Looking into the black box: local contexts and development policies, in time of crisis – Working Seminar – Roma Tre University, 27 April 2016

The social and economic crisis faced in last years challenged European countries and territories, in many ways: welfare systems, European identities, relations between regions and generations became more fragile.
The crisis challenges our tools for understanding reality, the possibility to build meanings and representations. In some cases, such as in some Italian areas, “crisis” is something durable: the prolonged inability to reverse the decline.
The “local” is still the ground where communities and policies mainly face the crisis, in positive or negative ways.
During the working seminar, three different research experiences will be presented and debated, in order to exchange methodologies and results concerning the role of policies in local development strategies.

The starting point will be the project HORIZON2020 – RE.CRI.RE. – Between the representation of the crisis and the crisis of the representation. RE.CRI.RE. explores the changes occurred in local cultures in Europe, in order to produce tools for policy-makers.
The premise of RE.CRI.RE. project is that local cultures may highly affect the effectiveness of policy implementation. Nevertheless, they are often a hidden field, unexplored or even totally ignored. Local cultures mediate the construction of meanings: which tools we have to know them and to include this knowledge in policy-making? RE.CRI.RE. project will be presented as a tool to approach public policies taking into account territorial analysis and local cultures analysis.

Secondly, during the seminar will be discussed the evaluation phase of policies, paying special attention to the ways in which “localities” build their own development path, interacting with higher levels of governance (regional, national and European). The project R.EV.E.S. – Reverse EValuation to Enhance local Strategies is part of the national strategy “Actions of support of the National System of Evaluation and of the Evaluation Teams” for the Cohesion Programme 2007-2013, implemented by FORMEZ PA.
Special focus will be devoted to Melpignano (LE, Italy) a Municipality in which policy-makers developed an effective strategy related to commons.
Thirdly, two members of GSSI (Gran Sasso Science Institute) will present the National Strategy for Inner Areas, in which they are involved as evaluators. The implementation of the strategy, goals definition and involved actors will be presented, together with local strategic documents.

The seminar is devoted to researchers, professors, students, PhD students interested in urban and regional studies, territorial policies, local cultures analysis and interdisciplinary approaches.

Useful links:
Playbill and Presentation


Social Representations of Migrants and Refugees in the Greek-Cypriot Media – April 27, 2016 University of Cyprus

Τhe Genetic Social Psychology Lab of the Department of Psychology at the University of Cyprus hosted an event entitled “Social Representations of Migrants and Refugees in the Greek-Cypriot Media” on Wednesday, 27 April, 2016 during which the public was informed about the goals and preliminary findings of the RE.CRI.RE project.

Dr. Irini Kadianaki (Project Scientific Coordinator) introduced the RE.CRI.RE project and Drs. Maria Avraamidou and Maria Ioannou, and Elisavet Panagiotou presented the preliminary findings. Three external speakers contributed substantially to the event; Dr. Fabienne Baider (UCY) presented the rationale and preliminary findings of the Research Program C.O.N.T.A.C.T. which focuses on hate crime (Creating On line Network, monitoring Team and phone App to Counter hate crime Tactics”) in 10 different countries. Nathalie Alkiviadou, human rights expert and Head of Aequitas NGO presented legal aspects of hate speech as a crime across different contexts. Giorgos Kakotas from the Office of the Ombudsman discussed its Office’s mandate and efforts towards eliminating racism in the local media. Dr Charis Psaltis of the Department of Psychology (UCY) coordinated the event.

More than forty people including researchers, academics, NGO representatives, and students, joined the event and actively participated in the Questions and Answers session (Q&A) and the discussion that followed the presentations.

Useful links:
Press Release
Programme (Greek version)


Communicating the project Re.Cri.Re to the different stakeholders in Malta

A working seminar was organized in Malta on 25 April, with the objective of communicating to the academic world, policy makers, citizens and all stakeholders across Europe the outcomes and expected results of the project RE.CRI.RE.

On Monday 25 April, the University of Malta organised a working seminar at the Ministry of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties in Malta. A wide range of stakeholders were invited to the seminar, with the aim of introducing Re.Cri.Re to participating members. The seminar started with a brief introduction by Dr Sammut, outlining the aims, followed by presentations from Dr Silvan Agius and Dr Myrna Azzopardi from the Ministry, who outlined their work regarding a national strategy for integration in Malta, which fits the aims of Re.Cri.Re. Following these presentations, Dr Sammut provided a detailed overview of the aims and details of Re.Cri.Re, with particular focus on the research questions being addressed in this project and the aims to articulate a three-tier policy-making framework that can target European, national & regional policies. These aims correspond with those adopted by the Ministry as well as various other stakeholders dealing with a number of challenges facing Maltese society at present, such as NGOs working with migrants. The presentations were followed by detailed discussion of the present social & political challenges facing European societies, with particular emphasis on Maltese society.

Participants agreed to meet anew to discuss the findings of the empirical studies once these are completed and to devise relevant policy recommendations that could cater to the diversity of the stakeholders represented in the working seminar.


UniverS/City. Research, social innovation and inclusive public policies – Lecce, 22 April 2016

The RE.CRI.RE project was presented during a public event open to stakeholders and citizens. Prof. Terri Mannarini, partner of the project on behalf of the University of Salento, prof. Fabio Pollice, Director of the Department of History, Society and Human Studies of the University of Salento, dr. Alessandro Delli Noci, city Councillor for the municipality of Lecce and dr. Gabriella Morelli, Founder of the association “Diffondere idee di valore” (“Ideas worth spreading”) engaged in a stimulating discussion about the interchange between academic research and public policies.

