|September 10, 2008||to||September 12, 2008|
Ersta Sköndal University College Stockholm, Sweden
September 10-12, 2008
The struggle for democracy and the rise of the welfare state in Europe has historically both rested on and challenged the active participation of its citizens. On the one hand, social movement activism has been and remains crucial in the continuing efforts to extend democracy and include marginalized and powerless members of society. At the same time the forms and types of activism have changed considerably over time. On the other, voluntarism based on ideals of civic virtue, associated with formal and informal social work, charities and philanthropy, has been challenged by the rise of the welfare state and a new ethos emphasizing professionalism, universalism, and the role of the state. However, acts of private charity as well as civil society based philanthropy have remained important nonetheless, and given the limitations of the welfare state there are signs that this is a tradition that is undergoing a revival.
This conference seeks to further investigate the current trends with respect to volunteering and social activism in Europe. Of particular interest is to consider the extent to which these are practices that not only have changed and continue to change in form and structure, in aims and motivations, but also differ in important ways in the many corners of “Europe” - East/West and North/South.
To further capture what may be distinct about the European patterns and traditions, the conference also aims to make room for perspectives from the United States with its rich and diverse traditions of charity, philanthropy, and social movement activism.
A further theme to be explored concerns the convergences and divergences when it comes to the two strands of volunteering we would like to consider. To what extent is the distinction between social volunteering based on notions of charity and virtue, on the one hand, and political social movement activism, on the other, a valid and useful one?
The conferences is collaboratively organized and funded by Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubilieumsfond (the Bank of Sweden
Tercentenary Foundation), the CINEFOGO Network of Excellence on Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe, and Ersta Sköndal University College.
Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by each individual participant/institution.
Regarding professional matters, please contact Lars Svedberg, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Regarding practical matters, please contact Lena Blomquist, e-mail: email@example.com, telephone +46 8 55505130
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