Tag Archives: public participation


“Representation, the People, and Political Leadership”

University of Minho, Braga – Portugal
14-15 January 2016   http://bragacolloquium.weebly.com

Keynote speaker
Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University)

Call for papers
The Political Theory Group of the University of Minho is delighted to announce the inaugural event of the Braga Colloquium in the History of Moral and Political Philosophy: an international annual conference to be held every year in January at the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal. The purpose of this new conference series is to promote the study of the tradition of political and moral philosophy and its legacy in shaping our institutions, culture and beliefs. In this important respect, the conference series will focus on how this tradition can contribute to tackling the challenges our societies are facing today. Every year the conference will focus on a specific theme, which will be chosen by taking in consideration the current political situation in Europe (and beyond).

In line with the spirit behind this new series of conferences, the first edition of the Braga Colloquium in the History of Moral and Political Philosophy will be dedicated to explore the ideas of “representation”, “the people”, and “political leadership”. Since Thomas Hobbes, we have come to understand that the idea of the ‘sovereign people’, and its expression by the state through the idea of representation, is a fiction that makes possible the collective exercise of power on the large scale of modern states. Modern thinkers such as Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, the Federalists, Burke, and Weber or, more recently, Pitkin, Habermas, Rawls, Arendt, or Pettit, have offered a rich panoply of ways of constructing such a fiction. But also in the ancient tradition of, say, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, or Marsilius of Padua, when the question of ‘representation’ was still not explicitly thematized, we can find suggestive insights to think about this topic. Importantly, these different fictional accounts of ‘the sovereign people’ yield different political outcomes, different forms of state, different forms of political participation, different relationships between the people and their political representatives, and so on. At the same time, each of these fictions are based on some critical assumptions regarding, for instance, the capacities needed to engage in politics and how they are distributed among the people, the source of political authority, the level of (in)commensurability between different worldviews, what it means to represent in political terms, and so on.

The deep crisis of representative institutions in Europe’s and the concomitant rise of new (or supposedly new) forms of populism have made it absolutely urgent to reassess how we articulate the relationship between our ideas of ‘representation’, ‘the people’, and ‘political leadership’, in particular taking into consideration which political outcomes our conceptions engender and on which political assumptions they are based. We invite scholars interested in these topics to propose papers that interrogate the history of moral and political thought⎯ancient, modern, and contemporary⎯in order to illuminate our current predicament.
Submission guidelines

Abstracts, of no more than 500 words, should be sent to: grupoteoriapolitica@ilch.uminho.pt

Deadline 31st August 2015

In addition to the abstract, please include in your proposal your academic title, name, affiliation, and the title of your contribution.
The official language of the conference will be English.

Organization Political Theory Group, CEHUM-University of Minho

Workshop: Transnational public participation and social movement activism. Ambiguities of global spread, professionalization and standardization.

O CESNOVA – Centro de Estudos de Sociologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa – e o CIES – Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia do ISCTE – juntam-se para receber o Workshop Internacional intitulado “Aspetos transnacionais na participação pública e no ativismo dos movimentos sociais”. Nos dia 14 e 15 de novembro as portas estarão abertas à participação do público, com a presença de investigadores internacionais em sessões debate sobre participação e ativismo social.

No tempo de crise em que vivemos, Portugal é palco para protestos da sociedade civil. Os cidadãos saem à rua pedindo para serem ouvidos pelos decisores políticos, reconhecidos na arena política europeia e autoridades internacionais como a TROIKA. Embora a maioria dos movimentos sociais tenha como principal alvo as autoridades nacionais, estes estão a tornar-se cada vez mais internacionais dada a semelhança dos problemas e desafios com que os países vizinhos se deparam. Ativistas e manifestantes de diferentes países comunicam as suas ideias, organizam dias de ação conjuntos, aprendem com as práticas comuns, numa perspetiva solidária e na partilha de uma identidade comum. Um dos exemplos deste envolvimento além-fronteiras foi o recente Movimento ‘Occupy’. Também o envolvimento do público mostra dimensões internacionais, como se observou na partilha de informação entre ativistas e manifestantes na Turquia e Brasil sobre as ações de agressão por parte da polícia.

