CFA - International Graduate Workshop: Civil Resistance: How Ideas, People and Movements can change Politics

Everywhere, people are protesting – students in Hong Kong; citizens in India; indigenous in Brazilian forests; #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter in America; democracy campaigners in Iran, Sudan, Chile; yellow vests in France; European nativists; climate activists, globally.

They are challenging a range of political, economic, social and civic ideas, policies, processes and regimes. In most cases there have been serious efforts to rely on exclusive forms of non-violent struggle, even if not always successfully.

This three-day graduate workshop will examine the nature of Civil Resistance. From marches to vigils, from petitions to strikes, from go-slows to boycotts, and from occupations to new institutions. We will explore these protests from different groups, in different forms, and from across the political spectrum.

Such resistance, to be found throughout history, and especially prominent in contemporary struggles, raises tough questions: What makes for successful civil resistance? What is the record on effectiveness compared with violent methods? How far can civil resistance stay within constitutional laws? What are historical influences on today’s form of resistance, like Gandhi’s ideas of satyagraha? Why have some movements been followed by violence and war? What roles do ethics and morality play? How have social media affected such movements?

The workshop is held in memory of Adam von Trott who sought to remove the Nazi Regime. It will be participatory and engaging, hosted in Oxford, in partnership with Wycliffe Hall and the Maison Francaise d’Oxford, with lectures from expert academics and talks from those actively involved in such resistance, as well as younger scholars, plus working groups and debates. It is designed for 24 advanced graduates from a range of European universities, broadly linked to the Europaeum association. The Keynote Lecture will be given by Professor Sir Adam Roberts (Emeritus Professor of International Relations, Oxford University).

Applications are now being accepted from doctoral or advanced graduates (master students) especially from the Universities of Oxford and Göttingen, and from the Europaeum network of universities. All local costs will be covered; travel allowances will be available. Applications – a CV (max. 2 pages) and a short letter of motivation including your relevant areas of interest and possible inputs for the workshop – together with one or two brief academic references, should go to by 24th February, 2020.

The event is part of the project “Resistance – Democracy – Internationality”, a cooperation of the University of Göttingen, the Stiftung Adam von Trott, Imshausen e.V. and the Oxford Adam von Trott Memorial Committee, at Mansfield College, Oxford.

For more information, please contact: Dr Paul Flather or Lars Jakob