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.
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.
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.
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.