Council Room lecture theatre


Council Room lecture theatre
Firth Park, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN


28 Apr 2022


10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Understanding Civil Society – Concept(s) in Context

This one-day symposium has been organised by the Civil Society, Development and Democracy (CDD) Pathway and is open to all ESRC and non-ESRC funded PhD and MA Social Research students within the WRDTP’s seven partner universities. Whilst this workshop is aimed at CDD Pathway students, PGRs from all seven interdisciplinary Pathways are welcome to attend.

This Symposium will bring together academics, practitioners, and PGR students to reflect upon and discuss the concept of Civil Society. Drawing on their expertise, the guest speakers will explore the contextualisation of Civil Society across a range of different institutional environments. This will  help to stimulate a debate around the concept itself and how it departs from its often theoretical-normative use. The symposium will help to explore what contextualisation means for understanding the concept as well as conducting research (i.e., operationalising the concept). The speakers will discuss a variety of specific context such as the Russian Federation and China, or the relevance of the concept for Development looking at various Africa contexts, and the way practitioners relate to the concept when allocating resources for example.

Students attending this training will gain:

  • An understanding of current academic debates relating to the concept of Civil Society, Development, and Democracy
  • Insights onto the challenges of working, researching, and conceptualising Civil Society in different context and across contexts
  • An opportunity to engage with experienced academics to ask questions relevant to their own PhD project.
  • Begin to develop abstract thinking and conceptualisation skills

Please note, this symposium will be run a face-to-face event and online session. There are 40 tickets available for face-to-face delegates. We ask that if you register to attend you must commit to attending or to contacting us in advance of the event if you cannot attend. Your department will be charged the cost of your ‘ticket’ if you do not inform us that you cannot attend face-to-face in advance.

PLEASE NOTE: subject to government and institutional guidance, this training symposium will be delivered on a face-to-face basis. Students are responsible for arranging travel to and from the University of Sheffield for this symposium. The WRDTP cannot reimburse travel costs to Pathway sessions.