Call for Papers: A Micro-level Perspective on Centrifugal Societies

ISDC – International Security and Development Center, the Institute of Development Studies (UK) and the Households in Conflict Network will host an international research workshop in Berlin, Germany, on 20-21 September 2018 on the micro-level analysis of centrifugal societies. We invite submissions of complete papers or extended abstracts in any relevant discipline by 20 June 2018.

The background to this workshop is the observation that across Europe and beyond, economies, societies and nation states appear to have started falling apart, with authoritarian governments and heads of state coming in power from the United States, Russia, China and the Philippines, secessionist movements growing in Scotland and Catalonia, parts of Ukraine being occupied, anti-European governments being elected in the UK, Hungary and Poland, and an unprecedented rise of far-right parties across democratic Europe, including in France, Austria, the Netherlands and Germany.

Parts of the European and indeed global social contract are being questioned, with extreme consequences for how societies organise and govern themselves and with impacts on the behaviour and well-being of citizens around the world. Drivers may be universal phenomena like globalisation, technological change and inequality – but these clearly differ by institutional and local context and their impacts are felt differently across heterogeneous groups and individuals.

We are interested in delineating the mechanisms which make a society more centrifugal. Maybe there are drivers beyond globalisation and technological change – and maybe some drivers are context-specific. In either case, understanding why and how people may become disconnected from each other and from the common core of their societies is academically interesting and highly policy relevant.

At the core of the workshop will be a micro-level perspective of the drivers, forms and impacts of what we call centrifugal societies. We understand the micro-level to encompass people, households, groups, communities and firms. We invite papers that offer strong conceptual understandings of the issues emphasised above, empirical analysis using either quantitative or qualitative methods or studies of interventions to strengthen societies and individual pro-social behaviour. We are also interested in papers discussing novel data or new methods of analysis. Contributions may focus on any one country (North or South) or use pooled individual observations across countries. We give preference to complete (draft) papers over abstracts; submissions should be in English.

Diverging from previous calls for papers from the Households in Conflict Network, we will also consider highly relevant published papers, which would facilitate the identification of research gaps and future research agendas.

The workshop will take place in Berlin on 20-21 September 2018. Please send your paper and a short CV as pdf files to no later than 20 June 2018. Preference will be given to complete papers. Selected authors will be informed around 30 June 2018. Presenters and participants will have to organize and finance their attendance themselves. A workshop fee of 50 Euro will be charged to all participants. Accepted papers may be considered for publication in the Households in Conflict Network working paper series.

The academic organisers of the workshop are: Tilman Bruck (ISDC and HiCN) and Patricia Justino (IDS and HiCN).

The local organiser of the workshop is Myroslava Purska at ISDC (

Please see the complete call here.

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