European University Institute
  • Fiesole, Italy, Italy
Recent publications
This work investigates the link between grandmothers’ participation in the labour market during adult life (between ages 18 and 49) and their provision of grandparental childcare later in life. Our contribution is twofold. First, we consider the Italian case, that despite its reliance on informal care has been under-researched. Second, we test two contrasting arguments on the association between grandchild care provision and grandmother’s work histories. On the one hand, lifelong homemakers could be more family-oriented and more likely to provide grandchild care in later life. On the other hand, ever-employed grandmothers could be more likely to have employed daughters and provide grandchild care to support their working careers. With data from the Multipurpose surveys on Families and Social Subjects (2003, 2009, 2016), we estimate logistic regression models, considering various specifications of grandparental childcare, and measuring labour market attachment in three different ways (having ever worked, length of working career, employment interruptions for family reasons). Results show a dualism between grandmothers who ever worked and those who never did, with the former more likely to provide grandparental childcare, especially when parents are at work. Grandmothers who worked only a few years are more similar, in terms of grandchild care provision, to those who worked throughout their life, than to lifelong homemakers. This association is stronger in the South and North-West of Italy. Overall, we showed that care responsibilities are inextricable from labour market participation, as grandmothers who already juggled family and work are those supporting the most their adult children’s work–family reconciliation.
The need for the redesign of electricity end user rates when faced with the increasing adoption of behind-the-meter (BTM) technologies, such as solar PV and batteries, has been well documented in the context of liberalised power sectors. This paper focusses on rate design for North African utilities. Applying a game-theoretical model, we illustrate that differences in regulation, infrastructure, and the socio-economic context justify a tailored analysis. We show that with more uptake of BTM technologies, the popular volumetric increasing block tariff result in a regulatory trilemma between equity, cost recovery for distribution and supply companies (DISCO), and cost recovery for the single buyer entity (SBE). We also find that an investor-owned DISCO is more exposed to cost recovery issues than its counterpart in geographies with retail competition. We recommend transitioning to an end user rate with increased differentiated fixed charges and warn that merely revising rates might not be enough; wider reforms are needed to ensure an equitable and efficient energy transition.
When cryptocurrency markets generate billions of dollars, it becomes interesting to forecast variation in volume of transactions for better trading and for better management of blockchain platforms. This study investigates how kernel choice influences the forecasting performance of the support vector regression (SVR) in predicting cryptocurrency trading volume. Three common kernels are considered; namely, linear, polynomial, and radial basis function (RBF). In addition, we make use of Bayesian optimization (BO) method to tune key parameters of the SVR, hereafter referred as SVR-BO. Besides, we examine the nonlinear dynamics of variation in volume of transactions by computing Hurst exponent, sample entropy, and largest Lyapunov exponent and found evidence of anti-persistence, significant randomness, and presence of chaos. Well-known ARIMA process, Lasso regression and Gaussian regression are used as benchmark models in the forecasting task. The root mean of squared errors (RMSE) and mean average error (MAE) are adopted as main performance metrics. Forecasting simulations are applied to thirty cryptocurrencies. The results from 180 experiments show that the SVR-BO with RBF kernel outperforms all models when used to predict next-day trading volume while SVR-BO with polynomial kernel outperforms all remaining models when used to predict next-week trading volume. Besides, Gaussian regression performs better than ARIMA process and Lasso regression on both daily and weekly data.
Far from being an abstract concept, international, European, and Spanish legal orders clearly conceptualize “rule of law”. Catalan secessionism, appealing to the democratic principle, challenged the common understanding of rule of law in the period between 2012 and 2017. This article offers a detailed explanation on how secessionism fundamentally disregarded the common understandings of the rule of law principle and, more precisely, two of its essential elements: the principles of legality and respect for courts. In relation to the former, Catalan separatism assumed competences attributed to the central state, ignored procedural guarantees in passing legislation on the referendum, and adopted ad hoc legal supremacy. In relation to the second, Catalan authorities repeatedly ignored and disobeyed the Spanish Constitutional Court’s rulings. However, disrespect for Constitutional justice turned into an appeal to it when Catalan secessionist leaders sought to defend their individual rights in face of criminal prosecution.
