Transdisciplinary Areas of ExcellenceCitizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging


Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging collaboration grants from prior years

The following two projects were awarded funds in July 2013, provided by the Binghamton University Road Map through the Provost's Office and the Division of Research with the goal of encouraging faculty to develop collaborative projects that stimulate the advancement of new ideas that can build Binghamton University's expertise toward a national reputation in the broad area of citizenship, rights and cultural belonging. This competitive, peer-reviewed program is providing initial support for proposed long-term programs of collaborative research that have strong potential to attract external funding.

  • Human Security in Africa: Aids, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Conflict

Thousands of people are dying every day in Africa because of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, while African governments beset by economic and political problems are often incapable of providing the required health services to their sick citizens. The mounting health problems in Africa are not only a gross violation of the contract between the government and their citizens, depriving Africans of their basic right to live, but they are also predictors of other types of security problems such as civil wars and external conflicts. Grievances of the sick and their loved ones, increase the probability for civil wars, while declined state capacity, amidst health problems, increases states' vulnerability against external rivals and makes them a great target for militarized attacks. For this project, we code our own data; we rank key drugs' impacts on the burden of disease in Africa and then we aggregate these scores for each country. This aggregate score, which measures the gap between the sick and the treated in Africa, is a better measure of the extent of human security problems in Africa compared to existing datasets that only indicate the number of sick. We then show how this gap is linked to civil wars and militarized interstate disputes, thus further aggravating the human insecurity problem in Africa.

Principal investigators/departments: Seden Akcinaraglu, assistant professor of political science, and Nicole Hassoun, associate professor of philosophy

  • Decarceration: Human and Community Rights

Over the course of the last four decades, the number of persons incarcerated in the United States rose from 250,000 to nearly 2.5 million. Scholars have widely argued that this globally unprecedented level of incarceration is now a permanent feature of the U.S. social landscape. Incarceration on this scale has also, as a report this August to the UN Human Rights Committee emphasizes, significantly affected the citizenship and human rights of quite specific and racialized U.S. groups and communities. Yet, in the last few years, the number of incarcerated persons has begun to rapidly fall; the numbers of persons in New York state prisons has fallen, for example, from 72,000 to less than 54,000 in the last few years. Numbers in other states have followed suit. This unexpected development raises significant questions for the human rights of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons, the communities from which prisoners have been coming and are now returning and the largely rural, upstate communities that have hosted prison facilities. This project brings together quantitative data analysis, historical sociological investigations and qualitative ethnographic research to illuminate both the theoretical and policy implications of "decarceration" — and point the way forward to new, funded research.

Principal investigators/departments: William Martin, professor of sociology, and Joshua Price, associate professor of sociology and of the Translation Research and Instruction Program

Last Updated: 6/16/14