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Current and Recent Research Projects

VHI researchers are engaged in a range of different research projects across various fields, incorporating or alongside their own personal research. Brief details of currently active and recent research projects are available below, with links to each projects' main page.

Refining Trust: Palestine in Comparative Perspective

Professor Ralf Wüstenberg

This project, co-sponsored by the DAAD/Cambridge Hub and the Europa-University Flensburg, and brings together scholars and practitioners with expertise in different country-specific cases of political reconciliation post -1989 (with a particular focus on the German reunification, but also including the South African transition and the case of Ireland) to discuss key questions on both the conditions for political reconciliation and its perspectives for Palestine.

Methodological, Bioethical and Societal Impasses of Early Detection of Cancer

Dr Gianmarco Contino

The Early Detection Program based at the CRUK/Cambridge Cancer Centre, University of Cambridge, and the Von Hügel Institute (VHI) are planning an interdisciplinary workshop to explore methodological, bioethical and societal Impasses of early detection of cancer.


Navigating Impasses in Bioethics: End of Life, Disability, and Mental Illness

Dr Lidia Ripamonti, Dr Thana de Campos

This project aims to discuss issues arising from current legislation on medically assisted suicide for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, with a specific focus on mental health. Papers will be presented and discussed at an interdisciplinary workshop which will bring together divergent, often conflicting, perspectives (legal, medical, ethical, anthropological, philosophical, and theological) to re-think some of the key concepts involved in this discussion, such as quality of life, dignified death, autonomy/dependency, mental capacity, unbearable suffering, cultural and social attitudes toward disability.

Migration, Religion and Catholic Social Thought 

Dr Sara Silvestri, Dr Elif Çetin

This project, funded by the Plater Trust and started in the summer 2015, addresses the following questions: What is the Catholic contribution in the field of migration in the UK? In what ways is Catholic social thought affecting /shaping/ inspiring the work of those involved in services provision for migrants/asylum seekers and in decision making about asylum and migration?

Development as Common Good

Dr Flavio Comim

Contemporary development theories emphasise the importance of increasing 'individual freedoms' without giving enough emphasis to what substantively means to have a good life. These theories, inspired by economics and liberal political philosophy, ignore the importance of common good and human values in shaping social policy and development strategies. The project, carried out by Dr Flavio Comim, explores the limitations of current development discourses and puts forward a framework for thinking of common good as a social objective.



An interdisciplinary research hub inspired by Catholic thought and culture, focussed on contemporary global realities, and dedicated to encounter, dialogue, and transformation