RN15 - Current Call for Papers

ESA 2015 - Call for Papers

Differences, Inequalities and the Sociological Imagination
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association
Prague, Czech Republic, 25 – 28 August 2015

RN15 - Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology

RN Coordinator: Vincenzo Cicchelli, Gemass Paris Sorbonne/CNRS, University paris Descartes, Paris, France, vcicchelli(at)msh-paris.fr


General theme

Social and cultural differences between people and between societies persist or in some instances have somehow expanded, reinforcing the ambivalent challenges of diversity for the necessary integration and coordination of social life. Social and economic inequalities worldwide have clearly increased in the last decades; this is very clear in current Europe, where citizens experience higher levels of poverty, unemployment, racism, marginalization, and the like. Latest sociopolitical polarizations point to critical weaknesses of our European liberal democracies, whereas many other societies are struggling to establish nascent democratic institutions and practices. All these problems bring about multi-faceted issues and dilemmas such as effective democracies and citizens’ deliberative participation, social justice and common goods, cultural diversity and dialogic co-existence, human rights and universal dignity. Policy solutions to these problems and dilemmas need careful sociological analysis, in which a renewed sociological imagination can be fruitful.


Transnationalization and globalization are extensive sets of changes of the ways in which people and societies interact. The current supranationalization and globalization processes widen horizons more than ever before. National societies are no longer bound to take on national projects, but instead participate in global flows of capital, goods and people. One can even talk about non-national societies. Together with the restructuring and relative decline of the nation-state, old and new forms of supranational inequalities and fractures have (re)emerged. Throughout the last decades, social polarization has been intensified by the economic crises, the spread of neo-liberal ideas and economic policies, the reforms and dismantling of the welfare state. In current globalizing capitalism capital accumulates through ever-expanding processes of accumulation, marketization and financialization, and through new networks of trade routes, knowledge (intellectual) and property rights, and labour agreements that simultaneously connect the world while reinforcing its inequalities. In these contemporary world conditions, economic power seems to dominate its struggle with political power. Old and new ideological sources of power navigate through in the confusing waters of epistemic, professional and scientific discourses. In between the concentration and strengthening of capital and economic power and the development of a global awareness and consciousness about humanity’s unequal realities and possible solidarities, there is a broad space and landscape for careful and suggestive sociological analysis. These sessions aim to explore these landscapes and to discover a new vivid way of looking at the interaction of local/national and transnational/global transformations.


This general call is for papers dealing theoretically, methodologically or empirically with issues related to the supranational dimension of social reality, the local-global relations, and transnational and global shared practices, cultures and patterns of affiliation. In this general theme, we particularly welcome papers that somehow can interconnect the five thematic streams: supranational approaches to “Europe & crisis”, comparative methods in the globalizing world, epistemic governance and synchronization of policies, the glocalization in an everyday imaginary, and renewed cosmopolitanism.


1. Supranational approaches to “Europe & Crisis”: need for transnational imagination.

As paradoxical as this might seem, the crisis that has hit Europe since 2009 confirms the necessity to adopt supranational approaches. These crises made clear that, now more than ever, Europe and European Union (EU) cannot be studied apart from the rest of the world, nor can its members be considered as more or less bounded, sovereign entities. Economic and financial uncertainty, employment shortage, decreasing public welfare, increasing international competition, a growing fear of globalisation, extreme work intensification and self-exploitation, all these aspects are moving Europe into unrest and concern. In spite of a strong Europeanisation of EU member countries and the strengthening of EU integration during the last twenty years, the recent European crisis has weakened the established consensus of living in a community of fate with a model of social capitalism. Beyond historically rooted cultural diversity, peaceful coexistence between European countries is the most characteristic feature of Europe. The painful past, made of wars, genocides and persecutions, has been forgotten for the sake of peace and equal dignity of each country. But several urgent questions arise: are we witnessing the emerging in Europe of new kinds of rivalries between states, geo-cultural configurations, namely between Northern and Southern Europe, or between Western and Eastern Europe? How can we maintain a human and social friendly European model of capitalism? We call for papers, which would advance knowledge about Europe and EU, the European socio-economic crisis, the crisis of the EU integration, and the rise of inequalities and differences within a European perspective.


