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The research

Marieke Hopman

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22 February 2018

Update: January’s ups & downs

22 February 2018 | By | No Comments

Dear all!

I just wanted to write a quick message because I have not been sharing much lately. In my last message on New Year’s Eve, I told you about my plans for 2018. This was right before, while cooking dinner, I seriously cut my left middle finger, to an extent that I had to go to the hospital and even today I am still typing with 9 fingers. (Not that the finger had to come off! – I just lost feeling in the tip which makes typing quite difficult..).

Also, I realized that I have a tendency of sharing only the good news around the research. Of course, especially since most of you also financially supported the research, I want to show you that your money is being put to good use! But in the interest of sharing, I would like to share both successes and failures more. So here’s January’s ups and downs:

ups

  • teaching philosophy of law at the university of Hasselt for the first time
  • writing a first draft of a plan for a “society-engaged research platform” and finding others who are interested
  • rounding off the Marble project with all 5 students in a really positive way
  • getting more of a hang of my new role as PhD representative
  • sent in an article on legal orders in CAR and did not get a negative reply back (yet)

downs

  • scheduled three media interviews about the case study in CAR, did two and so far only one seems to get published..
  • had a difficult work conflict, that kept me up quite a few nights and made me feel very small
  • started teaching logic to MA lawyers, also for the first time – it seems to be going well, but I do feel quite insecure about it..
  • starting to feel stressed out about whether or not I will be able to stay in academia after the PhD

All in all, more ups then down! More soon.
If you are not already, please follow the project’s facebook page for regular, shorter updates..!

Marieke Hopman

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31 December 2017

2017-2018: looking forward & looking back

31 December 2017 | By | One Comment

Dear all,

A few hours before the new year kicks off is a great time to look both back and ahead. What happened for the children’s rights research project in 2017, and what should be the next step?

In short, 2017 was the year of trying to both creating a place at Maastricht University for children’s rights, as well as travelling for field research and sharing research results.
Some of the highlights:

  • Finished the research in the Central African Republic, published a research report ovoorkant rapport engelsthe child’s right to education in the CAR and traveled back to share these results
  • Gave a key note lecture for about 100 employees of the municipality of Amsterdam who are starting a program to get all children into schools
  • Gave lectures for UNICEF, African Study Center, SOAS London (among others) and taught a masterclass about children’s rights
  • Published the academic article “Lipstick Law
  • Created, together with artist Daan Draait and Maastricht University, a theater play about the case study in CAR
  • Recruited a team of students with whom, in 6 months, we conducted two field researches on the child’s right to nationality and hosted a successful crowdfunding campaign (if you still want to contribute, you can do so here!)
  • Won € 3000 in the action research competition

For 2018, the first plan is to write the PhD book and have a first draft ready at the end of the year. But of course that is not nearly enough. Ideally, I also want to:

  • Teach 3 university courses (to raise money and teach children’s rights and critical thinking)
  • Perform the CAR theater play in different schools and discuss the case with the students
    With the student team and guest speaker at the kick-off of the crowdfunding campaign

    With the student team and guest speaker at the kick-off of the crowdfunding campaign

  • Be a good mentor for a successful PREMIUM project on children’s rights to education in the Netherlands, in cooperation with NGO Defence for Children
  • Publish a research report and travel back to share the results of the third case study
  • Raise € 20.000 for the children’s rights research fund
  • Publish at least one academic article
  • Acquire my University Teacher Qualification
  • Start preparing the way for a continuation of children’s rights research after the PhD…

So those are (some of the) plans for 2018. But for now, I want to thank you for making all this work possible, and mostly I want to wish you all a very happy and ambitious New Year!!
– Marieke

Marieke Hopman

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12 September 2017

SIGN UP HERE

12 September 2017 | By | One Comment

The new field research on the child’s right to nationality has officially begun! As we are dealing with a politically sensitive matter, we will not be posting on social media. So, click here to sign up for updates! We are excited to share our experiences with you.

Marieke Hopman

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28 April 2017

Overview of income and costs 2014-2016

28 April 2017 | By | No Comments

Dear all,

Hereby I would like to share an overview with you of the income and costs of the research project so far. As you can see, most of the project money comes from teaching and project coordination – this is work that I do, in exchange for which an organization donates money to the research fund. An important contribution comes from donations – for which I am so greatful!!

overview costs income

The money is mostly spent on the research’s scholarship (a monthly amount of € 1.630. This amount will stay the same for the whole research period, amounting to yearly > € 2.500 less net income than a regular PhD student). Travel costs and other costs include all costs for the two field research cases (hotel, flights, vaccinations, costs for translation, etc) as well as some costs made for the research, such as buying books. For a more detailed overview of all the costs, see:

If you want to support research on children’s rights, you can fill in a donation form here

Marieke Hopman

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13 April 2017

Published: Lipstick Law!

13 April 2017 | By | No Comments

Dear all,

I am very happy to announce that a piece of the theoretical framework of my research  – in which I plea for an understanding of laws not just by studying legal codes, but also to look at the (sovereign) rules that dictate people’s lives – has been published in the Journal of Legal Pluralism!

You can read the article for free here. Don’t forget to check out the acknowledgments section!

And a short further update: the next 2 weeks I will both finishing the report on education in CAR, as well as the academic article on laws in CAR. After I hope to send you an extensive newsletter with updates on latest activities, upcoming things and a financial report over 2016. So, you will hear from me soon!

 

Marieke Hopman

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13 April 2017

Published: Lipstick Law!

