2(a) ‘Reforming the state education sector in Greece: Pitfalls and Prospects’
Education is a key component of state provision and central to prospects of growth and economic development. The state education sector in Greece has proved to be an extremely contentious political space and a focus for much public policy in the last two decades. In fact, in the last decade or more successive governments have tried introduced numerous reform packages aimed at higher education and the primary and secondary education are constantly on the policy-making agenda. Both in Greece and in Cyprus, the state education sector compares badly with European counterparts.
We welcome proposals assessing the state of the public education system(s) (in whole or in part) in Greece and/or Cyprus, comparing their provision to other EU members, and evaluating previous attempts at reform. We would also welcome proposals which contribute to our understanding of what types of changes/reforms might be needed and how best to achieve these by way of bringing Greece/Cyprus back into line with EU standards and provision of state education.
2(b) ‘Understanding the causes and consequences of Low-Intensity Violence as a phenomenon in Greek political and social life’
The period of the ‘metapolitefsi’ has been for the most part one of peaceful political contestation. This has been punctuated on one extreme by terrorism and on the other by a form of violence which increasingly referred to as ‘low-intensity’. This has been a constant phenomenon in the Greek public space and involves attacks against individuals, institutions and property. It is said that the Greek authorities/police keep a record of these attacks but they are very rarely, if ever pursued and/or appear in the judicial system.
We are inviting applicants to propose a systematic study of the types and causes of low-intensity violence especially in the last 10 years. This typology and explanation of causes could then lead to an analysis of its consequences in a variety of ways and on a variety of possible institutions. For example, what do we learn about policing and the Greek police force from this violent activity and how they treat it? Similarly, what is the impact on the judicial system or the general perception of what constitutes acceptable expression of democracy? There could be interest also in the effect it has on perceptions of youth unemployment, student activism, or the investment environment in ‘crisis’ Greece.
2(c) ‘An analysis of the relationship between mass media, political parties and private enterprise: comparing Greece and other EU member states’
The triangular relationship between mass media, political parties and private enterprise has been highly contentious in Greek political life in the last two decades. At best it raises questions of media pluralism, competition in the media marketplace and democratic propriety. At worst it leads to questions of media freedom of expression and the possibility of collusion and corruption. This phenomenon is not unique to Greece but it has formed a big part of the political debate in Greece before and during the crisis years.
We invite proposals examining and analysing this phenomenon in the Greek case. It would be useful to describe and provide evidence of the types of relationships that exist between these three poles and what impact they have on public life, the political process and the marketplace. What is the balance between commercial considerations and political influence? At what stage does the issue of corruption enter the debate, what is the evidence for this and how do we measure its impact? A comparative approach with other EU member states would be welcomed.
2(d) ‘The Challenge of Migrant Integration in Greece: The consequences in economic and social terms’
The recent refugee crisis in Greece’s eastern borders has brought to the forefront again long-lasting issues of migrant integration in the country. This encompasses both the social and economic dimension and extends also to cultural issues (including ones that have to do with language, religion and national identity). At the practical level, a number of issues have emerged with administrative capacities concerning the processing of asylum applications, the hosting of refugees and asylum seekers and the reception of economic and illegal immigrants. At the societal level, questions emerge with regard to social inclusion, spatial segregation, health, housing, crime and social delinquency. In the economic sphere key issues concern economic deprivation and the labour market inclusion of migrants and refugees, including issues of informality, economic exploitation and labour demand / job competition.
Under this perspective, we invite proposals examining the social and economic challenges to migrant integration and analysing the economic effects and social consequences of migrant integration and non-integration. Proposals may concern small-area studies or country-wide analyses; they may have a focus on specific groups (ethnic or by status) and on particular dimensions (e.g., labour market, housing, urban segregation, etc.); and may examine policy (and proposed policy changes) at different levels (e.g., administration versus policy objectives, local versus national, etc.). Comparative analyses are acceptable, but only insofar as the comparative evidence is used to inform the Greek experience and case.