Current research projects

» GENERA – Gender Equality Network in European Research Area

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 665637.

Director of the project: dr Paulina Sekuła
Team members: dr Paula Pustułka, Ewa Krzaklewska, Justyna Struzik
Project duration: 2015-2018
http://genera-project.com/

Description: GENERA is a project aiming at continuing, monitoring and improving the Gender Equality Plans of Research Institutions and Organizations specifically in the physics research field. These three actions will be performed by a Consortium of 12 beneficiary partner research performing and research funding organizations, and a number of associate partners and observers. The GENERA Consortium includes a considerable representation of women physicists active in their careers at different levels and will engage with further women physicists active in various Institutions to benchmark and monitor the effectiveness of already active and previously proposed measures and the ones which will be proposed by the Consortium. The end goal is to propose and create organizational structures allowing physics research in Europe to benefit from the greater presence of talented women at all levels, and which can open up more opportunities for women to create successful careers in physics research and in related fields. While the end goal will focus on the research world, GENERA will look into the origin of the problem by creating liaisons with schools and proposing suitable programs to foster the field from early stages and to propose measures that can be adopted by middle and high schools. Another major goal of GENERA is to contribute to overcome the under-representation of women in physics research which is long-standing and persistent even if the prevailing cultures adopt the assumption of being ‘gender neutral'. Still these assumptions did not produce the desired effect of increasing female representation in the physics research field. GENERA will focus on the implementation by European research organization of Gender Equality Plans customized to circumstances and needs of the physics research community. The customised Gender Equality Plans involve systematic examination of all decision-making processes to identify any possible sources of gender bias in the research organisations active in physics and related fields.

Project partners: Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron A Research Centre of the Helmholtz Association (DESY), Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), Netherlands, Karlsruhe Institut of Technology (KIT), Germany, Portia Ltd, United Kingdom, National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Italy, Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG), Germany, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Austria, University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, National Research Council (CNR), Italy, Horia Hulubei National Institute for R&D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH). Romania, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France. 

» Think locally, act globally: Polish farmers in the global world of sustainability and resilience

This project has received funding from the National Centre of Science

Director of the project: prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Gorlach
Team members: settlement of the competition for the positions will be conducted
Project duration: 2016-2021

Description: The title of the project has been purposively formulated in a tricky way. At the first glance its first part, i.e. "think globally, act locally" might suggest the mistake in using this particular statement, used mainly by ecologists trying to reflect the nature and the logic of the contemporary globalized world. That means that whatever might be done in a particular place, region and/or community should be treated as a particular mutation of some global problems, characterizing various societies scattered all over the world. In this particular project we want to present the entirely opposite type of thinking about globalized society. Our message might be stated as follows: "think locally, act globally". The justification of such an argument might require an analysis of the more complex mechanism of global society functioning and development. Such a mechanism clearly shows the need of participation of local people, organizations and resource in extra-local/global networks. Therefore we make an attempt to analyze the functioning of family farms in Poland including their regional diversifications as parts of some extra-local networks. The study under the project frame will allow us to grasp wholesome perspective on the changes in functioning of rural areas and agriculture, yet it is not confined to farm owners/operators. Our project is one of its kind of analysis of deep analysis of processes occurring in rural areas in Poland. Its results will allow to critically evaluate consequences of the EU accession, evaluate to condition of sustainability in the context of Polish agriculture, and to lay foundations for international comparative study in the area of combined approaches in social and agricultural sciences.

The project will be carried out on:

1) Analysis of relations between family household and farm, especially the issue of ownership and tenancy of land, on farm work performed by particular family members, neighbour work under the system of rural community mutual help, hired workers, off-farm jobs taken by family members.

2) Construction of social portraits of persons who are farm operators: their relations with formal owners of farmlands. Moreover, we will focus on their identities, their self-perceptions of their social positions compared to other people running businesses, as well as their decision-making processes, including sources and types of knowledge, factors taken into consideration and the general goal of farm operation, the "ideal type" of family farm as well as their attitudes towards external financial resources that might be used in farm operation.

3) Analysis of class diversity among farm operators with reference to Weber's and Bourdieu's theories. Identification of three main class fractions inside the farm operators` community: the positively privileged, the middle, and the negatively privileged ones. Analysis of their lifestyles, dominant identities, strategies of farming, and any pro- or anticapitalist type of class consciousness.

4) Analysis of formation of farmers' interest representation system. Study of current relations between the state and farmers' groups that have taken on a form of institutionalized cooperation between the main interest groups and other interest organizations.

5) Study whether Polish family farmers fit sustainability profile. Exploration of "sustainability mindset" on the level of particular farms that translates into a more economically viable, socially just, and environmentally sound farm system in Poland.

6) Analysis of attitudes toward IT, popularity of such technologies in farming, relations between farming strategies and technologies employed.

7) Analysis of institutional and legal framework for food safety and security, consciousness, knowledge and attitudes of farmers in this regard.

