BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship Awards 2006
Austin, Dr Elizabeth
Reader in Psychology, Edinburgh (S6)
Emotional Intelligence and Emotion Task Performance: Is EI an Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a relatively new construct which allows individual differences in the capability to understand and use emotions to be measured and studied. Although the naming of EI implies that it is a form of intelligence, it is currently not clear whether it actually has the relevant attributes (e.g. positive associations with other, more well-established, forms of intelligence; evidence for a biological underpinning). The objective of the research project is to assess the intelligence properties of EI within a framework which draws on the information-processing approach to psychometric intelligence. In this area there are well-established findings that link psychometric intelligence to performance on basic information-processing tasks, and there is preliminary evidence that a similar link may also exist for EI. A series of experimental studies will be performed in which new tasks involving the processing of emotion-related information will be devised and tested, and the associations of performance on these tasks with performance on non emotion-related tasks, intelligence tests and existing EI measures will be examined. These studies will allow the development of a better understanding of how well EI fits into the psychometric intelligence framework.
Capoccia, Dr Giovanni
Lecturer in Comparative Government, Oxford (S5)
Militant Democrats: Political Repression in Contemporary Western Europe
The award will be used to analyze causes and consequences of political repression to control extremism in contemporary Western Europe. The project includes two parts. The first part will provide a general picture of trends, determinants, and consequences of political repression in Western Europe. The data used for this analysis are all laws (1,100 in total) regulating personal, civil and political freedoms in sixteen Western European democracies since 1920, as well as the relevant judicial rulings. These will be analyzed both in coded, quantifiable form, and in more qualitative form to allow better interpretation of the legal and judicial texts. The second part of the project will reconstruct through detailed case studies the political and behavioral mechanisms underpinning the patterns highlighted by the broader analysis carried out in the first part. In case studies of recent clashes between the democratic establishment and extremist movements in France, Spain and Germany, the focus of the research will be on what drives the behavior of politicians, judges, and bureaucrats in deciding and implementing repression or shying away from it, in situations of both policy stability and change.
Guest, Professor Stephen
Professor of Legal Philosophy, UCL (H12; S1)
Justice as the Moral Basis of Law
My project will concentrate on the view that law is to be identified focally with justice. The only legal theory coming close to this claim is that of the early-20th century German jurist Radbruch and, to some extent, his contemporary disciple Alexy. Radbruch famously proposed that when abuse of justice reaches a particular threshold a judge is entitled to declare grossly unjust laws as legally invalid. This theory has never been fully developed. My project will work towards the idea that justice will not only contribute to the content of law but it will also justify and distribute appropriate decision-making powers to legislatures and judges. This account should make coherent the idea that our judgements of justice will often require reference to past decisions of a political community even when they are unjust. The general thesis should develop through an examination of Dworkin's theory. (i) Legality seems to promote not much more than stability - and perhaps, in consequence, limited autonomy - and any significant moral force it appears to have is simply a reflection of integrity. (ii) Integrity uses an idea of equality that is unclear. It is not just equality of outcomes - allocating equal outcomes under the law - because that idea is subject to the more fundamental principle of equality of respect. (iii) Integrity seems much better accounted for as a theory of the second best, gaining its force from justice. (iv) More convincing explanations for judicial decision-making allow for direct appeals to justice (Bundy v. Lloyd's Bank is one of a number of excellent examples) or for taking account of past decisions as 'experiments in justice', (bringing out what is already apparent in the force of 'persuasive' precedents of other jurisdictions), or to a right to reasonable expectations being met (often called the 'principle of certainty'). (v) The idea that a judge might lie, where his private convictions about justice diverge from his judgement that integrity requires, is not satisfactory. The project if successful will explain the connection between our understanding of legal argument and the moral legitimacy of law and, incidentally, make good sense of the moral worth of legal education.
Hamerow, Dr Helena
Lecturer in European Archaeology (Early Medieval), Oxford (H7)
The Rural Settlements of Anglo-Saxon England
The Fellowship will enable me to undertake the first comprehensive study of the rural settlements of Anglo-Saxon England. Such a study is now possible thanks to a new generation of large-scale excavations that have recently been published or whose publication is imminent. In addition, a great deal of information on these and other settlements is contained in the unpublished 'grey literature' of archaeological units and English Heritage. The evidence yielded by these sources provides new insights into a number of key questions, including: to what degree can we see continuity from late Romano-British settlements? How large were Anglo-Saxon settlements, how were they organized and how did this change through time (e.g. to what extent do the origins of the planned medieval village of tofts and crofts lie in the Anglo-Saxon period)? What was the impact of towns and monasteries on the economy and society of rural producers? Have the scale and efficiency of agrarian and craft production in the later Saxon period been underestimated? What does the changing relationship between settlements and their cemeteries reveal about wider developments in Anglo-Saxon society? The book will form a companion volume to my book on Early Medieval Settlements (2002) which dealt with contemporary settlements in northwest mainland Europe.
