Sociology, University of Bologna, Italy

Fellowship : January to March 2014

Discipline(s) : Sociology

Area(s) of expertise : Sociology of work

Pays : Italie

Research project: “Work and safety, in times of the metamorphosis of democratic capitalism: fields of tensions in the informational bases of justice”

The research subject is that of or, more precisely, that of the relationship between those dimensions (safety, wellbeing) and the informational bases of judgment. What does it currently mean ‘to be safe’ in the workplace? What informational bases are taken into account in this definition? What tensions characterize the social fields in which the definition is produced and the related practices are enacted? In this perspective, the research project explores two different fields of inquiry: on the one hand, there is the specific case of inquiry, concerning the social process of interpretation of the relationship between work and safety, based on i) a ‘history of the present’ and ii) an empirical research (through interviews and documentation analysis), both concerning the Italian context (on a national and regional basis); on the other hand, this specific case of research is investigated in order to deepen more general issues: the configuration of the informational basis of judgment; the relationship between work and wellbeing, according to a capability approach framework (in which informational bases and a public debate on them play a crucial role); the way the contemporary metamorphosis of democratic capitalism is affecting that relationship.


Vando Borghi (1965; PhD 1996) is Associate Professor and teaches Sociology of development and Labour policies at the University of Bologna (Italy). His main research areas are:

- the transformations of labour, with particular attention to the quality of work issues, and to the relationships between transformations of work, vulnerability and institutions;

- active policies and changes affecting the relationship between labour and the welfare state; researches specifically concern the concept of activation, and the relationship between the individualisation process and policies;

- the changing relationship between the public and private realms in contemporary welfare capitalism, with particular attention to the changing meaning of publicness in current practices of governance.

These specifi c research interests are interwoven with broader social theoretical interests, concerning developments in the individualization process, the perspective opened by the concept of capacity (and of “capacity to aspire”), the related concept of the “informational basis of judgment” (its relevance in the fi eld of labour issues, among others) and the relationship between sociology and critique in the context of the new spirit of capitalism.

Major Publications

BORGHI, Vando and Mezzadra, S. In the multiple shadows of modernity. Strategies of critique of contemporary capitalism. Saarbrücken : Lambert Academic Publishing. 2011, 80 p.


BORGHI, Vando. One-way Europe? Institutional guidelines, emerging regimes of justification and paradoxical turns in European welfare capitalism. European Journal of Social Theory, 2011, 14(3), p. 321–341.


BORGHI, Vando and Meschiari, C. Public sphere in times of governance: public action, disputed building and local cultural system in a northern city of Italy. In Sonda, G. Coletta, C., Gabbi, F. (ed.), Urban plots, organising cities. Ashgate : Aldershot, 2010, p.85-102.


BORGHI, Vando. Do we know where are we going? Active policies and individualisation in the Italian context. In van Berkel R. and Valkenburg B., (ed.). Making it personal. Individualising activation services in EU. Bristol : The Policy Press, 2007, p. 163-192.


BORGHI, Vando. Capital social, institutions et agir public. In Bervort, A. and Lallement, M. (ed.). Le capital social: performances, équité, réciprocité. Paris : La Découverte/M.A.U.S.S., 2006, p. 279-292.