COST Action CA17132 - APPLY
European Network for Argumentation and Public Policy Analysis

COST Action      Horizon 2020

Copenhagen APPLY Training School: Deliberation, dissent, and norms of argumentative engagement

Copenhagen APPLY Training School: Deliberation, dissent, and norms of argumentative engagement


University of Copenhagen | October 27-29, 2021


APPLY HERE until September 1, 2021
Program (TBA)

The APPLY Action identifies gaps between the citizens’, policymakers’ and scholarly experts’ argumentation, and explores ways of treating them. In this training school, we approach this endeavor from the perspective of deliberation, that is, political argumentation in the widest sense. The purpose of this training school is to understand, analyse and discuss the role of  deliberation in society on the basis of current rhetorical scholarship and praxis, as well as to investigate current challenges to traditional deliberative and argumentative norms.

Questions to be addressed include: In what ways do deliberative models and norms continue to represent valuable resources for scholars and practitioners? What are their  limitations/challenges? What alternative theories or modulations are needed to adequately address and assess contemporary public discourse in ways that are theoretically, methodologically, and practically/pedagogically useful? How can rhetorical scholarship be of assistance in this regard? To explore these questions the training school is organized in three sessions, each combining discussion of shared readings and of participant projects:

I. Grounding: Rhetorically-informed approaches to deliberation theory, contemporary argumentation and political theory.

II. Exploring: Destabilizing and engaging practices as e.g. contemporary challenges to political communication and debate (e.g. infotainment, fake news, hate speech, online trolling, flaming or blasting, gaslighting and “bullshit”). Other possible perspectives to be considered include alternative practices of argumentation and dissent (e.g. trickster-like discourse, non-discursive modes of resistance and argumentation, embodied and emplaced arguments), mediated /digital protest rhetorics and passionate invective, and more undecided/ambiguous practices (e.g. the development of new journalistic genres such as political commentary and fact checking).

III. Reflecting: Approaches and initiatives as reflected in participant projects — theoretical, practical, methodological and pedagogical.

The training school is intended for both academics and practitioners at any stage of their career who are working on issues of norms and limitations of public deliberation, argumentation, social resistance and dissent.

Mette Bengtsson, Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Language, Roskilde University, Denmark.

Mette Bengtsson’s overall research interest lies in the cross-field between journalism, mass media and democracy — with a particular focus on how mass mediated public debate takes place and how journalists can help cultivate a vivid and engaging political discussion on a wide range of issues. In her work, she has identified, described and discussed some of the emerging genres within political journalism, e.g. political commentary and fact-checking. Her work is published in Journalism, Nordicom Review, Journalistica and Rhetorica Scandinavica. She is part of two research groups that have recently received funding: “Cultural publics. A Study of the Opinion and Peoples Pages of Danish Newspapers from 1908-2018” and “Datafied News Media — Datafied Publics? The Future of Journalism and their Publics in the Age of Datafication”


Christian Kock, Professor emeritus of Rhetoric, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Christian Kock has published numerous books and journal articles in Danish and English on public debate, rhetorical citizenship, argumentation, journalism, the history of rhetoric and literary and musical aesthetics. Recent books include “Contemporary Rhetorical Citizenship” (with Lisa Villadsen) and “Deliberative Rhetoric: Arguing about Doing”. His work has appeared in various international communication and rhetoric journals, including Argumentation, Informal Logic, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, and Citizenship studies.


Pamela Pietrucci, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Pamela Pietrucci holds a PhD in Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Washington, USA, where she resided as an International Fulbright Fellow. Her research explores bottom-up and top-down modes of rhetorical citizenship: she is broadly interested in studying public discourse that bridges publics and audiences across media platforms, locales, and discursive spheres. Her current projects explore locality in protest, public art as performative citizenship, and also the intersections of political rhetoric and the communication of science across technical and public spheres as a mode of civic engagement. She works with transnational and translational rhetorics and has published in various international communication and rhetoric journals, including Rhetoric and Public Affairs, The Journal of Argumentation in Context, Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements, and Comunicazione Politica.


Lisa Villadsen, Professor of Rhetoric, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Lisa Villadsen holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. With Christian Kock she has edited two volumes on rhetorical citizenship: Rhetorical Citizenship and Public Deliberation. Penn State University Press, 2012 and Contemporary Rhetorical Citizenship: Purposes, Practices, and Perspectives. Leiden University Press, 2014 and they are currently co-editing a volume with the working title Populist Rhetorics under contract with Palgrave Macmillan. A recent article by Lisa focused on issues of dissent in connection with public debate on immigration: “Doxa, Dissent, and Challenges of Rhetorical Citizenship: “When I Criticize Denmark, It Is Not the White Nights or the New Potatoes I Have In Mind”” in Javnost: The Public 24 (3) 2017: 1-16.

Who can apply?

Anyone may apply as a training school participant.
You will arrange your own travel and accommodation (practical information TBA).


To qualify for bursaries, you must be affiliated with an institution or company from a COST member country.

Target audience

Researchers/scholars qualifying as pre-doc (M.A. in hand) or early career (max 8 years after PhD, by the training school’s end.)
Educators in public or private sector
“Policy persons“ working for/with public policy-related organizations, governments, consultancies, NGOs, think-tanks, etc.
MA students

Important dates:

Deadline for application: September 1, 2021
Notification about acceptance: September 26, 2021


Information about the venue:

The University of Copenhagen is located in central Copenhagen and is easily accessible by bus and Metro.


Training School contacts:

Local organizer: Dr. Lisa Villadsen
Department of Communication
University of Copenhagen
Karen Blixens Plads 8, Building: 21-2-44
2300 København S

Training school coordinator: Dr. Gabrijela Kisicek
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Zagreb
Ivana Lucica 3
10000 Zagreb

University of Copenhagen

COST Action          Horizon 2020


COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

COST Action CA17132

Providing and criticising reasons is indispensable to achieve sound public policy that commands the support of both citizens and stakeholders. This need is now widely acknowledged in the recent literature and key EU documents, which highlight the perils of populist discourse and policies.

Action Contacts

Andreia Domingues - Grant Manager [CA 17132]
NOVA - FCSH | Avenida de Berna, 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa - Portugal

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