Doctoral projects


Doctoral project: 2016-2019


This project aims to study the construction processes of terminology on new kinship formations, in the triangular interaction between social practice, public perception and the law, which affects the legal regulation of kinship. The project will focus on multi-parenthood, given its prominence on the policy agenda worldwide. Multi-parenthood is the condition where more than two parents are linked with a same child biologically, socially, intentionally and/or legally at the same time, e.g. joint parental projects of LGBT persons or Three Person IVF. We do not have the words to address or refer to persons involved in multi-parenthood, which impedes it to develop in social practice, public perception and law. The project sets out to explore the gaps that now exist in the above-mentioned triangular interaction, in order to tackle the issue of what strategies the legislature could/should adopt to develop a truly accommodating legal framework. Overcoming the current dyadic and sexualised approach to parenthood in that context, will also enable developing new kinship studies in general. Through a law-in-context approach (‘civilology’), this project will draw on an interdisciplinary methodological framework. Legal research methods will be combined with regulatory theory and different social science methods for secondary and primary data collection and analysis. The project will be the first to systematically and interdisciplinary address kinship terminology from a perspective of new kinship studies and to propose a legislative strategy towards the recognition of multi-parenthood. The project is divided into six Work Packages, which feasibility is guaranteed because they are embedded in current projects of the promoters’ research group. WP1 encompasses a descriptive analysis of theories on kinship vocabulary and/in legal language and on new kinship formations, particularly multi-parenthood. WP2 will be spent on secondary data analysis and on the study of kinship vocabulary in social practices and public perception. WP3 aims at primary data collection and mining. WP4 will encompass a literature review on regulatory theory, particularly the performative effects of legal labelling. WP5 will provide a comparative law analysis of the possible strategies for the legal recognition of multi-parenthood. WP6 will allow integrating the results of WP1-5 and to critically analyse the triangular interplay between social practices, public perception, and legal recognition.




Principal investigator: Swennen Frederik

Co-principal investigator: Croce Mariano

Fellow: Cammu Nola

Research team(s)

Personal Rights and Property Rights