2 research positions, University of Potsdam (Germany), sub-project of research group on international public administration

The University of Potsdam (Germany), Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, invites applications for two positions:

Academic Staff Members (Reference number: 113/2014)

Successful candidates will work for 26 hours per week and should be able to begin work on 1 June 2014. Both positions end on 31 May 2017. Remuneration is based on German pay grade 13 “TV-Länder”.

The positions are associated with the larger Research Group “International Public Administrations. The Emergence and Development of Administrative Patterns and their Effects on International Policy-Making”, which is funded by the DFG and coordinated by Professor Christoph Knill (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich). Successful candidates will contribute to the project “Who has a say? Extent, Variation and Determinants of Expert Authority of International Public Administrations”. The project analyzes to what extent and under what conditions international public administrations (secretariats of intergovernmental organizations) enjoy expert authority and how their expert authority varies and why. It focuses on the secretariats of the World Bank, FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, OECD, OCHA, OHCHR and EU-ECHO and the issue area „Human Security“. Specific tasks include

Contributing to conceiving, preparing and implementing a survey among government officials in a stratified sample of 80 countries by means of computer-assisted telephone interviewing
Processing, cleaning and analyzing survey data by means of appropriate statistical procedures
Collecting data by means of a) literature and document analysis and b) semi-standardized interviews with staff in international public administrations and experts
Processing and coding of collected data
Contributing to analysis of research results and publications
Applications should either be emailed to Marion Dräger (draegerm@uni-potsdam.de) or by sent by post to Professor Andrea Liese, Chair of International Organizations and Public Policy, August-Bebel-Straße 89, 14482 Potsdam. Deadline: 07.04.2014.

More information

Complete Job Advertisement (includes detailed information on essential and desirable qualifications as well as on required application documents)

http://www.uni-potsdam.de/fileadmin/projects/intorg/assets/ipa-job-advertisement-final.pdf
Summary of Research Project

http://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/intorg/research/international-bureaucracies.html

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CfP BETWEEN RESILIENCE AND RESISTANCE: GRASSROOTS (ECONOMIC) ACTIVISM IN TIMES OF CRISIS

Partecipazione e conflitto 

Call for paper for a special issue on:

BETWEEN RESILIENCE AND RESISTANCE: GRASSROOTS (ECONOMIC) ACTIVISM IN TIMES OF CRISIS

Guest Editors:

Giacomo D’Alisa, Institute of Science and Environmental Technologies (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Francesca Forno, University of Bergamo

Simon Maurano, University of Bergamo

 

Abstract:

Looking at the history of social movements, we may identify periods during which these actors have prevalently opposed the dominant power structure directly by using protest actions (i.e. conflicting and resisting the dominant socio-economic structure), and periods in which movements have prevalently proposed and sustained forms of self-help and self-production – mutualism, economic cooperativism – i.e. developing their resilience through commoning.

Like in the past, the mobilizing capacity of social movements to this day is conditioned by the environment within which these actors operate. The degree of openness/closedness of political, economic and cultural opportunities not only affects the action strategies adopted by these collective actors, but also their organizational structure.

In the current economic crisis, social movements simultaneously face two types of challenge: firstly, they are confronting institutions which are less able (or willing) to mediate new demands for social justice and equity from various sectors of society in the wake of the successful neo-liberal attack on the social welfare system and the consequent retreat of the state; secondly, giving the highly individualized structure of contemporary society, they also experiencing difficulties in building strong and lasting bonds of solidarity and cooperation among people, bonds which constitute a fundamental resource for collective action.

It is in this context that potentially huge protest waves are in fact often short-lived, and it is here that we see the rise and consolidation of new mutualistic and cooperative experiences within which (like in the past) new ties for collective action are created. Apart from spectacular events given special attention by the media, over recent decades it has in fact been at the local level in particular that social movements have continued to expand, promoting community-led initiatives for social and economic sustainability, which in some cases have played a decisive role in the fight against poverty and in defending human and environmental rights.

