Ongoing PhD projects

The Perception and Communication of Risks of Pesticides and Biocides

This project aims at examining how Danes acquire and process information about pesticides and biocides when forming risk perception of these substances. And – based upon this knowledge – to examine how to communicate this information in order to affect this perception and hence to change attitudes and hopefully behavior for the Danes. The aim is to provide a foundation for better usage of these substances.

The project is conducted with the support of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. 
For more information, please contact Morten Thomsen (mthom@sam.sdu.dk).

Income and racial spatial segregation in Denmark

This project aims to measure spatial inequalities in the cities of Copenhagen, Odense, and Århus – the three largest and most populated cities in Denmark.
By calculating income inequality at city-level, measuring spatial exposure and spatial clustering of population sub-groups, and by mapping the shared public infrastructures, this study intends to explore how urban policies and urban morphology determine the sub-groups' proximity to each other and assess each group’s access to public infrastructure.

For more information, please contact Marta Rodrigues Neves (mneves@sam.sdu.dk).

What solidarity "does"? A study on the performative potential of solidarity on borders and citizenship     

The aim of this research is to study, through ethnographic fieldwork, the performative effects of solidarity on borders and on citizenship in the context of recent in-migration to Europe (following the so called “refugee crisis”). This research falls within the discipline of Political Sciences since it is interested in ordinary people´s political creativity resulting from mundane relations of solidarity. However, it is strongly interdisciplinary in terms of methodology and theoretical grounding (Political Sciences, Philosophy, Sociology, Geography and Anthropology). It adopts a performative conception of the political according to which it is through practices, performances and their repetitions that social norms and political institutions come into being. As such, this conception also highlights the contingency of socio-political conventions and the ways in which they can be transformed and/or challenged through reiterative counter-performances.

For more information, please contact Lola Aubry (aubry@sam.sdu.dk)

21st Century Soldiers: The Impact of New Technologies on Military Professionalism and Professional Ethos: The Case of Artificial Intelligence

Military organizations around the world function with the purpose of serving the states that create and sustain them, and the protection of these states’ societies, through the professional application of force. Tasked with the duty of protecting the national security and interest of the state, military organizations operate in a changing environment; shifts in the international system generate new threat perceptions, and changing national interests create new tasks. Additionally, technological developments and innovative organizational configurations affect the ways military organizations conduct warfare, and the sociology of the institution itself. The project aims to study the effect of new military technologies, focusing on Artificial Intelligence, on the professional ethos of military officers.

For more information, please contact Vicky Karyoti (karyoti@sam.sdu.dk)

Behavior of public sector workers

Newer strands of both the public and the private management literature focus on the interplay between organizational factors and individual predispositions in order to explain both individual level and aggregate level outputs and outcomes in organizations. My project concerns motivational characteristics used to predict behavior of public sector workers. There are two parts to the project. The first part entails theoretical and empirical distinctions between public service motivation and other conceptualizations of individual differences, mostly classical concepts from psychology. Secondly, as the public sector is facing increasing economic and political pressure towards reorganization, I examine the impact of these characteristics on acceptance of organizational change processes

For more information, please contact Christoffer Florczak (florczak@sam.sdu.dk).

News value in a Digital Media Age

What makes an event or an occurrence newsworthy? The topic of media news selection has been debated and discussed for multiple decades. In todays digital media age, news are selected, categorized, and curated not only by editors, but also actors outside the newsroom. My PhD dissertation aims to create a typology of factors guiding news selection online, taking both traditional concepts into account and shining a light on new actors and values inherent in the technology and networks that so many of us rely on for news. The project is done in collaboration with regional newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende.

For more information, please contact PhD student Lisa Merete Kristensen (lmkr@journalism.sdu.dk).

 

Strategic narratives in EU-Russia relations

Following the outbreak of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, the intensification of conflict narratives in Europe have spurred discussions about whether Russia is increasingly posing a threat to the EU’s coherence as a European security actor. This study approaches this question by looking into how narratives about EU-Russia relations more broadly affect the constitution of EU security actorness, and how EU practitioners use strategic narratives to advance this process. As a part of this, the dissertation examines how EU bureaucrats and diplomats manage significant narrative contradictions within the EU’s actor role vis-à-vis Russia related to their work in Moscow and Brussels. The dissertation also includes perspectives on EU-NATO relations, Russian disinformation and hybrid warfare and strategic communication as a counter response.

For more information, please contact Gry Waagner Falkenstrøm (gwf@sam.sdu.dk).

Psychoanalytical reading of the US cyber defence.

My dissertation is a psychoanalytical reading of the US cyber defence. I try to understand the unconscious workings of those parts of the US policy apparatus working with defending the nation in and through cyberspace. This includes studies of the NSA, US Cyber Command, the Department of Defense, the policy experts outside government and tech-giants such as Facebook. I situate my work in critical security studies and apply concepts primarily from the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the Slovene philosopher and cultural critique Slavoj Žižek.

I also contribute to more mainstream and policy oriented discussions on cyber conflict and cyber security, assessing ongoing issues such as the US cyber deterrence strategies, Danish cyber diplomacy, offensive cyber capabilities in military operations, and the cyber norm building efforts by both public and private entities.

For more information, please contact Jeppe Teglskov Jacobsen (jtja@sam.sdu.dk ).

Political Inequality in an Age of Growing Economic Disparities: The Power of Organized Interests

In an age of growing economic disparities, the democratic virtue of equal political voice is  challenged. Empirical evidence shows that political systems respond more strongly to the preferences of their wealthy citizens than to those of the rest of society. The scope, mechanism, and consequences of the current findings are, however, very much debated. Mads Andreas Elkjær will in his PhD thesis, seek to engage in the debate from a comparative persepctive. More specifically, exsamine puzzles such as: how widespread is political inequality among affluent democracies, which mechanisms are driving it, and how is political inequality affecting the distribution of power and resources in contemporary democracies?  When examining these puzzles, Mads Andreas Elkjær will focus primarily on the role of organized interests  in influencing political decision making, shaping redistributive public preferences, and setting the political agenda.
For more information, please contact PhD student Mads Andreas Elkjær (maelk@sam.sdu.dk).

Effects of innovation processes in the public sector

Innovation is often seen as a desirable outcome. Both researchers and practitioners often point out that countries, organizations, and individuals should aim to generate new solutions to modern and older problems. The innovation wave has also swept across the public sector, and a vast majority of Danish municipalities have begun systematic attempts to improve the innovative capacity of their departments. The increasing focus on how public organisations are to become more innovative, has left a gap in the knowledge of how innovation transpires and which effects innovation has in the public sector. The purpose of this project is not to view innovation as an outcome, but to look at the effects of innovation in the public sector. The project's starting point will be the Danish public schools. 
For more information, please contact PhD student Jesper Hansen (jajh@sam.sdu.dk).

 Citizen participation and innovation in social work

Research area: Public administration
Innovation and citizen participation are approaches in which many public sectors today are trying to respond to the economic and demographic challenges of their welfare systems. This PhD project focuses on how the agenda of welfare innovation influences the social work with people in marginalized positions. How are the users of social services involved in the processes of innovation in the social work field, and what are the barriers and potentials of user involvement in social work under the agenda of welfare innovation? The project takes into account both the municipalities’ strategies of citizen participation in innovation processes, the users’ experiences of being involved and the possible mechanism of social inclusion and exclusion.
For more information, please contact PhD student Maja Müller (mul@sam.sdu.dk).