The power of the people: the dynamics and limits of social mobilization in South Eastern Europe
Oxford, UK – February 25, 2015
Deadline for submitting abstracts: January 15, 2015
University of Oxford is seeking paper proposals for an interdisciplinary symposium being held on February 27, 2015 at St Antony’s and St John’s College at Oxford. Proposals by graduate candidates and researchers in all relevant disciplines are being accepted for presentations of 20 minutes. ESRC/AHRC-funded students are especially encouraged to apply.
The aim of the symposium is to bring together distinguished scholars from various disciplines to discuss the merits, limits and legacies of social protests, demonstrations, sit-ins and other forms of social mobilization, which we have witnessed in South Eastern European in the past twenty years and especially since 2011. The keynote speaker for this conference is Professor Michael Biggs (University of Oxford). The keynote panelists of the symposium are two scholars-activists Igor Štiks and Srećko Horvat, who have just published one of the first analyses of contemporary radical politics in the former Yugoslavia.
Social mobilization from the global to the local level have contributed to important shifts in our thinking about political, economic and cultural aspects of our societies. The massive scale of the recent waves of protests – such as the Occupy movements, the Arab Spring, Maidan in the Ukraine, Gezi Park in Turkey and many others – is often a response to particular events, popular disenchantment with their elites and global phenomena such as the economic downturn. In 2013 and 2014 a wave of social protests swept across South Eastern Europe (SEE), unseen since the fall of socialism in 1989. The mass protests in Turkey, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina surprised many by their intensity and duress. These events had been long in the making, nourished by similar grievances and disenchantments, though they were triggered by different immediate causes. Not enough time has passed to evaluate their consequences and legacy yet. However, we can study some positive and negative lessons from these and previous protests and put forward some tentative propositions about their consequences.
Cost: Travel costs for all accepted presenters from the UK will be covered. Accommodation and overseas travel will be discussed on an individual basis.
The specific themes we want to explore are the following:
Power and leadership;
Sources of mobilization – motivation and rationale;
Role of the media and new media (Facebook, Twitter);
Role of the civil sector;
Role of emotions;
Visualization of social actions and culture as a platform for mobilization;
Successful versus failed cases and legacies of social protests;
Positive and negative aspects of social protests;
Methodological approaches to social mobilization beyond social sciences (fieldwork, surveys);
Ethical issues in the study of social action.
Successful applicants will notified by the end of January 2015.
Only doctoral candidates can apply. Applications from ESRC and AHRC-funded students are especially welcomed.
Guidelines for submission
Fill out the form available here (including an abstract of 300 words).
Convenors: Jessie Hronesova, Ana Ranitovic, Ivor Sokolic
University of Oxford
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