Stage 1: Contextualisation: the theoretical, legal and cultural background
First, a comprehensive, country-specific legal and social policy analysis will be developed, considering laws, parliamentary debates, government manifestos and news reports on each topic covered in case-studies in Italy, Portugal and Spain. These documents will be examined using a thematic network analysis (Attride-Stirling, 2001).
This stage will be supplemented with thematic sociological readings of secondary sources (when available) that address the topics of each study in each country. In addition, statistical information at the national and EU levels regarding each case-study will be considered (e.g. Eurostat; Eurobarometer, etc.).
Stage 2: Fieldwork
In the second stage fieldwork will be carried out, consisting mostly of biographic interviews following the Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM) (Wengraf, 2007). This qualitative method enhances the researcher’s ability to capture the complexities of real life experiences, as well as the discursive resources allocated to describe them, and how these sift over time, parallel to socio-political change. The estimated number of qualitative interviews is 15 per study (5 in each country), totalling 30 per strand and 90 altogether. The participants will be located in the capital cities of Madrid, Lisbon and Rome, and be between 25 and 45 years old. Researchers will also carry out a small number of exploratory semi-structured interviews to significant gatekeepers, such as researchers, policymakers, NGO activists and legal experts in each country and/or at the EU level.
Stage 3: Analysis, dissemination and public impact
The third and final stage will consist of thematic data analysis and the writing up of the main results and implications for wider theoretical debates on intimate citizenship, care and choice. The data will be analysed in three stages: a) a preliminary country-based analysis; b) a crosscomparative case-study analysis; and c) an integrative analysis. Each study-specific report will form the basis for a strand-based report and, later, for the final integrative report which engages with the three strands and intersecting challenges as a whole. During Stage 3 summarising documents such as media statements and policy briefs will be prepared and shared amongst policymakers, journalists and the relevant political and social institutions in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as at the EU and Council of Europe level.