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08-05-2019 | © picture

Civil society under growing state control?

ELECTION SERIES #8

State regulation of civil society has grown consistently over the past decade, raising concerns over the eroding role of the latter in shaping democratic decision-making. The ERC-funded STATORG project has investigated this issue across several long-lived democracies, considering country-specific regulations and how these affect civil society organisations.

08-05-2019 | © picture

Is political participation contagious?

ELECTION SERIES #7

Why are some people more likely to vote or stand for election than others? Researchers based in Sweden are doing some deep data diving to find out how our social surroundings and our genes influence political participation.

08-05-2019 | © picture

Junk news aggregator aims to restore trust in media and democracy

ELECTION SERIES #6

Developed by the Oxford Internet Institute with EU funding, the junk news aggregator (JNA) interactively displays articles from unreliable sources as they spread on Facebook. Researchers hope the tool will help tackle the growing phenomenon of misinformation on social media.

08-05-2019 | © picture

The Great Recession and political conflict in Europe

ELECTION SERIES #4

The EU-funded POLCON project aims to understand the impact that the Great Recession has had on the development of political conflict in Europe.

08-05-2019 | © picture

Politics, the art of the possible – but who chooses party politics and who chooses protest, and why?

ELECTION SERIES #5

One would not be mistaken to assume that traditional party politics has become side‑lined by the rise of an angrier, more direct form of protest politics, supercharged by years of austerity following the financial crash of 2008-2009. One ERC-funded project, POLPART, has been dedicated to understanding how and why people become engaged in politics and what this means for ongoing efforts to strengthen and preserve our democracies for the future.

07-05-2019 | © picture

Why the answer to how to strengthen public trust in elections is… SEEV

ELECTION SERIES  #3

The traditional pencil-and-paper method to mark your vote in the polling booth has been gradually replaced by electronic voting machines in many countries, in Europe and beyond. Ensuring the security of electronic voting machines and quelling fears of vote-rigging have become ever more important. One ERC-funded researcher has been working tirelessly to develop such an e-voting system through two projects, SEEVS and its follow-up SEEVCA.

30-04-2019 | Portrait: © 2018 Camilla Colombo; Image: artistic representation of objects in Low Earth Orbit © ESA

Making space a safer place for satellites and spacecraft

Space has a wealth of resources for humanity. Scientific missions enable new discoveries and increase knowledge of our solar system. Satellites orbiting around the Earth provide us with a broad range of services for telecommunications, weather forecasting, marine and air traffic, forest mapping, etc. However, intense space activity comes at a cost both in terms of energy consumption and dangerous space debris produced.

30-04-2019 | © iStockphoto.com

Gender talk in the corridors of Brussels

ELECTION SERIES #2

Because the European Parliament represents such a diverse group of people, with different cultural and political backgrounds, it is the perfect ground to understand how gender equality operates in the halls of power. ERC grantee Johanna Kantola and her team have shadowed many members of Parliament and their teams, to study gender practices and policies inside Europe’s legislative machine.

23-04-2019 | © picture

Breezing through the information overload

ELECTION SERIES #1

There is now more information circulating than at any other time in history. Every day mind-boggling amounts of data are produced, reaching over 2.5 quintillion bytes. With the European elections just around the corner, we take a look at an ERC funded project on how politicians stay knowledgeable amidst this information overload. The research by grantee Prof. Stefaan Walgrave from the University of Antwerp compares how different politicians process information and then act on it in three western, post-industrialist parliamentary democracies - Israel, Belgium and Canada. An original study, which unveils some optimistic findings just as voters prepare to head to the polls.

17-04-2019 | © iStockphoto.com/yangna

Scientists recreate our dusty origins

We are all made of stardust! But what is cosmic dust and how is it made? An EU-funded project is recreating cosmic dust by simulating interstellar conditions in the laboratory and developing innovative processes that could lead to benefits for communication, transport and nanotechnology - boosting industry's competitiveness.