2. Toward a renewed cosmopolitan sociology

There is a revived interest in cosmopolitanism today. Powerful and compelling as it is, cosmopolitanism should be approached with care, lest it turns into an autopoietic narrative, separated from empirical evidences. Cosmopolitanism invites more controversy than consensus. And, even for sympathetic souls, it "poses a congeries of paradoxes" (Appiah, 2004). The shrinking of the world, entailed by globalisation, leads to a permanent confrontation with alterity. Transnational processes are binding people together across borders more than in the past and confront them with cultural, ethnical, national differences. Because the planet is smaller, and the pervasiveness of global media is bigger, the sensitivity to cultural difference and diversity awareness is more acute. The greater interdependence that exists between societies today inevitably leads to a widening of contacts with different forms and degrees of alterity. Thus globalization involves comparative interaction of different forms of life (Robertson, 1992). The usefulness of a cosmopolitan outlook is to take advantage of the global interconnectedness, and to go beyond global studies, by approaching it in a specific way. As "the ‘global other’ is in our midst” (Beck and Grande, 2010), it is consequently crucial a cosmopolitan approach be based on how otherness and plurality are handled by individuals, human groups and institutions. What is the specificity of cosmopolitanism in comparison with other approaches related to cultural differences? We welcome empirical and theoretical papers that explore cosmopolitan sociology in various ways and foci: a) on Europe and Europeans within European and global publics; b) on emerging cosmopolitan consciousness and awareness of cultural pluralism, focused on the place that ‘otherness’ is granted within one’s own identity and the broadening sense of one’s national belonging at various levels; c) with regard to a move toward an "ordinary or mundane cosmopolitanism", in order to displace the aloof, globetrotting bourgeois image of cosmopolitanism.


3. Epistemic governance and synchronization of policies

Persistent inequality in Europe and across the world seems to suggest that nation-states have unique trajectories of development. Yet, on closer examination, there are many unavoidable similarities in the policies that countries adopt. Policy models seem to sweep across the world like fashions, as in the case of neo-liberalization in the 1970s or ecological modernization in the 2000s. A metaphor of synchronization, rather than straightforward homogenization or independence, captures this complex of similarity and difference. Such a view of synchronization builds on recognition of inherent inter-dependence in the modern world polity. It has been explained by, for instance, similarities in the ways in which modern nation-states make decisions, i.e. “epistemic governance”, or governance that recognizes and works on people’s conceptions of social reality (Alasuutari & Qadir 2014). This panel calls for papers that seek to unite the seemingly paradoxical condition of our modern world, in which states make policies so similarly yet with such diverse outcomes. We welcome papers that address the ways in which national policy-making is informed by models adopted elsewhere, thus entangling the local and the global. We also invite papers that explore and deepen the concept of interdependence, whether in national policy-making or in explaining global cultural fashions.

4. Beyond borders: The global and the local in an everyday imaginary

Sociology has, for the most part, remained faithful to the nationalist foundation upon which the discipline was established. Nonetheless, from the latter part of the twentieth century to the present day, there has emerged a powerful critique of the assumptions that underpin sociological theory and much empirical research (Chernilo 2004, 2006; Giddens 1973; Martins 1974; Smith 1979). This critique has highlighted the various ways in which sociologists have mirrored, and continue to replicate, a nationalist gaze (e.g. Wimmer and Glick Schiller 2002, 2003). In response, there has emerged a growing literature that attempts to develop a sociological perspective free of methodological nationalism. This has included, for example, the cosmopolitan consciousness of global business elites (e.g. Calhoun 2002) and the activities of transnational communities (e.g. Glick Schiller and Çağlar 2011). In a similar vein, this workshop welcomes empirical and theoretical papers that seek to address the multiple ways in which ordinary actors (e.g., migrants, employees, students, etc.) engage in activities and/or construct identifications that surpass the territorial borders or symbolic boundaries of national groups. Furthermore, we seek contributions that address the scalar complexity of contemporary human action: the compound aspects of daily life that are both locally situated and tied to global flows of people, products and ideas in a variety of different ways


