CIVICA Summer School 2021

CIVICA Summer School 2021

Pandemics and Power: Redefining solidarity after COVID-19

Notice: Due to current travel restrictions and health regulations, the summer school cannot be held on-site as planned, and has been postponed to 11-15 July 2022. The organisers have provided further details to all registered participants. 

Venue: Villa Vigoni, Menaggio (Lake Como, Italy)

CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences, invites doctoral and early career researchers from the CIVICA network to an interdisciplinary summer school focusing on the effect that pandemics, and in particular the COVID-19 pandemic, have had on power structures and solidarity.

The summer school will be organised around a mix of guest lectures, presentations by doctoral researchers, and interdisciplinary, thematic panels. The week will launch with a high-level discussion chaired by President of Bocconi University Mario Monti, former Prime Minister of Italy and former European Commissioner.

The aim of the summer school is twofold: to enrich research perspectives through debate across disciplines, and to encourage networking among CIVICA scholars specialising in social and political sciences, law and humanities. Participants will also be encouraged to participate with an eye towards eventual publication of their work.

Summer school themes

  1. European governance: changing power structures in light of the COVID-19 Crisis?
  2. Gender and social solidarity
  3. Democracy and “expertise”
  4. Pandemic and digital surveillance
  5. Looking outwards: COVID-19 and international cooperation 
  6. Public health and private power


Researchers selected to attend will have the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from participating academics from across the CIVICA network. Attendance in all sessions is mandatory; students will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course.

For any further information, please contact summerschool.civica[at]

Application and fees

Doctoral and early career researchers (within one year of completion of their PhD at the time of application) affiliated with CIVICA network institutions are invited to apply.

Applicants must provide a short CV and a 500 word abstract of the paper they intend to present, as well as a reference letter from their supervisor.

The summer school is free of charge for CIVICA Early Stage Researchers. Travel and accommodation will be covered by the participants’ universities of origin according to CIVICA rules.

Applications to be submitted to summerschool.civica[at] by 15 April 2021 at 5pm (CET).


The conference, as well as meals and lodging, will take place at Villa Vigoni, located in Menaggio on the shores of Lake Como in the Lombardy region of Italy.

Director CIVICA Summer School 2021

Eleanor Spaventa is Professor of EU law at the Department of Legal Studies at Bocconi University and Visiting professor at the College of Europe (Bruges); Eleanor is the  lead for Bocconi in the CIVICA network WP5 (Early Career Researchers). Eleanor's research focuses on the constitutional and substantive law of the European Union and in particular on EU fundamental rights, EU citizenship and Internal Market law. Eleanor has published widely in these fields and has authored reports for EU institutions on areas of her expertise. 

Co-directors CIVICA Summer School 2021

Loïc Azoulai is Professor at Sciences Po Law School. He held the Chair of European Law at the European University Institute (Florence) from 2010 to 2015. From 2003 to 2006, he served as a Law Clerk at the European Court of Justice working with Advocate General Poiares Maduro. He is a member of the Editorial boards of the Common Market Law Review and Revue trimestrielle de droit européen. His work is entirely devoted to the study of the laws of Europe. Among his recent publications are Constructing the Person in EU Law: Rights, Roles, Identities (Hart Publishing, 2016), «Infrastructural Europe: EU law and human life in times of the Covid-19 pandemic», Revista de Derecho Comunitario Europeo, n° 66, Mayo/Agosto 2020; «The Madness of Europe, Being Attached to it», German Law Journal, Vol. 21, Special Issue 1, January 2020, “Solitude, community, and critique. Motives for a reshaping of EU Legal Studies”, Politique européenne n° 50.

Corinna R. Unger  is Professor of Global and Colonial History (19th and 20th centuries) at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In recent years her research has focused on the history of development and decolonization, rural and environmental history, and the history of knowledge. She is the author of International Development: A Postwar History (London: Bloomsbury, 2018) and of Entwicklungspfade in Indien: Eine internationale Geschichte (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2015). She serves as the Academic Coordinator of CIVICA’s Work Package 5: Training for Early Stage Researchers.

Lecturers CIVICA Summer School 2021

Antonia Colibasanu is a full time lecturer at the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration, lecturing on geopolitics, geoeconomics and economic diplomacy, having a PhD in international business and economics. She is also a senior geopolitical analyst and Chief Operating Officer at Geopolitical Futures. Colibasanu has joined the Geopolitical Futures team in 2016, after working for more than 10 years with global analysis firm Stratfor in various positions, including Partner for Europe and Vice-President for International Marketing.

Mark Dawson is Professor of European Law and Governance at the Hertie School in Berlin. His main areas of interest is in the relationship between EU law and policy-making. He is currently the Principle Investigator of Leviathan, an ERC project exploring the accountability structure of EU economic governance.

Klarita Gërxhani is professor of (micro)economic sociology at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. Her main research interests relate to micro-foundations of economic sociology, institutional theory, social norms, labour market organizations, social status and gender inequalities, social capital, informal economies and tax evasion. Her research is interdisciplinary, combining laboratory and field experiments with field surveys and economic-sociological theory.

Simon Rippon is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the School of Public Policy at Central European University (CEU). He specializes in moral and political philosophy, with particular interests in metaethics, bioethics, philosophy of public policy, propaganda and epistemology. He was a work package coordinator in the EU Horizon 2020 project ETHOS: Towards a European Theory of Justice. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard and he is a former Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics (Oxford University).

Félix Tréguer is associate researcher at the CNRS Center for Internet and Society and postdoctoral fellow at CERI-Sciences Po. His research blends political history and theory, law as well as media and technology studies to look at the political history of the Internet and computing. He is a founding member of La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group dedicated to the defence of civil rights in relation to digital technologies.

More about Villa Vigoni

Villa Vigoni is a laboratory of ideas and a landmark for dialogue and collaboration between Italy and Germany within the European context. 

Academic conventions, international conferences and cultural events make Villa Vigoni a place for coming together and discussion, a place for promoting projects and learning more about scientific, political, economic and artistic matters. 

Villa Vigoni brings expertise and skills together. Every activity developed here unfolds within an ideal setting for both institutional meetings and informal debates, establishing favourable conditions for coming up with and sharing ideas. Facilitating communication between interlocutors and institutions, thereby strengthening relations between different countries, represents the key to providing answers to the most topical issues affecting Europe today.