De 14 a 15 de novembro, investigadores de todo o mundo reúnem-se em Lisboa para discutir o papel da sociedade civil na influência política e o seu envolvimento na política internacional. A final da tarde de cada dia decorrem sessões abertas ao público, onde investigadores convidados dialogam com os presentes sobre a dimensão internacional do ativismo social e da participação pública.

Este Workshop Internacional é organizado pelo CESNOVA  (Centro de Estudos de Ciências Sociais da Universidade Nova de Lisboa) e pelo CIES (Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia do ISCTE), com o financiamento da Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia e Fundação Friedrich-Ebert.

Workshop programme (14-15.11.2013 in Lisbon)

Transnational public participation and social movement activism. Ambiguities of global spread, professionalization and standardization.

Thursday November 14

Venue: CESNOVA, FCSH-UNL, ID Building, Avenida de Berna 26C, Lisbon, room: 006

 9.00 Registration & Welcome coffee

9.30 Welcome & Introductory Remarks: Prof. Luís Baptista (CESNOVA, Lisbon), Reinhard Naumann (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Portugal)

 9.45 Welcoming notes from organizers and introduction

Nina Amelung (TU Berlin, CESNOVA Lisbon) and Britta Baumgarten (CIES Lisbon): Opening up. An encounter between transnational oriented research on public participation and social movement activism, Discussant: Prof. Mikko Rask (National Consumer Research Centre, Finland)

10.40 First paper session: The making and shaping of transnational publics I

Chair: Nina Amelung (TU Berlin, CESNOVA Lisbon)

Gianluca Sgueo (CES Coimbra): Trans-national Civil Society’s Coalitions – A Way out of the Zugzwang?, Discussant: Enrico Borghetto (CESNOVA Lisbon)

Camilo Tamayo Gómez (University of Huddersfield): Communicative Citizenship Actions, Political Activism and Claiming of Human Rights from a Transnational Perspective: the case of the Social Movement of Victims of Eastern Antioquia, Colombia, Discussant: Nuno Nunes (CIES Lisbon)

 12.00 Lunch break

13.30 Second paper session: The global spread of new forms, norms and paradigms of activism and public participation I

Chair: Enrico Borghetto (CESNOVA Lisbon)

Sonja van der Arend (TU Delft): Participation is the issue, Discussant: Alejandro Esguerra (UFZ Leipzig)

Abel Polese (Dublin City University): Renegotiating social policy through informality: a view from Central and Eastern Europe, Discussant: Open discussion

Hanna Mühlenhoff (University of Tübingen): EU civil society funding – empowering or depoliticizing, either or? Discussant: Sonja van der Arend (TU Delft)

15.30 Walk to change the venue to CIES

16.00 Keynote Dialogue & Debate (public):

Venue: CIES, Av.ª das Forças Armadas, 1649-026 Lisbon, room: B203

Starting a dialogue – How can we strengthen exchange and cooperation between research on transnational public participation and on transnational social movements?

Prof. Mikko Rask (National Consumer Research Centre, Finland), Prof. Sabrina Zajak (University of Bochum, Germany)

Chair: Britta Baumgarten (CIES, Lisbon)


Friday, November 15

Venue: CESNOVA, FCSH-UNL, ID Building, Avenida de Berna 26C, Lisbon, room: 006

9.30 Third paper session: The making and shaping of transnational publics II

Chair: Guya Accornero (CIES Lisbon)

Lanka Horstink (University of Lisbon): Online participation and the new global democracy. Avaaz, a case study, Discussant: Inês Pereira (CIES Lisbon)

Lídia Fernandes (Dinâmica-CET, MMM Lisbon), Magda Alves (MMM Lisbon) and Judite Fernandes (FLUC, MMM Lisbon): Feminist challenges in transnational anti-austerity activism, Discussant: Cedric Masse (University of Lisbon)

