Call for abstracts Workshop on Think Tanks in Europe, Université of Gothenburg, 21-22 September 2017

Pour information, vous trouverez ci-dessous un appel à communications pour un workshop sur les think tanks en Europe qui aura lieu à l’Université de Gothenburg (Suède) les 21-22 septembre 2017.

Call for abstracts

Workshop on Think Tanks in Europe

21-22 September 2017


Location : University of Gothenburg, Sweden

For any questions and/or abstract submission please contact Katarzyna Jezierska

The Centre for European Research (CERGU), University of Gothenburg is organizing a two-day workshop on Think Tanks in Europe. Scholars working in this field are welcome to submit abstracts of their ongoing research. The workshop will bring together experts from political science, sociology, social anthropology, public administration, media studies and international relations who research think tanks in a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches as well as diversified empirical settings.

The aim of the workshop

All over the world, think tanks have become part of the machinery of policymaking. Usually defined as institutions claiming autonomy, whose main aim is to influence policy-making based on the social analysis they produce (McGann 2007; Rich 2004; Weaver 1989), they aspire to bridge the gap between knowledge (academia) and power (politicians and policymakers). Located at the intersection of different societal spheres, they engage in boundary work (Jezierska 2017; Medvetz 2012; Stone 2007). Since 1990 think tanks are growing numerically, now amounting to 6,846 institutions in the world, of which 1,770 are placed in Europe (McGann 2016). Not only have they increased in number, but also the scope and impact of their work have dramatically expanded (Kelstrup 2016). This changes the way governance is organized; it raises issues of accountability of these non-elected bodies and puts conventional notions of policy-making and democratic theory in question (cf. Garsten, Rothstein & Svallfors 2015; Plehwe 2014). Despite their visible presence and growing influence, think tanks are still relatively understudied.

The ambition of this workshop is to inspire scholarly exchange with regard to theoretical and methodological developments as well as empirical findings. Importantly, to balance the severely biased literature in the field, the workshop will strive to gather researchers from both Western and Eastern Europe. The workshop will target think tank communities in national settings, especially those, which have hitherto evaded thorough academic scrutiny, as well as the transnational dimension of think tanks. We will jointly explore who these actors are, what they do and how they operate in different empirical contexts as well as the implications of their activities for democratic governance.

Submission of theoretical, methodological and empirical papers is welcome. Especially encouraged are scholars working on think tanks in Eastern and Southern Europe. Here comes the call with specified deadlines for submission :–september-2017 The number of participants is limited to 20. Those selected will be fully reimbursed for their travel and accommodation expenses. Confirmed speakers include Diane Stone, Dieter Plehwe and Hartwig Pautz.

Important Dates

28 February 2017 : deadline for abstract submission (max 300 words)

15 March 2017 : notification of acceptance

7 September 2017 : deadline for full paper submission

21-21 September 2017 : workshop