5. Comparative methods in the globalizing world.

Whereas new units of analysis emerge, such as the global, the macro-regional, and the transnational, the cross-national or cross-societal studies are still a very useful and necessary method. Global and transnational processes impact on the way in which comparison can be made. Implicitly, and especially in the case of international comparisons, there is a general tendency to assume that in order to establish an accurate comparability between societies, social phenomena under comparison are supposed to be culturally homogenous, relatively stable and nationally determined. Classic comparison, however, has problems to grasp the cultural diversity within societies, and scholars are increasingly aware that other tools are necessary to size what is particular to a human group and what is shared between communities. While there is growing diversity within societies, there is also an increasing similarity across groups and societies. This dual process makes comparative sociology more difficult and complex. Papers dealing with examination, reflection and improvement of both qualitative and quantitative comparative methods can focus on different levels and issues/themes, such as: a) globalization: its impact on comparative methodologies; b) the global-local relation: which comparative method are most adequate to analyze the ways in which the local and the global are intertwined and embedded in each other in the contemporary world?; c) culture: how to do comparative research on the global spread, indigenization, hybridization of cultural products?; d) politics and identity: how to do comparative research on for example the globally institutionalized construction of identity and imaginary?; e) economy: which methods are appropriate to account for the still alive cross-societal differences in globalizing capitalism?; f) indices and indicators of globalization: which are the best tools in order to measure the impact of globalization processes on different states, regions, cities, people, etc.This is not an exhaustive list, and other issues related to comparative methods in the globalizing world are welcome.


Joint session with RN9 Economic Sociology: Europe and the globalizing economy

In Europe the creation of a common internal (transnational) market has been at the core of the European Union project. But economic exchange and relations today not only transcend national borders on a European scale, but have long extended to the most distant places in the world. The process of economic globalization can be understood as a multi-level transnational expansion and intensification of the exchange of goods, services, money, and of flows of production, technologies, people, and ideas (economic policy and management ideologies). This globalization of the economy and especially of markets has challenged Europe and the different European national economies, yielding both positive and negative consequences. In this session we are interested in the causes, dynamics and consequences of the globalization of economy and markets, specifically from a European perspective. a) Causes: Which factors have fostered economic globalization? What drives the global spread of markets? What are the historical legacies of globalization in Europe? b) Dynamics and nature: Is economic globalization a uniform process, which affects all countries, regions and citizens similarly? Is capitalist economic globalization compatible with economic alternatives and experiments? Which main social factors shape the process of economic globalization? c) Consequences and effects: Does globalization promote social inequality within Europe? Who benefits from the globalization of markets and why? Does economic globalization lead to convergence in the organization of economies and individual’s economic practices? While these are examples of questions or themes that we would like to discuss and advance knowledge, papers dealing with similar and related issues and questions are also welcome.


Notes for authors

Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.

Abstract submission deadline: 15th February 2015

Abstract submission platform: www.esa12thconference.eu 

If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website. For further information on the Research Network, please visit www.europeansociology.org.




RN 15 Mid-Term Seminar in Bilbao

“Towards a Supra-National Sociology at the beginning of the 21st century”

21-22 March, 2013
(Basque Country - Spain)


European Sociology Association RN 15 Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology

University of the Basque Country (Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences and Department of Sociology)


School of Business Studies
(Elcano 21, 48008 Bilbao; at the centre of Bilbao)

Call for Abstracts / Papers:

We no longer inhabit, if we ever did, a world of separate national communities living side-by-side. Over last few decades, a sizeable body of cross-disciplinary research has focused on the development of a global society. In most fields of the social sciences, the analysis of supra, cross and transnational phenomena and dynamics are becoming increasingly relevant. For this seminar papers are invited to address the different supra-national dimensions in sociological analysis. Both theoretical and empirical papers, macro and micro approaches are welcome. Special attention is devoted to the specific analysis of the transnational, the global and the cosmopolitan issues in current sociology in the analysis of the new and emerging supra-national social realities, such as e.g. the dynamics of formation and diffusion of transnational ideas, institutions and practices in a broad range of areas: in social movements and civil societies, politics and policies, management and organisation, religion, and popular culture and the arts. Papers by PhD students are very welcome.

Key dates:

-Submission of abstracts (about 300 words): before 15th December, by sending to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Manuel Ahedo, Vice-Chair of the RN 15)

-Notification of decision on abstracts: by the 8th January.

For members of ESA RN15: 35 Euros
For non-members of ESA RN15: 50 Euros
The fee will be collected from the participants at the registration in Bilbao.
You can become a member of ESA RN15 by joining the ESA and subscribing to the network. The network subscription fee is only 10 Euros for a 2-year period:

Provisional Program



Key-note speaker

1 session


Transnational Sociology

S. Quark

2 session


Global Sociology

P. Daloz

3 session


Cosmopolitan Sociology

R. Fine

Final Session


Round-Table. Towards a supra-national sociology. Advances and issues.


Topics of the key-note speakers:

Sigrid Quark,  “A Sociology of Transnational Governance”. Sigrid Quark is Professor in the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne (Germany), and member of the Board of the ASA RN on Global and Transnational Sociology.