9.30 Parallel session: The global spread of new forms, norms and paradigms of activism and public participation II

Chair: Britta Baumgarten (CIES Lisbon)

Angela Bourne (University of Roskilde) and Sevasti Chatzopoulou (University of Roskilde): Has the Eurozone crisis caused a transnationalisation of social movements? The case of Greece and Spain, Discussant: Jordi Nofre (CESNOVA Lisbon)

Rubén Díez García (University Carlos III Madrid): An approach to the Spanish 15M and the transnational networks of ‘indignados’: ideology, identity and method,    Discussant: Jonas van Vossole (CES-FEUC Coimbra)

 10.50 Coffee break

11.00 Fourth paper session: Transnational standardization of frames and discourses of social movements activism

Chair: Patricia Pereira (CESNOVA Lisbon)

Cristina Espinosa (University of Freiburg): One Discourse through Practices: Standardizing the Interpretation of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, Discussant: Raul Pacheco-Vega (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas – CIDE, Aguascalientes, Mexico)

Jordi Nofre (CESNOVA Lisbon): Camped against the capital or hidden activisms of protests of the year 2011. The cases of Tahrir Revolution and ‘the Indignados’ Movement, Discussant: Helena Freitas (CIES Lisbon)

11.00 Parallel session: Translation and contextualizing of transnational circulating concepts and techniques

Chair: Beatriz Padilla (University of Minho)

Cedric Masse (University of Lisbon): Isonomy and Isegory: The making of public participation within Portuguese Alter-globalist social movements, Discussant: Angela Bourne (University of Roskilde)

Humberto Machado (IESP -UERJ Rio de Janeiro): Transnational policy action: global anti-hegemonic social movements from the formation of transnational peripheral collective identities, Discussant: Open discussion

12.20 Lunch break

14:00 Fifth paper session: Mobilization of transnational public engagement 

Chair: Madalena Corte Real (CESNOVA Lisbon)

Raul Pacheco-Vega (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas – CIDE): Trans-North American environmental social movements: The politics of mobilization in the Citizen Submission on Enforcement Matters Mechanism (CSEM), Discussant: Sabrina Zajak (University of Bochum, Germany)

Alejandro Esguerra (UFZ Leipzig): From Passive Audience to Rights-Holder? Assessing the public participation turn in international expert organizations, Discussant: Nina Amelung (TU Berlin, CESNOVA Lisbon)

15:20 Concluding session: Goodbye notes from organizers / further collaborations and publication plans

16:00 Coffee break

16.30 Key note presentations & debate (public)

Venue: FCSH, room: Grande Auditório 1, FCSH-UNL, Avenida de Berna, 26C

Introductory notes from CESNOVA representative (Prof. António Brandão Moniz, CESNOVA, Lisbon)

Research meets practice – What’s the relevance of social movement activism and public participation practices for science and vice versa?

Jamila Raqib (Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution, USA), Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega (CIDE Aguascalientes, Mexico), Prof. Tiago Santos Pereira (CES Coimbra, Portugal)

Chair: Nina Amelung (TU Berlin, CESNOVA Lisbon)

Saturday, November 16

11.00 – 13.00 Walk in Mouraria


International workshop “Transnational public participation and social movement activism”

Early career scholars workshop on Ambiguities of global spread, professionalization and standardization

14-15 November 2013

Call for papers is open until 18th August 2013: workshop_lisbon_cfp_final

The workshop is dedicated to questions linking transnational public participation research with transnational social movement activism research and pointing to dynamics of global spread, professionalization and standardization. It aims at discovering linkages, differences and ambiguities in both research fields and invites contributions from diverse disciplines. The workshop includes a public keynote dialogue between Dr. Mikko Rask, Finnish National Consumer Research Centre (confirmed), and Prof. Marisa von Bülow, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile and University of Brasília, Brazil (tbc) on linkages and challenges of transnational public participation and social movement activism. It concludes with a plenary discussion on political and societal relevance and implications of public participation and social movement research with Prof. Tiago Santos Pereira, University of Coimbra (confirmed), Portugal and Prof. Frank Fischer, Rutgers University, USA and University of Kassel, Germany (confirmed).

