Professors Michael Bruter and Christine Chinkin from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) have, between them, been awarded nearly five million euros by the European Research Council (ERC). The awards will fund two research projects, one examining the causes and consequences of electoral hostility in 27 democratic countries, the other to develop a gendered understanding of peace and security within the framework of international law.
Michael Bruter, Professor of Political Science and European Politics in LSE’s Department of Government, and his team will receive an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euros for his project "The Age of Hostility: understanding the nature, dynamics, determinants, and consequences of citizens' electoral hostility in 27 democracies."
The research, which will run from 2019-24, will examine the causes and consequences of electoral hostility at individual, group and aggregate levels, analysing how electoral hostility develops over time, and identifying potential solutions to resolve it.
Professor Michael Bruter said: “Electoral disagreements have always existed, but situations where people end up hating each other due to different voting preferences seem increasingly common. At its worst, electoral hostility may split friends and families, threaten civic respect, or make citizens resent each other and drift apart into divided societies. It is important that we understand why people can come to hate each other for supporting different sides in a referendum or an election in order to help democratic societies reconcile after such rifts, so I am delighted to have been awarded this grant from the European Research Council."
Professor Christine Chinkin, Director of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Centre at LSE, has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.48 million euros over five years for her project, "A Gendered International Law of Peace."
In 2000, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which called for women's participation in peace building. This was followed by other resolutions that together made the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda, which recognises that women experience conflict differently than men and so the response requires tailored attention and expertise, as well as the fact that women have a critical role to play in the ending of violence and the sustainability of peace. The Agenda, however, has failed to live up to its promises and gender perspectives have still not been translated into international law. Professor Chinkin’s project will combine international relations, conflict studies, gender studies and economics to develop an international legal framework for women to play a larger part in international peacebuilding.
Professor Christine Chinkin said: “In armed conflicts, women are often targeted, for example with sexual violence, and are marginalised, their rights and interests being disregarded during and in the aftermath of conflict. Women's voices are rarely heard when peace is being negotiated. This European Research Council grant will enable us to develop a legal basis for gendering an international law of peace, to challenge how gender equality, peace and security are understood, and to give new momentum to the transformative potential of the WPS Agenda.”
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Since the establishment of the ERC, researchers based at LSE have won 42 grants, worth a total of 59 million euros.