PhD & Fellows

Euricse provides scholarships to six PhD students. One student attends Cifrem’s Economics and management program, while four are at the International Doctoral school in Local development and global dynamics programme; both at the University of Trento. Euricse supported the presentation of a post-doctoral project: “Production of habitability and conditions of effectiveness of social housing initiatives” by Francesco Minora, which has been financed within the European program “Marie Curie Action/Incoming Cofund Trentino” and will be conducted between 2011 and 2013.
In 2010, Euricse financed two postdoctoral researchers: Darina Zaimova (Bulgaria) and Jacopo Sforzi (Italy).

Production of habitability and conditions of effectiveness of social housing initiatives

Francesco Minora, Italy.
Post-doc reasearcher in Euricse


Beginning in the nineteen eighties, there was a radical change in most countries’ housing policies, whereby community input in the development of residential neighbourhoods was considered indispensable. Some countries, such as the United States and the U.K. actually shaped their housing policies along this principle. In Europe today, this philosophy has evolved into what is called social housing, i.e. measures that aim at promoting social cohesion by operating within distressed social situations, with a direct involvement of civil society, and integrating housing and social policies. The primary goal of this project is to apply the analysis of commons (which to date has only been applied to goods related to nature and the environment) to the area of housing issues. 

Recuperating enterprises, reviving community: The conversion of investor-owned businesses into worker-run firms

Marcelo Vieta, PhD
Post-doctoral reasearcher in Euricse


Whether from employee taking over firms in crisis, worker buy-outs, or other paths to workers’ control, recent years have witnessed a re-emergence of business succession plans in diverse regions of the world that see workers in control of businesses once owned by investors. In our current times of economic and social crises, worker-recuperated enterprises directly address chronic under- and unemployment, save a community’s productive capacities, bring control back to the hands of workers, embody practices of collective entrepreneurship and social innovation, and promote community initiatives for local development and renewal.

The growth of cooperative banks in Italy: ownership structure, managerial evolution, and lending performance

Ivana Catturani, Italia.
PhD candidate at CIFREM, University of Trento (Italy)

The focus of this research is on Italian Credit Cooperative Banks (CCBs). These banks have performed particularly well in terms of lending and have demonstrated an increase in the number of both members and branches, especially after the liberalisation of 1992. For some authors, the reason relates to the consolidation process of large banks that caused a movement of clients to small banks. Evidence shows that the attractiveness of cooperative banks does not stop with the end of the consolidation process. Furthermore, the recent financial crisis has shown how cooperative banks continue to enlarge their lending to small and medium firms. The aim of this research is to pinpoint the various development paths that CCBs have followed during recent years with a view toward identifying the most successful ones. The dataset used for the quantitative analyses includes not only economic variables, but also proxies of social capital.

Consumption and institutional change: human capital development and climate-smart behaviour change

Jamilya Jeenbaeva, Kyrgyzstan.
PhD candidate at the International Doctoral school in Local development and global dynamics at the University of Trento. 


This research is about the development of human capital specific to climate-smart social entrepreneurship through investigating the cognitive understanding of overconsumption and consumerism, individual and organizational social preferences and motivations to reduce the ecological footprint.


The indigenous social enterprise: a possible vehicle of development for indigenous peoples in Central America

 Michela Giovannini, Italia
PhD candidate at the International Doctoral school in Local development and global dynamics at the University of Trento 

This research project aims to analyze the role of organizations belonging to the solidarity economy in sustaining the socioeconomic development of indigenous peoples in Central America.  More specifically, the analysis will focus  on the organizational structure covered  by the indigenous social enterprise, seeking to highlight its suitability for the type  of development that indigenous peoples  can pursue. Indeed its participatory governance model and its embeddedness  in the community seem to enhance the participation of indigenous people at the  community level and to support cultural  and identity factors. 

Agricultural cooperatives and rural development in Bosnia and Hercegovina

Samira Nuhanovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina
PhD candidate at the International Doctoral school in Local development and global dynamics at the University of Trento.

This research focuses on institutional design and productivity levels of agricultural cooperatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how these depend on inherited and rigid (socialism inspired) or newly created and adaptive organizational structures of cooperatives. Having in mind the importance of certain cooperative principles, this research aims to investigate the ways in which organizational structures, and consequently productive and marketing activities of agricultural cooperatives, can be diversified in order for them to have a positive impact on rural development in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the reduction of rural poverty.


The performance of social enterprises using industry analysis framework

 Richard Muko Ochanda, Kenia.

PhD candidate at the International Doctoral school in Local development and global dynamics at the University of Trento.
Being comparative in nature, the dissertation intends to study social enterprises in both developed and developing countries using panel data on social cooperatives from the Lombardy Region in Italy spanning from 2007 to 2009 and cross-sectional data from the local government on Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Riruta Location of Nairobi in Kenya. While the Italian data will be used to study the growth and development of social enterprises in Italy, the Kenyan data will be used to study the contribution of the third sector in promoting economic development and ultimately improving people’s lives. The analysis of both data sets will later contribute to the development of a theoretical framework explaining economic development in the third sector.

Cooperative bank strategies for social-economic problem solving: supporting social enterprise

Jacopo Sforzi, Italia.
Post-doc researcher in Euricse (in 2010)

Jacopo Sforzi joined a research project that was started by Euricse together with the University of Almeria (Spain) and the International Institute of Social Studies (the Netherlands). The project seeks to explore the strategies utilized by credit cooperatives as they try to help and support social enterprises. The objective is to analyze and understand the financial needs of social enterprises and the role that cooperative banks have in satisfying them, thereby supporting social enterprises as they tackle social issues at the local level. The research activity unfolds in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands through case studies conducted at the regional level, so as to understand the very nature of social enterprises ‘from the grassroots’ and attempt to understand the impact of the financial institutions’ support on local communities.

Institutional equilibrium and sustainable development of economic organizations in Bulgaria’s agrarian sector

Darina Zaimova, Bulgaria.
Post-doc researcher in Euricse (in 2010-2011)

The project aim was to investigate institutional equilibrium as an important determinant of institutional capital and a key condition for sustainability of government policy, institutional arrangements and performance of economic organizations.

In order to achieve the project’s purpose, the research compared government policy, institutional arrangements and the performance of the economic organizations (producers’ groups, cooperatives) in the agriculture and the food industry in Bulgaria (particularly South Eastern and Central planning regions) and in Italy.


Essays on Microfinance, Cooperatives and their Impact on Smallholders’ Agricultural Technology Use and Efficiency in Ethiopia

Gashaw Tadesse Abate, Etiopia.
PhD candidate at the International Doctoral school in Local development and global dynamics at the University of Trento.

The rural and agricultural development policies in Ethiopia promote cooperative solutions as a countervailing mechanism to overcome market failure. Although cooperatives have encountered frequent changes to their legal structure due to changes in economic ideology at the national level, they now account for roughly 84% of the agricultural input and 15% of the agricultural output markets. Indeed, cooperatives are now considered institutions that can help integrate small-scale farmers to domestic, regional, and global markets and thereby reduce rural poverty.
Cooperatives working in particular on financial services, marketing and agriculture are seen as vehicles for the institutional provision of financing and services to promote rural development.
Cooperatives in rural areas are therefore considered to be useful in productivity growth, income generation and poverty reduction. This research is intended to provide evidence of the contribution of cooperatives to rural development in the Ethiopian context, particularly in the rural communities of West Shoa Zone, Oromia Regional State.