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Martina Sander
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The Center conducts research on the foundations, self-understanding, and transformation of civil society in contemporary democratic societies. Using an integrative research approach, it systematically combines protest and social movement research with the empirical analysis of political conflict structures and social capital research. By analyzing political conflicts and transformations in civil society over long periods of time, the Center provides answers to fundamental questions about the future of democracy and social cohesion.

The Center is a joint initiative of the WZB and Freie Universität Berlin launched in 2017 with funding from the Stiftung Mercator and the Volkswagen Foundation.



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Unit Office:
Katja Geiger
+49 30 25491-303
Mail: sek-zz [at]

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
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February 16, 2024

zusammenstark: Kooperationen für eine aktivere Zivilgesellschaft

In this one-day forum with civil society actors, we will discuss pressing issues and challenges relating to cooperation and networking within civil society and develop solutions for closer cooperation.

Conference| December 7-8, 2023 | WZB 

Analyzing protest in the digital age: Challenges and opportunities in combining text and video sources

The two-day conference organized together with Donatella della Porta (COSMOS at SNS Florence) aims to broaden the methodological debate about the opportunities and challenges of digital data analysis for extending research on the repertoire of protest.

Public Roundtable | December 7, 2023 | 6 p.m. [WZB and via Zoom]

Expanding Protest Events Analysis through Video

Public roundtable on video-enhanced protest analysis with Donatella della PortaJennifer EarlSwen HutterStefan Malthaner, and Antje Scharenberg at WZB and via Zoom.

Registration link 

More information 

Swen Hutter im Interview

Protest und Wahrheit

Swen Hutter on the power of demonstrations and their potential for radicalization  [19.12.2022, in German]

Jana Priemer Video

Civil Society and Education

Jana Priemer on civil society and education and why more research is needed. [interview in German]. 

Sophia Hunger
Martina Sander

Aufstand und Protest: Für welche Ideale lohnt es sich zu kämpfen?

with contribution by Sophia Hunger [interview in German]

MDR, 11.6.2023

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