Civil society actors, especially NGOs, increasingly work across borders to influence regional and global politics. This research project seeks to understand the formation of transnational networks of NGOs and individual policy entrepreneurs, their interaction with governments and international organisations, the effect of their activities on their organisational structures and working practices, and their impact on regional and global politics.

The project is aligned to the Democratic Citizenship research theme at the University of Portsmouth. There are three streams to the project:

  • Stream 1 addresses NGO policies and practices, particularly in regard to policies and working practices that frame relationships with intended beneficiaries and European/international partners.
  • Stream 2 focuses on transnational civil society networks in terms of cross-border contacts, patterns of cooperation and the institutionalization of cooperation, particularly in a regional/EU context.
  • Stream 3 centres on transnational civil society interaction with political authorities, which examines factors that shape relationships between civil society actors and institutions at the state, regional and global level.

The project will produce several high-quality publications and large external funding bids. Members will stage an international conference (Civil Society Under Attack), as well as four workshops with policy-makers and NGO practitioners. Members will also generate impact by advising NGOs on their internal policies.

The project has recently secured new European Union funding for the Centre for the Study of Transnational Europe (CESTE). CESTE was created in 2013 and is associated with the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for European and International Studies Research. It is funded under the Jean Monnet scheme for research and teaching on Europe and the European Union and is led by Dr Karen Heard-Laureote, Jean Monnet Chair and Reader in European Politics. CESTE currently has three research streams: exploring narratives about European integration, led by Professor Wolfram Kaiser; societal actors and networking in a disintegrating Europe, led by Dr Nora Siklodi; and global actors’ narratives and engagement with Europe and the EU, led by Dr Ed Stoddard. For further information, visit CESTE.

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