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A revival of ideologies? Ideas and opinions in contemporary democracies

Explore the relevance of ideologies in understanding democratic challenges and political conflicts

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Master's
  • Phd
  • PhD candidates/students
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
15 October - 23 October 2024

This blended mobility CIVIS course introduces to the study of ideologies, ideas and opinions in contemporary democracies. In humanities and social sciences there is an ongoing debate about the role of ideologies, ideas and opinions in shaping community belonging, social transformation and institutional settings. Regarding contemporary democracies, liberalism, socialism, conservatism, nationalism, fascism, populism have been represented relevant political ideologies in the XIX and in the XX Century. However, in the last decades, while important socio-economic, cultural and political changes occurred, ideologies have also transformed their nature in terms of intellectual production and communication, as well as in terms of political impact and polarization. While scholars argued the crisis of the ideologies, other suggested their revival.

Main topics addressed

The contents of the training will be:

  • Traditional and new ideologies
  • Nationalism
  • Liberalism
  • Fascism
  • Populism
  • Political polarisation
  • Communicating ideology
  • Political opinions
  • Intellectuals, experts and think tanks

Learning outcomes

By following the course students will:

  1. To be provided with a trans-disciplinary view on the challenges that the study of ideologies implies for European countries.
  2. To provided with a presentation of the up-to-date disciplinary knowledge on various topics connected to the political and social research on ideologies.
  3. To exchange ideas on research strategies and methodologies about the deliverables of the students, in an informal working environment which will improve collaborative learning.
  4. To foster students critical thinking about ideologies and their significance.
  5. To help students to foster their master or PhD work for the following steps for instance in terms of bibliography and consistency of the arguments.
Dates: 15 October - 23 October 2024 Total workload:  85 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 3*
Location: Rome, Italy Language: English (C1)

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

The face-to-face part will take place from 4 to 8 November 2024:

  1. In the morning three teachers will deliver a lecture of 45 minutes each giving an updated review of the research on ideologies issues from a specific disciplinary perspective.
  2. In the afternoon students will deliver a fifteen-minute individual presentation of their work (with a PPT), followed by a collective discussion on how to improve their research strategies and methodologies, facilitated by two/three teachers.

Virtual part

The virtual component will provide an introductory knowledge of the Summer School topic, through an innovative learning experience.

  • In the first part (2 hours, 15th October 2024) of the virtual component, coordinators will give students a general presentation of the Winter School, including practical information about teaching schedule, online readings, deliverables, mobility, accommodation, etc.
  • In the second part (6 hours, 16th and 22th October 2024) students will be engaged in a Virtual World Café. A Virtual WorldCafé is an online participatory method aiming at establishing an informal and tolerant space of dialogue wheremultiple ideas and perspectives on a topic can be exchanged. Students will be engaged in several rounds of small-group conversation, on different ideological issues, guided by experts using online facilitation tools.
  • At the end of the final round (2 hours, 23th October 2024), the facilitators will summarize the results and discuss them with the students. Teachers will beinvited to take part to the final discussion and to contribute to it.
  • Requirements

This course is open to students at CIVIS member universities, with background in social and political sciences, political history or philosophy, with a good level of written and spoken English (C1). No specific competencies are required.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Students from CIVIS’ strategic partner universities in Africa cannot apply for participation in this course.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 28 April 2024. Don't forget to also include:

  • CV

  • Motivation Letter

  • Research project outlines

Applications will be evaluated based on:

  • Discipline in which the student obtained his bachelor's degree and is completing his master's degree
  • Interest in subject (attractiveness of places)
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work
  • Possibility of finding a case study (a city or region) that can be used for the student's research.

Apply now


The evaluation is based on the following components and respective weights:

  • Class participation (online and in presence) and attendance (physical component): 30%
  • Presentation of the student's project (e.g. chapter/draft to the Master or Phd thesis): 70%

Each student will present her/his work (e.g. with a PPT) and respond the questions/remarks by instructors.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms

Mattia Diletti, “Sapienza” University of Rome

Oscar Mazzoleni, Université de Lausanne

Reinhard C. Heinisch, Salzburg University

Angel Rivero Rodriguez, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

The four professors above, who come from the four universities organizing the BIP- CIVIS, will coordinate a group of about ten professors and trainers who will work during the course. The group of teachers will be from different disciplines.