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Ongoing Research Projects

Principal Investigator: dr Maciej Turek

Name of the grant: MINIATURA 5

Source of financing: National Science Center

Start and completion date of the project: 2021-2022

Total project budget: 32.328 PLN

Reference number: 2021/05/X/HS5/01809

Project description:

The aim of the project is to study whether there are differences in political behavior among members of the U.S. Congress regarding oversight of the executive branch depending on (1) party membership and (2) characteristics of the congressional district they represent. The districts will be categorized (as safe, likely, leaning, competetive), based on such data as (1) results of U.S. House and U.S. Senate elections in past two electoral cycles, (2) approval rating of members of Congress, (3) election forecasts made by expert think-tanks (The Cook Political Report, FiveThirtyEight, RealClearPolitics). These data will be then confronted with actions, undertaken by particular legislators in regards to performing oversight function. In the era of polarization and increasing homogeneity of electoral districts, legislators seem to be more likely to act having in mind partisan rather than institutional incentives. The project would aim at addressing the issue whether this phenomen also applies to the area of congressional oversight of executive branch. The analysis would cover the 21st century, starting from 2001. It is the period of increasing polarization, as well as the electoral strategies focusing less on appealing to the median voter.

Principal Investigator: Paulina Napierała, Ph.D.

Name of the grant: The Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship

Source of financing: Kosciuszko Foundation

Start and completion date of the project: August - December 2022

Total project budget: 16.000 USD

Project description:

The aim of my research is to study the evolution of the Black Church’s socio-political involvement and to analyze the political role of theological divisions within Black Christianity. This topic has never been studied in Poland, which makes our understanding of the African American history incomplete. I want to fill this gap and contribute to the broader discussion on the role of religion in politics and modern public life. The research results will be published in a peer-reviewed book. I intend not only to analyze how the socio-political engagement of the Black Churchhas been changing over time, but also how theological divisions within Black Christianity have been influencing these changes. Special attention will be given to 4 theological orientations: Social Gospel, Black Liberation Theology, Black Evangelicalism and Prosperity Gospel. After choosing asample of NYC Black churches, I will compare their socio-political strategies and analyze the relationship between particular religious doctrines and church-based politics-related activities. I’ll also compare values and messages delivered in sermons, and examine political topics and forms of social activism promoted by the church leadership.

Principal Investigator: Paulina Napierała, Ph.D.

Name of the grant: The Advanced Research Collaborative’s Distinguished Visiting Scholar Award

Source of financing: The Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) of The Graduate Center, CUNY, City Univeristy of New York

Start and completion date of the project: January 2022 - January 2023

Total project budget: travel expenses up to 3000 USD; an office, computer, and access to The Graduate Center’s academic infrastructure

Project description:

The Black Church played a unique role in Black American history. For a long time, it was a center of Black culture and a source of leadership in politics. And although, there has actually never been a single Black Church - as “[t]he term is a political, intellectual, and theological construction that symbolizes unity and homogeneity while masking the enormous diversity and independence among African American religious institutions and believers” (Savage 2008, 9) - during the civil rights era a number of them became involved in social protests. This created a general perception of the Black Church as socio-politically engaged and supportive of Black protest movements. In 2013, however, when #BlackLivesMatter originated, not all Black churches were ready to grant their support. Many were hesitant, while some entirely rejected the movement. Despite the fact that their attitudes shifted over time and anumber of them eventually granted #BLM at least their partial support, it seems that theological differences among them have been continually influencing their approach to the movement. Therefore, the main aim of my research is not only to analyze how the socio-political engagement of the Black Church has been changing overtime, but also how the theological divisions within Black Christianity have been influencing these changes. Special attention will be given to the positions presented by the representatives of at least 4 main theologicalorientations within the Black Church: Social Gospel, Black LiberationTheology, Black Evangelicalism and Prosperity Gospel. After choosing a sample of New York Black churches representing these orientations, I would like to compare their strategies of social and political engagementas well as political topics that their church leaders consider most pressing. I will also conduct a qualitative analysis of the argumentation presented by different Black Church leaders for and against the BlackLives Matter Movement (#BLM). Their attitude to this newest African American socio-political movement can illustrates the influence of (various streams of) theology on the preferred forms of social engagement and on churches’ attitudes to social justice and racial consciousness.

Principal Investigator: Justyna Budzik, Ph.D.

