1. CHANGING PARTICIPATION PARADIGM
The participation paradigm is a sociological concept that suggests individuals actively participate in creating and shaping cultural norms and values, rather than being passive recipients of them. This paradigm views individuals as active agents who co-create their social world through their interactions and experiences. It has important implications for understanding the relationship between individuals and civil society and the role of power and agency in social processes.
Main ideas that can be approached in this track: co-creation of social world, empowered individuals as active agents in shaping societal and cultural norms, challenging traditional views and political systems, new technologies and their impact on society and individuals, social media and online communication platforms, civic participation, political discourse and activism, political and civic engagement.
2. ARE CITIZENS INTERESTED IN VOTES?
Voting is a crucial part of the democratic process and allows citizens to have a say in the direction of their country and community. By casting their vote, citizens can help determine who will represent them in government and make decisions on their behalf.
Main ideas that can be approached in this track: the relationship between the development of civil society and voter turnout, voting as a democratic instrument, citizen engagement in voting, the voting process, voting as a responsibility and a right, the impact of voting on political arena, factors which influence voting and the citizens’ interest in voting, electoral systems.
3. TECHNIQUES OF RESISTANCE AGAINST AUTHORITARIANISM
The last two decades proved that the globalization of the liberal democratic political model was far from unavoidable. The same is true regarding the current authoritarian wave. Political and civic involvement can derail the forces that are threatening/destroying open societies all over the world. But which are the best strategies and tactics that civil society can use to guarantee that this involvement will be effective? Is the ideal approach conditioned by historical, cultural, or economic factors? Are the goals of anti-authoritarian movements achievable without the support of the Western democracies? These are some of the questions that our contributors can answer in the papers presented in this track.
4. CIVIL SOCIETY AND ITS ROLE IN SHAPING SOLUTIONS TO THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
The restrictive measures that were generated by the pandemic, although eliminated all over the world, still have effects on economic development. Moreover, current difficulties can be deepened by the international environment, which is dominated by two conflicts with global implications (Ukraine and Gaza). In such a context, not only governments have the duty of formulating solutions to issues like inflation, high interest rates, energetic insecurity, disruptions in the food market, etc. Non-governmental organizations also have a major role in finding the path that guarantees economic recovery and resilience. This track welcomes papers that focus on how civil society can/will influence the evolution of national or international economic landscapes.
5. CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
This track focuses on the changes and challenges in the field of international relations and their impact on the development of civil society. The world is constantly changing, new global and regional and local crises have emerged and the global actors have to find the appropriate responses to the new challenges. The main question of this track is: how do the contemporary issues shape the current international order? Topics may include, but are not limited to: US foreign policy under the Biden administration; the international impact of the war in Ukraine; the tensions between Russia and the West; the influence of China in the current international order; the development of international relations in a highly globalized world.
6. RESHAPING POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
This track will address the contemporary changes in the world of political ideology. Starting with the election of Donald Trump as the US president in 2016, moving towards the vote in favour of Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the beginning of the war in Ukraine, new types of political thoughts have emerged. This leads to the need to address the new ideological developments and their effects on the activity of civil societies. Topics may include, but are not limited to: the rise and development of populism, the challenges of liberalism, the ideological implications of Covid-19, the emergence of sovereignty discourses.
7. THE SOCIAL VALUES BEHIND CONTEMPORARY IDEOLOGICAL CONFLICTS
Conceptual corpora, comprising values and symbols that incorporate conceptions of human nature and that indicate what is possible or impossible for people to acquire; critical reflections on the nature of social interactions; values that people should reject or aspire to; technical corrections regarding the abstract improvement of human reality regarding the political, economic and social life of a nation or even of all humanity… Much more flexible and adaptable to reality than doctrines, ideologies impose themselves on collective mentalities, becoming part of them and models of collective belief and behaviour. The main focus of this track is on ideology proposed, not only as a system of beliefs and values, but also as an explanatory formula, which tries to offer quick and ready-made solutions that meet the needs of individuals and civil society at a given historical moment.
8. LAW, PUBLIC POLICY, AND CIVIL SOCIETY
We encourage a multidisciplinary understanding of the functioning of the contemporary state, civil society and public policy, by combining theoretical and methodological approaches from public policy, law and administrative studies.
Main ideas that can be approached in this track: public analysis, public administration theory and practice, civil society actors as important social stakeholders, the evolution of the modern state, social dialogue and labour relations, the impact of non-governmental organizations on shaping public policies, public and civil sector ethics, democratic administration, program evaluation, change management, the role of civil society in developing e-government, human resources management, and financial accountability.
9. CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE ENDEAVOUR OF PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
In the last few years, one of the consequences of the sanitary and military crises was a reduction in public opinion’s focus on another crisis with the potential to have an irreversible impact on human existence: climate change. Although some political officials and academics are constantly highlighting the danger posed by global warming and are debating strategies meant to protect the environment, the progress reached is far from satisfying. Implementing adequate policies depends on the involvement of civil society in the struggle against climate change. Non-governmental organizations have the possibility of organizing awareness campaigns and mass demonstrations. We welcome papers that discuss, from a multidisciplinary perspective, the latest developments regarding civil society’s role in the ongoing endeavour of protecting the environment.