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The Civil Society Workshop will meet on Thursday, November 7 at 12:30 pm for a discussion with
PhD Candidate, Sociology, GC CUNY
“Surveillance and Collective Efficacy”
In this paper, I want to explore the effects of internalization of surveillance on the communities’ capacity to act collectively in the interest of a common good. Building on my fieldwork in Moscow, Russia, I will demonstrate how the fears and expectations of surveillance disrupted neighborhood-level attempts to oppose urban renewal plans (“Renovation” of the city’s housing stock announced in 2017). Muscovites, expecting the authoritarian state to infiltrate grassroots activism, had difficulties establishing relations of trust with their neighbors, which affected their ability to orchestrate collective resistance to the project.
The big role of social media in this resistance campaign complicated the effect of the expected surveillance: in the anonymous and atomized city, social media were necessary for neighbors to find one another and coordinate their actions against urban renewal; however, social media proved to be more prone to disruption by the expected (and real) surveillance and infiltration.
Room: Political Science Thesis Room, room 5200.07
Civil Society Workshop, October 24: “Intersectional explorations into the changing nature of womens civic engagement in rural India” with Varnica Arora
The Civil Society Workshop will meet on Thursday, October 24 at 12:30 pm for a discussion with
doctoral student in the Critical Social Personality Psychology, GC CUNY
“Intersectional explorations into the changing nature of womens civic engagement in rural India”
This talk explores the impacts and questions raised by the insidious movements of government promoted civil society organizations (GO’s) to push out civil society actors from grassroots mobilization in rural India. As of May 2019, Sixty million rural women across the country have been organized into Self Help groups. The extent to which they contribute to issues of gender justice remains contentious. Using an intersectional framework, implications of these changes are discussed drawing on data collected from Self Help Groups either formed by a NGO or GOs in India . The data suggests that there are important differences in the definition and enactment of processes of collective action and political participation within the context of GOs and NGOs. Further, theorizing civic engagement at the intersection of women’s multiple positionalities within the shaskiya (governmental), samajik (social/religious) and saravjanik (communitarian) realms offers a bottom up framework to understand the complexities of the changing relationship between women, civil society, and the State.
Room: Political Science Thesis Room, room 5200.07
Civil Society Workshop, September 26: Civil Society Snapshots from Latvia, China, France with Senior Fellows 2019
Join us on Thursday, September 26, at 12:30 pm, for a discussion with
Inese Danga, Social Support Program Director — Foundation Ziedot.lv
Delphine Valette, Community Development Manager for Nice-Côte d’Azur Area; and Consultant for entrepreneurs and community leaders
Coordinator, Community Foundations Group — National Centre for French Foundations
Tongting Xiao, Secretary — Chengdu Wuhou Community Development Foundation
Civil Society Snapshots from Latvia, China, France
Room: Political Science Thesis Room, 5200.07
Civil Society Workshop, October 10: “Nonprofit Downhill Skiing in Maine: Analysis of a Mixed Industry” with John Casey
The Civil Society Workshop will meet on Thursday, October 10 at 12:30 pm for a discussion with
Prof. John Casey,
Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
Baruch College, CUNY
“Nonprofit Downhill Skiing in Maine: Analysis of a Mixed Industry”
Abstract. This paper focuses on the shifting landscapes of collaborations in mixed industries, and the decisions made around the provision of services through the public, private or nonprofit sectors. The paper analyses the history of the involvement of the three sectors in the provision of downhill skiing as a mixed industry in Maine, USA, and explores the implications for the future of public service.
To most people, skiing conjures up images of the glitterati schussing down the slopes of high-end resorts. At first sight, it seems to be a quintessentially private service that is offered at a premium by for-profit businesses. Yet, in Maine, of the 19 currently operating downhill ski areas, 11 are owned or operated by 501c3 nonprofits, (3 of the ski areas are owned by the local towns but operated by nonprofit organizations), in effect providing a public service. Throughout the US there are ski areas owned and operated by governments and nonprofits, but NAICS statistics indicate that Maine has the highest proportion. This paper analyzes what this market niche tells us about the collaboration between sectors in mixed industries, and explores the implications for the future of public service.
Room: Political Science Thesis Room, room 5200.07
Meets on Thursdays from 12:30 – 2:00 pm at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, room 5401, unless otherwise indicated.
Fall 2019 Schedule
|September 12||Senior International Fellows 2019||Civil Society Snapshots from Ukraine, Italy, Nigeria|
|September 26||Senior International Fellows 2019||Civil Society Snapshots from Latvia, China, France|
|October 10||John Casey||Nonprofit Downhill Skiing in Maine: Analysis of a Mixed Industry|
|October 24||Varnica Arora||Intersectional explorations into the changing nature of womens civic engagement in rural India|
|November 7||Anna Zhelnina||Surveillance and Collective Efficacy|
|November 21||David Monda|
|December 5||Merrill Sovner||Reduce, Replace, or Reorient: NGO Responses to the End of International Funding|
Civil Society Workshop, May 9: Jessica Mahlbacher, “The Ties that Bind?: International Linkages and the Hong Kong Democracy Movement.”
Join us on Thursday, May 9, at 12:30 pm for a discussion with:
Jessica Mahlbacher, PhD Candidate, Political Science
“The Ties that Bind?: International Linkages and the Hong Kong Democracy Movement.”
