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2011 Virginia Summer School on Interest Group Politics: Global Advocacy
University of Virginia, USA

Scholarship / Financial aid: a limited number of scholarships available

Date: July 4-11, 2011

Deadline: 15 February 2011

Open to: PhD students, research master students and master students from political science

Announcement follows

The Summer School on Interest Group Politics is a new initiative of the ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups. Three schools, to be organized in 2010-2011-2012, aim to provide students of political science and public administration sound knowledge about these organized interests and their impact on public policy making.

The 2nd Annual Summer School on Interest Group Politics will be hosted at the Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy at the University of Virginia (US) July 4-11, 2011. This is the first time an ECPR summer school has ever been held outside Europe – it is fitting that the ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups would organize this summer school just outside of Washington DC - the other major global power center - since this year’s theme is “Global Advocacy.”

Policies emanating from the EU and the US have global impacts – these two power centers set global standards, shape global institutions, influence global markets, and determine global politics. It is critical students of advocacy have a better understanding of the important new developments and strategies of lobbying on global issues and in international arenas.

Drawing on the expertise of some of the most influential scholars working on the topic, the 2011 Summer School will explore the strategies and influence of interest groups engaged on “global issues” whether those groups are targeting policymakers in the US, the EU; the WTO, the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, multinational corporations (MNCs) or third country governments, especially those countries with less than democratic governance structures.

We will focus on three key aspects of Global Advocacy: venue selection, advocacy strategies and influence.
I. With globalization comes a remarkable growth in the number of venues or institutions before which interest groups can argue their positions. We will discuss how and why interest groups obtain access to various political institutions.
II. This explosion in possible venues, coupled with the growth of international and transnational NGOs, and the expansion of transnational advocacy networks, leads to a much more complex operating environment – with more opportunities but also more constraints. We will consider the political strategies groups employ including: issue prioritization, framing and argumentation, inside and outside tactic selection, media outreach and networking and coalition formation.
III. Concerted efforts by networks of like-minded activists have brought about significant policy change, be it the end of human rights abuses by the Argentine government; forcing global financial institutions like the World Bank to consider indigenous rights and environmental impacts; compelling multinational companies to stop dangerous marketing practices like the Nestle boycott campaign or getting gender-based violence on the global agenda. We will explore when global campaigns have been successful, when they have not and why.

Basic Requirements
The summer school is open to PhD students, research master students and master students from political science, public administration or related areas. A limited number of practitioners can participate as well. A basic requirement is that all applicants should have completed introductory courses in political and administrative sciences at the BA-level.

The course will be taught in English, so participants must have a good command of English.

Programme Fee
The program fee for students is € 600 and has to be paid within 14 days after confirmation. The fee includes accommodation, lunches, course material and the social programme. Attendees will be responsible for their own transportation costs to and from the University of Virginia. You will receive a notification whether you are admitted to the summer school by mid April. Payment of the attendance fee will confirm your participation. Students from outside the US who need a visa are expected to pay their fee within two weeks after they received their visa permit.

We have a very limited number of scholarships available. Only students who cannot apply for grants at their home institution or elsewhere are eligible to these scholarships. It is expected that you try to find scholarships yourself (see ECPR website for this). If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please indicate this below in addition to directly contacting the directors of the summer school, Prof. Christine Mahoney or Prof. Beyers

Registration procedure
Applications can be submitted by completing the online registration form, which will be open from 01-12-2010 till 20-02-2011. Participants will be selected based on a letter stating their motivation to take part in the summer school, two references, a short CV, and a paper proposal (maximum 2 pages) to be discussed during the summer school. Applicants will be notified mid April whether their application has been successful.
After receiving the automatic confirmation mail of your application, please send an e-mail to with the contact details of two references of your institution. Keep in mind that they should be aware of the fact that you are applying for this summer school, and that they can be contacted by the summer school secretariat if deemed necessary.

Visa requirements
Everyone is responsible for his or her visa, if this is needed. Please check the US Embassy in your country for more information on visa-requirements. In case you need an invitation letter, please mail Katherine Meyers. Most European citizens can travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). However, this is now subject to enhanced security requirements and involves the paying of an administrative fee. Check the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Web Site for more information.


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