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Research Projects 

The Analysis of Transnational Non-Governmental Organizations’ Rights-Based Approaches (RBAs).  

In collaboration with Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director for Education and Practitioner Engagement, Transnational NGO (TNGO) Initiative, Syracuse University, and Hans Peter Schmitz, Professor of Political Science and Director for Research, TNGO Initiative, Syracuse University, and Uwe Gneutung, Doctoral Student in Politicla Science, this project is to conduct in-depth qualitative research into the concrete, on-the-ground practices employed by current “rights-based approaches” (RBA) of transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGOs) in Guatemala, in order to identify which practices contribute most effectively to fostering democratic ideas, habits, skills, and capacities. Our objective is to produce findings that will genuinely benefit TNGOs by offering new information, enhanced relationships with a US-based academic resource, a flexible inside/outside assessment, and the identification of best practices.

A Comparative Study of Community-Based Agreements (CBAs) in Four Cities 

This comparative study investigates factors leading to the success or failure of community based agreements in three cities in the United States.  Primary data was gathered on the political processes through which community organizations in two cities – New Haven and Philadelphia – responded to the expansion of two private universities (Yale and U Penn, respectively).  Relevant document were reviewed, phone interviews conducted, and in the case of New Haven, six days of on-site intensive interviewing were carried out. The results are currently being analyzed, in order to be compared with the political process of University expansion in Syracuse.  The research design and preliminary results were presented in April at a Social Movements and Religion conference at Boston University and preliminary findings were presented at the PARCC Conversations in Conflict Studies meeting in April.  A final report in June, along with the data gathered on the Near West Side of Syracuse, will serve as the basis of a more extensive research proposal to be “shopped” in 2010-2011.

John Burdick and Steve Parks and Graduate Student:  Jesse Harasta