13 April 2017 | By | No Comments

Dear all,

I am very happy to announce that a piece of the theoretical framework of my research  – in which I plea for an understanding of laws not just by studying legal codes, but also to look at the (sovereign) rules that dictate people’s lives – has been published in the Journal of Legal Pluralism!

You can read the article for free here. Don’t forget to check out the acknowledgments section!

And a short further update: the next 2 weeks I will both finishing the report on education in CAR, as well as the academic article on laws in CAR. After I hope to send you an extensive newsletter with updates on latest activities, upcoming things and a financial report over 2016. So, you will hear from me soon!

 

Marieke Hopman

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27 July 2016

Moving the research part II – the solution!

27 July 2016 | By | 4 Comments

Dear all,

As you probably know because I have been writing about this before, getting the research institutionalized has been more difficult than anticipated. Although we ran a great crowdfunding campaign with my colleagues of Tilburg university funds, and I worked together satisfactorily with the Wetenschapsknooppunt Brabant and INTERVICT Institute, there was no possibility at Tilburg University to use the money I raised to work as a PhD student, or even to use the money for research purposes.

I then applied at the ISS in the Hague (which falls under Erasmus University). After an intense selection process I was very proud and happy to be allowed to enter their PhD program. However, they had one condition: that I would work with two internal ISS supervisors and therefore not with prof. Rianne Letschert anymore, who has been my supervisor from the beginning. Which is something I really did not want because I love working with prof. Letschert. She is very good, sharp, intelligent, she teaches me so much, and she supports me and the project even if I make difficult choices such as doing crowdfunding or going to a war-affected area to do field research.

So for a while I did not know what to do next, and we were talking to universities abroad to perhaps set up a construction of cooperation – but then, Prof. Letschert got a phonecall and one day I’m in her office and she tells me she will be the new rector magnificus of Maastricht University!! (Incidentally, thereby becoming the youngest female rector magnificus in the Netherlands EVER). So cool.

So then we started talking to Maastricht and see if I could move my research project there. Last monday I had a last meeting on this and it looks like it all is working out!!! I can hardly believe it. So after 1,5 year after we started the crowdfunding it looks like finally this month I will receive my first scholarship allowance and an allowance for research expenses. The people in Maastricht so far have been extremely friendly, cooperative and enthusiastic about the project. With the head of the fundraising and alumni department I have already cooked up some fundraising plans for the future, and the people at the law faculty have been most supportive in figuring out the best way to work with past and future financial constructions.

All in all I am super happy that FINALLY this thing has been solved and I am moving the project to an inspiring and positive environment where I think it can prosper (of course, still depending on my hard work and quality of the research – which is yet another thing I will post about again soon :-)).

Next step: leaving for the Central African Republic this tuesday!!

Marieke Hopman

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29 October 2015

Moving the research

29 October 2015 | By | 6 Comments

For those of you who have followed my financial plan for the research (see: this video), there is some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that in addition to the latest crowdfunding, through other means (mostly teaching) I have now raised an additional € 45.000 – so the fundraising is going strong!

The bad news is that Tilburg University has changed their plans for PhD scholarship students. Their idea was to pilot a program where PhDs are allowed to be students instead of employees (a construction that saves a LOT of money). I would participate in this pilot. However, now they decided to cancel these plans. As a consequence, I would have to raise more than 2x as much money as foreseen, as a PhD employee contract is much more expensive (mostly due to taxes and social security fees).

Of course I do not want to transfer about 60% of donations coming in to the tax office, so I am looking for alternative solutions. The best so far is to cooperate with another academic institution, which I am hoping to be the ISS in the Hague (see their website). This institution, the home base of my second supervisor Prof. Dr. Jan Pronk, is an amazing institution that in addition to academic quality values highly engagement in public debate. In this sense it therefore perfectly suits my research project and I would be lucky to work with them.

The difficult part is that ISS sets very high standards for their PhD students. So I again have to go through a process of application, re-write my research proposal, collect references, take an English (TOEFL) test. Secondly, to work at ISS I will need a new first professor (as Prof. Pronk is an emeritus professor). To this purpose, I have been in contact with prof. Karin Arts, a specialist on children’s rights who – thank god – is interested in my project.

So for the coming period there are some hurdles to take, starting with the TOEFL test which I am taking this saturday. I am studying like crazy right now, as I have to score >100 to even be considered as a PhD candidate at the ISS… Fingers crossed!

Marieke Hopman

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26 October 2015

Publishing a philosophical perspective on children’s rights

26 October 2015 | By | 3 Comments

Great news: I got an email saying that reviewers are willing to publish my article (“(why) should children have rights? A philosophical perspective”) in the upcoming book on 25 years Convention on the Rights of the Child!

Or at least, I still have to rewrite it a little – I am not completely up to date on academic conventions but I think it generally means that my article was accepted. This makes me especially happy since the academic tradition on children’s rights often does not include philosophy. Besides, in the article I argued that technically children do not have rights and that they should rather be argued to possess “legal privileges”. As one reviewer wrote in his/her comment on my article: “it will most likely trigger some discussion and we should not refuse an article because we don’t agree with the line of thinking”.

The book will be published in 2016 by Brill Nijhoff Publishers, edited by Prof T. Liefaard and Prof. J. Sloth-Nielsen.

Marieke Hopman

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24 September 2015

Looking at law through children’s eyes II

24 September 2015 | By | 2 Comments

When looking at law through children’s eyes, who are the legislators? And how can we do research on law for children?