Zentrum für Zivilgesellschaftsforschung (Gruppenfoto: David Ausserhofer)
David Ausserhofer
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The Center for Civil Society Research has an integrative research approach that systematically combines research on political protest and social movements with the empirical analysis of political conflict structuration and social capital. The research program in the center’s founding phase is divided into three main areas.  The first area is devoted to the analysis of long-term changes of political conflict structuring. The projects in this area shall provide insights into the development of mobilization potentials in civil society, the restructuring of political conflict in the protest and electoral area, and into the politicization of societal key issues.  The projects in the second area focus on changes in the organizational landscapes of civil society and the dynamic interaction of different political actors and arenas. The projects in the third area deal with research problems at the interface of social capital and political protest.  Apart from thematically specific projects the Center for Civil Society Research aims at institutionalizing a data infrastructure for the long term observation of political conflict and protest in Germany (and further European countries). In the longer term the Center should cover the entire field of civil society research and strengthen networking among science, civil society and politics.

The center is jointly supported by the WZB and the Freie Universität Berlin. During its founding phase the center will be funded by the Stiftung Mercator and the Volkswagen Foundation.


Recent Contributions of the Center for Civil Society Research on the Corona Crisis:

Swen Hutter and Hanspeter Kriesi: Politicising immigration in times of crisis

Edgar Grande and Swen Hutter: Corona und die Zivilgesellschaft

Daniela Braun and Edgar Grande: Politicizing Europe in Elections to the European Parliament (1994–2019): The Crucial Role of Mainstream Parties

Grande, Brigitte/Grande, Edgar/Hahn, Udo (Ed.) (2021): Zivilgesellschaft in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Aufbrüche, Umbrüche, Ausblicke.

Borbáth, Endre/Hunger, Sophia/Hutter, Swen/Oana, Ioana-Elena (2021): Civic and Political Engagement during the Multifaceted COVID‐19 Crisis.



Founding Director

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Julia Jann
030 25491 303
Mail: sek-zz [at] wzb.eu

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
william87 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
October 28-29, 2021

Contentious Interactions: Frontiers in Protest Research

The workshop brings together scholars working on protest dynamics from Europe, the United States and elsewhere. The aim is to take stock of current developments in three fields: the dynamics of protest and electoral politics; protest and networks of grassroots mobilization; radicalization in protest on- and offline. The workshop also features a keynote speech by Theda Skocpol and a concluding roundtable. The event will take place as a hybrid event. Upon registration, external participants may attend online - via Zoom - individual presentations, the keynote speech, or the roundtable.

Latest News

Brigitte Grande, Edgar Grande, Udo Hahn (Hg.), "Zivilgesellschaft in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Aufbrüche, Umbrüche, Ausblicke" (transcript Verlag)

- released 9 April, an interview with the editors available here!



Just published:

Discussion Paper Alles Covidioten? Politische Potenziale des Corona-Protests in Deutschland by Edgar Grande, Swen Hutter, Sophia Hunger and Eylem Kanol.

The Observatory for Political Conflict and Democracyis online! It contains data on protests, election campaigns and debates. PolDem is an initiative of the Center for Civil Society Research and the European University Institute.

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