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Call for Applications: Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilization, Florence, 16-27 September 2013

The Summer School will take place at the European University Institute from the 16th to the 27th of September 2013. Participants will focus on how to analyze present and past forms of grassroots participation activated by social movement and civil society actors at the local, regional and transnational level. More in general, the Summer School aims at disseminating knowledge on how to investigate processes and mechanisms that sustain the active citizens‘ participation to and mobilization in the realm of politics.

Grassroots participation and radical democracy have been at the center of the public and political debate in 2011 and 2012, when a new wave of contention crossed the entire world: from the Arab countries to North America; from Latin America to European countries. The emergence of a new wave of contention requires scholars to reflect on the research strategies and methodologies that are employed to study grassroots participation and radical democracy.

Although there is a considerable amount of research done on how social movements and civil society actors mobilize, specialized literature on how to actually investigate this phenomena is rare, although increasingly necessary with the recent wave of contention that mobilized citizens in the Arab, European and American countries. The Summer School addresses this gap discussing how to apply the most common methods in the social sciences to investigate political participation and mobilization.

Applications should be submitted no later than April 15th 2013.

For more information about the application procedure, participation fees and academic programme, please visit the Summer School webpage and/or contact the Summer School organizing committee at pam.summerschool(at)


The Consortium on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos) is part of the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute. Focusing on social movements as part of broader contentious politics, it promotes theoretically-driven empirical analyses on forms, dimensions, causes and impacts of social movements, in established democracies as well as authoritarian regimes. Particular attention is given to social movements as promoters of democratization processes. Cosmos aims at raising funds for research projects on social movements. In the spirit of methodological pluralism, it welcomes qualitative and quantitative approaches to undertake empirical investigations. Cross-national comparative project are complemented by analyses of transnational phenomena. Building upon a cross-disciplinary tradition in social movement studies, Cosmos also aims at increased cooperation among the the fields of political science and sociology, as well as anthropology, history, psychology, philosophy, law, economics and area studies.In order to improve synergies and networking among researchers in social movement studies, Cosmos organizes conferences, colloquia, public lectures, seminar series and other public events that will bring together expertise from the EUI as well as from other universities. It welcomes research students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from any discipline interested in the Centre’s themes. It also aims at facilitating the communicating of research findings on the mentioned topics to the academia, the public sphere and policy makers.

The Consortium on Social Movement Studies, COSMOS, will be inaugurated with a speech by Sidney Tarrow. The inaugural speech will be about “Occupying America: Lessons for Social Movement Theory”. For more details see the EUI website.

Watch the livestream of the inauguration on April 30th, from 3 to 5 pm.

Titelbild: Performance von Pussy Riot auf dem Roten Platz (Foto: Pussy Riot Blog)

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