Recent literature has highlighted the importance of international linkages to democratization struggles in empowering opposition groups. As a former British colony, Hong Kong has many international linkages, including a large diaspora, leaders educated in Western universities, and numerous international trade and financial ties. Yet these linkages have varied in their impact on the relationship between rival factions and the local government. While Hong Kong activists were able to elicit international government support for the Article 23 Movement against treason and sedition legislation in 2003, they were unable to get similar support for Umbrella Movement in 2014. Building on fieldwork and archival research conducted from 2016 and 2018, my research maintains that contrary to Levitsky and Way’s argument, the effect of linkages depends on the international context and composition of movement leadership.
Join us on Thursday, March 28, at 12:30 pm for a discussion with:
Greg Witkowski, Senior Lecturer in the Nonprofit Management Program, Columbia University
Developing a Global Approach to Philanthropy
This session will help flesh out an inclusive definition of philanthropy. Previous definitions have focused on Western expectations of formal philanthropy rather than the expressions of charity, solidarity and reciprocal giving that exist around the world. The workshop will present a overview of philanthropic giving, its instruments and goals in the West in an effort to find places to broaden perspectives to include views from Asia, Africa, and Latin America construct a more inclusive view.
Room: Sociology Thesis Room, 6112.1
Join us on Thursday, February 28, at 12:30 pm for a discussion with:
Hong Hoang, Obama Scholar, Founder and Executive Director of CHANGE
Social Change under Government Supervision in Vietnam
Vietnam is a one party-state that faces many environmental and social challenges. Civil society organizations are poised to help these challenges while they operate under close government supervision. In this presentation, Hong Hoang will share the experience of CHANGE, a CSO that activates youth, communities and the public on issues of climate and energy, wildlife conservation and sustainability. She will discuss the process of establishing CHANGE as a legal organization as well as how it mobilizes resources, implements its mission, and navigates the parameters set by the Vietnamese government.
We will be meeting at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, room 5401
Civil Society Workshop, April 11: “The Role of Pooled Funding in Supporting Civil Society in Eastern Europe”
Join us on Thursday, April 11, at 12:30 pm for a discussion with:
Merrill Sovner, Barry Gaberman, and Bill Moody
“The Role of Pooled Funding in Supporting Civil Society in Eastern Europe”
Abstract: Starting in 1991, US private foundations, sometimes joined by USAID, came together to pool their funding into a series of partnerships and trust with the overall aim of supporting civil society in Eastern Europe. Established during a time of optimism and consensus in liberal democracy, civil society was seen as an essential part of sustaining democratic change in the region after the end of Communist regimes. The Environmental Partnership for Central Europe, the Baltic-American Partnership Fund, the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans Trust for Democracy and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation were set up at different times, different countries, slightly different contexts, different yet overlapping funders, and different end points. They have been evaluated and assessed individually, but this effort aims to look across all five to glean a greater understanding of this model, and over a long term. What enduring legacy have these pooled funds left in the region today, where the liberal democratic consensus can no longer be taken for granted? This research project, undertaken by three former foundation staff, aims to develop a list of lessons for the philanthropic field in considering pooled funding for civil society development going forward.
Barry Gaberman is a retired Senior Vice President of the Ford Foundation, and has served as chair of the board of the Foundation Center, the Global Fund for Community Foundations, the WINGS Coordinating Committee and BoardSource.
William Moody is a retired Program Director of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and author of the book, Staying the Course: Reflections on 40 Years of Grantmaking at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Merrill Sovner is a former Deputy Program Director at the Open Society Foundations and a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Room: Sociology Thesis Room, 6th floor, 6112.1
Dennis Redeker, March 14: Digital Constitutionalism: Norm-Entrepreneurship of Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Internet Rights Field
Join us on Thursday, March 14, at 12:30 pm for a discussion with:
Dennis Redeker, PhD Fellow at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), University of Bremen, and International Graduate Researcher Visiting Scholar at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University
Digital Constitutionalism: Norm-Entrepreneurship of Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Internet Rights Field
Abstract: As the Internet and digital technologies become ever more pervasive in our societies, the struggle around the norms governing the behavior of users, governments and corporations intensifies. Digital constitutionalism has been developed as a term that describes a conversation around fundamental rights and principles regarding the Internet. Initiatives of digital constitutionalism are often led by networks of civil society groups that act as norm entrepreneurs aiming to entrench a set of rights and principles into a transnational constitutional order. Documents of digital constitutionalism typically lay out demands for an array of individual norms, from net neutrality to freedom of expression online. The transnational advocacy networks (TANs) associated with these documents navigate different levels of engagement, from global Internet governance fora, such as the Internet Governance Forum, to divergent local contexts in which Internet related norms are at stake.
The talk sheds light on the emergence and development of three different transnational networks with a focus on the coalition around the “Feminist Principles of the Internet”. The focus of the presentation lies on the negotiation processes that lead to the manifestations of norms expressed in the documents of constitutionalism, the role these documents play in mobilizing TANs, and the use of these documents in the groups’ norm-entrepreneurship. The argument is based on a comparative case study methodology utilizing an analysis of around twenty qualitative interviews with civil society representatives from around the world and numerous written and digital materials.
Room: Political Science thesis room: 5200.07