Pascal Daloz,  “Rethinking Social Distinction: Beyond national models of interpretation”. Pascal Daloz is Head of Research at CNRS, MISHA, University of Strasbourg (France), and Coordinator of the ISA RN on Comparative Sociology.

Robert Fine, “A Cosmopolitan Sociology in the 21st. century: the case of Human Rights”, Robert Fine is Emeritus Professor in Sociology in the University of Warwick (United Kingdom).

European Sociological Association 11th Conference

TORINO, 28-31 August 2013

Call for Papers


Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session (open) or any specific session. Please submit each abstract only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 1750 characters (including spaces, approximately 250 words). Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts can only be submitted online no later than 1st of February 2013 to the submission platform at: www.esa11thconference.eu. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted.

The information requested during abstract submission include: 1) name(s), affiliation(s) and email of all the author(s); 2) contact details of presenting author (postal address, and telephone in addition to email); 3) title of proposed presentation; 4) up to 4 keywords (optional).

Submitting authors will receive an email of acknowledgement of successful submission receipt. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the relevant Research Network or Research Stream; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2013. Each author cannot submit more than two abstracts (as first author).

Abstract submission deadline: 1st February 2013

Abstract submission platform: http://www.esa11thconference.eu

If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website.

For information on the Research Networks, visit: http://www.europeansociology.org/ 

RN15 - Global, transnational and cosmopolitan sociology

Coordinator: Vincenzo Cicchelli < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

University Paris Descartes, Paris, France

One of the main challenges that sociology and social sciences face today is to understand how individuals, collective actors and structures cope with the dilemmas, tensions and ambivalences of modern societies embedded in supranational dynamics. RN 15 on global, transnational and cosmopolitan sociology calls for papers dealing theoretically, methodologically and empirically with issues related to the supranational dimension, the local-global complex, or transnational shared practices, cultures and patterns of affiliation. We particularly welcome papers that deal with the broad topic of local-global relations, and four interconnected themes: supranational approaches to Europe in the crisis, the global spread of popular culture, the domestication of policy models, and cosmopolitanism. Accepted contributors will be encouraged to join the RN and contribute as network members.

01RN15.          The local and the global: the multi-level constitution of societies in the 21st century

The problem of the European sovereign debt is a prime example of the way in which all regions of the contemporary world are interrelated. With its origins partly in the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and the 2008 financial crisis, it is obvious that in this European crisis actors’ choices are conditioned on those of others irrespective of local and national boundaries. In that sense we can talk about the world as a single place or world society, in which not only threats and crises but also ideas and knowledge travel relatively freely and quickly across all borders. Yet there is no world government, which means that nation-states try to manage the changing situations as best they can, defending their own interests, and people typically identify with the nation or a particular faction. Even if global challenges would require joint actions by larger imagined communities, creating compassion and extending people’s solidarity beyond the national borders has proved quite difficult. We call for papers dealing with the ways in which the local and the global are intertwined and embedded in each other in the contemporary world.

02RN15.          A supranational approach to Europe’s socio-economic crisis: are new solidarities possible?

Studying Europe from a supranational perspective is still relatively innovative, and was not as obvious even in the recent past as it is today. As paradoxical as this might seem, the crisis that has hit Europe since 2009 confirms the consciousness of the necessity to adopt supranational approaches to sociology. These crises made clear that, now more than ever, Europe cannot be studied apart from the rest of the world, nor can its members be considered as more or less bounded, sovereign entities. The response to the crises as well as the recent position regarding international political issues has also stressed the European Union's role in a globalized world. In this new polycentric world, twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, what is the effectiveness of the EU as a soft power? Can we affirm that EU has developed a coherent and cohesive foreign policy? How do European societies and people relate to the global position of Europe and to the world outside Europe? Furthermore, how does the European crisis contribute to expanding the public sphere beyond the cultural containers of nations? We call for papers, which would promote research and increase knowledge about Europe and the socio-economic crisis from a supranational perspective.

03RN15.          The global spread of popular culture

It has been argued that the contemporary world society consisting of national states is increasingly governed through soft, cognitive or epistemic powers. These globalizing cultural and cognitive powers tend to make actors perceive and experience the world similarly. From this viewpoint, art and popular culture are very important, since people’s views and sentiments are often moved more effectively by fiction, music and other forms of art, than by facts. The global diffusion of popular culture is also interesting as an example of the formation and reproduction of world culture, or what has been called aesthetic cosmopolitanism. At the same time, this global spread of culture engages interestingly with localization, although this remains an open area for research. Hence, within a broad scope of issues in this topic we would embrace papers that deal with the global spread and localization of popular cultural products, such as films, television series, reality TV formats, or contents of the social media.

