Registration via LPIS
|Wednesday||03/08/23||03:00 PM - 05:30 PM||D2.0.382|
|Wednesday||03/15/23||03:00 PM - 05:30 PM||D2.0.030|
|Friday||03/17/23||03:00 PM - 07:00 PM||D5.0.002|
|Wednesday||04/12/23||03:00 PM - 05:30 PM||EA.5.044|
|Friday||04/14/23||03:00 PM - 07:30 PM||D4.0.022|
|Wednesday||05/03/23||03:00 PM - 05:30 PM||D2.0.382|
|Friday||05/05/23||03:00 PM - 07:30 PM||D4.0.022|
|Wednesday||05/24/23||03:00 PM - 05:30 PM||D2.0.038|
The course explores the political dimension of civil society, which is conceptualized as a sphere where people organize to pursue shared interests and thereby pursue the common good. We investigate how this organizing process and channeling of collective grievances takes place, how the voice of civil society is incorporated into public institutions, and what the challenges and limits to civic action are.
In the first part of the course, we will focus on the societal structures that condition civic action (e.g. the legal and political frameworks in place). We study how the positions formed within civil society are transformed into concrete policies through negotiation in governance networks and institutionalized political processes. In the second part, we zoom in on how society self-organizes through grassroots and bottom-up processes, to reallocate common goods that public institutions - in their eyes - fail to effectively govern. We reflect on Ostrom's Commons theory and touch upon game theory aspects in an introductory fashion. The third part of the course will be dedicated to studying civil society in the media. At some point during the semester, students will individually conduct ethnographic fieldwork to study Austrian civil society.
Students will be introduced to the topics by reading the relevant scientific literature in preparation of the classes. The time in class will be used to clarify and discuss the content, and most importantly, to explore the basic insights from theory in an interactive manner. To do so, we heavily rely on in-class simulations and interactive excercises. For instance, students will step into the shoes of politicians to negotiate policy outcomes with one another and experience challenges and opportunities in political processes. The course requires students’ courageous participation in activity-based and collaborative learning through gamification methods.
At the end of the course, students will…
1. …be familiar with the basic ideas of Neo-Institutionalism and the work of Foucault on how societal norms and power structures condition individual thinking and behavior;
2. ...be aware of (the novel strands of) Ostrom's Commons theory and the basic principles of how society self-governs and self-organizes;
3. …be introduced to basic concepts of game theory;
4. …be able to reflect on how civil society can change the rules of the game and link theory to individual experiences;
5. …know the basics of framing theory, and can apply those to critically analyze news content;
6. …be aware of how social change can be brought about through more or less institutionalized channels;
7. …be skilled to formulate a political position;
8. …be able to reflect on conflicting interests in the political arena;
9. …know how to negotiate policy outcomes within governance networks.
An attendance of 80% or more is required to pass the course. Attendance on 17.3. and 5.5. is mandatory, as those sessions are the basis for the reflection papers. If one of those sessions is missed, students will have to compensate by conducting an individual project.
Students will be introduced to the topics by reading the relevant scientific literature in preparation of the classes. The time in class will be used to clarify and discuss the content, and most importantly, to explore the basic insights from theory in an interactive fashion. To do so, we heavily rely on interactive teaching methods as well as in-class simulations. For instance, students will step into the shoes of politicians to negotiate policy outcomes with one another and experience challenges and opportunities in political processes. The course requires students’ active participation in activity-based and collaborative learning through gamification methods.
The course will be taught in English - so basic communication skills in English are required. However, being fluent in oral communication is no requirement. Average English skills as taught in high school (equivalent to a B2 level in reading, writing, speaking and listening according to the CEFR standards) are sufficient.
1. Active participation in class (20%);
2. Questions on Learn, to check the understanding of readings in preparation for the interactive sessions (20%);
3. Short reflection papers (1.000 - 2.000 Words each) on the interactive sessions (2 x 20%)
4. Conducting auto-ethnographic observations, write a reflection paper about it and present the results in class (5-10min) (20%)
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