» Differences and boundaries in the process of creating neighbourhood communities in large cities. A socio-spatial study

This project has received funding from the National Centre of Science

Director of the project: dr Marta Smagacz-Poziemska
Team members: dr hab. Andrzej Bukowski, dr Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, dr Karol Kurnicki, dr Marcjanna Nóżka.
Project duration: 2015-2018

Description: The main objective of the project is to develop a conception explaining the mechanisms of establishment and reproduction of urban territorial communities at the level of the estate. The starting point in the project is the assertion – deduced from our empirical studies – that the concepts of "self-organisation" of local communities, social differentiation and spatial processes, which occupy a major place in urban sociology, sociology of local communities and sociology of space, are not sufficient to explain the models ofsocio-spatial relations by which territorial communities (in the project: estates) form, reproduce and change. The weakness of these conceptions lies in their substantial understanding of the differences (and similarities) – in terms of permanent characteristics of social position (socio-economic status, lifestyle, or social capital). To form our conception, we will refer to the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and to Fredrik Barth's concept of social boundaries, used in relational anthropology, including the category of difference as a factor organising social life, as well as relational theories of space, especially as conceived by Doreen Massey. The planned field work will allow us to verify and elaborate the main theoretical premise and develop a methodology of empirical research on urban communities in our proposed theoretical paradigm.

» Public Discourse in Poland and Religion. Models of Legitimation in the Debates on Biopolitics between 2004-2014.

This project has received funding from the National Centre of Science

Director of the project: prof. dr hab. Irena Borowik
Team members: prof. dr hab. Irena Borowik, dr Agnieszka Dyczewska, dr Katarzyna Zielińska, dr Marcin Zwierżdżyński, mgr Joanna Mleczko, mgr Inga Koralewska.
Project duration: 2015-2017

Description: The objective of the project is to understand the meaning of religion in the public sphere in Poland by discovering the role played by references to religion in legitimations of discourse on the thorny issues related to biopolitics. Each discourse, construed as a space for construction of meanings, requires specific models of legitimation, meaning ways of explaining and justifying the socially created order. This is also the case with biopolitics, i.e. the space of diverse discourses on corporeality, sexuality and the limits of life and death. The planned research aims firstly to identify and analyse the models of legitimation used in this field by various discourse communities, secondly to learn what role references to religion play in justifying the positions taken in such fundamental issues, and thirdly to answer the question of what the distribution of support in society is for various models of legitimation. The main research hypothesis of the project is that references to religion considerably diversify the models of legitimation used in discourses and the social opinion on them.

» Sustainable finance for sustainable agriculture and fisheries

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Director of the project: dr hab. Piotr Nowak
Team members: prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Gorlach, dr hab. Piotr Nowak, dr Anna Witowska-Jastrzębiec, mgr Adam Dąbrowski
Project duration: 2015-2018

Description: SUFISA aims to identify practices and policies that support the sustainability of primary producers in a context of complex policy requirements, market imperfections and globalization. Knowledge on market conditions and other driving forces exists, but in a fragmented way: relevant producer groups and regions have not yet been analyzed or framework conditions and driving forces have changed in the mean time. Moreover, little information is available on cross-linkages between various drivers and future opportunities and threats will need to be integrated for an encompassing analysis. The work of the SUFISA project will be based on a close cooperation with stakeholders of the industry, policy makers and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations. The combination of theoretical approaches and multi-actor involvement will be the precondition for the identification of practices and policies aiming at addressing market failures hindering farmers and fishermen to function sustainably. Objectives The aim of SUFISA is to identify sustainable practices and policies in the agricultural, fish and food sectors that support the sustainability of primary producers in a context of multi-dimensional policy requirements, market imperfections and globalisation.

The five specific objectives of SUFISA are:

To construct a conceptual framework that links market imperfections and policy requirements to primary producers' strategies and performance;
To investigate the nature of market imperfections, policy requirements and their implications for specific commodity sectors and regions;
To analyse the impact of market imperfections and policy requirements on the efficiency and performance of primary producers;
To identify sustainable practices and policies in the agricultural, fish and food sectors that support the sustainability of primary producers and develop future scenarios aimed at countering the identified market imperfections;
To carry out work in a transdisciplinary way using a multi-actor approach, that is, to actively engage a broad spectrum of relevant stakeholders from the beginning of the project in order to optimise both the relevance of the work carried out and its dissemination and uptake by stakeholders.

SUFISA aims to exploit new and emerging research opportunities that address social, environmental and economic challenges. Therefore, the research contributes to building a European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy, bringing together science, industry and stakeholders. . The interaction between science, industry and stakeholders is inherent to the proposed methodology, whereby (1) the structure of the Consortium allows interdisciplinary scientific debate, (2) an External Expert Advisory Board guarantees structured and interactive communication with the sector and other stakeholders and (3) the case studies guarantee the involvement and relevance of the research at the European and local level.

Consortium: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Division of Bioeonomics, Belgium; University of Pisa, Italy; University of Gloucestershire, UK; Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, France; Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italy; University of Hasselt, Belgium; Nodbinajums Baltic Studies Centre, Latvia; Universidade de Evora, Portugal; Aahrus Universitet, Denmark; Agricultural University of Athens, Greece; Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, Germany; Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Belgrade, Serbia.

See also