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Post-Gaddafi Libya and Prison Climate in the Netherlands: The ILS Lunch Seminar of March

On Thursday 14 March, the third ILS Lunch Seminar of this year took place. In this well visited seminar, Nienke van Heek and Esther van Ginneken gave two very insightful presentations on their respective research topics.

The first presentation was given by Nienke van Heek, researcher at the Van Vollenhoven Institute, on “Reconciliation and national identity in post-Gaddafi Libya”. This research, which is conducted with a Libyan-Dutch team as a part of the research project “The Role of Law in Libya’s National Reconciliation”, takes a socio-legal approach to the major disagreements that hamper reconciliation in Libya. Van Heek used the theme of ethnicity to serve as an example to highlight the research on the formation of national identity, which is the first part of this research project. Libya’s minorities, most notably the Amazigh, the Tebu and the Touareg, were systematically marginalized under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi by widespread Arabization of the country (1969-2011). This had huge implications on almost every aspect of their lives, such as the language they spoke and the names their children could receive. After 2011, Libya’s minorities demanded this marginalization to be lifted, but there has been a heated debate over how this ought to be done. Van Heek explained how this research looks at the legislative responses of the government on this topic and the current issues surrounding national identity hampering reconciliation.

The second presentation was given by Esther van Ginneken on “Prison climate and well-being: Findings from the Life in Custody Study”. This project started in the beginning of 2017 and will be running until halfway 2020. “The Life in Custody Study” (Van Ginneken, Palmen, Bosma, Nieuwbeerta & Berghuis, 2018) is designed to study the relationship between prison climate, well-being, behavior of prisoners and recidivism. This project included a survey among Dutch adult prisoners across all prisons in the Netherlands (N= 4,538), measuring prisoners’ perceptions on a variety of dimensions of prison life, such as autonomy, safety, relationships in prison and contact with the outside world. The presentation highlighted some findings from the ongoing research project. Uniquely, the study is able to look at prison climate on the individual (psychological) level and the aggregated (unit) level.

The next ILS Lunch Seminar will be a very special edition of the seminar series, since we have the honour of receiving dr. Leandro Mancano from the University of Edinburgh. He will present his new book, which is scheduled to appear in May 2019, on “The European Union and Deprivation of Liberty: A Legislative and Judicial Analysis from the Perspective of the Individual”. This ILS Lunch Seminar will take place on Thursday 11 April 2019 from 12:00 – 13:00 hrs. in KOG B0.13. There is no need to register and lunch is provided. More information on this seminar can be found here.

Would you like to present yourself and your research? Do not hesitate to contact our ILS student assistant! More information on ILS 2.0 can be found on our website.

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