Source of financing: Polish-Canadian Publishing Fund

Start and completion date of the project: 1-31 May 2022

Total project budget: 16.700 PLN

Project description:

The main aim of the project is to conduct an in-depth research connected to interdisciplinary relations between literature and plastic and audio-visual arts, and its basic point of reference (at the first stage of the research) will be American and Polish poetry and essayistic writing created on the North-American continent. This analytical perspective will be successively broadened in the second part of the project devoted to the Polish ekphrastic writing created outside Poland, in Europe-in Spain and in Great Britain. The planned monograph will present the Polish poetry and essayistic works in relation to art. The artistic dimension of the works of the Polish writers residing in the United States and in Canada, analysed by using the hermeneutic approach, will be outlined, among others, with reference to the works of Andrzej Busza. His poetic oeuvre is going to be presented in a comparative manner in the context of the works of other Polish émigré writers – Bogdan Czaykowski and Anna Frajlich. My main objective, apart from analysing the characteristics of Busza’s, Czaykowski’s and Frajlich’s ekphrases, is to answer the question if the artistic imagery typical of the writing of the Polish authors residing outside Poland corresponds with and enters into an artistic dialogue with the imagery characteristic of the poetry of the chosen American writers. One of the crucial elements of my research will be interviews I am going to conduct with Andrzej Busza and Anna Frajlich, and searching through their private archives which are inaccessible in the Polish public databases. These interviews are going to constitute a separate part of the monograph. In order to get acquainted with source materials and scholarly commentaries of the selected ekphrastic works of American writers, I am going to research thematic monographs and articles available in the New York Public Library, Columbia University Library, the library of the University of the British Columbia and the library of the University of Toronto.

Principal Investigator: prof. Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel

Name of the grant: Minigrants Pob Heritage

Source of financing: Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: 02.2022 - 05.2022

Total project budget: 20.000 PLN

Reference number: H.2.9.2021

Project description:

Mapping the American Century is both an academic teaching module and a collaborative research and publication project.The project is conducted in the form of the so-called Virtual International Classroom (VIC) by four universities: Radbound, Duisbburg-Essen, University of Albany and the Jagiellonian University. Students of American and transatlantic studies in international teams work on six research projects: Marshall Plan, Black America, Transatlantic City, Flower Power, America in Film, Theming American. As part of the designated topics, international research groups of 8 students conduct research solely on the basis of primary sources, and present research results in several forms: an essay (each student individually), a 12-minute presentation of the entire project (team) and a virtual exhibition in a virtual museum Mapping American Century (team). The highlight of the project are the so-called Transatalantic Days RUDESA (Radboud University Duisburg Essen Spring Academy) organized by the University of Nijmegen, during which students can discuss and present their research results in greater detail. The Mapping of the American Century project is carried out in each case within the framework of regular courses offered by participating universities.

Principal Investigator: prof. Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel

Name of the grant: Minigrants Pob Heritage

Source of financing: Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: 01.2022-05.2022

Total project budget: 9.680 PLN

Project description: H.1.10.2021

Expressions of gratitude have a long tradition in building relations between Poland and the US. Ever since the 18th century, Americans have expressed gratitude for the participation of Kościuszko and Pulawski in the War of Independence. Poles expressed their gratitude at various stages of their history for support recceived from the US: for the 13 point in President Wilson's Fourteen Point Speech, for humanitarian aid organized by Herbert Hoover, for Haller's Army or post-war UNNRA parcels. In the times of the Polish People's Republic any form of gratitude expressed towards the USA was a forbidden and officially unspoken emotion. It was a kind of inexpressible communal experience. The gratitude of Poles for the support in their fight for sovereignty had Gary Cooper's face in the famous poster by Sarnecki. On the other hand the US presidents expressed in their speeches the gratitude for the favor and support. At every stage of our history, there were also voices of politicians, publicists, citizens) that could be understood by the other side of these relations as an expression of ingratitude The aim of the project is to identify, analyze and categorize various forms of expressing gratitude in Polish-American relations and to answer the following questions: What was and is the function of gratitude in Polish-American relations? When, where and how was it expressed, who was involved? What have been the expressions of gratitude, and how have they changed over the years? The research aims to show a new perspective on Polish-American relations, as it assumes going far beyond staged diplomatic ceremonies and taking into account the role played by ordinary citizens, youth and children in expressing gratitude - individually and as part of grassroots social initiatives.

Principal Investigator: Joanna Kulpińska, Ph.D.

