Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Anna Pacholczyk

It is with great pleasure to inform that Hallvard Moe has been awarded the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant for his research project PREPARE. Moe is one out of 313 scientists to have received the ERC 2022 Consolidator Grant out of 2652 applicants from all over Europe.

Researching information preparedness

In the last decade, democracies have been challenged by fragmented public debate, algorithmic media, propaganda, and misinformation. The impact that algorithms and datafication of everyday life have had on citizen’s political engagement has been on the researchers’ radar for a long time.

In the social sciences, the understanding on how democracy functions rests on the idea of an informed citizen, who with time and interest for public life, gathers information on a wide range of relevant policy issues. Research has demonstrated, however, that most people do not pay much attention to politics in their everyday life. Yet, social scientists continue to fall back on the informed citizen when envisioning people’s relations to the public. Subsequently, as they find out that people do not live up to the ideal, a picture of ignorant citizens unwilling to engage beyond their immediate private concerns emerges, which in turn leads to gloomy predictions about the future of democracy.

PREPARE offers a new way to understand and assess the basis for citizens’ participation in the rule of society. Rather than measuring manifest knowledge and continuous actions, PREPARE shifts the focus to citizens latent possibilities for partaking in society when need be, and asks:

  • how people stay prepared to engage with public issues?
  • what resources they need to move from stand-by to political engagement?

The project aims at testing the ground-breaking theory of distributed preparedness, and its completion’s time is estimated at 5 years.

Europe’s most prestigious grant

The European Research Council (ERC) offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. The ERC Consolidator Grant is bestowed to researchers with outstanding scientific track record, and between 7-12 years of experience after the completion of their doctorates. Scientists and scholars from around the world are eligible to apply for the ERC Consolidator Grant, which is considered Europe’s most prestigious and competitive grant, with an overall success rate estimated at 12%.

To learn more about the ERC visit https://erc.europa.eu.

 

*The article comprises excerpts from the research proposal document.

Photo: Torhild Dahl, UiB