During the event, the research framework of RE.CRI.RE. project was described and preliminary results were illustrated, thereby stimulating a fruitful debate which addressed how social and psychological research can serve the purpose of planning effective public policies. A major attention was devoted to the topic of social innovation, on the basis that the changes occurred in contemporary societies demand for innovative responses to social and collective needs. The “Lecce Social Innovation City” project, promoted by the municipality of Lecce, was also showcased to the audit and some interesting links were established between the two projects. Reflecting upon the local cultures and the way people represent the world where they live in can provide useful hints to practice social innovation hence promoting community well-being.

Useful links:


Prof Sergio Salvatore’s visit to Bulgaria for the dissemination of Re.Cri.Re project

Between 22th-26th April, Professor Sergio Salvatore from ISBEM, the Euro Mediterranean Scientific and Biomedical Institute, member of ALDA, visited the Bulgarian partners of Re.Cri.Re project at the New Bulgarian University (NBU) to hold joint activities and showcase the key methodological pillars of the project.

Prof Sergio Salvatore was interviewed at the Bulgarian National Radio and participated as a speaker in a public lecture on “European crisis and European Youth” at NBU, as well as in the conference “Crisis, contestations, mobilisations”. The latter, held at the French Institute of Sofia, focused on a reflection upon hot topics linked with the EU and Euroscepticism, regimes, parties and political elites, populism and radical , as well as citizen mobilisation and protest movements.
Similar phenomena often arise in crisis situations, as the one our continent is currently facing. Crises can be defined as the difficulties encountered by actors, institutions and established systems in facing change and the related political, economic and social consequences. In such cases, it is fundamental to understand the deep meaning of such shifts, in order for policies to be adapted to the new situations and therefore become more effective – which is precisely the aim of Re.Cri.Re.
Re.Cri.Re is a three-year project funded under the call “Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies” in the framework of EU Programme Horizon 2020. ALDA, in cooperation with a consortium of 15 universities across Europe, launched it in May 2015 with the objective to analyse the symbolic background of European societies and the impacts of the recent socio-economic crisis on them, in order to frame better policies at the local, national and European level.

Contribute to the success of the project by filling in and disseminating Re.Cri.Re’s questionnaire on how people represent the space they live in and how these representations are linked to their way of thinking and feeling. The questionnaire is anonymous and only takes ten minutes to complete!

Questionnaire in all languages


International seminar of Re.Cri.Re project in Brussels on 24 February 2016 – Save the date!

The activity will be held in the premises of the Committee of the Regions on 24 February 2016 as a public event in the framework of the Horizon 2020 funded project RE.CRI.RE – Between the Representation of the Crisis and the Crisis of Representation.
Sixteen Universities and Research Centres, covering 13 European countries, are working together to investigate what kind of social identity change is occurring in Europe in time of crisis.

The three-year project, funded under the call Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies, started in May 2015. It aims at analysing the symbolic background of European societies and the impacts of the socio-economic crisis on them, in order to frame better policies at local, national and European level. The event will therefore be an occasion to share the first outcomes of the project and discuss them with representatives of civil society, policy-makers and experts of social sciences.

To make sure you can access the Committee of the Regions, please register by 20 February 2016 at the latest.

We are looking forward to meeting you and also kindly require to disseminate this opportunity among your contacts.

Useful links:

Registration form

Agenda of the event


Showcasing the project RE.CRI.RE to the European Commission and the Executive Agency REA (19/11/2015)

The RE.CRI.RE project has been showcased today to the European Commission and its executive agency REA by a small team representative of the whole consortium.


Ms Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA, Prof Sergio Salvatore, University of Salento, Prof Alessandro Distante, President of ISBEM, Aldo Xhani, Coordinator of the Citizenship programme at ALDA and Ms Viviana Fini, researcher at ISBEM composed the team. RE.CRI.RE brought its methodological analysis into the panel addressing the topic “Political challenges in Europe” aimed at understanding what the research in social sciences and humanities tell us about changing Europe.

The project will represent a milestone within ALDA’s citizenship programme in the upcoming three years. ALDA, in cooperation with its strategic partner ISBEM, is the coordinator of a network of 14 universities coming from 12 different countries across Europe. Promoting good governance and citizen participation calls for a deeper reflection on the symbolic universes grounding social identity in order to analyse whether a major change occurred in European societies as a consequence of the socio-economic crisis. Reflecting upon the categories citizens adopt in representing the outside world is key to develop effective policies at all levels of governance.

The project brings therefore together academics and practitioners in accordance with the new approach of the Horizon 2020 programme focused on applied research. Besides the coordination of the partnership, ALDA will strongly contribute to the initiative by providing a network of more than 180 members as communities where to develop case studies and test the outcomes of the research.


Trust Conference, European Research Co-Creating Resilient Cities, Brussels 29-30 October 2015

The Trust Conference is organized by Net4Society. Net4Society is the international network of National Contact Points for the Societal Challenge 6 “Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies” in Horizon 2020.

National Contact Points (NCPs) are set up to guide researchers in their quest for securing EU funding.

More info:


Panel Discussion June 13th, 2015

The kick off meeting is followed by the public conference “Re.Cri.Re. and demand for social development” (Mesagne, Italy, June 13th 2015), with the participation of regional public authorities, discussing perspectives and opportunities of Horizon 2020 and presenting the main topics of Re.Cri.Re. project.

Re.Cri.Re Project – Press release of Panel Discussion June 13th, 2015 – (italian version)
group photo

Kick Off Meeting June 11th-13th, 2015

The kick off meeting of Re.Cri.Re. project was hosted by ISBEM in Mesagne, Italy in June 11th-13th, 2015.

Partners shared their view on project goals in the first day, and then they discussed the overall structure of the project, the WPs and the workplan during the second day.
Partners also set up the Scientific Committee.

Agenda Kick off Meeting June 11th-13th, 2015