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British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships 2005

Four academics have been awarded British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships to study at LSE. The 2005 Fellowships begin this autumn. Only 38 were awarded overall, from 518 original applications. The successful LSE fellows are:

Dr Francesca Borgonovi, to be based in CASE, for her work on Altruism and Subjective Well-Being: can fiscal policies strengthen the link?

Dr Borgonovi will explore whether engaging in two forms of altruistic activity, voluntary work and donations of money affects individual well-being and whether government action can influence the ability of individuals to fulfil their aspirations. The project is based on UK and US data and has three components. The first part will assess to what degree donations of time and money affect individual subjective well-being. The second will examine the performance of two alternative fiscal policies in stimulating the supply of donations. The project will test the assumption that policies lowering the sacrifice required to perform an activity are equivalent (in terms of the effect they have on supply levels) to policies increasing the benefit the activity yields to the recipients' altruistic acts. The final part will evaluate the impact government grants to non-profit organisations have on donations and voluntary work.

Dr Rachel Condry, to be based in Law, for her research on Restorative Justice and Familial Shame.

Dr Condry's research will explore the role of offenders' relatives in restorative justice forums and the processes underlying these events, the theoretical ideas that inform these processes and how these ideas are understood by those on the ground - facilitators and participants. The project will examine how restorative justice events 'work', the role of shaming, and how this interlinks with family.

Dr Magnus Course, to be based in Anthropology, for his work on The Changing Value of Linguistic Forms among the Mapuche of Southern Chile

Dr Course's project will explore the ways in which indigenous Mapuche people of southern Chile utilise different forms of language to different ends. The different kinds of relationships which constitute Mapuche society could be said to correspond to different forms of language. By approaching the various formal and informal contexts in which distinct forms of language are used, the project will seek to understand how language itself may become an objectified form of social practice. The growth of Spanish/Mapudungun bilingualism raises further questions concerning the relative values of different linguistic forms within a single language, and between the different languages themselves.

Dr William Jennings, to be based in CARR, for his work on Vox Pop: The Regulation of Government by Public Opinion?

The regulation of risk by government, and the reciprocal regulation of government by public opinion, represent issues of considerable salience for understanding modern governance. Dr Jennings' research examines the influence of public opinion on government policy ('policy responsiveness') in the UK 1979-2004. This analyses time series trends and the statistical interactions between government policy and public opinion. Building upon this quantitative analysis of the UK 'macro polity', qualitative research assesses the patterns of 'responsiveness' that are identifiable for a selected group of risk regulation policies. The six regulatory regimes that are selected for analysis are: immigration/asylum; terror risks and homeland security; the MMR vaccine; the 'nation's diet'; cloning; and genetic profiling.

For more on the British Academy, see http://www.britac.ac.uk/|

14 September 2005