Political science, Public administration, Urban Anthropology, Urban sociology

Course date

9 July - 14 July, 2018
Application is closed.
Course Director(s): 

Pawel Swianiewicz

Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland

Filipe Teles

Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences at the University of Aveiro, Portugal
Course Faculty: 

Adam Gendzwill

Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland

Hubert Heinelt

Institute of for Political Science, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany

Lawrence Rose

Institute of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway

Kristof Steyvers

Centre for Local Politics, Ghent University, Belgium

Sara Svensson

Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Antonio Tavares

Research Center in Political Science, University of Minho, Portugal

Henk Van der Kolk

Department of Research Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands

Angelika Vetter

Department of Social Sciences, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Karsten Zimmermann

Faculty of Spatial Planning, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany

The 2018 Training School on “Collaborative local government for an open society” is one of the long-lasting series of summer courses for Ph.D. students interested in local government issues. It is co-organized by the European Urban Research Association and Standing Group for Local Government and Politics of ECPR, and gives an opportunity to develop the understanding of comparative local government studies in Europe and to discuss Ph.D. dissertation with experienced professors of different disciplines and coming from different countries.

The shift from government to governance together with the contextual changes (including globalization and European integration) has pushed local governments to operate in a complex environment of networks of cooperation with other public, business and societal actors. At the same time, frequent disappointment with traditional mechanisms of representative democracy mechanisms has led to phenomena such as decreasing trust in (local) public authorities, lowering turn-out in elections or vanishing membership in national political parties. This has also given incentives to experiments and innovations related to new forms of community involvement and citizens’ participation in local governance.

Additionally, there is a new agenda dealing with urban issues such as megacities, smart cities, urban poverty, environmental risks and climate change, global sub-urbanism, social innovation and economic recovery. The UN Habitat III conference in Quito, where the New Urban Agenda of the UN for the next decades has been agreed upon, for sure was the event with highest international recognition in this regard.

In this context, local self-government is largely understood as a set of rules and regulations that secure and enable the capacity of a local community to govern its problems in a way that is accepted as legitimate. There is widespread consensus that this goes beyond the formal regulations of government but includes the involvement of communities.

The concept of “open society” might be helpful in understanding current challenges and formulating recommendations for new policies. Against this background we invite applications from PhD candidates working on topics such as inclusive leadership, migration, decentralization, collaborative governance, participatory governance and local democracy and conflict resolution. However, PhD topics such as national or European urban policies are welcome as well.

Course format:
The academic programme consists of six working days, and includes both lectures and workshop-discussions. One of the days is fully focused on methodological issues. The typical summer school day is divided into two parts: (i) mornings lectures and discussions of specific topics related to the general theme of the summer school, (ii) afternoon presentations and discussions of students’ papers. Students are expected to give a brief presentations of their PhD research. Each of the papers will have an assigned discussant from among other students and will be also commented on by the faculty. The programme will also include the guided tour of Budapest with a focus on local government structure and urban regeneration projects.