The humour of sex workers has not received much attention in academic literature. In this chapter, I seek to understand what the humour of a trans sex worker community in Turkey can tell us about their struggle against the violent and marginalising conditions of their lives. Drawing on ethnographic research, I find that studying the transgressive humour of sex workers is crucial to understanding their politics. In particular, the humour in this context can alone work as a means of defiance. At the same time, humour mingles with the visible or organised rebellions of this group, thereby characterising and transforming their public resistance. The chapter suggests that humour and laughter are vital to the struggle of queer sex workers. As opposed to the dominant understanding of “politics” as organised and deliberate commitments, the case of trans sex workers suggests that humour can also serve a “political” end. It is, therefore, important to consider defiant humour in the study of resistance for an accurate representation of the struggles of these communities.
Why does support for mainstream parties decline? A growing literature points to economic loss as a source of political resentment. We bring this explanation one step further. We posit that the local economy qualifies the role of social capital in forging systemic support. When the economy thrives, social capital buffers discontent via interpersonal interactions. When the economy declines it exacerbates discontent, leading to a diffusion of grievances. We test our “networks of grievances” hypothesis in two settings. We first test our theory in Italy, which offers individual-level information together with fine-grained municipality-level social capital data. Second, we test the mechanism underlying our theory combining survey and local administrative data across 18 European countries. The results suggest that “networks of grievances” operate as channels of political discussions with peers, converting retrospective evaluations into systemic discontent bringing non-mainstream parties into voters’ choice sets.
Growing social inequalities represent a major concern associated with the Digital Revolution. The article tackles this issue by exploring how welfare regulations and redistribution policies can be rethought in the age of digital capitalism. It focuses on the history and enduring crisis of social citizenship rights in their connection with technological changes, in order to draw a comparison between the industrial and the digital scenario. The first section addresses the link between the Industrial Revolution and the genesis of social rights. It describes the latter as a legal ‘machine’ designed to offset the imbalances produced by the technological movement of industrialization. The second and third sections introduce the notion of ‘industrial citizenship’ to describe the architecture of social rights in mature industrial societies and to contend that European systems of welfare are still largely modeled on an industrial standard. The fourth part investigates the impact of the Digital Revolution on this model of social citizenship. It identifies debates on basic income as a major trajectory for redesigning welfare regulations in a post-industrial era, and the digital user as a crucial emerging subject of rights. The final part explores how digital users could be entitled to social rights as data suppliers. To this end, it introduces the idea of ‘digital-social rights’ resulting from the incorporation of welfare and redistribution principles into emerging digital rights. Hence, it proposes a legal-political framework for the redistribution of the revenues generated by data in the form of a ‘digital basic income’ for citizens of cyberspace.
In the digital economy, consumer vulnerability is not simply a vantage point from which to assess some consumers’ lack of ability to activate their awareness of persuasion. Instead, digital vulnerability describes a universal state of defencelessness and susceptibility to (the exploitation of) power imbalances that are the result of the increasing automation of commerce, datafied consumer–seller relations, and the very architecture of digital marketplaces. Digital vulnerability, we argue, is architectural, relational, and data-driven. Based on our concept of digital vulnerability, we demonstrate how and why using digital technology to render consumers vulnerable is the epitome of an unfair digital commercial practice.
Interoperability in the context of smart electricity metering is high on the European policy agenda, but its essence has been challenging to capture. This paper looks at experiences in other ecosystems (electromobility and buildings), in other sectors (healthcare and public administration), and at the national level in the Netherlands and the UK. We show that the definition of interoperability depends on the context, that there are common solutions to different issues across sectors and that cross-sectoral factors must be increasingly considered. We recommend adopting a broader view in smart metering beyond the interoperability of devices, considering solutions that have worked in other sectors and exploiting synergies across sectors. Our analysis of experiences provides a comparison that can help move the debate at the EU level forward.
