Post graduate programme: Civil Society and External Democratization in Post-Socialist Europe, Berlin, Germany

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The Heinrich Böll Foundation (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung) in cooperation with the European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder and the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is pleased to announce six doctoral scholarships in the following subject: Civil Society and External Democratization in Post-Socialist Europe

The proposed doctoral program will explore the diverse activities of civil societies in European post-transition countries. As well as analyzing the presence and activities of civil societies, the course will focus primarily on the effects of civil society interventions and their interaction with external democratization efforts, particularly through regional organizations such as the Council of Europe or the European Union, NGOs, and transnational networks.

Those post-socialist states that are neither entirely consolidated democracies nor have re-verted to the status of complete autocracies since the 1989/1991 transition are identified as post-transition countries; they are located mainly in the western Balkans, the eastern reaches of Eastern Europe, as well as the Caucasus.

Dissertations may examine the effectiveness of aid provided by external democratization ef-forts on post-socialist civil societies as well as the impact potential of non-governmental actors with the aim to better understand the role and interaction of civil society and external actors in transition and hybrid regimes.

The aim is to generate a high proportion of papers with a comparative perspective; regions of comparison may also lie outside of Europe. An integrated socio-scientific concept forms the basis of the proposal, providing the framework for discussions on political science, sociology, social and cultural anthropology, and history.

A supporting academic program will be offered as part of the doctoral course, the attendance of which is mandatory for all participants. This will include colloquia on theoretical and me-thodological questions or the organization of workshops and conferences by the course par-ticipants, together with outside scientists. Additionally, practice-oriented workshops are planned with the regional offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, allowing the scholarship holders insights into the work of external democratization agents while at the same time pro-viding networking opportunities with civil society actors in three countries.

Periods of regular attendance are required, with office space available at the European University's Frankfurt Institute for Transformation Studies (FIT) and the ETH and University of Zurich's Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS). Both Frankfurt and Zurich regularly offer classes at postgraduate level on the subjects of democracy, civil society or ex-ternal democratization.

An information sheet regarding the application requirements can be downloaded from the Heinrich Böll Foundation's website at For the selection of scholarships the foundation's general codes of practice and support criteria apply. The working languages of the program are German and English. Students not sufficiently familiar with either of the two languages are expected to acquire the necessary language skills ahead of the start and during the program.

The application deadline is 1 March 2008.

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