20th ISA World Congress of Sociology

20th ISA World Congress of Sociology

Sun, 25 Jun 2023 - Sat, 01 Jul 2023


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View Call for Proposals for this Event

Organized by: International Sociological Association

Since the beginning of the 21st century, we have observed the rise of authoritarian regimes in several countries but also the development of authoritarian modalities within formal democracies. In what contexts and by what means is this authoritarianism being implemented? From the questioning of individual freedoms, restrictions on pluralism, the non-respect of the rule of law, arbitrary power, to the repressive or even totalitarian forms adopted by certain States, the concrete conditions of these authoritarianisms vary according to the context and invite us to reopen the question of the definition of the
phenomenon and the identification of its criteria. What issues distinguish these contemporary authoritarianisms from older ones? How do authoritarian regimes differ according to their context of emergence? In Latin America, for example, authoritarian regimes are established against a backdrop of increased socio-economic inequalities and are spreading, leading to a regression in social, sexual and reproductive rights, even going so far as to call into question the question of the separation of church and state, as in Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil. In Europe, the authoritarian drifts of certain governments, such as that of Mateusz Morawiecki in Poland or Viktor Orbán in Hungary, bear witness to forms of state centralization and arbitrary control of the media and the population, pushing back the boundaries of the rule of law. The recent management of the pandemic was in some cases a context conducive to the concentration of power in the hands of the state, whether through the use of digital techniques or emergency measures. In addition, contemporary authoritarian forms are finding increasingly important relays in certain non-state actors such as religious institutions, neighborhood associations, social movements, citizens' groups, or mobilized collectives, which participate in the implementation of repression and control.

Yet authoritarianism also meets resistance in many states, such as the anti-corruption and anti-authoritarianism movements in Brazil, the feminist movements in Argentina, Chile, and South Korea, or the political mobilizations of students and young people challenging the legislation on the protection of state secrets. What can political sociology say about these reconfigurations? How can we analyze these authoritarian forms and their resistance? What obstacles and limits do anti-authoritarian mobilizations in these contexts face? This call, therefore, invites colleagues from different backgrounds to rethink the definitions of authoritarianism, their boundaries, and their contexts, in order to account for the conditions of implementation of these regimes, the social and political environment of these forms of government, the resistance they produce, and the circulation of these notions at the international level. 

With this call, we invite proposals for international panels presenting approaches to political sociology in the broadest sense, whether theoretical or based on empirical investigations. A comparative dimension between several regions of the world is welcome. The main axes to which the proposals may respond are the following:

1) Authoritarian drifts and relations with economic regimes (effects and dynamics of globalization, demobilizing effects of neoliberalism, etc.).
2) Forms of surveillance and control of populations (justice, police authorities, media, technological tools, etc.).
3) Citizen participation in authoritarian regimes and in the defense of public morality (voting, abstention, defense of religious ideas, etc.).
4) Resistances to authoritarianisms and democratic experiences (participation and protest powers, feminist social movements, climate movements, etc.)

The 20th ISA World Congress of Sociology will be in a hybrid format:

  • Oral sessions will be a mix of in-person and virtual presenters, based on the presenters preference.
  • Roundtable Sessions (concurrent running roundtable presentations in one room) will have in-person format only
  • Poster Sessions will have in-person format only.

Abstract submission

Participants must submit abstracts on-line to a selected session of a Research Committee, Working Group, Thematic Group through a centralized platform.

Select session. List of sessions are available in the relevant Research Committee, Working Group and Thematic Group sections. Choose the RC/WG/TG session in which you wish the abstract to be included.
Submit abstract: until September 30, 2022, 24:00 GMT