Sep 04 2018


Dr Licia Cianetti was recently awarded a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for her project entitled; What happened to the multicultural city? Effects of nativism and austerity. We caught up with Licia to understand what the award means to her, and her motivation behind writing the above project.

1.       Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your role within the Department of Politics and International Relations?

I have been at Royal Holloway, in the Department of Politics and International Relations since 2016 as Teaching Fellow in Politics and I will stay on as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow from September 2018.

 2.      Congratulations on receiving a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for your project entitled What happened to the multicultural city? Effects of nativism and austerity. Can you tell us a bit more about the above project and the motivation behind writing it?

My project looks at the effects of resurgent nativism and austerity-driven budget cuts over the ideas and policies of the “multicultural city”. To do this, I will compare four European cities (Birmingham, Turin, Lisbon and Riga), using a multimethod approach that combines process-tracing, discourse analysis, and ethnography-inspired collaborations with local artists. This research will be developed within the Royal Holloway Centre of International Public Policy.

My previous work (The Quality of Divided Democracies, forthcoming in 2019 with University of Michigan Press) compares Estonia and Latvia to understand how minorities can access policy-making. It opened two further areas of investigation that I want to explore further in this new research project: how socio-economic policies affect minority inclusion, and the urban dimension of minority politics.

 3.       What are your main research interests?

I’m interested in how democracy works in practice in ethno-culturally diverse societies, and I have looked at this question at EU, national, and local levels. My area of expertise is in Eastern Europe, but – as a comparativist – I am increasingly interested in wider comparisons of diverse democracies.

 4.      What does an average working week look like to you?

I’m not sure there is a single answer to this question. It depends on what term it is, and I expect my routine will change a lot this year with the beginning of this new project.

 5.       What do you enjoy doing outside of your work life?

Reading and walking and spending time with my friends.

 6.      What’s your favourite term at Royal Holloway and why?

I like the autumn term - I enjoy the sense of new beginning and expectation you can feel among students and colleagues.

 7.       You may have seen our latest recruitment campaign, ‘Find your why’. We are interested to find out what Royal Holloway has helped you to discover about yourself…

I learnt how important it is to work in a supporting and intellectually stimulating environment, sharing ideas (and a laugh or two) with colleagues and students.