Université de Genève - Wilco Project

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Department of Sociology (UNIGE), Switzerland

The University of Geneva is one of the major universities of the world (classified by Newsweek in 2006 as the best European University) and member of the League of European Research Universities. The Sociology department of the University of Geneva has a long tradition. Founded in 1886, it is one of the oldest departments of this discipline in the world. Many famous scholars taught sociology in Geneva, such as De Sismondi, Louis Warin, Jean Piaget or Roger Girod. Today, the department counts about 50 researchers and teachers and is the most important sociology school in Switzerland. The profile is more methodologically than thematically oriented and has its strengths in the multiplicity of approaches and schools represented.

The department has its own laboratory and many mandates at the international, national and local levels (half of the staff is employed in research). Past and current projects include research on public discourses, collective mobilizations, and social exclusion; public expenditures; public relations of government and administration; sexual interactions in face of HIV/Aids and intimacy dynamic; community health; migration, asylum, and integration policy; risk administration; evaluation of the coordination and service platform in the domain of drugs; and the integration of the excluded from the competitive labour market in Europe. In particular, the Department has been involved or is involved in a number of EU or ESF funded projects (currently ESSE, IMISCOE, COST Action IS0603, SANCO-Nowherehere).

Sandro Cattacin

Sandro Cattacin

Sandro Cattacin, the head of the team is a full professor and Director of the Department of Sociology of Geneva. He studied economic history, political science and political philosophy at the University of Zurich. With an Italian fellowship, he participated in a PhD programme on political and social science at the European University Institute in Florence. After his graduate studies, he started to work as a researcher at the University of Geneva and obtained a position as “Maitre-assistant” in 1992, as executive director of RESOP in 1997, and as “Professeur adjoint” in sociology and political science in April 1999. At the University of Geneva, he has taught on Swiss politics, comparative methods, political theory and social policy topics. From 1993 to 2000, he was also “charge de cours” at the University of Fribourg at the Department of social policy and social work (with teaching on welfare state theories). During the academic year 1998/1999, he was invited to teach at the University of Konstanz, faculty of administrative science. From 1999 to 2004, he was Director of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies at the University of Neuchatel, and nominated Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law and Social Science at the same University. From the end of 2000 until 2006, Sandro Cattacin was a part-time professor at the IDHEAP in Lausanne (in social and health policy). In 2005, he was Willy Brandt Guest professor at the University of Malmö and in 2007 Guest Professor at the Observatoire du changement social in Paris (Sciences-po). He has published extensively on issues of social policy, social exclusion and welfare. Recent publications include “Migration and Health. Difference sensitivity from an organisational perspective”, “Why not Ghettos” (2006), Monitoring rightwing extremist attitudes, xenophobia and misanthropy in Switzerland” (2006), “Retard, rattrapage, normalisation (on the Swiss welfare state” (2006).

Contact information: Sandro Cattacin: Sandro.Cattacin@unige.ch

Other members

Nathalie Kapko

Nathalie Kapko

Is a researcher in the department of sociology of the University of Geneva. She got a Phd in sociology about the French second-generations at school, in the labour market and how social trajectories shape Islamic beliefs and practises among the youth. This Phd thesis was turned into a book published by the Presses de Science Po in 2007. Nathalie Kakpo also worked on the French urban riots and she contributed to a book written on the issue and translated into Italian. After her PhD, she carried on with her research in Milan and London working on integration of immigrants into the European labour markets and interethnic cohabitation in urban neighborhoods.

Patricia Naegeli

Patricia Naegeli

Is sociologist specialized in the field of the Gender studies, more specifically related to the inequalities on the labour market and the gendered positions and discriminations in the private and public life. She is a researcher at the department of sociology.

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