Global Campus Europe (EMA) Awarded Theses

Each year the EMA Council of Directors selects five theses, which stand out not only for their formal academic qualities but also for the originality of topic, innovative character of methodology and approach, potential usefulness in raising awareness about neglected issues, and capacity for contributing to the promotion of the values underlying human rights and democracy.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 59
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    When the ‘Terrorists’ Speak the Language of Humanity. Counter-Memory of 15th July Coup d’État
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Vodopija, Helena ; Glaurdić, Josip
    The aim of this work was to understand how the antagonism that constitutes the core of official memory of the 15 July coup d’état influenced the lives of those designated as the enemy of the nation – the families of cadets and trainee officers who were sentenced to life in prison for the alleged involvement in the coup; to portray the change in their identity – from believers who identify with nationalist discourse to human rights activists – and depict their creation of counter-hegemonic movement inspired by the counter-memory of the coup. The research showed how they regain their political subjectivity through re-politicising the normalised subject positions of the nationalist discourse, challenging the embedded antagonism between the nation and its other, and countering the selective vision of justice by their actions that reflect the belief in universal humanity. 15 July coup, counter-memory, identity, cadets and trainee officers
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    Imperialist Queerphobia. The Curtailment of LGBTQ+ Rights in Uganda and South Africa as a Product of Colonialism, Religion, and Patriarchy.
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Sheppard, Phoebe Eleanor ; Yahyaoui Krivenko, Ekaterina
    The concerning reality for LGBTQ+ people in sub-Saharan Africa is everincreasing state-sanctioned queerphobia, societal oppression, heteropatriarchal violence and religious queerphobia. This thesis incorporates the analysis of archival interviews, political speech, newspaper articles, letters, case law, photographs and legislation to illuminate the fact that colonialism, religion and patriarchy have coalesced in contributing to increasingly queerphobic attitudes within sub-Saharan Africa, primarily driven by three core rationales: the contention that homosexuality is an ‘un-African’ phenomenon imported from the West which is morally corrupting Africa and must be eradicated to protect and preserve African culture; that homosexuality goes against Christianity – the dominant religion in South Africa and Uganda – and is therefore regarded as a ‘sin’ that must be punished and legislated against by African leaders placing their religious views at the forefront of legislative decision making; and that the existence of queer relationships and identities outside of the heteropatriarchal binary present a threat to masculinity which must be eradicated through heavily policing queer bodies and enforcing violence in the name of ‘enlightenment’. It is these three concepts that need to be negated in order for the full and equal rights of LGBTQ+ people to be enjoyed. Contains references to sexual violence, homophobia, misogyny, racist remarks, and derogatory language.
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    Preimplantation Genetic Testing: the Conflict between Reproductive Autonomy and Disability Rights. With the UK, Ireland, and Portugal as Case Studies.
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Keogh, Bríana ; Melo, Helena : Pereira de
    Preimplantation genetic testing allows parents who are at risk of passing on a serious genetic disability or illness to avoid implanting embryos with genetic abnormalities when going through IVF. In the UK and Portugal, this is publicly funded and limited to ‘serious’ genetic abnormalities only, whereas in Ireland there are no national regulations. At first glance, selecting against genetic abnormalities is a justifiable aim in the name of public health and avoidance of human suffering. In addition to this, reproductive autonomy is an important bioethical principle and control over one’s private and family life is commonly recognised as essential for human flourishing within a liberal society. However, if we do not remember our history we may be doomed to repeat it. Objectively harmful eugenic policies of the 20th century advocated for the eradication of disability in order to improve the strength of humankind. This traumatic history continues to create fear amongst the disability community for the return of stigmatisation, discrimination and reduced funding for services. However, the reality is that raising a child with a disability correlates with economic, social and mental strains. Should we, therefore, set limits on an individual’s ability to avoid these strains, so we can protect human diversity and the rights of persons with disabilities? If we truly respect reproductive autonomy and the value of disability in our communities then why is it considered immoral to deliberately select an embryo with the gene for deafness? Whilst the majority of disability is attributed to non-genetic factors and therefore the eradication of disability is impossible, grave damage can still be done to our tolerance for human variation and the inherent human dignity regardless of one’s genetic constitution. Contains ableist language and remarks.
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    At Risk of Falling through the Cracks? The Protection of Children in State Care in Conflict Situations in International Law and Practice
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Gscheidlen, Anne Sophie ; Luhamaa, Katre
    A day before the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Council of Europe vowed to create standards and mechanisms on child protection in armed conflict by 2027. It further promised to address the discrimination of children in state care. The need for a comprehensive child protection scheme during and post-armed conflict as well as efforts to combat the marginalisation of children in state care have, thus, been acknowledged. Yet, as far as Europe is concerned, states have only begun to fuse child protection during armed conflict with the awareness of the heightened vulnerability and marginalisation of children in state care in reaction to the war against Ukraine, a country which has one of the highest child institutionalisation rates in the region. With thousands of children in state care continuing to be evacuated abroad in a humanitarian effort to protect their lives and rights, this thesis seeks to firstly discuss the (in)sufficiency of the existing international legal rights and protective framework for these children. Secondly, this thesis documents how some European countries view their obligations towards these children, and what has already been undertaken by them vis-à-vis these children in light of the war against Ukraine as of early July 2022. Keywords: child protection, rights of the child, children in state care, armed conflict, Ukraine
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    Universal Legal Capacity for Persons with Disabilities: Will, Preferences and Communication
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Carter, Percy ; Broderick, Andrea
    The right to legal capacity is a fundamental right that allows individuals to be a person before the law and exercise control over their own lives. For persons with disabilities, the right to legal capacity has often been restricted through ‘substitute decision-making’ where another individual exercises legal capacity on their behalf. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities seeks to undo the norm of substitute decision-making by asserting that all persons with disabilities have the right to exercise their own legal capacity, and should never be stripped of this right. Per article 12, where persons with disabilities face challenges in exercising their legal capacity, states parties should rather implement frameworks of supported decisionmaking which adhere to the will and preferences of the individual. This thesis is concerned with the expression of will and preferences under frameworks of supported decision-making, specifically, the expression of will and preferences by persons with disabilities who have communication support needs and use varying forms of both verbal and non-verbal communication. This thesis will explore the interpretation of article 12 regarding supported decision-making, will and preferences, and communication, and use these considerations to analyse frameworks of supported decision-making under the Irish Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act (ADMCA). The purpose of analysing both article 12 and the ADMCA is to propose a framework for persons tasked with providing support to persons with disabilities under the Act derived from the capability approach, a normative framework that re-conceives classic welfarist notions that the possession of goods and resources were adequate indicators of justice. Using the capability approach, this thesis will put forth a framework that may be used by support persons under the ADMCA to determine the most appropriate method of communication to ascertain the will and preferences of all persons with disabilities, regardless of their method of communication. Trigger warning: some of the materials utilised for research in this thesis contain ableist language and remarks.