Outline of the topic

Designs and processes of participation, deliberation and activist forms become established globally addressing various policy issues and different policy levels. Social movement activist forms such as assemblies as well as ready-made templates and techniques for public participation such as citizen juries, consensus conferences, deliberative pollings, foresights, citizen budget forums etc. become developed worldwide and spread around the globe. However, they become more established in some regions while others remain less fertile for democratic and social innovations. The public participation design knowledge travels among experts, practitioners and citizens increasingly in a transnational and translocal setting.

The climate of uncertainty and risks of modernity, requirements of good governance and strong social movements are contextual factors increasing the demand for different/new models of participation. On the one hand this leads to standardization and homogenization of approaches around the world, on the other hand it faces the diversity of intellectual, cultural and political backgrounds that influence norms and values of what is seen to be the ‘good’, the ‘right’ and the ‘efficient’ participation.

The increasing spread of public participation principles and methods brings up ambivalent dynamics and dilemmas such as

* Circulation of concepts, models and techniques:

Different concepts of democracy and representation co-exist and built a fragmented meta-discourse as references for diverse fields of participation practices, at the same time single models and techniques circulate as best-practice. The concepts, models and techniques from diverse cultural, theoretical and normative backgrounds travel transnational and entangle in new combinations, not necessarily frictionless. .

* Diversity and hybridization versus homogenization and standardization:

The spectrum of models and techniques is characterized by diversity and homogenization at the same time. New application problems or trends towards good governance, and calls for more democratization by social movements and protest groups bring new designs and techniques for participation. Existing models become modified to hybrids and single designs become dominant practices and de facto standards in the field, some of them even legally installed.

* Specialized expertise and professionalization:

Expertise for public participation models and processes becomes more and more complex and specialized. It is stored in handbooks, academic publications and is openly accessible in specialized websites. Conferences and trainings are elements in this knowledge production chain and professionals such as facilitators, moderators, policy consultants, global activists and academics built their career on it. Participation becomes a matter of ‘experts.’

The workshop approaches reflection on the transnational formation and standardization of public participation with three foci:

1) Global spread of new action forms, practices and models for public participation: How do action forms and practices travel, how are they modified and adapted, and finally how do they become established in a new context? How do transnational formation and standardization become established? How are they intermingled with the spread and the increasing diffusion and how do they shape the field of participatory innovations? It’s worth to raise questions of how norms and standards of designs and normative principles lead to automatism and establishment of potentially taken for granted approaches of public participation and challenge to look which mechanisms and forms of conformance, modifications and resistance to standards appear. Participatory Budgets, for example were practiced at a municipal level in Porto Alegre already in 1989 and from there spread worldwide. Social movement practices, e.g. the way deliberation is practiced in the assemblies of the Spanish 15M, often trace back to older social movement practices in other regions of the world. These practices are not simply copied, but constantly adapted.

2) Normalization and professionalism in expertise: How do dynamics of transnational normalization and mainstreaming of public participation models go hand in hand with professionalism of experts of public participation? What about the role of experts mediating between citizens / stakeholders and decision makers / policy makers? Can we see trends towards commercialization of public participation practices and an evolving ‘participatory industry’ of participation consultants? How does this affect the spread and the legitimacy of participatory processes? For instance development agencies, like US Aid or GIZ (former GTZ), over a long time have generated a large expertise in how to improve participation in development projects which has gain acceptance as so-called expert knowledge but partly competes or contradicts with the local knowledge and cultural scripts for problem solving.

3) The making and shaping of public participation models: How are transnational formation and standardization shaped by the social construction of public participation (models)? The knowledge production of public participation models provides a range of approaches on public participation. This includes competing alternative models for participation, controversies over authority of normative conceptions for democratic quality and efficient policy making and competing legitimacy claims of models and actors involved. The framing of ‘the public’ (the role of representation, self-selection versus random-selection), ‘the right way to talk’ (for instance based on rationality, consensus oriented) and the desired outcome of participation (activating citizenship, preventing social resistance, empowerment of marginable groups) includes implicit diverse normative conceptions of democracy and politics and shapes the reality the models are used in. This is why the look into the making of public participation models becomes crucial.