Research team: dr Katarzyna Górska, dr Anna Wyrwisz

Name of the grant: Young Labs

Source of financing: Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: 10.2021 - 09.2023

Total project budget: 199.633,08 PLN

Project description:

The main objective of the project is to identify the adaptation strategies of migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on the changes caused by the introduced restrictions. We will analyze the ways in which migrants readapt to new conditions and locate new barriers created with the introduction of restrictions. We will define adaptation itself following Berry as a process "[...] refers to changes that take place in individuals or groups in response to environmental demands." (Berry 1997) The initial concept in our analysis will be the integration model proposed by Ager and Strang, which depicts ten levels to which immigrant
adaptation can occur.

The above-mentioned spheres of social structure are at the same time the areas particularly affected by regulations and restrictions introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their analysis in relation to the functioning of immigrants involves the identification of the aforementioned changes caused by the current crisis, including institutional barriers, and the ways in which this group adapts or readapts to the conditions and regulations constantly changing during the pandemic. We will analyze both immigrants who settled in their destination before the outbreak of the pandemic and those who made their journey to the new country during the pandemic.
The research will include not only individuals directly participated in the process of migration, but also people involved in activities aimed at migrants, such as employees of non-governmental organizations (in Poland, the UK and Germany), in order to gain an additional broader perspective on the problems of the studied group.

The research will be conducted in a comparative perspective: both among immigrants living in Poland and among Polish migrants in the United Kingdom and Germany (as the main directions of contemporary migration from Poland), in order to obtain a broader comparative context of adaptation strategies in different destinations. Thus, an important variable taken into account in the data analysis will be the conditions existing in the place of migrant settlement and the changes introduced in their scope as a result of COVID-19, such as, among others, migration and social policy, labour market and employment conditions, access to health services,
formal and informal institutions, scope of activities of non-governmental organisations, etc. Differences and similarities will be pointed out both in relation to the adaptation strategies of immigrant groups, and to the range of aid activities aimed at these populations: governmental and non-governmental, and their impact on the aforementioned processes of readaptation in the three selected countries.

The investigation method will use the triangulation technique allowing for a multi-faceted approach to a complex issue, such as an adaptation during pandemic. The research is based on mixed methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Principal Investigator: Joanna Kulpińska, Ph.D.

Research team: Students: Julia Dural, Aleksandra Tutko, Przemysław Mitka

Name of the grant: Minigrants Pob Heritage

Source of financing: Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: 07.2021-06.2022

Total project budget: 14.998,24 PLN

Project description:

The aim of this project is to analyze migration from the "Polish city" to the United States at the turn of the 20th century, on the example of the migration from Rzeszów. Research on overseas migration, or more broadly on international migration from the Polish lands at the beginning of the twentieth century, focused mainly on migration from the Polish countryside, mentioning the works of Znaniecki, Chałasiński or Bystroń. The urban community in the context of migration processes did not attract the interest of researchers of the time, although due to its specificity, such as a lower degree of ethnic, socio-demographic or cultural homogeneity, it or cultural homogeneity, it can provide a lot of important yet unknown information on how mechanisms of migration.

The basic research problem of the project is to identify the specifics of migration from urban communities at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. As part of the analysis, we will look for answers to the following questions:
1) What were the characteristics of the migrations of the inhabitants of Polish cities at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries?
2) What similarities and differences existed between emigrants from different ethnic groups?
3) What regularities can be pointed out when comparing rural and urban migration at the dawn of the 20th century? (referring to the extensive studies on emigration from the Polish countryside)?

Principal Investigator: Paulina Napierała, Ph.D.

Source of financing: IAISP, Center for International Studies and Development, Peter Lang

Start and completion date of the project: 12.2020 - 12.2022

Total project budget: 16.000 PLN

Project description:

The idea behind this volume is to present a broad international and interdisciplinary perspective on religion and American politics (both domestic and international) as well as to introduce voices from various religious traditions.

Principal Investigator: prof. Małgorzata Zachara-Szymańska

Name of the grant: Minigrants Pob Heritage (1st edition)

Source of financing: Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: 03.2021-03.2022

Total project budget: 15.000 PLN

Project description:

The story of the massive destruction of European Jewry during World War II has become a firm point of reference in the Western history, philosophy and studies on the human condition. Images of the concentration camps are now an ‘indelible reference point for the Western imagination’, shattering the foundation of Western culture and civilization, while at the same time being an object of manipulation and concealment. This project uses leadership as a specific framework for the study of Holocaust memory, in order to reveal the function of memory narratives in shaping contemporary imagination and power relations. It takes a form of the preliminary study to identify the potential of the research theme. It is expected to reveal how this story of civilizational failure is embedded in the practices of public leadership in the West and how it shapes Western political imaginaries. Because, although unique in its horrors, Holocaust, its heroes and victims hold lessons of universal significance and enduring resonance, able to constantly revive the well-worn moral dictum of ‘never again’. The project seeks to reconceptualize ways in which 'the duty to remember' is reflected in institutionalized forms and social rituals, to widen the space in which there are covered by leadership practices.

