Call for papers, International Conference Transnational Political Contention and European Integration - Universität für Bodenkultur, 21-22 September, 2022, Vienna, Austria

The aim of the conference is to bring together social movement studies and research on the European Union by facilitating a discussion between researchers, activists and other practitioners. Abstract should be sent until February 15th 2022

20/12/2021 - 

Recent years were marked by major waves of transnational mobilizations and protests across Europe. Many of these waves have contested the main tenets of the existing liberal order, including representative democracy, capitalism and multilateralism - and their complex consequences related to jobs, redistribution, migration, the environment, climate or health. Often these waves of collective actions shifted their focus from the national level only and started to bridge the local, national and the European level. These waves of contestation have important implications for the European Union (EU) also as they call into question some of the underlying values on which the EU has been built on. On the one hand, they can erode legitimacy and support in the Member States and for further integration at the EU level. On the other hand, they can as well contribute to its deepening and to its relaunch after repeated crises.

Concluding research in the TraPoCo Jean Monnet Network, the conference intends to stimulate the study of the role of societal actors in deepening democratic processes at the EU level by means of transnational political contention. It focuses on collective transnational action in the European space and is interested in social movements and civil society practices and processes that reach across national borders, advance their goals and move their claims from the national to the EU level, and have an impact on the functioning of democracy inside and outside the European Union. We are particularly interested in forms, conditions and impact of emerging transnational political contentions within the EU and beyond its borders and the strategies of societal actors working to establish them in fields ranging from, but not limited to, environmental protection and climate justice, migration, labour policies to anti-discrimination.

The aim of the conference is to bring together social movement studies and research on the European Union by facilitating a discussion between researchers, activists and other practitioners. We would particularly like to contribute to current debates in European Studies focusing on transnational political dynamics and the role of civil society actors in building and democratizing the European project. Many of these debates – focusing e.g. on the European public sphere, on transnational solidarity or on alternative visions of Europe emerging from social movement – are divorced from each other by disciplinary boundaries and research traditions within the social sciences and a specialist focus on different policy fields. Integrating these fields and strengthening the dialogue between disciplines promises not only to help us to understand the drivers, forms and impact of transnational collective actions in Europe better but also to contribute to the debate on the future of Europe.

The conference will bring together scholars from different methodological traditions working on transnational collective action in Europe. We invite researchers based in academic or non-academic environments at all career stages and practitioners to apply. We will ensure participants to receive in-depth feedback on previously circulated drafts.

If necessary, we will be able to provide financial assistance for travel and accommodation for a limited number of participants. Abstract of ca. 300 words and a brief indication if financial assistance is applied for should be sent until February 15th 2022 to the following address:

Please note that the conference is planned to take place fully on-site. We will closely monitor the COVID-19 safety regulations, and in case international travel is restricted or local regulations do not allow larger events, the conference will be held online only.