Harris, Dr Clare
Lecturer in Anthropology, Oxford (S3; H3)
The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics and the Representation of Tibet
Between the mid 19th century and the present day, Western approaches to Tibetan art have been transformed. Where they once stood within an ethnographic project to document and represent Tibet as a potentially colonisable part of the British Empire, Tibetan objects have been reconfigured as art and now play a key role in personalised narratives of spirituality and psychological improvement. Dr. Harris's research suggests that this shift can be examined through the collections, documentation and displays of British museums (in particular) and the wider context of cultural politics. It is argued that museums (and their contents) have been agents in the process by which certain ideas about Tibet have achieved their current ubiquity in transnational mediascapes (Appadurai 1996). By combining anthropological and art historical methods, Dr. Harris's research is also designed to investigate the repercussions of this history for contemporary Tibetans. In an era when museums have become prime sites for the negotiation and contestation of identities, Tibetans have begun to use them as a format to gain ascendancy in the global competition for cultural recognition. Dr. Harris will conduct ethnographic research in Tibetan communities in order to analyse the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the museum model and to consider the extent to which externally produced representations of Tibet continue to impinge upon them. Finally, the research moves beyond the confines of the museum to acknowledge the emergence of new forms of art produced by Tibetans and in which the experience of direct and indirect forms of colonialism are articulated.
Walsham, Professor Alexandra
Professor of History Exeter (H9)
The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Memory and Legend in Early Modern Britain
Historians of the Long Reformation in the British Isles have devoted much attention to analysing the impact which the advent, entrenchment and evolution of Protestantism had upon the ecclesiastical structures and artefacts that were the most tangible reminders of the medieval Catholic past. There has been surprisingly little scrutiny, however, of the way in which the complex religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries left their imprint upon the wider physical landscape beyond the churchyard wall and outside the precincts of priories, cathedrals and convents. This research project, which will culminate in a substantial monograph, represents an attempt to redress this area of historiographical neglect. It considers how the complex and protracted religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries affected perceptions of, and practices associated with trees, woods, springs, caves, rocky outcrops, mountain peaks, prehistoric monuments and other distinctive topographical features of England, Scotland, and Wales between 1500 and 1700. Drawing evidence from a wide range of printed and archival sources, it examines the role played by both Protestantism and resurgent Catholicism in perpetuating, transforming, and recreating traditions and rituals linked with the landscape in this period and seeks to assess and refine enduring claims about the 'disenchantment' or desacralisation of the world. The research will also illuminate how beliefs, customs and legends connected with the natural but also partly man-made environment were shaped by other intellectual and cultural developments, including the rise of empirical science and natural philosophy, the professionalisation of medicine and diversification of rival sources of healing, the growth of antiquarianism, and the influence of the artistic and architectural Renaissance. A further objective is to reanimate interest in the evolution of the discipline of 'folklore' and to stimulate critical discussion about how it can fruitfully be used by historians.
Wills, Professor Clair
Professor of Irish Literature,Queen Mary, London (H6)
"The Vanished Generation": Irish Emigration and Irish Literary Culture in the Late 1940s and 1950s
In 1949 independent Ireland declared itself a republic and left the Commonwealth. The legal copper-fastening of the new state coincided with a rate of increase in emigration so severe that by 1953 the phrase 'the Vanishing Irish' had been coined to highlight the problem. During the 1950s over 400,000 people left independent Ireland, nearly a sixth of the total population recorded in 1951, and vastly more of the working population. The majority left for work in Britain. The economic stagnation of the country compared to the booming economies of Britain and northern Europe, brought home the failure of independent Ireland to thrive. For writers and intellectuals depopulation was linked to cultural and intellectual isolation, and above all the literary censorship, which - it was held - forced writers to emigrate.
This project analyses the cultural history of this period in Ireland, looking at cultural responses to emigration, to the failure of small-farm Ireland, to the collapse of the Gaeltacht areas, and to a renewed 'provincial' relationship between Dublin and metropolitan cultural centres such as London.
The aim of the project is to identify and analyse the literary forms and styles which developed, in both Irish and English, in order to express this cultural condition; to interrogate the literature of 'stagnation and depopulation' in the context of non-literary responses to emigration, including popular literature, journalism, and parliamentary debates on emigration; to assess the accuracy of descriptions of Dublin's literary culture as stagnant and moribund, and the effects on Irish literary and artistic circles of links with London and Belfast.