Principal Investigator: prof. Garry Robson

Name of the grant: Mini-grants for employees – Social (r)Evolutions Lab: "Social (r)Evolutions: beyond the horizon of the present", Pob FutureSoC

Source of financing: Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: August 2021

Total project budget: 8.792 PLN 

Reference number: FS.4.12.2020 

Project description:

This project will connect the experience of young people - as they spend more and more time online - to the emergence of 'surveilance capitalism' (Zuboff, 2019). It will take a critical look at the concept of the 'empowered digital native', and examine theproposition that children and teenagers are becoming subject to increasing manipulation and exploitation in ways that unsettle the process of stable personality formation and balanced prosocial behaviour in their families and the actual social world.A number of basic questions emerge immediately in this context: how are we to understand, and predict the long-term consequencesof, the engineering of ‘choice architectures’ and ‘nudge’ practices in the manipulation of young users at the screen interface? Are these aimed, effectively, at bypassing users’ conscious, deliberative awareness and automating their online responses and behaviours? What dangers to the development of genuine autonomy, creative agency and mature self-knowledge do these factors present to young people?

Further to these issues, the article at the heart of the project will go on to probe (in the US context) some of the potential dynamics and consequences of what now looks like an inevitable expansion of online education. The context for this is the consolidation of an increasingly corporatized education sector and the expansion of the new, highly technocratic form of algorithmic/surveillance capitalism (as mentioned above) in which is likely to be nested. Is it possible, as we enter further into this future environment - perhaps based on a new kind of digitalized, cashless economy - that virtual education technologies might develop more in the direction of programming students to take their place in it rather than liberating their potential as free and creative individuals? Is it likely, in this context, that higher education could begin to take the form of a system of B.F. Skinner-style operant behavioural conditioning for specific social-economic roles? Would not a system of highly individualised modules, delivered remotely perhaps through AI teaching, assessment and feedback protocols, be ideal for such a purpose? May the data-mining of students for research into and the development of AI and transhumanist biotechnologies be a precursor to the controlled integration of this generation of citizens into the coming 5G/Internet of Things-based economic and social system.

Principal Investigator: prof. Łukasz Wordliczek

Research team:

  • Dariusz Stolicki (Jagiellonian University) 
  • Miklós Sebők (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) 
  • Anna Sroka (University of Warsaw) 

Name of the grant: Research Mini-Grants 2020/1

Source of financing: Priority Research Area DigiWorld under Strategic Program Excellence Initiative at the Jagiellonian University

Start and completion date of the project: 01.2021 - 12.2021 

Total project budget: 49.910 PLN 

Project description:

The main objective of the project is to set up the Polish branch of the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP), accordingly with its coding scheme.

CAP provides researchers, students, decision makers and other interested users with a free access to data relevant for tracking public policy processes across time and space. Currently, CAP covers the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and the United Kingdom. Some data for the state of Florida and Pennsylvania and the European Union are also available. Poland, still, is a blind spot here.

CAP dataset already enables studying public policy agenda in at least two research designs: time series analysis and comparative approach. Thus, some further developments are envisaged through merging the CAP data with other sets, e.g. election results, roll calls, political party platforms (Manifesto Research Project), government occupation (ParlGov Database), public opinion polls or economic indicators. All in all, this allows for gathering a substantial policy-relevant empirical data.

Comprehensive and multidimensional CAP dataset is also worth considering for machine learning applications in political science. Notwithstanding developments in computer science, this is still relatively undeveloped research area in political science. Specifically, some machine learning classification methods are envisaged such as topic identification and segmentation in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Currently, it is envisaged that the following approaches will be harnessed:

  •  a convolutional neural network with a hand-coded sample of training examples,
  •  key words-based SVM classifier,
  •  community detection in data cross-reference graphs.

