DISCIT – Active Citizenship

Making Persons with Disabilities Full Citizens –
New Knowledge for an Inclusive and Sustainable Social Model

Einen deutschsprachigen Einstiegstext zum Projekt finden Sie hier [Brief summary in german language]
  • Coordinator: Prof. Bjørn Hvinden, NOVA-Norwegian Social Research, Oslo (NO)
  • Partners: Charles University of Prague (CZ), National University of Ireland, Galway (IE), University of Cologne (DE), University of Florence (IT), University of Uppsala (SE), Swiss Paraplegic Research (CH), University of York (UK), Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia (RS), European Disability Forum (BE)
  • Partner at the University of Cologne: Professor Anne Waldschmidt, PhD, International research unit Disability Studies (iDiS), Institute of Sociology and Politics of Rehabilitation, Disability Studies, Faculty of Human Sciences
  • Research Fellows: Anemari Karacic, M.A.; Andreas Sturm, M.A.
  • Research assistant: Timo Dins, B.A., master student of Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Term: February 1, 2013 – January 31, 2016
  • Funding: European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, Collaborative project, Cooperation work programme “Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities” (SSH), Brussels; Call (part) identifier: FP7-SSH-2012-2 – 320079
  • Official Website: blogg.hioa.no/discit
  • Contact: discit-research@uni-koeln.de

The research consortium DISCIT aimed to produce new knowledge enabling Member States, affiliated European countries and the European Union to achieve full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and the economy. In investigating the social and political conditions for making such participation a reality, the project adopted a multifaceted understanding of Active Citizenship. Using a multilevel and institutional perspective, DISCIT examined how different types of policies (social benefits, social services and social regulation instruments) can be mutually supportive in enhancing Active Citizenship for persons with disabilities. With the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a framework of reference, DISCIT identified more effective ways to remove and prevent physical, attitudinal, social and organisational barriers to Active Citizenship and participation on an equal basis with others, in a context of rapid social and economic change and evolving conceptions of disability across European societies. DISCIT synthesised policy lessons from a strategic sample of European states: ‘Liberal’ (Ireland, United Kingdom), ‘Conservative’ (Germany, Italy), ‘Social Democratic’ (Norway, Sweden) and ‘Post-Communist’ (Czech Republic, Serbia) regimes. DISCIT involved consortium members from all these countries in addition to Switzerland and Belgium. DISCIT’s results provided new insight into how the European Union can support Member States and affiliated European countries in working towards the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities as expressed in the Fundamental Rights under the EC Treaty and the CRPD. By clarifying the possibilities for a strengthened synergy between policies at diverse levels of governance, DISCIT contributed to knowledge for realizing the ambitions of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. DISCIT had a duration of 36 months; was coordinated by Norwegian Social Research (NOVA); the consortium members were universities, research institutes and two civil society organisations (EDF and MDRI-S). The consortium was supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee with distinguished members mainly from countries not covered by the consortium members, a European Stakeholder Committee and eight National Stakeholder Committees.

  • Waldschmidt, Anne / Karacic, Anemari / Sturm, Andreas / Dins, Timo. (2015). “Nothing about us without us” – Disability Rights Activism in European Countries: A Comparative Analysis. In: Moving the Social. Journal of Social History and the History of Social Movements. Special Issue on Disability Movements: National Policies and Transnational Perspectives, no. 53, pp. 103-137.
  • Waldschmidt, Anne. (2016). Europäische und Internationale Behindertenpolitik. In: Dederich, Markus / Beck, Iris / Antor, Georg / Bleidick, Ulrich (Eds.) Handlexikon der Behindertenpädagogik. Schlüsselbegriffe aus Theorie und Praxis. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer (3rd revised and extended edition), pp. 440-445.
  • Karacic, Anemari / Waldschmidt, Anne: Biographie und Behinderung. In: Lutz, Helma / Schiebel, Martina / Tuider, Elisabeth (Eds.). Handbuch Biographieforschung. Wiesbaden: Springer-VS [forthcoming]
  • Karacic, Anemari / Sturm, Andreas / Waldschmidt, Anne / Dins, Timo: Identity and Political Participation Throughout the Life Course – the Experiences of Persons with Disabilities in European Countries. In: Beadle-Brown, Julie / Biggeri, Mario / Halvorsen, Rune / Tøssebro, Jan / Waldschmidt, Anne / Hvinden, Bjørn (Eds.). Lived Experiences of Persons with Disabilities: Active Citizenship and Disability in Europe Volume 2. London: Routledge [forthcoming]
  • Sturm, Andreas / Waldschmidt, Anne / Karacic, Anemari / Dins, Timo: Exercising Influence at the European Level – Political Opportunity Structures of Disability Rights Advocacy and Impacts of the UN CRPD. In: Hvinden, Bjørn / Bickenbach, Jerome / Ferri, Delia / Halvorsen, Rune / Rodriguez, Ana Marta Guillén (Eds.). The Changing Disability Policy System: Active Citizenship and Disability in Europe Volume 1. London: Routledge [forthcoming].
  • Waldschmidt, Anne / Sturm, Andreas / Karacic, Anemari / Dins, Timo: Implementing the UN CRPD in European Countries – a Comparative Study on the Involvement of Organisations Representing Persons with Disabilities. In: Hvinden, Bjørn / Bickenbach, Jerome / Ferri, Delia / Halvorsen, Rune / Rodriguez, Ana Marta Guillén (Eds.). The Changing Disability Policy System: Active Citizenship and Disability in Europe Volume 1. London: Routledge [forthcoming]
Project-Related Master and Doctoral Theses
  • Dins, Timo (2015): Paradoxien der Selbstbestimmung – Subjektive Sichtweisen von Menschen mit Lernschwierigkeiten. [Paradoxes of Self-Determination – Subjective Perspectives of Persons with Learning Difficulties]. Degree: Master of Arts
Timeline – Involvement and Milestones of University of Cologne (UCO)

See more at: http://discit.eu/about