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2 fully funded PhD scholarship - Univ. of Groningen, The Netherlands

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  • asha.weinstein@sjsu.edu
    ... **** Please bring these two vacanies to the attention of interested candidates. Apologies for those of you who receive the message more than once **** TWO
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 15, 2006

      ----- Forwarded by Asha Weinstein/SJSU on 02/15/2006 08:22 AM -----

      **** Please bring these two vacanies to the attention of interested
      candidates. Apologies for those of you who receive the message more than
      once ****


      Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)

      Faculty of Spatial Sciences

      University of Groningen

      P.O. Box 800

      9700 AV Groningen


      PhD 1: Undisclosed power relations in local democracy: examining
      coalitions and implications for social justice

      Supervisors: Dr. Justin Beaumont (j.r.beaumong@...), Prof. dr. G. de
      Roo (g.de.roo@...) and Prof. dr. P.H. Pellenbarg

      PhD 2: Investigating faith-based organizations and urban social issues
      from an international comparative perspective

      Supervisors: Dr. Justin Beaumont (j.r.beaumong@...), Prof. dr. P.P.P.
      Huigen (p.p.p.huigen@...) and Prof. dr. I. Hutter (i.hutter@...)

      PhD 1:

      The aim of the project is to reveal the relation between
      situation-specific governance arrangements and their consequences in
      terms of social justice and equity. The research will contribute to our
      understanding of the parameters that determine urban politics and the
      way in which they favour or exclude certain actors. Bringing these two
      relatively distinct and autonomous strands together in an international
      perspective lies at the core of the project. The significance of
      governance arrangements in urban renewal projects as well as their
      diversity around the globe is generally agreed upon. Several
      contributions show a remarkable variety of local governance
      arrangements. These arrangements inevitably imply a shift in the
      distribution of and access to power in political decision-making. This
      shift can lead to significant problems in urban political systems, as
      specific actors or groups can become deprived of means to intervene, or
      at least no longer have their interests acknowledged or taken into
      account. The question is if and how partnerships or coalitions can and
      do determine urban politics. How are they constructed, what interests do
      they have and do they favour the participation of certain groups and
      exclude others? And if so, what does this mean in terms of social
      justice and equity in the urban realm? The question how the traditional
      'triangle' of actors (state - market - civil society) interacts in
      practice, in terms of interrelations, coalitions, alliances or networks
      and what this implies in term of social equity, participation and
      democratic legitimacy needs to be answered.

      The concern of coalitions or partnerships directing local
      decision-making in relation to problems of social justice has been
      embedded over time in US literature, while European experiences are only
      now on the ascendancy. Until now, there is no satisfying argument
      explaining the absence of such coalitions in Europe. It is claimed that
      such coalitions might just as well exist, possibly in another shape,
      operating differently and with specific consequences that stand apart
      from the US. The research starts from the presumption that we are able
      to identify certain coalitions in Continental experiences that highly
      influence local politics, and confine possibilities for participation of
      certain local actors or groups. The question that becomes relevant is
      how and why such coalitions differ from American experiences and what
      this implies for the access power and decision-making. This access is
      expected to be vital when justice or equity is at stake.

      PhD 2:

      This project will examine, describe and explain the ambiguous, contested
      and changing governance characteristics and role of faith-based
      organizations (FBOs) and social problems in the US, UK and NL. While
      FBOs are a dominant force in US, it is expected that this role is
      secondary to the state in the UK and NL. In these latter countries FBOs
      perform a cradling function as the "underbelly" of the traditional state
      welfare. Processes of neoliberalization in cities, however, are
      potentially opening-up greater spaces for FBOs to enter into the fray of
      political action against injustices. Addressing these issues from a
      historical and spatial perspective, the project will consider the
      lessons and practical implications for policy-makers and campaigners for
      social justice in these countries.

      Research shows that FBOs in the US are reaching out into the secular
      world and 'de-privatizing' in new and sometimes contrasting ways. These
      organizations are exploring possibilities for mainstream social service
      provision as well as participating in progressive alliances to contest
      entrepreneurial politics and for the achievement of social justice in
      cities. The observed double dynamic simultaneously reflects new urban
      political opportunities wrought by deepening processes of
      neoliberalization and the historical specificities of associationist
      civil society in the US. The two sides of the faith-based action on
      poverty 'coin' reflect the enduring ideological variety of associational
      life in the country. To what extent can we speak of similar developments
      on the European Continent in other countries like The Netherlands and
      also the UK? In this context, and in all international cases of the
      project, the project asks what are the sociologies and organizational
      geographies of FBO politicization. What accounts for the ideological and
      political ambiguity of FBO activity in the social welfare realm and
      their changes in time? What are the current activities and roles of FBOs
      in addressing urban social problems? What role do FBOs have in
      contemporary processes of welfare reform? To what extent are FBOs
      implicated in urban policies? And what theoretical and conceptual tools
      are at our disposal for explaining the hypothesized changing role of
      FBOs in urban social issues and their variations by socio-institutional

      Informal enquiries should be sent by email to Dr. Beaumont

      For further information including details about the application process
      please consult the URSI website (www.rug.nl/ursi/research/promovendi)


      Justin Beaumont

      Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)

      Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen

      P.O. Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen


      Direct: 00 31 (0)50 363 6910

      Secr: -3895/ -3896/ -3897, Fax: -3901

      Email: j.r.beaumont@...

      Web: www.justinbeaumont.com/

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