Related to these themes we are especially interested in papers that deal with empirical examples which give insights into designs or forms for participation, deliberation and social movements activism that make global claims or travel across different localities. Examples are the World Wide Views, pan-European approaches on participatory processes (European Citizen Consultation, Meeting of Minds, Europolis, etc.) or large-scale processes such as the Australian Citizens’ Parliament, recent developments of transnational and global social movements, the World Social Forum and its regional forms (the continental ones, country specific and local social forums, etc.), transfer of action forms (related to the Occupy Movement, Pussy Riot, Femen, etc.) and models of democracy from below (as for example participatory budgeting approaches, deliberative pollings, foresights), development of internal meeting cultures, and practices to overcome unequal participation due to status differences or language by these social movement actors.

Target audience:

The workshop welcomes conceptual, theoretical and empirical contributions from early career scholars (including PhD-candidates and Post-docs) addressing one or more of these foci. Contributions combining different research perspectives on participatory and deliberative policies and social movements engagement, from public policy and governance studies, interpretative policy analysis, organizational studies, urban and planning studies, innovation studies, science and technology studies, geography and anthropology are explicitly welcomed.

Publication plans:

The workshop aims at providing an appropriate spirit and format supportive in particular for ambitious early career scholars who are interested in publications. Therefore experienced scholars as discussants shall help to elaborate manuscripts towards publishable papers. Selected authors will be invited for international peer reviewed publication activities afterwards.

Submission procedure:

Extended abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, written in English and contain a clear outline of the argument, the conceptual, theoretical and/or empirical framework, methodology and results. Abstracts for empirical papers further should include a brief description of the data used. They should be sent to nina.amelung@tu-berlin.de not later than 18th of August 2013.

Special Events: Lisbon is one of Europes’ most exciting cities which we would like to introduce to the participants of the workshop with the special focus on its social movements and public participation activities. Therefore we meet for a ‘reception’ on Wednesday, October 13, the evening before the workshop starts at MOB, a cultural centre run by two activist groups the Precários Inflexíveis (“The Inflexible Precarious Workers” an association that fights on behalf of the precarious workers) and Group Hassan (a cultural initiative, offering e.g. Hip Hop courses)). Further we offer a walk through Mouraria, a revitalized district in the historical center of Lisbon which tells us a story about the ambiguities of activating residents from diverse cultures and identities for public participation.


The workshop will take place at CESNOVA – Centre for Sociological Studies of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa – and CIES – Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology of the University Institute of Lisbon.

Time planning:

Deadline for abstracts: 18th of August 2013

Announcement selected abstracts: after 15th of September 2013

Deadline for papers: 31st of October 2013

Workshop: 14th and 15th of November 2013, reception on 13th of November, guided Lisbon tour on 16th of November


The Workshop is hosted in collaboration of CESNOVA at Universidade de Nova and CIES at Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. The concept is developed by Nina Amelung, Innovation in Governance Research Group at Technische Universität Berlin / CESNOVA at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Dr. Britta Baumgarten, CIES – Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, University Institute of Lisbon.

Management team (alphabetical order): Nina Amelung, Dr. Britta Baumgarten, Madalena Corte Real, Cristina Oliveira

Scientific committee (alphabetical order): Nina Amelung, Dr. Britta Baumgarten, Prof. Breno Bringel, Prof. António Moniz, Prof. Beatriz Padilla, Dr. Mikko Rask and N.N.

Conference fees and support for travel costs: There is no workshop fee planned. Accommodation and lunch/ dinner costs are individual costs. Unfortunately we cannot offer travel reimbursement, but help with information about funding programs.


Nina Amelung, Innovation in Governance Research Group /CESNOVA, nina.amelung@tu-berlin.de

Britta Baumgarten, Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, University Institute of Lisbon, britta.baumgarten@gmail.com

The workshop is supported by the German Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung.