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Research Track at the JU

The third semester Research Track (25 ECTS) in Kraków is an opportunity for students from the consortium to immerse themselves in the world of academia and in their chosen field of study through group workshops and individual research.


The Research Track in Kraków is divided into two sections:

-  The first is a 20h by-weekly workshop with Dr. Luc Ampleman entitled “Connecting Academic, Research and Civil Communities: (What Academia does not tell you about Academia, research and the outside world)”. The aim of these workshops is to discuss the social, political, economic and ethical as well as cognitive barriers and enablers related to the ‘strange’ worlds of academic and non-academic research. The tutorials and workshops are designed for MA in Euroculture students wishing to develop (or get a taste of) a career in the research field and to improve their research skills and self-confidence about dealing with research narratives.

– The second section of the research track is individual research supported by an academic tutor (a member of academic staff from the university and expert in the field of study particular to the student)). This tutorship is in the form of bi-weekly one-on-one meetings and email correspondence in an atmosphere of academic mentoring.

The Institute of European Studies (IES) is currently hosting a Horizon 2020 project entitled EU3D: Differentiation, Democracy and Dominance, which students with an interest in the subject and proven analytical/methodological skills may apply to participate in as junior researchers. They would work in conjunction with one or more members of the research team on delivering research tasks connected to the project. More information on the topic is presented below.

The student is also expected to take (minimum) one MA-level course that ties in to their research topic.


Research Track Assessment:

-Workshop/tutorial deliverables: (Research mapping, research products branding, research bibliography/mediagraphy, research log

-Selected course-work

-Term paper (which could be the basis of a publication)

-Responsio (public presentation of research results)

Students are immersed into the Institute of European Studies (IES) for the duration of the research track. IES is a multi-disciplinary, international Institute that focuses on a diversity of themes and factors influencing Europe and European integration, and boasts a high level of expertise and experience in conducting multi-national research projects (such as the 6th Framework Programme: RECON, and currently two Horizon2020 research projects) and high-quality teaching entirely in English (7 MA programmes, 3 of which are Erasmus Mundus accredited). While the working language of the research track is English, the Institute has a number of researchers that are fluent and work in different languages, including French, and Polish.

Below are a select number of research foci at the IES – students are encouraged, but not limited to engage in these thematic fields. Other themes will be taken into consideration on an individual basis.

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Citizenship, Migration, Multiculturalism & Europeanisation

These overlapping concepts are the base of a rapidly growing field of interest at the Institute of European Studies (IES), connected to the Jagiellonian Centre for Migration Studies. Academics involved in this interdisciplinary field focus, amongst others, on the processes of Europeanisation through the spectrum of internal and third-country migrants within Europe; migration flows and processes from sociological and legal perspectives, integration policies, citizenship testing schemes and civic education for migrants, as well as the transformation of collective identities in light of the interaction of migrants and ‘hosts’, towards or away from ‘European’ values and identity. Current migratory issues and societal reactions are at the forefront of discussion and analysis, focused by not limited to the Central-Eastern European region.

Key words: citizenship, migration, culture, integration, multiculturalism, social capital, Europeanisation, values, identity.

The Europeanisation of Realms of Memory (lieux de mémoire) and the Invention of a Common European Heritage

This is a key research area of IES, focusing on the transcultural and transnational memory of Europe and the construction thereof. Objects of analysis are the symbolic, socially constructed past, the forging of European identity and heritage in tension/relation with/to a national vision of the past.  Sociological, anthropological and historical theories are used here, taking into account European frames of reference and the process of Europeanisation. Furthermore, researchers in the field are seeking to define lieux de memoire and European heritage, which take into account material as well as symbolic goods, real and mythical figures, events, buildings and monuments, institutions and concepts, literature and art, to name a few. In the words of Pierre Nora, the object of study are lieux de memoires européens and structures symbolizing European heritage.

Key words: heritage and European heritage, collective and cultural memory, European realms of memory / lieux de mémoire européens, Europeanisation of memory, emblematic figures, European myth and mythologies, construction of identity. 

(Working language: English, French)

Processes of transformation in the context of European integration

The overarching focus of IES refers to the various processes of transformation and Europeanisation in the context of European integration, with particular reference to academic internationalization, Central and Eastern European history, philosophy and integration, economic transformation,

transformation of collective identities, and the harmonization of law, particularly human rights law. Students have the opportunity to work with a number of specialists in the field in a multi-disciplinary environment, depending on their background and research interests, ranging from sociology, political sciences, law, philosophy and anthropology.

Key words: integration, Europeanisation, transformation

(Working language: English + German (in Philosophy)

Liberal and Illiberal democracy in a European context

Research in this domain is focused on the relationship between democracy, national political cultures and current discourses of Europeanisation vs Euroscepticism, populism and new nationalisms. Political science and sociological approaches may be applied here, and possible topics of research could include the analysis of extreme right-wing parties (on a national or European level), the resurgence of populism, Central and Eastern European ‘brand’ of illiberal democracy and the concept of democratic backsliding, amongst others.

Horizon2020 EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy’ (EU3D) project

EU3D’s main objective is to develop a critical theory of political differentiation that specifies the conditions under which differentiation is politically acceptable, institutionally sustainable and democratically legitimate, and the conditions under which it is not, i.e. when conditions of dominance prevail.

This practical political, institutional and intellectual (theoretical and philosophical) challenge pertains to how the EU manages to work out the relationship between the three Ds in EU3D: differentiation, democracy and dominance. Some forms of differentiation sustain democracy; other forms of differentiation foster dominance. The latter forms are not acceptable to those affected and thus not conducive to sustainable governance. EU3D systematically examines the question of how and in what sense certain forms of differentiation cause dominance and, in addition, in developing a program of action that spells out how and in what sense the EU can avoid those forms of differentiation that engender dominance.

The student researcher could focus his/her tasks on particular issues, such as the refugee crisis or Eurozone crisis, and how these have engendered differentiated integration (and forms of dominance) in the European context (study of parliamentary debates, civil society actors, claims, frames, etc). Tasks would include database collection and analysis.

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