The First Call

Specification of the Grant/Fellowship Applications: 15 October 2009 Call

Applications should specify and locate research proposals within one of EDDA’s three pillars:

i. History, Culture, and Society

EDDA’s first pillar – “History, Culture, and Society” – focuses on the creation, genealogies and trajectories of different conceptions of equality as represented in Icelandic culture and society. Studies of past conceptions of equality will be carried out to illuminate present-day articulations of demands for equality from international, theoretical and political perspectives. Conflicting conceptions and constructions of equality will be examined to uncover different ideological motives that have framed discourses on equality, inequalities, gender, diversity and national identity. This includes references to cultural representations of nature, the body, technologies as well as to gendered dimensions of pre- and post-crisis corporate and political cultures. Special emphasis will be placed on innovative theoretical and empirical attempts, past and present, to enhance equality. The purpose is to assess, critically, the social state, including the “Icelandic equality model” and how it will face new challenges fuelled by the global and domestic economic crises, the new representations of multiculturalism, and growing emphasis on the active participation of different groups in society. It requires an attempt to define and redefine social, gender, and cultural identities with reference to social justice and ethics, and to address the tension-ridden relationship between national identities and transnational socialization processes, such as Europeanization, from historical and contemporary perspectives.

ii. Socio-Economic Security, Political Reform and Sustainability

EDDA’s second pillar – under the heading “Socio-Economic Security, Political Reform and Sustainability” – examines factors that impact socio economic conditions and the utilization of natural and human resources, such as those producing more complex inequalities (gender, age, class, ethnicity and settlement) as well as the effects of economic crises, such as the current one in Iceland, on political and constitutional reform. A key question deals with problems of imbalances between social and economic diversity as well as their interrelationship with sustainable economies, the social state and entitlements. Another topic explores how socio-economic crises promote political and constitutional reforms, including plans for a constituent assembly in Iceland, from transnational, comparative and European perspectives. The research pays specific attention to the impact of finance/economic crises on various social groups, the political system, constitutional law, the labour market, the social state, regional development and immigration/emigration. Its practical implications involve measures, experiments and methods dealing with, among other things, the intersectionality between economic crises and political reforms and with strategies designed to counter inequality as part of a socio-economic rebuilding agenda.

iii. The New Security Paradigm and Systemic Breakdowns: “Reconstruction” Discourses at Home and Abroad

EDDA’s third pillar, “The New Security Paradigm and Systemic Breakdowns: “Reconstruction“ Discourses at Home and Abroad,” deals with the implications of the post-Cold War practice of stripping the security concept of its exclusively military connotations and of including additional factors – such as societal security, financial security, climate change, pandemics, ethnic conflict, peace-building, and environment concerns. This security agenda has not only refocused attention on transnational power politics in various “rebuilding” settings but also created venues for looking at diversity and security. It also involves comparing and contrasting “(re)state-building,” using the concepts and vocabulary of securitization, civil society, gender, equality/inequality, dependency, colonial experiences/post-colonialism, democratization, peacekeeping, development, sustainability, and human rights. Finally, it draws attention to power struggles between international, transnational and local actors in different geographic and socio-economic locations, raising questions about transnational dependencies. Thus, Iceland’s current uncertain status as a “First World” country and as a “debtor” nation dependent on an IMF bailout will not only be be explored within a domestic context – or its interactions with foreign creditors and stakeholders among Western states or international organizations – but also approached through an analysis of its identity as a “donor” nation and a participant in post-conflict “Third World” settings. Finally, the focus will be on Iceland as an aspiring EU member and its potential place within a European foreign and security policy as well as on its actor role in “regions-to-be,” like the Arctic from geopolitical, historical, transnational, military/security, legal, environmental, and gendered perspectives.