalization and its impact is vast and growing and has highlighted both its positive effects and possible risks. According to economic theory, total welfare should increase when countries open up, but the gains and losses generated in the process for different countries and groups have not yet been fully understood. The project will examine the missing area of investigation in the link between globalization and human development by looking at whether globalized economies are able to offer increased opportunities to their populations in different socio-economic domains.
The project deals with the issue of the socio-political, economic and environmental potentials and problems that characterizes transnational, large-scale land acquisitions. The project’s preliminary findings from field research indicate that the on-going agrarian transformation associated with rubber-tree plantation in Cambodia and Laos increases the vulnerability of the less well-off segments of the population. The project aims at producing generalised insights for evidence based decision and policy making. It will provide material for policy dialogue with authorities, UN agencies, international financial institutions and non-governmental organizations in their effort to accompany the implementation of large-scale land deals and to mitigate their possible negative impacts.
The Mountlennium project analyzes regional mountain initiatives with the aim of assessing the contribution of regional governance architectures to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Mountain regions have been recognized as critical human-environment systems on the world’s environmental agenda. Implementing sustainable development strategies, through regional initiatives, entails processes of rescaling that impacts on governance, collective action, and identity formation. The Mountlennium project focuses on five mountainous areas where regional governance initiatives have been launched: the European Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
To achieve several of the Millenium Development Goals, significant improvement must be made in innovation and access to affordable medicines, particularly in developing countries. This research project will examine existing and new ideas for global partnerships to address the problems of lack of access and innovation for medicines on a sustainable, priority needs’ basis. The research question mainly deals with the economics of product development partnerships for neglected diseases in order to define efficient mechanisms.
As the Millenum Development Goals declare, the achievement of a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers is essential. Enhancing urban safety and security is a priority. This research will analyze to what extent cultural events and public art contribute to enhancing urban safety and security in three violent and unsafe African cities: Douala (Cameroon), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Luanda (Angola).
Addressing the global challenges arising from climate change requires international environmental cooperation. While scholarship acknowledges that in democratic systems domestic support for international cooperation eventually determines its long-term prospects, we know very little about how the design of international agreements affects individual support for establishing and joining such institutions. The project examines the determinants of preferences for international environmental agreements in four important democracies: the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The research findings will provide policymakers with important knowledge about which types of international environmental cooperation are likely to have long-term prospects in democracies and which will not.
In contemporary transnational capitalism, the branding, financial services and intellectual property are managed in the ‘North’ while manufacturing and assembly is performed in the ‘South’. However, this configuration has been heavily criticized by international NGOs and civil society movements. This project asks how the actors and tools of global governance converge (or diverge) to regulate labour conditions in the electronics manufacturing industry in China and Taiwan.
Combating poverty is central to all discourse on development efforts, yet the gap between the better-off and those left behind is widening. The causes of this failure are to be found in the incapacity of taking into account the multidimensionality of poverty and the reasons for its unequal distribution among individuals. This project seeks therefore to better understand individuals’ unequal capacities for coping with uncertainties and responding effectively to new opportunities.
Community forests are important in developing countries, where they have been expanding considerably. However, the UN program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in local complex socio-ecological environments is facing serious challenges. This project focuses on how the institutional arrangements of local forest stakeholders shape multiple forest outcomes and trade-offs between livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration.
The detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers is drawing the attention and resources of entities from all facets of contemporary society - including government agencies, not-for-profit groups, private companies, and international organizations, resulting in the creation of new forms of collaboration between state and non-state actors. While the international community focuses on developing ways to “govern” migration, the issue of the legal framework and key norms in the treatment of migrant detainees have largely been overlooked. The present project aims at filling this research gap at looking at the legal and normative framework of migration detention.
In light of the current economic slowdown, the prospect of achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 looks increasingly slim. Hence at this stage, it is crucial to realistically revise strategic choices. This project will investigate how different groups of stakeholders identify their development priorities.
Today, skilled migrants and scientific diasporas are regarded as valuable resources circulating between countries. The objective of this project is to advance knowledge-based evidence of skilled return migration and its impact on development, and to explore strategies to leverage the potential of scientific diasporas.
The dynamics of confrontations between indivi- duals and groups are often characterized by emotions such as fear. Oftentimes, fear paradoxically leads to aggressive or exclusionary behaviours that prove difficult to be overcome. This project wants to try to lift some of these difficulties by looking at how emotional aspects of conflicts could be superseded by using appropriate resolution and negotiation strategies.
One of the challenges African countries affected by political tensions and violent conflicts are facing is to ensure that communities with legitimate grievances have access to judicial mechanisms addressing their complaints and providing remedies for violations of their rights. Non-access to justice leads to impunity, which is characteristic for many countries with violent political and social conflicts. The research examined the issue of access to justice in Kenya in light of its efforts to reform the judicial system.