Such organizations include those promoting solidarity-based exchanges and networks, barter groups, new consumer-producer cooperatives, time banks, microfinance, local savings groups, ethical banks, alternative social currency, citizens’ self-help groups, pro-sumption practices, solidarity purchasing groups, social enterprises, fair trade, and others communing practices.

Grassroots economic activism sprang up during the economic crisis in Argentina and other Latin American regions. Similar initiatives also developed in Europe before and after the 2008 crisis – e.g. the flourishing of local currencies and barter networks in Greece and Spain; the Plataforma contra los Desahaucios and the citizens’ assemblies in neighbourhoods which help residents with foreclosure/housing issues in Spain; the alternative cashless production and exchange systems such as the Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) in the UK; the GAS (Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale) groups in Italy; the French AMAPs (Associations pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne) and the CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) movement which started in Europe and spread to the U.S.; the so-called Transition Town Movement, as well as more radical groups promoting degrowth and nowutopias. All these networks and practices attest to a new kind of politics through the creation of bottom-up participatory initiatives promoting a ‘solidarity economy’, as seen in countries confronting crises in the past.

While indicative of citizens’ capacity to self-organize in order to tolerate, absorb, cope with and adjust to the environmental and social threats posed by neoliberal policies in order to cover basic and urgent needs regarding food, shelter, health, childcare and education, these informal networks are also attempting to change an economic system increasingly perceived as unfair by building an alternative system within it based on greater mutual solidarity between individuals and the environment. That means that unlike more ‘classic’ social movements, such informal networks are much more involved in constructive and thoroughly organized forms of dissent towards contemporary capitalism and its transnational organization by promoting and diffusing innovative economic practices throughout society.

Despite the rapid growth of grassroots economic activism, there is still currently very little information available. The purpose of this special issue is to gather empirical studies that might shed light on new forms of self-organization that address both the intensification of economic problems and the difficulties of rebuilding social bonds and solidarity within society, emphasizing solidarity as a means by which to re-embed the economic system within social relations, starting from a local level. We are particularly interested in collecting contributions that address the organizational aspects, the individual stories and biographical consequences of this form of activism, as well as the role of the political representation of these organizations and their ability to influence decision-making processes. Comparative studies will be particularly appreciated, but theoretical considerations and in-depth cases studies are also welcomed.

Submission procedureand dead-lines:

Articles, written in English, will be submitted to a peer review process according to the following schedule:

- Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 30 April 2014

- Selection of long abstracts: 31 May 2014

- Submission of articles: 31 October 2014

- Provision of peer review feedback: 31 January 2015

- Submission of revised drafts: 31 March 2015

Publication of the issue: 15 July 2015

Articles should be no longer than 10,000 words, including notes and references. A maximum of 10 articles will be published.

Please refer to the editorial guidelines available at http://siba-ese.unisalento.it/index.php/paco/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

Please address any queries to: francesca.forno@unibg.it

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CfP POLITICAL PARTIES: THEORETICAL APPROACHES, COMPARISONS AND CASE STUDIES

Partecipazione e Conflitto

Call for papers for a special issue on:

POLITICAL PARTIES: THEORETICAL APPROACHES, COMPARISONS AND CASE STUDIES

Guest Editors:

Francesco Raniolo, Università della Calabria, francesco.raniolo@unical.it

Marco Damiani, Università di Perugia, marco.damiani@katamail.com

Lorenzo Viviani, Università di Pisa, lorenzo.viviani@unipi.it

 

The crisis of political parties in contemporary societies and democracies is composed of different points of views, that require a joint effort for social and political science to try to understand the changing relationship between citizens and parties. Compared to the political mass models, which are typical of the second half of the twentieth century, parties undergo deep processes of transformation. The beginning of a critical season for the traditional forms of political organization goes back to those years; and this critical season can be configured as ideological, organizational and institutional. The main indicators of the crisis are, mainly, due to: i) an increase of the distance between the democratic institutions and the citizens-voters, ii) a decrease of the number of activists and members of political parties, iii) a constant decrease of the political and electoral participation at all levels of government. On the other hand, between the twentieth and twenty-first century, the political parties has strengthened the structure of their political organization and the weight of their parliamentary activities within the institutions, becoming more and more «state-centered parties», characterized by the progressive reduction of the forms of territorial settlement and the growth of the importance of central organisms and the representatives of the assemblies, especially those elected in national parliaments. This results in significant changes of the organizational model and their political functions. In the face of these changes, will the parties still remain a key player for the functioning of contemporary democracy?

