CIVICA Summer School

How to participate in the 3rd CIVICA Summer School 

 CIVICA Summer School EUI 2023

Apply now to go to European University Institute, Florence in September 2023

Challenges of Transnational Democracy
4-7 September, 2023
European University Institute, Florence

CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences, invites early stage researchers (ESRs) from all CIVICA universities to participate in the third CIVICA Summer School at the European University Institute, in Florence, from 4 to 7 September 2023. The theme for this year will be “Challenges of Transnational Democracy”. The theme covers six areas, each chaired by an expert in the field, who will comment on papers presented by ESRs. The conference is intended to be interdisciplinary and researchers are encouraged to interact with the work of other researchers from both their own and other academic disciplines.


The theme of the Summer School is “Challenges of Transnational Democracy”. It covers both challenges to transnational democracy and challenges for transnational democracy. In other words, the conference covers, on the one hand, questions that transnational democracy is called upon to address, and where it is regarded as part of the solution (challenges for transnational democracy). On the other hand, it also covers contestations of the idea or practice of transnational democracy, where it is considered conversely as part of the problem (challenges to transnational democracy).

Six Areas

  • Climate change as an emergency that is so urgent that we do not have time for democratic decision-making, calling for executive emergency governance and expert rule instead, or conversely, as a disaster that can only be halted through transnational democracy. – Discussant: Professor Horatia Muir-Watt (Sciences Po)
  • Global capitalism as a historical and present threat to transnational democracy, or conversely, transnational democracy as a much needed means for closing accountability gaps caused by global capitalism and for addressing urgent questions of global (re)distribution. – Discussant: Professor Nicolas Delalande (Sciences Po)
  • Authoritarianism, populism, and nativism as (interrelated) worldwide direct challenges to transnational democracy, or rather as phenomena which transnational democracy seeks to overcome or contain. – Discussant: Professor Renata Uitz (Central European University)
  • Eurocentrism and (neo)colonialism as endemic in the practice of transnational democracy or perhaps even intrinsic in its very idea, or conversely, as biases to address and overcome through decentring and inclusive transnational democratic theories and practices. – Discussant: Professor Michael Wilkinson (London School of Economics)
  • Boundaries: the theoretical and practical difficulties of creating and delineating transnational democratic polities as cutting across traditional state borders, versus re-nationalisation and the claim that meaningful democracy is only possible within the bounds of a (nation-)state. – Discussant: Professor Martijn Hesselink (European University Institute)
  • Participation and deliberation as forms of democracy that are either impossible at the transnational level (in the absence of face-to-face contact) or are the only viable practice for it (mini-publics established through sortition). – Discussant: Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis (European University Institute)

The summer school will be genuinely interdisciplinary. Both the main theme and each of the subthemes will be addressed from various perspectives from the social sciences and humanities, such as political science, international relations, sociology, economics, law, and history.



The conveners of the summer school are Franca FeiselMartijn Hesselink and Fouad Saleh from the European University Institute.


The summer school will consist of six thematic sessions. At each session, early-stage researchers from CIVICA universities will present their papers. And for each session, a professor from one of the CIVICA universities, who is an expert in the field, will provide comments and feedback on the papers and presentations. Researchers are encouraged to interact with the work of other researchers and professors from their own and other academic disciplines.


This Summer School is funded by CIVICA.

Travel costs to Florence will be covered by the sending university, while the arrangements related to accommodation and meals will be made by the organisers (EUI). Once selected, please make sure to contact your CIVICA contact person in your respective university.


The Summer School is open to 25 selected participants in total: 20 PhD researchers and 5 master students. Candidates from all CIVICA partner universities are eligible.

Please note that no certificate will be issued at the end of the summer school.

Applications must include:

  • An abstract (max. 500 words) of the working paper to be presented at the summer school
  • For master students, an abstract of their (draft) master thesis
  • A short CV (PDF, max. 1-2 pages).
  • An indication of the specific area(s), within the wider theme of ‘challenges of transnational democracy’, the working paper most relates to: (1) climate change, (2) global capitalism, (3) authoritarianism, populism, and nativism, (4) Eurocentrism and (neo)colonialism, (5) boundaries, and (6) participation and deliberation.

Applications must be submitted by 31 May 2023 at 23:59 (CEST).

Submit your application here >>