Valenti is a master's student at the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy at OsloMet. Through the research training programme, she has the opportunity to be part of an ongoing research project at the Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) institute. We asked her about her master's thesis and how she's finding her time at NOVA.
Tell us a bit about your project!
I've chosen my research training and master's thesis related to the project Sustainable Societies in the 21st Century: From Welfare States to Eco-social States (WEST) at NOVA.
In my research training, I was guided by Mi Ah Schøyen, the leader of the WEST project, and Merete Dotterud Leiren, a research director at Cicero. The project focuses on the European Green Deal and how the European Union will implement policies to ensure a 'just and fair' transition to the green shift.
Primarily, I investigated social protection measures such as unemployment benefits, pension schemes, or health insurance targeted towards workers in carbon-intensive sectors like coal and oil production.
Now, I'm writing my master's thesis with Axel West Pedersen and Mi Ah Schøyen as supervisors. It follows the same track as my research training, examining the social policies green parties, which support values like ecological sustainability and social justice, would enact to protect those most affected by climate change and climate actions.
I've included households with low incomes, socially excluded individuals, those suffering from health issues, and workers in carbon-intensive sectors. I'm comparing the policies of green parties in Norway, Italy, France, and Germany. Concurrently, I'm exploring how these green parties would handle the transition to a low-carbon society.
What's currently on your mind?
Right now, I'm thinking about submitting my master's thesis, which is just around the corner, and preparing for my oral defence!
Otherwise, I'm eager about the developments in Norwegian climate policy; I believe there will be significant changes in the coming years.
What motivated you to join the research training programme?
I chose the research training at the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy because I was curious about working in a research team, and I am considering pursuing a doctorate after this master's programme.
I chose the WEST project because I'm interested in the impact of climate change on society and want to explore which social, ecological, and economic policies could best create a sustainable society while respecting the limits of the planet.
What's great about being at NOVA?
I enjoy being at NOVA because I love being part of a research environment surrounded by people dedicated to research and passionate about what they do. I hope to have the same luck in the future!
I've met many friendly people during my stay, both among the administrative and scientific staff. I'm grateful for all the valuable suggestions, input, and encouraging words I've received from the other researchers working here.
I have a lot to learn! Finally, it was motivating to sit in the same room with other master's students, exchanging ideas, experiences, and frustrations.
What's your dream project?
Difficult question! There are so many things I want to do. Among them, my ambition is to delve into research within eco-social welfare or work on projects that prioritize society's sustainability, and how to involve and prepare younger generations to tackle eco-social challenges.
We must take responsibility for future generations and provide them with opportunities to live fulfilling lives.
Cristina is a master's student in International Social Welfare and Health Policy at the Faculty of Social Sciences and is set to complete her studies by November.
At NOVA, she is affiliated with the Section for Health and Welfare Research and the project Sustainable Societies in the 21st Century: From Welfare States to Eco-Social States (WEST).
Here are some articles and books that Cristina would recommend:
- Hirvilammi, T., Häikiö, L., Johansson, H., Koch, M., & Perkiö, J. (2023). Social Policy in a Climate Emergency Context: Towards an Ecosocial Research Agenda. Journal of Social Policy, 1-23.
- Sabato, S., Mandelli, M., & Vanhercke, B. (2021). The Socio-Ecological Dimension of the EU Recovery. From the European Green Deal to the Recovery and Resilience Facility. In EUROSociAL (Ed.), EUROSociAL Collection (Vol. 24, pp. 63). Madrid: EUROSociAL Programme.
- Bridgen, P., & Schoyen, M. A. (2022). Sustainability. In G. Bent (Ed.), De Gruyter Handbook of Contemporary Welfare States (pp. 359-374). De Gruyter.
Photo: Halvard Dyb.