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Special Issue Global Society

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Britta Baumgarten
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Conference: (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities – 29/8-7/9 2017, Athens
RN25 Social MovementsThe present of social activism and participatory processes in Europe: Learning from the pastRoberto Falanga (ICS), Britta Baumgarten (CIES-UIL)deadline 15 February 2017 Recently, social movements have developed various forms of political participation, most prominently public assemblies and occupations (e.g. Puerta del Sol, Indignados, etc.). While so, governments at different levels have growingly opened spaces for the involvement of civil society in political decisions (e.g. participatory budgeting, deliberative pools, etc). These shifts in political participation also impacted the access of civil society actors to political decision making and the way how issues are discussed.
The panel aims to stimulate the debate on the accumulated knowledge and evidence produced in the last years on these two modes of public participation in Europe. It furthermore aims to discuss how political decision making has changed resulting from these new forms and forums of decision making. We invite scholars from all the fields of knowledge, practitioners and citizens to address the question on how we can learn from the past to understand current relations and contradictions between grassroots and institutionalized forms of participation, and make sense of their impacts on public decisions.
Abstracts should not exceed 250 words (for semi-plenaries: 500 words). Most paper sessions will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers (15 minutes presentation time per paper) and discussion. Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform on the conference website. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. The notification of acceptance will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2017. Abstract submission deadline: 15 February 2017 Conference website: www.esa13thconference.eu
 
Britta Baumgarten
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Global civil society participation is a theme that has gained importance during the last twenty years: New global orders, issues which span the globe, new technological developments and new actors who have entered the global sphere of political decision making call for new concepts of analysis. In global spheres representative democracy is not the exclusive, dominant and agreed-upon model of political order. Yet, the increasing number and new forms of participation are issues of growing importance – including those offered by states but also those of actors challenging state authorities. Therefore the special issue brings together research from the areas of public participation and social movement studies dealing with global civil society participation that includes also translocal, transregional or transnational phenomena. Experimentations with democratic innovations which emerge as accumulations of single and often isolated events, initiatives and movements of citizen and civil society organisations participation can be observed. As such forms of global political participation linked to various policy issues changing and shaping the landscape of global governance become a research object in its own right. The focus on global phenomena has gained high importance in the two research areas that we bring together in the special issue (public participation and social movement research) and which fruitfully complement each other regarding their research objects and analytical lenses to grasp the heterogeneous participation landscape along its empirical patterns. The contributions critically reflect upon three important aspects of recent global participation: (1) global diffusion of paradigms and models of participation, (2) new forms of organizing global constituencies of a global public and (3) challenges for democratic legitimacy in global contexts through participatory innovations.