The Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program is the Center's initiative to internationalize undergraduate education at Harvard. It gives students the chance to work with CES resident faculty members and visiting fellows on a project related to Europe.
Students who have participated in this program in the past have researched topics such as Policy Choices and Preferences of the New EU Member States: the Cases of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic and Hitler’s Regiment in World War I, and Ideas and Institutions in the Field of Healthcare. Many recipients of the assistantships have continued their work through the summer. Assistantships involve meaningful research and usually require between 5-10 hours per week. The hourly rate is $13.50. Please note that only currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible to apply.
Interested in a position with a focus primarily on history? The History Department at Harvard offers research and employment opportunities for undergraduate students focusing on political science and economics within the realm of history.
Resilience in Migration Governance: Conceptual Foundations and Methodical Approaches - START ASAP
European migration governance: a resilience turn?
- What you get out of working on this project
- Detailed knowledge on European migration governance – one of the most contentious issues of our time
- Highly valued work experience in practical policy analysis by being involved in on-going EU-sponsored research
- Software skills in working with literature database Zotero
- One-to-one mentoring on your future academic development by an experienced post-doc scholar with research and teaching experiences from Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
- Description of the project
- Description of tasks to be performed by the RA
- Resilience assessment approaches as they feature in reports of international organizations and NGOs about migration and climate change (e.g. ILO report on Nepal from 2015; International Labour Organization, Worldbank, International Migration Organization, …)
- Resilience assessments in the migration domain in the US
- Which concepts of resilience feature in the documents?
- Who is resilient, against what and in what ways?
- Are any blueprints/role models for using resilience concepts/assessments mentioned, e.g. from the natural sciences or sciences and technology fields?
- What definitions of resilience are given?
- Which factors are discussed as being resilience-enhancing or as lowering resilience?
- Which methods for assessing resilience are being discussed?
- Which normative goals are associated with discussing (or aiming to enhance) resilience (e.g. democratization, economic growth…)
- Which shortcomings (methodical or conceptual) of resilience assessments are being discussed, if any?
- Any special skills needed
Resilience is a new buzzword in the European Union’s external governance approach. A 2012 Communication defines resilience as “the ability of an individual, a household, a community, a country or a region to withstand, adapt and quickly recover from stresses and shocks”. The Commission’s “strategic approach to resilience in the EU’s external action” of 2017 adopts the resilience concept for external governance, defining it as “a broad concept encompassing all individuals and the whole of society” which can enhance “democracy, trust in institutions and sustainable development, and the capacity to reform”.
The approach has so far mainly targeted the avoidance of violent conflict in third countries. Going beyond this initial field of application, this project asks to what extent and with what implications can resilience assessments be applied to migration governance in Europe? Indeed, jointly with a colleague (Christof Roos at Flensburg University), I have been invited by the EU Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, to contribute to a panel discussion on this matter.
For this purpose, the project reviews existing approaches to resilience assessments in the migration domain internationally (a) to identify conceptual foundations and methodical approaches, and (b) to discuss potential implications for EU migration governance. Such scholarly ground work, we argue, is a first step to developing more critical awareness for the advantages and pitfalls of adopting the concept of resilience in European migration governance.
To support the research, the RA would be involved in primary literature searches in two fields:
The RA would collect documents in a research database and draft an annotated bibliography to summarize key findings (and key quotations) from these documents guided by the following questions:
Background in the social sciences and humanities (political sciences, sociology, political economy, international relations, development studies, European studies, cultural studies, history, law)
Ability to review and summarize systematically policy documents/primary literature (EU, ILO, IMO etc.)
Ability, or willingness to learn, to work with Zotero literature database (I will show you)
The RA’s availability would hence be welcome throughout the 2017/18 academic year.
- What you get out of working on this project
How to Apply
Applicants for the Research Assistantships should submit the following:
- A current CV
- A one-page CL explaining interest in the specific position and outlining any relevant qualifications and experience
Completed applications should by sent in one document (Word or PDF format)
All currently enrolled undergraduate students of Harvard College are eligible to apply. Your eligibility status for work-study is not a selection factor.