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World Congress of Sociology, Göteborg 2010 – Call for Papers

Posted on by Stephen Mennell

CALL FOR PAPERS Deadline: 2 November 2009



11–17 July 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden

Figurational Sociology Working Group

ISA Research Committee 20

Comparative Sociology

Figurational Sociology at the 2010 World Congress:

After many successful Ad Hoc sessions at previous ISA World Congresses in Bielefeld (1994), Montreal (1998), Brisbane (2002), three sessions will be run as part of RC20 Comparative Sociology’s program at the 2010 World Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden.

For the first time, we shall also be organising a business meeting for the group, to be followed by the more customary dinner together. The agenda for the meeting will include a discussion on the possible establishment of an online journal for the group.

We hope that there will be a very large gathering in Göteborg of people with a figurational bent from all parts of the world.

Abstracts are invited for papers within, broadly, the following three sessions:

1. Civilisation and the new world order of difference
Current trends in international relations. The end of the ‘Cold War’ and subsequent decline of America’s cultural, economic and political dominance and concomitant rise of other nations like Brazil, China, India and resurgent Russia have contributed to seismic shifts in global figurations.  In this session papers are invited that explore the consequences upon local peoples and international relations. Topics that are anticipated to be discussed include the impact upon social consciousness within communities that are experiencing enhanced national profiles, the repercussions of America’s decline within the United States and global processes and what these changes mean for international relationships and in particular different forms of social identification, global security and human rights.

2. Civilisation, violence and war
This session is intended to explore violence across the world in order to gain greater insight into related social processes and activities.  A range of papers will be invited that will discuss state, non-state and international agency violence that includes war, terrorism, genocide and ‘political’ rape.   Discussants will be expected to apply sociological reasoning in order to explain how forms of collective violence emerge and why people are able to commit these ‘uncivilised’ acts.  Participants could also consider the consequences for the ‘civilisation’ in the name of which these actions are often undertaken.

3. Multiple modernities, diverse identities, and the civilising process
Just as ‘modernity’ has been shown to follow a variety of paths, and sociologists now think in terms of ‘multiple modernities’, the concept of ‘the civilising process’ can also usefully be seen to take a variety of forms in different historical and cultural settings. This session will develop the comparative sociological analysis of civilising processes to explore the differing forms that civilising processes take, as well as the specific contributions that thinking in terms of ‘civilisation’ can make to our understanding of the range of social and cultural identities produced, facilitated as well as undermined in the context of processes of modernisation.


Abstract submission: 2 November 2009

Notification of acceptance: 11 January 2010

Registration for inclusion in programme: 4 May 2010

Paper Submission: 9 May 2010

Conference: 11–17 July 2010


Stephen Vertigans

Robert Gordon University of Aberdeen

Robert van Krieken

University College Dublin