Principal Investigator JU: prof. Radosław Rybkowski

Principal Investigator: MariaLuisa Lavitrano (Universita’ Degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca) 

Research team: International consortium consisting of: Universita’ degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, CESSDA ERIC, Integrated Carbon Observation System-European Research Infrastructure Consortium, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ECCSEL-European Research Infrastructure Consortium, E-Science-European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Core Technologies for Life Sciences, Core Technologies for Life Sciences, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Goeteborgs Universitet, Universita degli Studi di Trento, Universita degli Studi di Milano, Alma Mater Studiorum-Universita di Bologna, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne.

Name of the grant: H2020-Infrasupp-2018-2020 

Source of financing: European Commission 

Start and completion date of the project: 04.2021-03.2024

Total project budget: 2 mln EUR

Reference number: Grant agreement no. 101008503 

Project description:

Research Infrastructures (RI) are standing pillars for excellence in science and a vital element for the realization of the European Union as a knowledge-based society. Together with Core Facilities (CF)- existing in many universities, academic research centres and national nodes of distributed RI- RI are also major actors in the implementation of the EU Open Science and Open Innovation strategy and a major factor for its success. As RI and CF increase in importance, questions about how to organize, maintain, manage and finance them have become a major topic for funding and research organisations. This proposal brings together, for the first time, RI, CF and European universities, in a new innovative concept to transform the access and empowerment of human resources for national and international scientific facilities in Europe. The overarching goal of RItrainPlus is to design and deliver a training programme to fulfill the competency requirements for the current and future managers of European RI and CF. RItrain Plus will:

i) drive excellence, operational improvements and long-term sustainability of European RI and CF by developing: formal learning activities: executive post-graduate courses; learning on the job: staff exchange, with a short-term mobility programme at different RI/CF locations; peer learning: a Community of Practice, within all RI and CF, able to promote existing excellence and experience, and share knowledge;

ii) create a foundation for the long-term provision of highly qualified personnel for managing RI and CF by developing Learning Activities embedded in existing university programs and a certifiable European Longitudinal Learning Track;

iii) establish a permanent and self-sustainable European School for Management of Research Infrastructures. In the fouryear project all the required steps will be performed, with extended involvement of ERICs, EIROforum members, national agencies, and other relevant stakeholders in the design process.

Principal Investigator: Katarzyna Górska, Ph.D.

Research team: Joanna Kulpińska, Ph.D.

Name of the grant: SocietyNow!, POB FutureSoc

Source of financing: Strategic Excellence Initiative Program at the Jagiellonian University 

Start and completion date of the project: 01.05.2020-31.12.2020

Total project budget: 01.05.2020-31.12.2020

Reference number: 13,000 PLN

Project description:

The aim of this project is to analyse the changes brought about by COVID-19 in Poland's immigration policy and their impact on the labour market, with particular emphasis on immigrants. It examines the situation and consequences of these modifications directly for the largest immigrant groups in Poland, as well as attempts to forecast the consequences of recent events for various sectors of the Polish labour market.

The analysis was based both on secondary data (legal acts, current statistics) and primary data (surveys).

The project will result in an analysis of migration strategies of foreigners working so far in the Polish labour market, analysis of the current PIPP with particular emphasis on the possible solutions to be introduced, analysis of the implemented strategies of the state and local governments and their results (special solutions for immigrants and their effects, anti-crisis shield), as well as analysis of the labour market and its current patterns (supply and demand, job offers, dismissals of immigrants, unemployment rates).

The key results of the conducted research will be the answers to the following questions:

1) whether and how the Polish government was prepared for the possible emergence of a pandemic and whether migrants were included in these strategies (PIPP analysis)?

2) how did the changes brought about by COVID-19 affect the situation of temporary and undocumented migrants?

3) what has been the response of employers who hire migrants? (employment patterns)

4) what actions did the government, local governments, institutions take to protect migrants? (migration law, labor law, new forms of employment?)

5) what will be the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on migrants and local labor markets? - suggestion for continuation of comparative research.