The branch of research the call deals with the analysis on how the parties, which the public appointment made strong but are frail in credit, relate with a “re-opened” civil society, that is virtually the right place where social links can grow again and the political requests can find a voice. The aim of this special issue is to consider the planning, ideological, strategic changes of the parties and their crisis as well as to rebuild their ability in giving life to a new networking role. The ideological block and the colonization strategies towards institution and society, and the “linking” strategies towards the varied realities of the public and political domain go alongside. For these parties, the selection of the political class takes place via a reciprocal contamination among the various members of the network, where the personalization of politics and leadership becomes a relevant aspect in planning the consent and developing the political identities. It is not, therefore, a simple confrontation between the epitaph and the revival of the parties. The fact concerns, once more and as it has always been in the history of political parties, the link with the social changing, looking to the behavior of a political class, which has the task of understanding and, at the same time, addressing this change itself. It is a many-sided link, grounding a net able to create a new link between institution and society, following those patterns of identity and organization that can express new contents, importance and trust towards the mover of the political representation.

In this regard, we welcome in particular:

– political parties

– electoral studies

– leadership, personalization and presidentialisation of politics

– organizational models and membership

– internal democracy, primaries

– political communication and electoral campaigns

– political parties, lobbies, other political organizations

– parties, institutions and policies

– political parties and foreign policy

– populism and challenges to democracy

– political parties in non-democratic regimes

– political system and case studies

Peer Review Policy: Partecipazione e Conflitto adheres to a standard double-blind peer review process. Each article submitted will be evaluated by Editors and Editorial Board. If congruent with the object of the call for papers, it will be reviewed by at least two anonymous scholars.

 

 

Submission procedure:

 

Articles, written in English, will be submitted to a peer review process according to the following schedule:

- Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 30 May 2014

- Selection of long abstracts: 15 June 2014

- Submission of articles: 15 September 2014

- Provision of peer review feedback: 15 November 2014

- Submission of revised papers: 30 December 2014

Publication of the issue: 15 March 2015

Articles should be no longer than 10,000 words, including notes and references. A maximum of 10 articles will be published.

Please refer to the editorial guidelines available at http://siba-ese.unisalento.it/index.php/paco/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

Please address any queries to one of the three guest Editors.

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CfP: Contentious Politics in Southern Europe at Times of Economic Crisis: Patterns, Causes and Consequences

Panel organized at the ECPR General Conference 2014, Standing group on Southern European Politics

Panel Chair: Giorgos Charalambous (PRIO Cyprus Centre and University of Cyprus).

If you are interested in proposing a Paper to this Panel, please contact Giorgios Charalambous. Deadline for Panel submissions (which include Papers) is 15 February.

Abstract

Social contention in the form of strikes, protests, riots and violent acts tends to be an important characteristic of countries in crisis. Southern European countries – Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – are currently experiencing a dramatic economic slump and fully fledged austerity measures. Accordingly, the standard of living of large parts of southern European populaces has suffered dramatically and political alignments have been affected. Nevertheless, the proliferating dynamics of social contention that accompany these experiences remain understudied. The phenomenon of citizens and social groups seeking alternative, confrontational and even illegal channels of influence or resistance by attempting to challenge the legitimacy of political institutions and actors may not be new, but it has not been sufficiently inrorporated by scholars into the larger study of crisis environments. How economic malaise unfolds into societal behaviour cannot be fully appreciated without assessing the patterns and causes of social contention. Similarly, the consequences of contentious acts for the modalities of political competition and public governance can offer comparative insights into the cultures of policy making at times of economic crisis.

