European Voluntary Associations network
The aim of this project is to form a network of distinguished scholars and young researchers who study voluntary associations in contemporary Europe both in a comparative and historical perspective. Extensive research undertaken in a range of national contexts from across Europe will be brought together to analyze nationally differentiated cultures of association-patterns, parameters and functions - and through this work to illuminate wider differences in political cultures.
The network organizes every year an interdisciplinary seminar and two workshops for the doctoral students. The seminars will be held with invited established scholars from selected countries to compare the national cases, with the aim of producing a major edited volume on voluntary associations in historical and comparative perspective. The workshops will be led by the members of the steering committee. The foci will be, first, on the nationally specific conceptions and parameters of associations, and, second, on the nature of associational activity at a micro level. The first theme implies the study of voluntary associations in relation to the state and other forms of collective action and pressure group activity. The second theme will enable a close-textured examination of the character of associational activity in relation to community structures, sociability, innovation and local identity.