Project – title: Social Inequalities on the Urban Periphery? Vocational Education, Ultras’ Participation and Cultures of Resistance in the Classroom
“This project seeks to analyse processes of class production as manifest through educational ‘sorting’ mechanisms alongside passive/active forms of resistance present amongst pupils enrolled in vocational education (strukovne škole) on the urban periphery of Zagreb. The aim is to make a unique contribution to anthropological studies of educational ‘failure’ (Willis 1977; Evans 2008) alongside football youth subcultures, drawing on my previous work on all of these topics (Hodges and Stubbs 2016; Hodges 2016; 2015; 2014). Through semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observation, I will examine the relationship between the organised practices of a fan group (the Bad Blue Boys, hereon BBB) supporting the Zagreb based team GNK Dinamo and oppositional cultures of resistance in the classroom. These practices will be examined in the context of pupils’ life trajectories relating to the transition between school and work/unemployment, with a specific focus on class production. The urban peripheral context, where hierarchies associated with urban belonging are contested, adds a further class-related component to the study, as well as a distinctly post-Yugoslav flavour which will be contrasted and compared with the UK focused literature on class, educational failure, and fan practices.”
Project – title: When the Rooftops became Red Again: Post-war Community Dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina
“Despite the decline of the interstate, armed conflicts in the last two decades, internal conflicts remain persistent and affect millions of people around the World every year. Existing literature has tended to frame post-war recovery within peace-building and reconciliation frameworks, thus paying less attention to the motivations, agency and nature of the group interactions during the post-war period, particularly at the community level, which compromises our ability to understand to critically engage with “peace” as a social phenomena. Recently emerging literature on the transformative nature of conflicts investigates some of these issues but many areas still lack academic attention. The overall aim of my research project is to fill this gap by developing a novel theoretical framework for understanding post-war dynamics at the micro-level by using concept of community, as a realm of space where daily interactions are frequent. I argue that the experience of violence, it is crucial to understand what types of interactions take place between the post-war community members and what motivates them and how are the new social relations defined? In my research I developed a model postulated according to Hillery’s (1982) model, which understands community as physical and social space, containing five basic elements: interactions, space, activities, sentiment and institutions. It allows for understanding and measuring change taking into consideration actors’ agency, identity and the experience of the violence the project shows that community formation emerges in the power of the ‘everyday’. The project focuses on the Balkans, but these questions are relevant to any other region in the world where ethnic conflict or civil war has taken place.”
Project – title: Industrial Urban Spaces: after Yugoslavia
“The first aim of this project is to anthropologically explore how people encounter urban infrastructure in two different post-Yugoslav industrial towns – in copper processing town of Bor (Serbia) and in industrial town of Rijeka (Croatia). The study will focus on people’s encounters with district heating in both towns (which rapidly expanded during self-managed socialism) to explore how moral economy, relationship with post-socialist state, industrial heritage and neoliberal discourses are embedded in people’s encounters with such urban infrastructure. I will explore how such encounters reproduce inequalities based on gender, age, generation and occupation.
The second aim is to raise academic interest into research of industrial urban spaces across former Yugoslavia and develop fruitful collaboration on the regional and international level. The aim is to encourage public discussions around the relationship between post-socialist industrial development and everyday lives in urban industrial spaces, which have had and still have a great social importance for the region (and Europe).”
Project – title: The Slovene Reaction to the European Migrant Crisis: Class and Ideology at the edge of Schengen
“The European response to the 2015 migrant crisis was initially featured by warm welcome expressions from the European elites, especially from EU institutions and the German government. However, it quickly evolved into the enhancement of extremist positions and the “Fortress Europe” pretension. The opposition to the limited European Commission’s relocation and resettlement plan – initially led by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia – ended up in the conclusion of an agreement with Turkey for the return of asylum-seekers to that country. Along this process, governments, mainstream political parties and new far-right organizations have shaped cultural-related and seemingly technical discursive lines for rationalizing the exclusion and rejection of migrants. In the case of the Slovene elites, the justification for the closure of the “Balkan route” of refugees in September 2015 relied in the assumption of their responsibility to protect the Schengen external border and in the intention of remaining in the core of an eventual multi-speed Europe.
This project aims to define the state of the ideology within the Slovene ruling class during the migrant crisis, considering that ideological trends do not solely respond to agency, but also to structural relations, which take place inside polities and at the transnational level. The peripheral position of Slovenia within the EU and the consequences of the European economic crisis are departing points for assessing the existence of a contagion in the region after the arrival of migrants.”
Project – title: It’s Not the Thought that Counts: The Irrelevance of Intentions to the Moral Blameworthiness of Actions
“Some philosophers argue that intentions with which we act are non-derivatively irrelevant to the moral permissibility of our actions: in particular, intentions to harm or to do that which, in some relevant respect, is close to harm do not, or perhaps even cannot, render otherwise morally permissible actions impermissible or already impermissible actions more wrong. Most of those philosophers also argue that intentions are similarly relevant to the moral responsibility of actions, in the sense of their blameworthiness and praiseworthiness. Bad intentions of a kind just mentioned render blameless actions blameworthy and blameworthy actions more blameworthy. On the other hand, some defenders of the relevance of intentions suggest that, even if we accept the arguments of the critics and, in general, the conclusion that intentions are irrelevant to permissibility, it does not follow that some well-known principles which stress the relevance of intentions, such as the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE), are false, because those principles are concerned with moral blameworthiness rather than with moral permissibility. On their view, the DDE states that it is, other things being equal, more blameworthy to cause or to allow harm with intention to harm, as a means to an end or as an end, than to cause or to allow it as a foreseen but unintended side effect, even if it is equally permissible (or impermissible) to do either. Most people, then, find it intuitively compelling that intending harm, in itself, makes us open to blame. But that intuition is, I believe, false. The aim of my project is to demonstrate that intentions in acting are non-derivatively irrelevant to the blameworthiness of actions. In particular, I shall argue that if intentions are irrelevant to moral permissibility, they are irrelevant to blameworthiness, and for similar reasons. Since my PhD thesis defended the view that intentions are irrelevant to permissibility, in my project I plan to develop the arguments I expounded in the thesis.”
Project – title: Walls and bodies: a philosophical research on the material government of human mobility
“My projects aims to provide the conceptual foundation for a philosophical research on the dialectic between migration flows and tools, instruments, devices that striate space – in particular the Eurozone – such as walls, frontiers, barriers of barbed-wire, customs. My main objective is to analyze the social and material conditions of this dialectic between mobiliy and statis, providing a philosophical conceptualization of the migrant as the political, juridical and theoretical issue of our time. I will develop and defend – from a philosophical perspective – the argument that human mobility is one of the primary conditions in order to produce an equal and inclusive political form of life, while contemporary strategies of spatial government aim at producing a social hierarchy of human beings grounded on different regimes of mobility.”