Why in certain southern European countries social contention has increased to unprecedented heights while in others social upset has not translated into contentious acts? Why some forms of protest flourish over others? What is the role of the internet and the media in initiating, spreading or obstructing contentious acts? To what extent, if at all, has social contention exercised influence on the programmatic positions offered by parties, or the policies implemented by governments, either at the national or sub-national level? The panel invites empirical papers that aim at answering the above and other related questions in an attempt to interrogate further the particularities of the countries of southern Europe and the sociopolitical manifestations of the ongoing economic crisis.

 

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European Unions’ Relational Politics Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: The Union – Labour INGO Link in Times of Change and Crisis.

Call for papers

European Unions’ Relational Politics Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: The Union – Labour INGO Link in Times of Change and Crisis.

Panel Sponsor: The Politics & Labour Network (Italy) Panel Chair: Antonina Gentile, Università degli Studi di Milano Panel Discussant: Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick, University of London

The need for intra- European labour solidarity is palpable in today’s Europe. With the end of the Cold War, the widening and deepening of the EU, the recent global economic crisis, and the politics of Austerity in southern Europe, calls for unions’ cross-border coordination and mobilization – both political and industrial – have progressively increased. In theory, these phenomena have been seen as intensifying the incentive for labour to organize cross-border campaigns and to access centres of European power. And they have been seen as opportunities to develop a realm of European labour and social rights; to narrow the developmental divide between Europe’s internal regions; to strengthen the European Parliament; and to promote a politics of growth against the EU’s politics of Austerity. In practice, however, INGO-led attempts to organise cross-border political and industrial mobilization have been uneven across time, space, issues and sectors. Their attempts have revealed: conflicts of interest between regional cores and peripheries of labour; an uneven representation of national unions in labour INGOs; contradictory national and EU legal institutions and legal strategies; and widely differing repertoires of labour. For scholars of labour there is ample ground for empirical research and for re-theorizing labour internationalism. During the past decade, EU institutions posed new threats to existing labour rights, as evidenced by a series of European Commission directives and rulings by the European Court of Justice. These prompted labour INGOs to construct cross-border campaigns and cross-national legal strategies – sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Central to the process of coordinating and mobilizing unions of Europe were international and European labour INGOs, e.g., the European Trade Union Confederation and the International Transport Workers Federation. But how prepared and resourced for the task were these? What baggage did labour INGOs carry from the half-century long Cold War and to what extent was that baggage dropped? How universally shared were their campaign goals and frames and, indeed, how were those goals and frames designed and by whom? How strongly represented and integrated into labour INGOs were national affiliates and regional clusters of affiliates? What were the limits of INGOs’ political/industrial/legal strategies? Even more recently, workers and unions in southern Europe have felt the full force of national and European Austerity measures. Most southern European union movements have mobilized in record numbers, frequently joining forces with other domestic social movements. Conspicuous for its absence during these recent protest events and industrial actions, however, was an additional up-scaling of southern European unions’ campaigns to the regional or EU level. There was little coordination across southern European states, and only symbolic INGO campaigning for European-wide actions in solidarity with southern European workers and unions. What factors – whether internal or external to labour INGOs, internal or external to national unions, internal or external to regions of Europe, internal or external to EU institutions, or, indeed, in the dynamics between any of these – have restricted intra-European labour solidarity with southern European unions and workers? Why the drop in INGO-led campaigning by comparison to the 1990s and 2000s? This panel seeks to interrogate European labour internationalism today and yesterday in the hope of theorizing it for tomorrow. To broach these questions, the Politics and Labour Network (Italy) welcomes a range of methods and perspectives: case studies, comparative studies, historical studies, legal studies, institutional analysis and contentious politics approaches, among the many. It is hoped that the panel’s contributions will lay the basis for a publication.