Motivated employees are the cornerstones of all organizations, as work motivation is one crucial determinant of individual and organizational performance. But what factors influence the levels of motivation? And to what extent do personal and organizational values matter?
This project focused on the relationship between climate change, conflict and the economic growth. The goal was to identify if there is a systematic causal relationship between these factors. Previous research so far has not been able to establish a real link. This project approached the topic through two innovative dimensions: institutional features of the political system and key climate conditions and therefore filled an important research gap.
This research project analyzed the role of migrant organisations in the receiving country but also their role as priviledged actors of development in the country of origin. This study integrated sociology, social psychology, anthropology and economics, and focused on Senegalese migrant organisations in four receiving city contexts (Geneva, Bologna, Barcelona and London).
Victims having witnessed in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) often suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder which severly impeded memory processes. This project aimed at providing an attempt to coordinate psychological and legal knowledge in order to take into account the impact of after effects on witnesses in the Cambodia trials. By offering training and support to the legal professionals who could then interact more consistently with victims and witnesses, the research contributed to the overall purpose of the Court of establishing reconciliation.
Armed conflicts and instability cause massive population dislocation across national boundaries. Refugee communities are often associated with security risks for the host and home countries as conflicts may spread across regions. This research investigated the migration-conflict connection taking into account ethnical linkages between refugees and host country populations.
The structural evolution of agriculture appears so deep that agricultural policies do not seem to affect farmer’s socio-structural situation. This research compared agricultural settings in France, Switzerland and Quebec in order to evaluate the impact of the political, economical and juridical context on farmer’s situation.
Women are considered in some developing countries as a the principal agent in the struggle against poverty. Conditional cash transfer programmes may strengthen the stereotyping of women with the effect of increasing their traditional roles of "caring". There is a justified questioning on results of these programmes in terms of efficiency in the fight against poverty and the effect they may have on the position of women in these societies. The research project was based on a comprehensive study of the implementation of gender discourses and cash transfers programmes in three countries: Brazil, the Philippines and Mozambique.
Developing countries are considered as weaker players in the context of climate change negotiations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) given that their power resources are limited. This research project examined the question whether reduced resources such as economic size can be compensated by the use of strategies. It provided a scientific basis to know which strategy works best, which is particularly useful for developing countries.
Economic gains to be made from the current round of trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seem to be relatively lower that the previous eight rounds of GATT and WTO. These claims are based only on economic gains from trade liberalization. However, political gains from trade agree agreements can have very significant economic value that has been neglected by current studies and analysis. This project filled an important research gap by examining the economic importance of political gains from trade agreements.
The relationships with the European Union (EU) have been at the top of the Swiss political agenda since more than fifteen years. Bilateral talks between Switzerland and the EU will very likely remain one of the most crucial issues of Swiss politics in the next years to come. By examining the agenda-setting of the bilateral negotiations and the possibility of a framework agreement, the project contributed to the evaluation of the opportunities and limits of the Swiss bilateral way.
International human rights and humanitarian law stipulate that prisoners have the right to be treated humanely and especially receive adequate medical treatment. However, so called “natural” deaths in custody are frequent. The research focused on the conditions under which deaths in custody should be investigated and on how they can be prevented. It resulted in the elaboration of practice guidelines which will prepare humanitarian workers for investigations of deaths in custody worldwide.
Communication between people of different linguistic, social and cultural background is of great importance today in virtually all spheres of human interaction. The project addressed the question on how emotions affect communication in multi-linguistic negotiations. It has produced highly interesting empirical research results that will be helpful to develop language and culture sensitive strategies to minimize risks of misconception and misinterpretation.
The regulation of international migration flows forms an exception in the general trend towards the internationalization of public policy. In contrast to the flows of goods, services and capital, no strong international institutions have been set up as yet to regulate the flows of people. Examining four cases of migration partnerships (EU-third countries, Mexico-USA, Mexican Government-Mexican Migrants, Switzerland-Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina) the team investigated the factors shaping their institutional design.
This successfully completed research allowed to contribute to a better understanding of health services in developing countries through the activities of former Swiss missionary hospitals in Ghana and South Africa. The research was based on two case studies located in Ghana and South Africa. Historical explanations for the success and failure of health systems serve to guide today’s decision makers in view of setting up sustainable health systems.
The UN Global Compact (UNGC), with approximately 4000 members, the largest corporate citizenship initiative in the world, serves as an illustration of how corporations are expected to become involved in political activities on a global level. By signing the UNGC, companies voluntarily commit themselves to ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environment, and anti-corruption. This research provided a consistent conceptualization of corporate citizenship and developed a theoretical framework in order to understand the approaches of Swiss large multinational corporations and small and medium sized enterprises in the context of the UN Global Compact.
This research project deals with the reasons of highly-qualified young people from developing countries, especially from Africa, for leaving their country. Excessive emigration whereby young, talented individuals do not return to their native countries has an extremely negative effect known as the brain drain. This study allowed to gain a better understanding of the expectations relating to migration that are cited by young people.