NWO Aspasia grants for Anna Herranz-Surrallés and Lauren Wagner

Anna Herranz-Surrallés (Politics) and Lauren Wagner (DSS) have been confirmed as Aspasia grant holders for their projects “Dangerous Assets? Foreign investment governance in times of de-globalisation” (Herranz-Surrallés) and “Care matters: making and valuing home in a mobile world” (Wagner).

Aspasia grants are awarded to female applicants who were assessed as very good or excellent after the NWO Vidi/Vici interview procedures.

In “Dangerous Assets?”, Herranz-Surrallés will investigate when and why foreign investment comes to be treated as a matter of national security. This question is relevant in a context of unprecedented distrust towards foreign acquisitions, due to concerns such as the rising exposure to cyber-attacks, so-called ‘forced technology transfers’ or political interference by foreign governments. Quite puzzlingly, the recent surge in security screening mechanisms of foreign investment is particularly high in developed countries, traditionally the main advocates of investment freedom. This project thus investigates the extent and drivers of this phenomenon in OECD economies, focusing particularly on the energy sector, one of the key domains affected by investment restrictions.

In “Care matters”, Lauren Wagner will explore how the labour of caring for a home is changing along with increasingly mobile and partial practices of dwelling. The labour of maintaining and caring for a home has normally been assumed as an obligation of owning and occupying it. Yet, that labour is increasingly difficult to accomplish as – through multilocal lifestyles and transnational migrations – we circulate more frequently between homes, or – using platforms like AirBnB – we temporarily partition them to accommodate strangers. Lauren’s project investigates how this care work is a material entanglement between a home and its humans to understand the new pressures that arise when care is practiced at a distance or, in light of COVID-19, when being stuck at home prompts increased practices of maintenance and care. To find out more about this project, visit https://www.drlaru.com/Care.

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