2019 03 17 vien2



IWM Summer School 2019

Democracy and Demography

Call for Applications

Saturday, 17 August 2019, 10:00am - Saturday, 24 August 2019, 6:00pm, Burg Feistritz

To exist in a democracy means to be counted, and ideally to feel as if what one does truly counts. At this summer school, we will discuss how the demography of a polity is presumed to impact its form of government. Thus, the summer school will address a few central questions:

  • Are there distinctive concerns associated with being over- versus underpopulated?
  • How and why does migration – both outward and inward – create anxiety that can throw the basis of democratic pluralism into question?
  • What are the various forms of “homogeneity” that different political ideologies seek to achieve or correct for? To what extent does a “longing for homogeneity” underpin the current rise of neo-authoritarian populism?
  • When and how is “the fear of small numbers” instrumentalized?
  • How can political systems – and democracy in particular – expand or limit the participation of certain groups in policymaking?

We propose to discuss some classic texts and chart a course through various sub-themes ranging from colonialism to “population politics” to Foucauldian “governmentality and biopolitics” to environmentalism, and aim to deal with different genres and disciplinary approaches such as political and social theory, history, film, fiction, etc.

The summer school offers the opportunity to work on these themes with leading scholars in the field, who include Holly CaseCraig CalhounDilip Gaonkar,Ivan KrastevJan-Werner Müller, and Shalini Randeria. Besides lectures, discussions, and reading sessions, it also offers the possibility to pursue an optional writing component under the close supervision of long-time magazine editor John Palattella.


It is will be held at Burg Feistritz, a picturesque castle embedded in the rolling hills of Lower Austria. The beauty and serenity of the historic scenery and the abundance of comfortable guest rooms create a perfect environment for the exchange of ideas, and offers many beautiful and distinctive spaces to engage, discuss, and reflect.


We invite applications from human and social sciences PhD and PostDoc students as well as faculty members (up to 5 years after PhD). 8-10 of the 25 places will be reserved for participants from Asia, Africa or Latin America.


Applicants should send a CV, a Motivation Letter and a Letter of Recommendation. These documents should be submitted online via the IWM applications platform.
The deadline for application submission is March 31, 2019.


Applicants will be informed about the selection results by April 28, 2019. All costs related to participation are covered by the organizers. For any questions please contact us at summerschool@iwm.at

[Download_the Call_as PDF]

The summer school is organized by the Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, IWM) in cooperation with the Centre for Transcultural Studies (CTS) and the Center for Global Culture and Communication (CGCC), with the generous support of the MasterCard Foundation.