BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship Awards 2002

Funded by

Dr M C Carpenter 
Reader in Medieval English History, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of New Hall
A New Constitutional History of England, c.1215-1509

The award will assist Dr Carpenter in the completion of this book. Since the 'McFarlane revolution' and the welter of research which it inspired finally destroyed Stubbs' grand 'Whig' narrative, the emphasis of research in this period has been increasingly on the personal and private at the expense of the public dimension. Some very distinguished older work on central and local government has been neglected, while the continuing excellence of the Maitland heritage of medieval legal history has impinged little on recent political history. Dr Carpenter is combining the rich accumulation of recent research on politics and political life with the older traditions of exploration of the public face of government. By these means she intends to show how private and public power interacted closely to make governance possible and to delineate the constitutional framework of institutions, power structures, political culture and ideas within which the more evanescent and frenetic activities of political life occurred. The work is designed to demonstrate that, despite the interpretative fragmentation that has resulted from the rejection of Stubbs and from the increasing specialisation of research, a grand narrative of politics, government and governance in this period is still both necessary and possible.

Dr M Dumper
Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics, University of Exeter
The Repatriation and Resettlement of Palestinian Refugees

This project will examine options for the repatriation and resettlement of 3.6 million Palestinian refugees, focusing on proposals that have been put forward since the Madrid Conference in 1991. Although much of the current policy debate assumes the uniqueness of the Palestinian refugee situation, this study contends that prior international efforts to resolve refugee issues necessarily will influence any final resolution of the Palestinian case. For this reason, the project will examine specific repatriation and resettlement proposals in the light of the wider global experience of refugee programs. Examples will be drawn from UNHCR programmes and other cases of humanitarian assistance to refugees analysing both their operational and politico-legal aspects. In addition, lessons will be drawn from case studies to suggest a compensation/restitution regime and the required characteristics of a lead agency to implement a repatriation and resettlement program. The findings will be presented in a book for publication.

Professor A Halpin
Professor of Legal Theory, University of Southampton
Definition in the Criminal Law

In recent years, a number of key terms of the criminal law have seemed to defy definition. Scepticism over the possibility of defining basic concepts and identifying general principles has been raised by both judges and academic commentators. This is not simply a matter of theoretical interest, given the Law Commission's dishonesty project and its concerns with codification of the criminal law. Furthermore, the Human Rights Act incorporates a requirement of legality under Article 7 of the ECHR ('No punishment without law'), whose scope is clearly connected to our understanding of how criminal offences are defined.

Professor Halpin will use the award to undertake a general study on the role and scope of definition within the criminal law, to be published as a book with Hart Publishing. More specific objectives of the project are:

  • to demonstrate how general theoretical insights on legal reasoning can assist with the practical problems of defining criminal offences;
  • to identify where different features of the process of definition call for different practical responses in applying the law;
  • to clarify the uses of definition in the work of the judiciary and law reformers;
  • to determine realistic expectations for the principle of legality within the criminal law.

Professor A Janowitz
Professor of Romantic Poetry, Queen Mary, University of London
A Comparative Study of the Language and Style of the Prose and Verse Writings of the Younger Seneca

Anne Janowitz, who is Professor of Romantic Poetry at Queen Mary, University of London, will spend the period of her Senior Research Fellowship working on a study of London star and night sky poetry. She will explore skyscape poems within the history of English landscape poetry, showing how stellar poetics modify the tradition of the prospect poem and alter the aesthetics of sublime poetry. Although star and night sky poems are ubiquitous in enlightenment and romantic poetry they have never been the subjects of systematic study. The Sky at Night will argue that they offered to poets and readers over two centuries imaginative possibilities for making sense of urban experience. Interpreting poems by, amongst others, John Gay, S.T. Coleridge, William Blake, Joanna Baillie, Amy Levy, and Lawrence Binyon, the study will investigate the night sky as both the source of light (stars and the moon) and the screen on which urban light is reflected (lamplight, fireworks, and urban glow). It will argue that in the poetic engagement of natural and fabricated urban night light is found both a celebration and a fear of how humanly-made night light imposes upon the natural sublimity of the starry sky.

Professor A Oswald
Professor of Economics, University of Warwick
Economics and Happiness: A Longitudinal Analysis of Wellbeing in Britain

This project will study happiness and psychological wellbeing in Britain. By following random samples of people through time, it will apply a new statistical method to calculate the value of good and bad events in life. In this way, the work addresses difficult but fundamental questions like 'which makes human beings happier, a large pay rise or getting married?'. The project will draw upon data from the latest sweeps of the British Household Panel Study and the National Child Development Study. It fits within an emerging literature on the economics of happiness.

Professor A Spencer
Professor of Linguistics, University of Essex
A Paradigm-Based Approach to Morphosyntax

Professor Spencer's project will examine two sets of related linguistic phenomena, Case marking (as when a verb assigns Nominative to its subject and Accusative to its object) and Agreement (as when a verb signals the person/number of its subject, or an adjective signals the number/gender/case of the noun it modifies). The patterns observed across languages turn out to be extremely complex and linguistic theories of various kinds have generally only attempted to account for a small subset of the phenomena. The first aim of the project will be to codify the more important phenomena and explore some of their interrelationships. The second aim will be to develop a theoretical account of these phenomena within the theory of Lexical Functional Grammar (Bresnan, 2001), by incorporating the notion of paradigm-based morphology (Stump, 2001). This develops recent work which Professor Spencer has been conducting in collaboration with various colleagues.

Dr N Stargardt
CUF Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Oxford and Official College Tutorial Fellow, Magdalen College
Children's Lives in Nazi Germany (1933-c.1948)

This study is an attempt to write a social history of the Nazi period from the perspective of children. In what ways was Nazi Germany, a regime which lasted a mere twelve years, able to transform the mentalities of the children who lived through it? Drawing largely on archival sources from the time, this book explores the experience of living under Nazi rule. At its centre are the lives and imaginations of children, in all their diversity. Whether they came from Jewish or Nazi, Catholic or Socialist families, whether they were disabled or juvenile delinquents, the Nazi period would profoundly transform their experiences and their attitudes, not to mention their life chances and danger of death. This is a social history through the eyes of children and it is a book about all kinds of childhood, bringing together under a single empathetic gaze the experiences of 'ordinary Germans' and of mentally disabled children and Jews killed in the war, to restore the social unity to a world which Nazism ripped apart.

BA/Thank-Offering to Britain Senior Research Fellowship

Dr S C Greer
Reader in Law, University of Bristol

Interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights

The proposed study will examine the failure of the European Court of Human Rights, and the (recently abolished) European Commission on Human Rights, to resolve systematically several core issues raised by the European Convention on Human Rights: (a) the appropriate division of labour between the European Court of Human Rights and national parliaments, courts, executive and administrative institutions; (b) the relationship between Convention rights and each other; (c) the relationship between Convention rights and public interests; (d) when human rights standards should be harmonised in member states and national differences preserved. It will be argued that the current confusion can be traced to a single source - the haphazard way in which the Convention has been interpreted by the Strasbourg institutions. However, a more rigorous theory of interpretation, based on three constitutional principles - 'rights', 'democracy' and 'priority to rights' - is already inherent in the text and case law awaiting more deliberate articulation. If this model were applied more consistently it would enhance the credibility of some existing decisions, but undermine that of others. However, it would also offer a solution to the core uncertainties and would bring much greater coherence and authority to the Court's future decisions, particularly in the domestic law of member states.

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