NEW DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: 9 FEBRUARY 2014

Please send abstracts to the Politics and Labour Network (Italy) Coordinator: antonina.gentile@unimi.it

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Research Sessions 2014, University of Essex, 8 – 11 July 2014

The political sociology standing group encourages submissions for the 2014 ECPR Research sessions.

The Research Sessions offers established collaborative groups the opportunity to step away from their hectic work schedules and focus on commencing, or completing their research in an environment suitable for concentrated discussion
Helping your project succeed 
Held in superb facilities and organised to make sure you have peace and quiet to fulfil your aim — each Session will have access to AV facilities, tea and coffee breaks, and be completely free of interruptions. Your accommodation and food will be organised by the ECPR to make sure your experience as stress-free as possible. Being a part of the Research Sessions, groups receive additional support and recognition that the standard of work meets the expectations of the ECPR. In addition, groups have the added opportunity of publishing with the ECPR Press.
If your group would like to attend the Research Sessions, please submit a proposal which will be reviewed by the ECPR Academic Convenors.
 
How do I submit a proposal?
 
The proposal, which should be no longer than 3000 words, should specify the research question and locate it within the relevant scientific debate and theories. It should include:
  • the guiding hypothesis;
  • the main ‘message’ or the major and innovative contribution that the research group wants to make;
  • methodology;
  • data;
  • research steps;
  • milestones;
  • a rough publication plan;
  • a list of members.

The deadline is 7 February 2014. For more information on criteria for groups and proposals please see our website. To submit your proposal, click here. For any further questions please contact Jenna Barnard at jbarnard@essex.ac.uk.

Registration fees
 
Fees for the 2014 Research Sessions will be €75, which includes accommodation, food and facilities for each person attending.
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POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY SECTION FOR GLASGOW GENERAL CONFERENCE 2014

THE EURO CRISIS: NEW SOCIO-POLITICAL DIVISIONS, MOBILITY AND MOBILIZATION    

The section chair and co-chair are Hans-Joerg Trenz, Director of the Centre for Modern European Studies, University of Copenhagen, and Goffredo Adinolfi, Center for Research and Studies in Sociology, Lisbon University Institute.  The Section convenors are Niilo Kauppi , Research Director – CNRS, University of Strasbourg, and David Swartz, Department of Sociology, Boston University.

The current Euro crisis is receiving considerable attention – as it should – among EU scholars.  Much of that attention, however, focuses on the origins and nature of this crisis, and its consequences for  reshaping financial and political institutions.  Yet the long term socio-political costs and consequences of crisis are becoming more apparent.  From a political sociology perspective it is now time to appraise these long term developments that affect the political constellation of Europe, its structured diversity of political cultures, political instability, social unrest and new inequalities. In the fifth year of crisis we therefore invite contributions that assess the social and political consequences for future European  integration or disintegration and outline the political and normative challenges ahead. Those consequences can be seen in cross-border migrations and mobilizations, diversity and multicultural considerations, social exclusion and stratification, loss of confidence (growing political skepticism) in mainstream institutions (parties, trade unions, parliaments) , and resurgent cultural and political localisms that challenge the principles underpinning representative democracy.

Crisis induced social constraints and conflicts test the capacity of the political system (both nation state and EU) to respond to the needs and demands of society.  Contemporary political sociology of Europe is concerned with the contestation of legitimacy across societies and political systems. From a political sociology perspective, the ‘European crisis’ has an extraordinarily high potential for generating deep and ongoing conflicts about European integration within and across national domestic politics. It has fueled debate over the authority of the state and of transnational regimes of governance.  It has pit northern countries against southern ones, citizens against elites.  It has also fundamentally put into question the efficiency and morality of the European free market and its capacity to guarantee welfare, sustainable growth, and equal distribution of goods and benefits. These contestations are carried by public intellectuals, political parties and a growing number of protest movements in different national arenas leading to various allegiances and frictions. Political conflicts are also channeled through different media outlets, amplifying and interconnecting perceptions of interests, identity and solidarity.

