Summer School for Social Research (De)Constructing Europe

Felix Oldenburg's picture
Summer Program
June 5, 2023 to June 10, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Social Sciences

European integration has turned from what appeared to be a showcase of international collaboration into a source of serious concern. In times of economic crises, international conflict, and right-wing politics, observers have increasingly come to ask themselves, how fragile European unity and democracy actually is. Reasons abound. The Eurocrisis, Brexit, the handling of the refugee crisis in 2015, European border closures in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, or barely concealed controversies over a common security and energy policy in the shadow of the Russian war against Ukraine all seem to indicate that supranational principles and common goals are all-too readily replaced by national policies and interests. Moreover, increasingly powerful currents on the margins of the political spectrum not only question, but actively seek to undermine European democracy and integration. How can we de- (or re-) construct the historical development of European integration on the background of its recent past? Does this past help us understand current challenges and transformations of European democracy? And what is to be expected for its future?

The Hamburg Summer School for Social Research, jointly organized by the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS) and the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, sets out to critically examine the diagnosis of a current crisis of European integration and democracy, discussing current developments as well as processes of Europeanization since the end of the Second World War, thereby also looking beyond institutional processes at forms of protest and participatory democracy »from below«. The five-day event brings together PhD candidates, postdocs and senior scholars from across Europe. It invites participants from the social and historical sciences, social anthropology as well as economics and law, with an interest in past and present European crises as well as an interest in different regions of Europe. We aim to create a space for researchers to engage in intense debates with colleagues as well as political activists and journalists, combining workshop-sessions on participants' research projects with group discussions, field trips, and keynote lectures on historical and contemporary European (dis-)integration and democratic struggles, presented, inter alia, by Shalini Randeria, Donatella della Porta, James Ellison, Andrea Pirro, Wolfram Kaiser, Wolfgang Knöbl and Laura Wolters.

Requirements and how to apply: The summer school invites applications from Ph.D. students and recent postdocs. Applicants are expected to prepare for and actively participate in the sessions and give a presentation on a topic related to their academic interest. The organizers can provide support for travel and accommodation for those candidates who do not receive support from their universities. Please send your application including your cv, statement of interest and presentation proposal (max. 2 pages) to: Applicants for travel costs funding should add a budget calculation to the submitted documents.

The application deadline is: February 20th, 2023.

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Contact Info: 

Felix Oldenburg

Assistant Science and Research

Zeit Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius (Co-Host of the summer school)