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Research Workshop 'Methodology of Comparative Studies on Civil Society in the EU, Germany, and Russia'

Veröffentlichungsdatum:

April 22, 2017

Saint-Petersburg

The Research Workshop was organized to discuss the variety of participatory methods used incivil society studies in order to agree upon optimal methods for annual analytical reports on civil society in various EU countries and Russia. It was organized for the second time in cooperation with the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, a network of about 150 NGOs from the EU and Russia that initiated the preparation of the annual Report on the State of Civil Society in the EU and Russia since 2016.

The Workshop aimed at finding the gaps and needs in this field, the most appropriate research methodology and methods for preparation of such a Report, which can be of interest to both academic scholars and practitioners within the NGO sector in the EU and Russia. The participants were 14 researchers from the tertiary sector and NGO representatives from Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Finland, and various research institutions of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Comparative methodology was elaborated for the joint research conducted by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum later in Summer 2017 in five further countries (Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, and Bulgaria), which became the basis for the second 2017 Report on the State of Civil Society in the EU and Russia to be published in the beginning of 2018 in English and Russian, in both printed and online versions.

Complementary to the Workshop, a public event was organized at the German-Russian Exchange and other St. Petersburg NGOs, engaging civil society researchers from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Lithuania on the topic “Current Threats and Hopes for Civil Society Organizations in Europe: Different Countries – Similar Agendas?” The panel discussion was dedicated to the current situation of NGOs, civic initiatives, and social movements in Europe. The experts briefly overviewed the major trends and discussions, threats and hopes of the current moment, and answered questions from the audience and each other. As a result, together they tried to compare their situations and draw some general conclusions about the similarities and differences of the state of civil society organizations now. The event attracted significant attention, indicating a demand for such public discussions in St. Petersburg.

Through the Research Workshop and the public event organized in cooperation with civil society researchers and representatives, the CGES contributed to the better dissemination of comparative studies results and methodology, as well as to the broader outreach of its activities.