Principal Investigator: prof. Dorota Praszałowicz

Research team: Joanna Kulpińska. Ph.D. (Jagiellonian University)

Name of the grant: OPUS 19 

Source of financing: National Science Centre

Start and completion date of the project: 2021-2023 

Total project budget: 403.312 PLN 

Reference number: 2020/37/B/HS6/02687

Project description:

The study focuses on the Polish-American community in Seattle, Washington in the past and present. The transformation process of the community is analyzed in the context of mobility within the Trans-Atlantic labor market, and the transformation process of the European immigrant communities in the USA. The study is informed by the theoretical concepts that dominate in the recent world studies on migration flows. Poles settled in Seattle and its surroundings starting from the 1880's. It was the pioneer time when white settlers were arriving to the Pacific Northwest, and when the rail connections with the main American centers were under construction (1883, 1893). In the course of time the next immigration flows appeared: Polish refugees after the World War II, Solidarity refugees and other migrants from the communist Poland, and recently high skilled Poles recruited by the IT and high tech companies that have their headquarters in Seattle (Microsoft, Boeing). This highly diversified immigrant group made of the descendants of the pioneer settlers, the descendants of the refugees, and the recent immigrants produced a community woven by the tight relations and attractive events, for example the Polish Festival, annually in June, and Polish Film Festival in the Autumn. Despite the involvement in the ethnic community life, the recent immigrants do not want to be identified with the traditional Polonia. Therefore, at the initial stage of the project, we may call them an un-imagined community. The term reveals the paradox of their situation. The project aims : 1. to discover the migration mechanisms that in the past brought Poles into this remote region of the USA; 2. to analyze the internal diversity of the community with special emphasis on immigrant generations, social status, and gender roles (bread winners and bread bakers); 3. to reconstruct the organizational structure of the group with focus on the crucial role of the old institutions (Polish Home Association established in 1918, lodges of the Polish National Alliance that date back to 1890, Polish American parishes in Seattle and its vicinity), and the new forms of activity (Polish language schools for children, web platforms); 4. to reconstruct relations between Poles and other ethnic groups in Seattle: Croatians, Jews, Ukrainians; 5. to analyze identity change strategies in the new place; 6. to deconstruct stereotypical perception of a local Polonia community. An important result of the study will be a new paradigm of the studies on transformation process of the immigrant communities nowadays. The model will find implementation in studies on other immigrant communities (non-Polish and in other locations).

Principal Investigator: dr Agnieszka Małek

Research team:

  • Anna Fiń, Ph.D. (Pedagogical University of Krakow ) 
  • dr Stella Strzemecka, Ph.D. (Jagiellonian University) 

Name of the grant: OPUS 18 

Source of financing: National Science Centre

Start and completion date of the project: 2020-2023 

Total project budget: 266.726 PLN 

Reference number: 2019/35/B/HS5/03451

Project description:

The perspective of transnationalism allows for emphasis to be placed on the importance of various relationships and interdependancies that are shaped as a result of individual and group migrations. Migrants, non-migrants whose lives are connected in some way to those who move, and returning migrants create and maintain extensive social ties across borders. These transnational relationships operate in different arenas: the financial, social-cultural and political. Although there is a growing body of literature on the financial and socio-cultural aspects of transnational ties, the political arena remains under-researched. It is so, in particular, with regard to the mechanisms and consequences of migrants’ transnational political activities, political remittances and practices.  

Until now, research on migrants’ presence in the public space has focused predominantly on their participation in voting in the receiving and/or sending countries. However, this project argues for a wider conception of political transnationalism, not limited to voting, but encompassing such activities as the organization of political meetings, raising funds for parties, taking part in political protests, lobbying the host government regarding home country/community issues, and remitting political ideas and beliefs. Moreover, in Polish migration studies the analyses have been mainly devoted to post-accession migrants, and hence limited to the European context. Few researchers have conducted studies on contemporary transatlantic migrations, especially within the current theoretical framework, even though for decades North America has been a major destination for Polish migrants. This area, after all, is still successful in attracting Polish migrants, although on a smaller scale than in the past.  

Several factors make the Polish migrants in Canada a particularly interesting case: the significant number of immigrants that reached Canada in the 1980s and 1990s (after systemic transformation), allowing comparative analysis; Polish migrants being situated between the “old” southern European groups and currently prevailing immigrants from Asian countries; the context of their reception in Canada (multicultural policy, the liberal law on the matter of dual citizenship). The decision to choose Canada and specifically Toronto (with the highest concentration of Polish migrants in this country) responds to the need for comparative studies on transnational activities.  

The project aims to: (1) establish knowledge about the forms of transnational political engagement and the ways political remittances are transferred and used; (2) identify the transnational practices and tools that migrants and those back home use to maintain relationships; (3) highlight the determinants of migrants’ political engagement; (4) recognize the importance of political (re)socialization both in the sending and receiving countries/communities; and (5) identify migrants’ expectations regarding the home country’s responsibilities to its diaspora as well as the diaspora’s responsibilities towards the home country.  

