We are hiring! New Position as REBALANCE Research Assistant

A Research Assistant position to work on the Horizon Europe REBALANCE project (Rebalancing disruptivE Business in multinAtional corporations and gLobal value chAins within a democratic and iNClusive citizEnship process). More info on the project are available here.

This is a 1-year position (renewable to 2 years) oriented at providing research assistance in one of the project’s Work Packages on international business and human rights.

The job consists in codifying events of human rights violations by a sample of European firms.

The candidate is expected to work in Pisa, Italy and will have the opportunity to interact with the local scholarly community, as well as to be part of a fantastic international network formed by this project’s partners in Wageningen, Stockholm, Berlin, Venice and Bath and advisory board members in Harvard, Lausanne, Bath and Washington.

If you need more info on the project and the position, please contact Elisa Giuliani.

The deadline for applications is on the 7th January 2023, 13:00 CET.

The application procedure is explained here.


REBALANCE Project Summary

While globalization, financialization and monopolies increasingly weaken democracies, large companies are having an ever-greater influence on how democracy is enacted in Europe, leading to a ‘market-conforming capitalism’. Firms are eluding regulation, lobbying for their own rather than citizens’ interest, abusing human rights and push the abused to withdraw from democratic processes, fuelling populism. Some economic actors are experimenting with alternative models and demonstrating more interest in sustainability and tentative routes toward an alternative “democracyconforming capitalism”. In this debate, the application of political-science lenses has black-boxed large companies, while
the viewpoint of management scholars has usually considered firms’ economic gains rather than impact on society and democracy. This has left a gap in our understanding of the mutual influence among large companies and democracies.

The REBALANCE project will fill this gap by investigating how large companies(1) have contributed to past and present threats to democracy; (2) can promote future democracy-enhancing business models and alternative organizational forms. The project will identify:- the most effective regulatory control of economic actors, which avoids anti-democratic distortions and reveals human rights violators, and what makes large firms accept or resist such control
- ways to tackle (self-)exclusion from the democratic participation of victims of business-related human rights infringements and other marginalized categories, relying on empowerment-centered partnerships between firms and other entities (e.g.. NGOs)
– whether and how companies respond to populisms, and how alternative organizational forms such as social enterprises might embed and foster democracy.

The expected project outcomes are in line with the call for: ‘Theoretically and empirically robust recommendations aiming to instill greater democratic accountability and inclusion in economic processes’.