ESA Research Network Social Movements in cooperation with ECPR Standing Group ‘Forms of Participation’ announce the ESA RN 25 Mid-Term Conference “Transnational Democracy: mobilization, organisation and communication” EUI, 20-21 January 2011

The second mid-term conference of the RN Social Movements will take place in Florence (It) at the European University Institute in January 2011. The workshop “Transnational Democracy: mobilization, organisation and communication” is jointly organised with the ECPR Standing Group on “Forms of Participation”, and aims at bringing together scholars with different disciplinary perspectives who are interested in the theme of democracy and organizational innovation in movements in transnational publics and pluralist societies.

The workshop addresses the transnational condition of participation in globalized societies and Europe’s multilevel polity to explore the cultural and political context for democracy and organization in social movements.

Theories of global democracy and political communication have addressed the potential of social movements to re-invent cultures of democracy and organization by creating transnational participatory publics and cross-border networks. New work on political sociology and protest shows the relevance of transnational citizen assemblies, public spaces and online forums as a promising field to explore democratic and organizational innovation created through collective action in pluralist polities and globalized societies. Contrasting low participation in electoral politics and political parties, comparative analysts of European integration note an increase in forms of transnational participation, reaching from interest groups over populist resistance and protests on issues such as social justice, climate change or privatization in the EU or at the global level. What is the democratic potential, and the access points to emerging transnational public spaces created in social movements, given structural and linguistic hurdles? How do social and political organizers build cultural strategies of translation, and which constraints do they face trying to communicate over ICT and/or organize joint collective action?

The workshop will bring together social movement scholars interested in democracy and cultures of participation with media scholars and political analysts of protest and comparative politics. When activists from different countries decide on joint protest on EU politics or frame their local events as part of global protest, they need very specific skills, resources and cultural practices to network with others or to reach a broader public. Transnational discourse settings also present challenging opportunities for institutional organizers of citizen assemblies or European policy-making to interact with protesters, NGOs and lobbyists. Workshop participants may explore how transnational protest activities and practices of communication transform traditional cultures of organizing, participating and decision-making in social movement groups or civil society institutions.

Paper givers may want to explore how the transnational context of action, or new media technologies and ICT environments transform traditional cultures of organizing, decision-making and protest in social movement groups and institutions.

We welcome papers with a focus on:

– challenges for democracy in globalized social movements (e.g. translation, communication)
– innovations in the organizing of (transnational) protest
– local networking, and (transnational) alternative media cultures
– citizen assemblies and online forums for public deliberation

Mehr Informationen im CfP (pdf)