ESRC PhD studentship – Refugee Housing, Activism and Movement Parties in Athens and Rome
deadline for applications: Monday 2 March 2020
The student will be based at Aston University and supervised by Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik (Aston University), Dr Gaja Maestri (Aston University) and Dr David Bailey (University of Birmingham).
The candidate recruited to this project will investigate the relationship between refugee housing activism and social movement parties in Athens and Rome. In both cities, activists, often linked to left or anti-austerity movements, mobilise to organise informal accommodation and squats, in ‘occupied’ derelict or abandoned buildings left empty after the financial crisis. However, there has also been an intertwining of antiausterity, housing, and refugee solidarity movements. These newer social movements have also contributed to the electoral popularity of a number of new ‘movement parties’ such as Syriza and Five Star (Della Porta et al., 2017). However, the roles of social movement parties in enabling or hindering refugee housing movements, in turn, has been complex and contradictory. This project explores the relationship between (both ascendant and declining) Movement Parties, housing activists, squatters and refugee housing movements, over a cycle covering the parties’ rise and fall.
The project will involve a period of fieldwork of four months each in Athens and Rome, where the candidate will carry out research and interviews with city officials, and refugee housing/antiausterity activists and refugees participating in housing activism.