Sunday, August 10, 2008

CFP- Protest Movements and Rise of Transnational Civil Society, Univ. of Zurich, June 23-26, 2009

Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies

CFP- Protest Movements and Rise of Transnational Civil Society, June 23-26, '09

Posted by: Rebekka Weinel <>

Call for Papers / Travel Grants:

Shaping Europe in a Globalized World?

Protest Movements and the Rise of a Transnational Civil Society?

Conference at the University of Zurich, Department of German with the
support of the European Commission

Conveners: Roland Axtmann (Centre for the Study of Culture and
Politics, University of Swansea), Kathrin Fahlenbrach (University of
Halle), Martin Klimke (University of Heidelberg), Joachim Scharloth
(University of Zurich)

Location: Department of German, University of Zurich
Date: June 23-26, 2009

Recent research into the development and implications of transnational
modes of political organization has tended to concentrate on the
growth of institutions involved with international political and
economic governance. This has been counter-balanced by growing
research into international protest movements that appears to paint a
picture of an emerging transnational civil society; one that includes
formalized Non-Governmental Organisations such as OXFAM, Amnesty
International and international labour movements as well as the
seemingly more spontaneous movements associated with
anti-globalization and anti-capitalist activism. The study of
transnational social movements is, then, central to the development of
our understanding of the internationalization of politics as such and
in particular to attempts to conceptualize a global civil society.

However, such research is problematic and in need of expansion and
realignment in both the conceptual and empirical dimensions. There are
three central issues that need to be addressed:

Firstly, research into transnational social movements often
presupposes a series of normative claims regarding the desirability of
particular forms of democratic activity. It then relies on these norms
to both explain and justify research findings. But the movement from
centralized and state-led national politics to a global politics of
multiple actors in a multi-polar context precisely calls such norms
into question: they are a source of the conflictual dynamics of global
politics not its outcome and still less a governing explanatory
principle. Research needs to conceptualize the way in which an
irreducible tension between a demand for universal norms and the
reality of a global pluriverse is constitutive of the terrain
traversed by transnational movements.

Secondly, research into social movements tends overwhelmingly to
concentrate on movements of the left. This leads not only to the
minimizing of the attention paid to social movements of the right. It
also simply generalizes a particular dimension of political
differentiation while suppressing others. This may have been
sufficient for the study of the first wave of post-war transnational
movements in 1960s Europe. It is not sufficient for today. For
instance, an increasingly significant political phenomenon consists of
transnational nationalisms: movements organized for national
"liberation" that operate across borders, connected to and sustained
by networks of migrant co-nationals and other sympathizers. Movements
organized to oppose trade liberalization may be motivated by
nationalist and particularist sentiments as well as social democratic
nostalgia. Religious movements cannot easily be contained within a
left-right spectrum. Research into transnational social movements must
undertake empirical examination of the multiple dimensions along which
groups are dispersed and also to conceptualise this distribution.

Thirdly, to date research has concentrated on European-style social
movements and has identified similar variants in other regions. But
this might mean that religious movements such as Falun Gong in China
are not properly attended to.

The goal of this conference is to address these issues; to consolidate
present research and to begin developing new empirical findings and
new conceptual frameworks.

We especially encourage applications referring to the following topics:

* Globalization of Politics ­ Globalization of Protest?
* Transnationalism within Right Wing Protest Movements
* Filling the Gap: European Protest Movements as a Result of a Lack
of Democracy within the EU
* EU Polity and Europeanization of Protest
* Applying the Concepts of "Civil Society" and "Social Movements" in
Eastern Europe and non-European Countries ­ Potential and Limits
* Even Newer Social Movements ­ Creating new Public Spheres?
* Building Transnational Protest Identities ­ Languages, I, Images and Actions
* European Anti-Corporate Campaigns in a Globalized Economy
* Migration and Ethnicity as a Source of Protest
* Professionalizing Protest
* The Future of Political Participation: Social Movements, Lobbying
or Party Politics
* Taming Protest: The Rituals of Violence

Applications from postgraduate students, early stage researchers
(PhD-students), postdocs and young scholars from all disciplinary and
national backgrounds are strongly encouraged and form the main target
group for this event.

All travel and accommodation costs within reasonable boundaries will be
covered by the European Union.

Although the conference language will mainly be English, we also invite
proposals in French, Spanish, Dutch, German and Polish, if a short
summary (2 pages) in English is provided.

Deadline for Applications: August 15, 2008
(abstracts no longer than 500 words)

Selections will be made by: October 1, 2008

Please use online application at:

Further questions:

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