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European citizenship and rhetorical argumentation: the case of climate change

At the heart of European Institutions, debate over climate change and discover the EU political decision-making process through rhetorical theory and practice

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Business and Management
  • Computer Science and IT
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Environment & Agriculture
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
Course dates
18-27 August 2021

This summer school is designed to draw on the exercises and tools of ancient rhetoric to develop students' contemporary citizenship skills. By helping participants to develop practical skills for arguing and expressing themselves in public, this training aims at increasing citizens' capacities for reflection and criticism in the context of European democracy.

This year, the case study for this rhetorical program will be climate change. Indeed, the presentation of the Green Deal places the debate and controversy surrounding environmental measures and policies at the centre of European deliberative activity. In this context, the summer school will enable students to take ownership of the political decision-making process at the European level and to exercise their argumentative skills at the heart of the European Institutions.


Before applying, make sure to carefully read the "Selection process" section and to download the application form

Duration of the course: 10 days

Course format: Physical*

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Language: English (B2 required)

Nb of ECTS: 2 (depending on your home University) Nb of CIVIS scholarships offered: 14

*We draw candidates' attention to the possible difficulties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. In case of cancellation of the August 2021 session, successful candidates will automatically (if they wish to) have a place for the August 2022 session.

Main topics

  • Rhetoric and argumentation
  • Political deliberation
  • Climate change
  • European institutions
  • European citizenship

Learning outcomes

  • Develop citizenship skills by making a deliberative discourse: debate, argumentation, critical thinking, rhetorical analysis and composition tools.
  • Bring knowledge and an immersive experience of the European political environment on climate issues :
    • A variety of activities to exercise students' rhetorical and citizenship skills;
    • Participants will also become familiar with the functioning of democracy at the European level through various activities with experts and practitioners.


  • Students will write and perform a deliberative speech on European environmental policy.
  • The assessment of participants will be based on:
    • participation: 40%
    • deliberative speech: 40%
    • reflexive writing about their participation: 20%


Selected CIVIS students (except ULB students) will be supported by a grant, please contact your University for any information. See also in this document how the scholarship amount is calculated. 


  • Emmanuelle Danblon is Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, member of the Académie Royale de Belgique (Classe des Lettres). She teaches rhetoric and argumentation. Her research interests focus on the links between discourses, institutions and rationality. She directs the GRAL (Groupe de recherche en Rhétorique et Argumentation Linguistique) in an interdisciplinary perspective ( She is Secretary of the Perelman Foundation in Brussels.
  • Sabine Luciani, Professor of Latin Language and Literature at Aix-Marseille Université (CPAF-TDMAM – CNRS), studies the history of ideas and the modalities of transfer, reception and acculturation of Greek philosophy in Rome. She has worked in particular on the notions of time and eternity in the Roman philosophical literature. Since 2018, the CPAF-TDMAM team has been taking part in the annual training of the Doctoral School 355 (dir. Pr. Luciani) “Eloquence according to the Ancients”, which seeks to improve the oral skills of doctoral students, using the tools of ancient rhetoric (
  • Camil-Alexandru Pârvu is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, and an associate researcher at the College d’Etudes Mondiales, FMSH, Paris. His research focuses on rhetoric and political representation, as well as on cosmopolitanism and populism. His last publications are: Camil-Alexandru Pârvu, Populism, Rhetoric and Political Representation. The New Democratic Challenges, Bucharest: Bucharest University Press, 2016; Camil-Alexandru Parvu, Tamara Caraus, “Cosmopolitanism and Migrant Protests”, in Gerard Delanty, Routledge Handbook of Cosmopolitan Studies - Second Edition, Routledge, 2018; Tamara Caraus, Camil-Alexandru Pârvu, “Cosmopolitanism and Global Protests”, Globalizations, vol. 14, 2017. 


  • Jean Sevestre-Giraud, now French senior civil servant, head of the unit on national climate mitigation policies at the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, was a seconded national expert at the European Commission (2018-2021) in the energy sector. In 2015, under the French COP 21 presidency, he was in charge of negotiations on climate finance.
  • Vincent Moron is an Associate Professor at the Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement (CEREGE at Aix-Marseille Université). Specialized in Physical geography and Climatology, his expertise covers the diagnostic analysis of the contemporaneous variability of climate.
  • Edwin Zaccai is Professor at Université libre de Bruxelles,  founder of the Centre d'Etudes du Développement Durable (CEDD) and member of the Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et d'Aménagement du Territoire (IGEAT) eand the Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society (DGES).

Organizing team

  • Lucie Donckier de Donceel is a first year doctoral student in cotutelle with the Università Degli Studi di Palermo and the Université libre de Bruxelles. Her research focuses on conspiracy theories and the notion of rationality, which she studies through the prism of rhetoric. She is also teaching-assistant at the Université libre de Bruxelles and member of the GRAL.
  • Claudia Craciun-Chivereanu is a second-year doctoral student at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Bucharest, where she also obtained a bachelor's and master's degree, the last one in collaboration with École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Her areas of interest and research are constitutionalism and the genesis of modern Romanian politics, the political parties and ideologies. Currently, she is part of the editorial board of Studia Politica - Romanian Political Science Review.
  • Benjamin Sevestre-Giraud is a second year doctoral student in Rhetoric and Latin at Aix-Marseille Université (CPAF-TDMAM) and Université libre de Bruxelles (GRAL). Graduated in Classics (Sorbonne Université) and Philosophy (Université de Lille), he is working on the history of the teaching of Rhetoric, more specifically on the Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria and how rhetorical practices and tradition could be used in secondary and higher education today.

All applications must be accompanied by :

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a cover letter

All documents (application form, CV, and cover letter) must be sent to by May 31, 2021, at the latest.

For any inquiries, please contact



Selected CIVIS students (except ULB students) will be supported by a grant, please contact your University for any information. See also in this document how the scholarship amount is calculated. 

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.