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Nina Holm Vohnsen


Nina Holm Vohnsen
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My current research:

I am broadly interested in 'policy-driven development' - i.e. the human attempt to steer development in a particular direction by use of policy such as legislation, action plans, project designs, and investment strategies. What currently interests me the most is all the undocumented effects such work has even if the main goal is never realised or the policy never adopted. Questions that interest me are such as: What are the effects of decision never made? I pursue these intesrests in the following three projects:

1) One project funded by AUFF explores the idea of Basic Income and the way governments around the world try to rethink the relationship between nation states and their citizens through revised benefit schemes and cash transferrals. Concretely, I am following the planning of a proposed Basic Income pilot in Fife, Scotland (2017 - ). 

2) In parallel, I am running a project funded by VELUX (2019-2022), which examines and portrays the daily amount of work that unemployed people living on a low income have to do just to get by. The hypothesis the project explores is whether living in conditions of poverty in fact constitutes a type of work in its own right, and a type of work so exhausting as to prevent people from actually improving their situations and benefiting from current Danish welfare schemes. The aim of the project is to diagnose the concrete ways in which the most well-meant and well-planned policies sometimes end up draining the people they are meant to assist.

3) In the little time I have left over I have my 'desk drawer' project on utopia (2018 - ) This project is the one that truely excites me. The research is partly about Mars and people who want to colonize it and partly about people who want their own island or nation here on Earth. Again my interest is how these dreams and ambitions and how that huge, empty (or not?) globe out there is space are moving money, pushing inventions, creating alliances, shifting moral position down here on Earth. Recently I got a chance to think about this in a podcast (in Danish): https://www.weekendavisen.dk/2020-8/24sporgsmal/giv-os-vilde-utopier


For students: 

I especially welcome students (for supervision) who are driven by curiosity. I welcome odd interests and strange field sites. I would love to supervise students with an interest in Basic Income, Latin America, Seasteading, the colonisation of Mars, gender relations, neotopias or alternative value production (permaculture, squatter societies, black labour, political communes etc.). 

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