Air pollution negatively affects individuals’ health and human capital accumulation. For example, students’ school performance is hampered by air pollution as it decreases cognitive abilities and increases absences. Moreover, low-income students are the most exposed and vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution as they lack protective resources and suffer from pre-existing health conditions. Here, we inquire how more stringent traffic regulations implemented in Central London from late 2015 affected pollution levels and school absences. First, we observe a substantive decrease in pollution in the area affected by the regulations from 2016 onwards. Secondly, we use a difference in differences approach to estimate the causal effect of the policy on school absences. For all schools combined, findings do not show any substantive improvement in attendance. However, when looking at the heterogeneous effects of the policy, we observe a significant decrease in absences for schools with a high share of students with low socioeconomic status (SES). Consequently, the findings highlight the efficacy of environmental policy in diminishing pollution levels and to benefit the poor.
This paper draws on two independently conducted ethnographies of mining finance centred on connections between London and South Africa (2012–14 & 2016–17), and research on the political risk industry in the UK and South Africa (2017–19). We show that the discourse of ‘political risk’ in the mining market constitutes a racial vernacular of extractive industry development which purports to concern itself with ‘real’ insurable risks, but in fact expresses racialized anxieties about the expression of sovereignty over resources in post-colonial states. We draw attention to the two, complementary extractive temporalities that arise from this racial vernacular of extractive industry development: a forward-looking process of folding anxieties about political risk into speculative valuations of mineral projects ‘that cannot be moved’, and a historicising temporality characterized by silencing the histories of anti-colonial attempts to remake the international economic order – a silencing upon which the authority of political risk discourse depends.
Historically, citizenship has been a gatekeeper to political and social rights within communities, as entitlements of membership were closely connected to gender, race, and class. Nowadays, citizenship is a symbol of equality within states as much as a marker of inequality among states . It is (1) a defining feature of the international state system, which both reflects and reinforces inequalities of wealth and opportunity around the world, and (2) a tool for social closure, through which states determine who belongs to the group that can share common entitlements and who, by contrast, are excluded from them. These two characteristics of citizenship are central to understanding the citizenship-migration nexus: whereas the promise of equality represents a strong driver for migrants to acquire citizenship in their destination states, the different opportunities attached to citizenship of different countries encourage migration of individuals from less privileged parts of the world and enable mobility for those with a citizenship status in the more advantageous countries.
Identifying and describing attitudes to immigration , let alone explaining them and their effects, is not a simple matter. In this chapter, we first outline the major scholarly works explaining attitudes to immigration. We identify six broad theoretical categories: economic interests, socialisation, psychological explanations, cueing, contact and context, and finally 'attitudinal embeddedness'. For each of these we present the key findings and consider the strengths and shortcomings of the literature, where applicable. We also sketch out existing research on the politics of immigration and the effects of attitudes to immigration on democratic politics, which we categorise as research on policy responsiveness, effects on party family support (notably the radical right), party competition, and polarisation. We end by considering future avenues for research.
Effective procedural arrangements allow courts to reconcile conflicting demands of timely justice and sound legal argument. In the context of the European Union, conflict between these demands emerged most acutely in the face of paralyzing delays in the preliminary reference procedure. It was partly solved by Article 99 of the Rules of Procedure. The provision allowed the European Court of Justice to dispose of repetitive and legally undemanding cases with a reasoned order in lieu of a judgment. This article analyses all published orders of the European Court of Justice to examine the use and the implications of Article 99 of the Rules of Procedure. It is the first article to do so. We find that the Court resorts to orders to save time and to halt repeated questions from the courts of a single Member State.
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772 members
Francesco Nicolli
  • Florence School of Regulation
Anirudh Shingal
  • Global Governance Programme
Arolda Elbasani
  • CDTR, Columbia University
Piero Gottardi
  • Department of Economics
Ramon Marimon
  • Economics & Max Weber Programme
Badia Fiesolana - Via dei Roccettini 9, 50014, Fiesole, Italy, Italy
Head of institution
Prof. Joseph H.H. Weiler