Take Part - Social Learning to Take Part in Social Movements:

Understanding the Social Transformation of Civic Participation

the project team

Dan Mercea

Project coordinator

is Professor of Digital and Social Change in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at City, University of London, the Principal Investigator on the TakePart project and Associate Editor of Information, Communication & Society. Dan has a lasting interest in the implications flowing from the adoption and repurposing of Internet technologies in various domains of social and political activity. His recent empirical research examines the networked communication of civic and protest politics, mis/disinformation and propaganda on social media. His research has been published in leading sociology and communication studies journals including Sociology, The Sociological Review, New Media and Society, The Journal of Communication, Communication Methods and Measures, Mobile Media and Communication, Social Science Computer Review. He has edited four collective volumes and his research monograph Civic Participation in Contentious Politics: The Digital Foreshadowing of Protest was published with Palgrave.

Sorana Constantinescu

PROJECT MANAGER/ POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

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Gabriel Bădescu

SENIOR RESEARCHER

is Professor of political science and the Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at Babes-Bolyai University, Romania. He held a Fulbright Research Fellowship, an International Fellowship of Open Society Institute, and a UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report fellowship. His publications include five books, five edited collections, and more than 50 articles and book chapters on democratic and economic transitions, social capital, educational policies, research methodology, income inequality and labour migration. His work has appeared in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, International Journal of Educational Development, Acta Politica, Higher Education, Communist and Postcommunist Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, East European Politics and Societies, and numerous other journals. He coordinated more than 15 research projects, both national and international. In addition to his academic research activity, Gabriel Bădescu is frequently involved in policy research. He was the president of the Romanian Agency for Governmental Strategies (2009-2010), a member of the Romanian National Council of Higher Education Statistics and Forecast (2016-2018), and is currently a member of the Romanian National Research Council.

Matthias Hoffmann

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babeş-Bolyai University, and at City, University of London. Matthias is a political sciences graduate from Freie Universitaet Berlin and was awarded his PhD by the University of Trento for a thesis on digital networks of collective action against asylum-seekers and refugees in Germany. Before joining the TakePart project, he was a research fellow at the Department of Communication at the University of Copenhagen and at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin. Matthias’ research interests lie in social movements, protest, social networks and digital communication. In TakePart, Matthias’ focus is on protest events and social media communication by protesters.

Felipe G Santos

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babeş-Bolyai University, and the Department of Sociology and Criminology of the City, University of London. Additionally, he is the Co-PI of the READJUST Climate project, funded by the European Climate Foundation.

Santos is deeply invested in understanding how different social groups and political ideologies push for long-lasting societal changes, and the impact of their actions on the health of democracies. His research encompasses a broad spectrum, including social movements, political parties, progressive left ideologies, and the far-right.

He earned his Ph.D. summa cum laude from the Central European University and has been awarded the Young Scholar Award 2021 from the European Sociological Association, as well as the 2020 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Central European University.

Melania Leșe

DISSEMINATION COORDINATOR

 is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Babeș-Bolyai University, having graduated in Law and Political Science at the same University. Melania is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and is also involved in various research projects run by the Centre. His research interests include topics that address civil society, civil rights and freedoms and their protection, energy poverty and just transition. With considerable experience in entrepreneurship, as well as masters degrees in international affairs and business law, Melania has developed a passion for building just public policy to make political systems more effective and facilitate just transitions in key areas of society.

Henri Poszar

PhD RESEARCHER

is a PhD researcher in Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence. They hold a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Central European University with a specialization in quantitative research methods, and a BA in political science from Babes-Bolyai University. Henri uses quasi-experimental methods and automated content analysis to address questions related to prejudice and discriminatory policies.

Gabriela Teresa Zenteno Medina

PhD RESEARCHER

was born in Tarija, Bolivia. She has a degree in Political Science with a major in International Relations from the Universidad Nuestra Señora de La Paz, Bolivia and a master’s degree in Management of Political Organizations from the Universidad Babes Bolyai. She has experience in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects in the area of international cooperation. Its interests are human rights, especially those of vulnerable groups such as children, women, people with physical and mental disabilities and senior citizens.

Varga Fernando

PhD RESEARCHER

is a third-year Ph.D. Student at the Doctoral School of Sociology at Babeș-Bolyai University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2019 from the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences (FSPAC), followed by a Master’s degree in Research Design and Data Analysis in 2021 from the same faculty. His research thesis focuses on the pathways of Roma students in Romania as they enter and complete higher education. From 2020 to 2023, Varga worked as a research assistant at the World Bank and at the Department of Political Sciences at Babeș-Bolyai University, where he continues to contribute. His main areas of interest encompass children’s rights, racial equality, the integration of Roma communities, access to education for the Roma, combating poverty, and the eradication of prejudice and discrimination.

Claudiu Vlasie

PhD RESEARCHER

Is a PhD Student, with two years of experience in research and data analysis, Claudiu serves as a research assistant in the Takepart project. Being a graduate in Political Science, with a master’s degree in European Affairs and Project Management, he is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the School of Political Sciences and Communication. His thesis primarily focuses on social movements in digital environments.

Claudiu is a proponent of continuous learning, always seeking opportunities to strengthen his interdisciplinary knowledge. His key strengths include adaptability, critical thinking, and a curiosity about how the world around him functions. Moreover, he believes that in a team, any goal can be more easily achieved.

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