17.07.2017 – Horizontal Europeanization

Summer School, 21.-24.06.2017, Wrocław

Identities, identification and the preparedness to share are timely issues for Europe. Though we can refer to a broad academic literature in the field, the pressing questions arise anew with the European economic and fiscal crisis, with the Brexit and the rise of nationalist populism. The future of the European integration project depends not the least on the European’s preparedness to share. Feelings of solidarity are closely linked with identification. The international Summer school „Identifications and Solidarity in Europe. Discussing, Learning and Networking for Young Researchers” focused on these questions which are decisive for Europe’s future.

The Research Unit Horizontal Europeanization, funded by the German Research Foundation, the Austrian Science Fund, jointly with the Section “Sociology of Europe (Europasoziologie)” of the German Sociological Association (DGS) and the Standing Group Identities by the European Council for Political Studies (ECPR) organized the summer school in June 2017 at the Willy Brandt Center for German and European Studies in Wroclaw. It brought together 14 young researchers, mostly Ph.D students, with more experienced scholars from Germany, UK, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Turkey and Poland.

Doctoral students presented their projects on a wide range of related topics such as blaming the EU for social inequalities, symbolic boundaries among European elites, transnational volunteering, the Brexit vote, or attitudes towards the crisis in Greece. The projects were discussed intensively and received feedback from multiple perspectives, involving a handful of experienced researchers and perspectives from various countries.

Additionally, the participants discussed recent publications in the field with the authors. The group not only challenged the authors to justify their arguments and findings but also gained insight into the publication process and the practical issues of research projects. The participants had the chance to look behind the curtain of polished, high-profile research.

Participants of the summer school had the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss not only during panels and presentations but also during coffee breaks, lunches and dinners – which finished sometimes late at night. A guided city-tour about the “Identities of Wroclaw”, a city marked by the historical turns of 20th century Europe, provided a chance to approach the summer school’s topic yet from another perspective.