The research methodology relies on a qualitative approach, using in-depth, semi-structured interviews and expert interviews, conducted both in Canada (with Polish migrants) and in Poland (with non-migrants and returning migrants), i.e. in the sites of transnational practices. Such an approach helps to understand the complexity of the ways in which political ideas and practices circulate as well as the determinants of migrants’ political engagement.  

The novelty of the project lies in the topic, still under-researched in the field of migration studies, conducting research in both the receiving and sending countries, as well as giving a voice to various social actors – migrants, non-migrants and returning migrants. The project has the potential to contribute to the scholarly discussion on migration and politics, particularly on the impact of transnational remittances on political attitudes and behaviours. The research will result in at least three articles published in peer-reviewed international journals, a monograph in English and conference presentations.

Principal Investigator: prof. Łukasz Kamieński

Name of the grant: OPUS 17 

Source of financing: National Science Centre

Start and completion date of the project: 2020-2023

Total project budget: 256.397 PLN

Reference number: 2019/33/B/HS5/01297

Project description:

Zapping the brain to bestow upon individuals phenomenal skills and superhuman capabilities, such as operating devices with thoughts or techno-telepathic communication between people, is well known from the science fiction genre. And it is one of the main themes recurring in several episodes of Black Mirror, the stirring television anthology created by Charlie Brooker. The episode entitled Men Against Fire (2016) depicts the vision of the redesigned, neuro-tech future soldier. The pivotal breakthrough technology it features is an advanced neural interface. It plays several cutting-edge functions: it augments military training, boosts performance, eases killing the enemy by changing the perception of them in such a way to dehumanize them, improves communication, augments situational awareness and prevents war trauma. It is, of course, a story of the imagination, but how do the rapid, breakthrough, ongoing and emergent advances in neuroscience relate to this view of popular science fiction? Over the last two decades, remarkable progress in brain sciences, along with equally rapid and astonishing developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, have been turning science-fictionesque fantasies into fantastic science. From their very beginning these new neuro discoveries, techniques and technologies have attracted the interest of the US military, which reminds us of who one of the pivotal catalysts and keenest funders of innovative brain research has been. The prospects of neuroscience and neurotechnologies offer great opportunities as their applications for national security and defense can be truly transformative.  

Neuro technologies could and will be used for various tasks at different stages of military activity: from recruitment and duty assignment to combat and combat-related activities (like intelligence and communication), from professional training to rehabilitation; from brain imagining allowing the identification of particularly desirable traits, dispositions and behaviours to brain stimulation aimed at enhancing performance, improving learning skills, boosting cognition, alleviating fatigue and increasing wakefulness; and from monitoring and optimizing brain activity in real time for remodelling moods and preventing anxieties to operating weapons systems with thoughts via neural interfaces.  

This project is about such breakthrough advances and, overall, about the role neuroscience and neurotechnologies will play in the 21st century military and international relations. It looks at the implications of these developments in warfare and national security at the three levels of analysis. The approach is borrowed from the famous three images for interpreting the causes of war that were offered in the late 1950s by Kenneth Waltz, and is today a classic taxonomy in the discipline of International Relations. The first or micro level concerns the individual human being and human nature, so it is the soldier. The second or the meso relates to the state, so it is the government, armed forces and society. And the third, the macro, is the level of international system. The project will address and seek answers to the question of what changes will the remarkable march of neuroscience and neuroengineering have at all these three levels.  

The project sets out a number of aims. One is to diagnose and investigate the new development which is referred to as the neuroscience of war. Another is to thoroughly explore this new landscape – of the neuroscience in war. And, most importantly of all, is the analysis of the transformative consequences of these advances for the soldier, armed forces, military tactics and strategy, the character of war and international relations. Inevitably, big ethical questions also loom large.  

It is hypothesized that the military neuro revolution is already on the rise and along with the great progress in robotics and AI it will not only transform combatants and warfare by trans- and, later, post-humanizing them, but will also affect international relations by fostering a neuro-arms race between the United States and China. Neurotechnologies will be developed for both offensive tactics and strategies (enhancing the capabilities of troops to make them into better “tools” of war and designing neuroweapons against enemy combatants and their civilian population) and defensive purposes (preventing hostile neuro-attacks against one’s military personnel and non-combatants).  

The pace, scope and intensity of the neuro revolution in warfare and security will draw humanity into new realities: of neurosecurity and neuropolitics, neuroweapons and neurodefense, neurostrategy and neuroethics, and perhaps even more such actualities.  

