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European Regional Network

Annette Zimmer, Münster University in Germany is the new coordinator of the European ISTR-Network.  She will be supported by Büke Bosnak, Koç University in Turkey and Michael Vilain, Protestant University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, Germany.


The group discussed the importance of keeping and restructuring the network in light of new domestic and global developments such as democratic backsliding, the rise of populism, European skepticism, and the refugee crisis. Therefore, members agreed that European ISTR Network should remain and restructure itself. The group therefore discussed establishing a European listserve and a list of potential members has been created and the listserve is in process of being established.  The group is also considering adding a one-day European ISTR event to the German-speaking NPO Colloquium.


Lars Svedberg, Ersta Sköndal University College, chaired the meeting. Ola Segnestam Larsson, Ersta Sköndal University College, served as the secretary for the meeting.  Approximately 20 people were in attendance.

Several ideas were raised in the meeting, including:

    Development of joint PhD courses at the European level;

    Enhance the development of EU Horizon projects;

    Facilitate the flow of information among researchers in Europe;

    Organize seminars around European comparative research projects;

    Expand the ISTR PhD Network seminar, e.g. two day PhD conference in between ISTR conferences;

    Enable practitioner participation by financial means and by lowering language barriers;

    Meeting on qualitative credit-based education (for example related to curriculum and the idea of a          European standard);

    Meeting of research directors, either in Amsterdam or next year in relation to a conference;

    Publish research centers/education programs and courses at a web site (e.g. ISTR);

    Create interconnections with existing networks, such as EMES and ERNOP.

The group also discussed concerns related to the European Regional Network including, limited resources and of existing European networks.

The following next step was discussed and agreed upon: a working group consisting of Giulio Eccha, Andreas Schroeer, Kari Steen-Johnson, and Lars Svedberg was formed and agreed to arrange a Skype meeting before the end of the summer 2016.

July 2014
During the ISTR conference in Muenster, approximately 30 researchers from around
Europe convened for the European Regional Network Meeting. Chaired by Lars Svedberg,
Ersta Sköndal University College in Sweden, the participants discussed the need for more
sharing of experiences and lessons learned related to European comparative research projects
and the developments of credit-based education programs and courses in Europe related to
civil society and the third sector. Additional items adressed during the meeting included a
European PhD network meeting, a professional network, meetings for directors of research
and master programs, and European tracks in ISTR 2016. Towards the end of the meeting,
it was agreed that the possibilities for organizingi) a meeting in 2015 on European comparative
research projects, ii) a conference in 2015 among research and education center directors,
iii) a PhD network meeting in 2015, and iv) more conference sessions related to legal
dimensions of civil society should be explored.

To read the meeting minutes, click here.
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