04RN15.          Democracies, governance and politics: domestication of policy models

In our current times, democratic politics and policy processes are facing new challenges and dilemmas. Transnational and global hard and soft factors are changing the traditional national politics and policies. The fact that worldwide models diffuse throughout the world would seem to suggest that there is a homogenization going on. A closer look at the way in which global ideas are translated to local contexts, however, shows that this is not necessarily the case. Emulation often takes place in the name of “national interest”. Thus, policy-making draws on global models but does so with a rhetoric of “banal nationalism”, enhancing identification with the nation as an imagined community. In that sense the local and the global are intertwined in a process of domestication. This interrelatedness is created both by international organizations and institutional or policy entrepreneurs carrying models across borders, and by the very way in which policies are made in contemporary states. How are national policy communities and networks coping with supranational factors and actors in order to bring about effective and legitimate public solutions for the national problems? While being open to broad issues within this topic, we welcome particularly papers that address the ways in which national policy-making is informed by models adopted elsewhere, thus entangling the local and the global.

05RN15.          Towards a renewed cosmopolitan sociology

Cosmopolitanism is still a relatively new entrant to sociology, despite its historical roots in the European Enlightenment’s view of individual ties with humanity at large. A new wave of cosmopolitan sociology is redressing earlier emphasis on political theory, beginning with the recognition of different types of modernities and societal transformations. In that sense, cosmopolitanism refers to the multiplicity of ways, values and norms in which the social world is constructed, and to the imagination of the self as linked to others and to the world. At the same time, the cosmopolitan approach understands social relations through a universalistic conception of humanity. Yet, the extent to which Europe and Europeans associate in and with global public remains an open question. These questions have become more pertinent in light of the economic crisis as well as recent political events that evoke cosmopolitan imaginations but can also hinder them. What is the link between transnational economics, political and institutional structures, and peoples’ beliefs in and consciousness of becoming cosmopolitan? Is there any reluctance to change? What about the sense of local belonging in a supposedly cosmopolitan age? What are the dark sides of globalization? Are there any risks of losing individual freedom and cultural identities? We welcome empirical and theoretical papers that explore cosmopolitan sociology: a) especially on Europe and Europeans within European and global publics; b) in line with the perspectives of the emerging cosmopolitan consciousness and focused on awareness of cultural pluralism, the place that ‘otherness’ is granted within one’s own identity and the broadening sense of one’s national belonging at various levels. A sense of familiarity is certainly the bedrock of cultural adherence. But at the same time, in a world made up of connected cultures under the pressure of globalization, familiarity cannot be the only yardstick by which one can measure reality and identity.

06RN15.          Global, transnational and cosmopolitan sociology (open)


15JS28.            RN15 Joint session with RN28 Sociology of Sport

Glocalisation, Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism and Sport

(Chairs: Renan Petersen-Wagner & Angel Manuel Ahedo Santisteban )

‘As more processes show less regard for state boundaries – people shop internationally, love internationally, marry internationally, research internationally, grow up and are educated internationally (that is multi-lingually), live and think transnationally, that is combine multiple loyalties and identities in their lives – the paradigm of societies organized within the framework of the nation-state inevitably loses contact with reality.’ (Beck, 2000, p. 80). With this open statement from Ulrich Beck, it is possible to envision how the idea of nation-state society has been challenged lately in sociology not only through his cosmopolitan theory, but also by a myriad of approaches as network society (Manuel Castells), mobile society (John Urry), glocalisation theory (Roland Robertson), and McDonaldisation theory (George Ritzer), between many others. In this regard, this call for papers is interested in both empirical and theoretical contributions that look into the role and characteristics of contemporaneous nation-state and nationalism within professional sport. What means to represent and support a country? Whose country to represent and support in case of multiple nationalities? What means to have multiple loyalties? How solidarity and social movements occur across political national borders? How mobility of coaches and athletes challenge the notion of a national team play/spirit? These are examples of questions that could be addressed, but are not an exclusive list. Special attention will be given to papers dealing with sport megaevents, which still confronts nation-states as Olympic Games, World Cups, and more regional events as European and Commonwealth Games.