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TT, civil society and social movements

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stefan silly's picture
Joined: 27 Sep 2010

Hi All!

I am from Graz/Austria and I am studying Environmental System Sciences, with emphasis on sustainable urban- and regional development.

Currently, I am working on my Master-thesis, and I have decided to lean the topic of the thesis on an indeed general, but highly up-to-date subject: Civil Society and its occurrence as social movements.

The master-thesis rests on the assumption that civil society is playing an ever growing role in solving complex problems which modern society is facing today. More precise, the thesis explores the potential of civil-society-movements, as they are one of the actors for the transformation toward a more sustainable society and as well as a problem-solver, dealing with the global problem-horizon of our times.

Therefore the goal of my master thesis is to give answers to the following questions:

1.       In which way is Civil Society becoming more important for solving diverse problems? What are the relevant aspects?

2.       As civil society actors occur (amongst other forms) as social movements/networks: Can there be identified some ´general factors of >>success<<´ of already existing movements?

As you might have already guessed, my intention is to choose Transition Towns as a case study, and therefore check 3 initiatives within the TTNetwork more closely.

Now, one imagines it not to be easy, to discern factors of ´success´. Therefore I´ve got a tool at hand, which is the ´model for integrative development processes towards sustainability in regions, which can more or less be universally applied. That model serves as a kind of framework/aid for the investigation.

At the end, the results of the investigation should eventually feed-back to whether general statements about success factors of civil society movements/networks can or cannot be made.

All in all, the master-thesis could finally be regarded as a contribution to the question of ´what is it all about with civil society and social movements´?

By now, I have already done the first part of my thesis, which is the theoretical approach. The next step would be the empirical, the case study part. The work maybe finished around the end of November.

If someone has an advice or tips for me, I would be really thankful!

Best Greetings to the whole network!



Joined: 3 Feb 2011

Dear Stefan,

I am working on a PhD thesis on social change and new social movements. The Transition Movement forms a major part of my inquiry. Anyhow, I am intrigued by your outline and would love know more about your topic, how your research went, etc.

If you're interested please contact me via