Thus what used to be science fiction is becoming reality and the military has played a prominent role in that transition. How much will the neuro-techno-scientific innovations resemble the visions we know from fiction? And to what effect? These questions call for a careful, systematic, comprehensive and multidisciplinary social-scientific study, which is precisely what this project is designed to deliver.

Principal Investigator: Monika Sawicka, Ph.D.

Name of the grant: MINIATURA 4 

Source of financing: National Science Centre

Start and completion date of the project: 2020-2022 

Total project budget: 22.826 PLN 

Reference number: 2020/04/X/HS5/02006 

Project description:

The research activity involves a study trip to Brazil in order to collect and produce data that will allow a preliminary analysis of Brazil's foreign policy in the Latin American region between 2003 and 2020. Considering the issue under scrutiny, the impact of Brazil's global position on the country's regional roles and status, the collected empirical material will allow me to seek answers to the following research questions: what were the core initiatives implemented in Latin America between 2003 and 2020 in terms of regional integration, mediation, development cooperation and security? Were actions taken by Brazil in Latin America consistent with the policies implemented in earlier periods (between 1945 and 2002)? What changes can be identified in Brazil's regional policies between 2003 and 2020? Did the country's global status and major power aspirations affect Brazil's relations with regional partners? During the research stay in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília I will gain access to the diplomatic documentation available in selected archives in both cities. In addition, the stay in Brasília involves conducting semi-structured interviews with representatives of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions of selected Latin American countries. Qualitative content analysis and narrative analysis of the collected empirical material will allow me to answer the research questions, refine the theoretical framework (capturing the relation between the state’s global status and its regional roles and status), and prepare research hypotheses that will be verified in the next stages of a broader study based on this conceptual model.

Principal Investigator: Tomasz Soroka, Ph.D.

Name of the grant: MINIATURA 3 

Source of financing: National Science Centre

Start and completion date of the project: 2019-2022

Total project budget: 26.488 PLN 

Reference number: 2019/03/X/HS5/00948

Project description:

The planned research will be conducted in Iqaluit, the capital of the territory Nunavut, Canada. The main goal of the research is to gain indepth knowledge about the legal and political dimensions of the protection of the Inuit language (Inuktut) in Nunavut and to assess the effectiveness of Nunavut's language policy in the field of revitalization and promotion of Inuktut. The project is intended to examine the role Inuktut plays in Nunavut's political, legal, and cultural life (especially in the context of the widespread anglicization of Canadian public institutions in the areas inhabited by Indigenous peoples). Among others, the following matters are planned to be examined:

a) the standards and practices that have been put in place for effective legal protection of Inuktut in Nunavut,

b) political actions that have been implemented as part of Nunavut’s educational policies, language legislations, and labor market regulations aimed at promoting, revitalizing and strengthening of the position of Inuktut as a language of daily communication in Nunavut,

c) the assessment of effectiveness of the above-mentioned initiatives (basing partly on the analyses of statistical and demographic data on languages in Nunavut),

d) social reception, concerns and expectations as well as plans and future strategies for the revitalization of Inuktut and for boosting even further the protection of the Inuit heritage, languages and culture,

e) how Nunavut's language policies can serve as an example for other countries / regions in the implementation of their own Indigenous language policies.

Principal Investigator: Rafał Kuś, Ph.D.

Name of the grant: MINIATURA 3 

Source of financing: National Science Centre

Start and completion date of the project: 2019-2022 

Total project budget: 29.532 PLN 

Reference number: 2019/03/X/HS5/00759 

Project description:

The planned action is a research trip to the United States (College Park, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.). The topic of research concerns the place of the National Public Radio (NPR) in the media and political system of the United States. NPR, established under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, constitutes a minor yet significant element of the American radio system, complementing the programming of commercial broadcasters with missionary cultural, educational, and public affairs broadcasts.  

The project will involve mixed research methods, including quantitative techniques such as content analysis and surveys, and qualitative techniques such as intensive interviews and case studies. I am going to use my experience from earlier research initiatives as well.  

The four-week trip will involve a thorough query (conducted in the library of the University of Maryland in College Park and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.) as well as intensive interviews (conducted in the Washington headquarters of NPR and CPB).  

It is expected that the project will result in collecting the research materials, analyzing them, and preparing a scholarly paper on the National Public Radio, which will be published in one of the American media studies journals (e.g. “Journal of Radio & Audio Media”).