This section will organize 6-8 panels around these topics.  We invite  contributions that consider various kinds of social consequences and /or investigate the restructuring of political order and legitimacy in the relationship between  member states and the EU.

Panel 1: Governance beyond the nation-state: What are the prospects and limits for the allocation of authority and decision-making capacities beyond the nation-state?

Panel 2: Conflict and new cleavages: how are experiences of social deprivation translated into political conflict and cleavages? How does the (re)politicization of inequalities and the return of redistributive conflicts correlate with a ‘new politics of identity’, nationalism, regionalism and expressions of Euroscepticism?

Panel 3: Democracy, rights and legitimacy: What are the roots of the current lack of legitimacy of Europe? How can the requirements of democratic participation and rights in today’s situation of globalized politics be met? Can the idea of popular sovereignty be valid in a transnational context of governance? What type of democratic responses do we observe in reaction to the crisis of welfare and governance?

Panel 4: Intra EU-migration: a reappraisal of EU citizenship? How has the Euro crisis exposed the asymmetries of European citizenship and the differences that divide the peoples of Europe?  How can mobile citizens make use of EU citizenship rights as a strategy of resilience against crisis induced negative consequences?

Panel 5:  New media and new patterns of mobilization: how are new (digital) media used as a resource of support, resistance and/or civic engagement of particular groups? How can we account of the new discursive and mediating practices of political legitimation that interrelate political elites with the citizens?

Panel 6:  Political skepticism (loss of trust) in European institutions: How has crisis affected public attitudes and perceptions of legitimacy and identity in a transnational, comparative perspective?  How is Euroscepticism manifested in national and 2014 European Parliament elections?

http://ecpr.eu/events/eventdetails.aspx?EventID=14

 

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New publication “Voices of Globalization”

Barbara Wejnert (Ed.), Voices of Globalization, Emerald Group Publishing, 2013

Vol. 21 of the Research in Political Sociology series

Synopsis:

This volume addresses issues of modern globalized development posing a question whether it symbolizes progress or regress for world’s societies.  Papers focus on economic and political issues experienced by countries at this time of rapid diffusion of democracy and of the global market economy. A range of pertinent political issues are discussed, such as international migration, environmental protection and green energy, human rights, tolerance and equality, and economic justice. The concluding chapter provides a summary of presented topics in form of a discussion forum on outcomes of global development.

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Conference “Civic political engagement and public spheres in the new digital era”

CEVIPOF Sciences-Po Paris, SciencesCom – Audencia School of Management and Bournemouth University organize a conference:

“Civic political engagement and public spheres in the new digital era”

Paris, June 24-27, 2014

The conference will concentrate on the following themes :

Traditional and non-traditional forms of civic political engagement
Civic political engagement – still preaching to the converted
Cognition and behavior in online environment
Public spheres in the digital era

Deadlines:
Extended abstracts 15 January 2014 (please use the provided format)
Notification of acceptance 10 February 2014

All information and call for extended abstracts can be found at http://www.cpe2014.com/

 

 

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New journal: European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

This new journal is of great interest to our community. ‘New from the European Sociological Association, the EJCPS seeks to explore the relationship between culture and politics through a sound sociological lens. It welcomes both considerations of cultural phenomena in relation to political context, work that situates political phenomena within a cultural framework, and all points between these poles’.

You can find a call for papers here

Here is the EJCPS’s aim and scope from the journal’s website:

The European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology is a peer-reviewed journal published under the auspices of the European Sociological Association.

The study of culture is the fastest growing area in both European and North American sociology. After years of mild neglect, political sociology is also re-establishing itself as a central plank of the discipline. The European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology aims to be a forum not so much for these fields of study considered separately, as for any work seeking to explore the relationship between culture and politics through a sound sociological lens. It welcomes, thus, both considerations of cultural phenomena in relation to political context, work that situates political phenomena within a cultural framework, and all points between these poles. In so doing it seeks both to address matters of immediate concern and to recover the broad sociological sensibility that was once a staple of the classical tradition.

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