December 2020      Publication of the Call for Papers (on the 3rd)

                                           Abstract submission opens in ConfTool (on the 16th)

March 2021         Abstract submission deadline (on the 1st)

April 2021                   Notification of acceptance, opening of participant registration

May 2021                    Early Bird ticket deadline and registration deadline for paper presenters

Aug-Sep 2021           15th ESA Conference in Barcelona, 31 August - 3 September  

This timetable is subject to change.

2.0. Please find all necessary information about the Abstract Submission here and about ConfTool 2021 here. The Call for Papers is online as of now, here. Abstract submission closes on 15 February 2021.

2.1. Can I submit my abstract via email?
No, we can only accept abstracts submitted via ConfTool 2021.

2.2. How many abstracts can I submit and present?
You can submit and present 1 contribution at the 15th ESA Conference. 

2.3. Can I be co-author of another abstract?
Yes, you there are no limitation for co-authoring, but please remember that you can only present 1 contribution at the conference.

2.4. I am considering to submit an abstract for a Semi-Plenary. What is the chance of being selected?
Please keep in mind that submitters of a SP abstract must hold a PhD (set date: 15 February 2021). Only two speakers per SP will be selected. However, the chance of your abstract being accepted for the conference is the same as in the RN and RS tracks. The two SPs open for abstract submission are organised by RNs, and all accepted abstracts not selected for the SP will be switched to the organising RN. 

2.5. Can I submit and present in another language than English?
No, the working language of the conference is English. Note that you will be able to meet and talk to colleagues from all over the world! The only exception to this rule is Research Stream 02: A New Normality For a New Europe? - ¿Una nueva normalidad para una nueva Europa?, that admits abstracts in Spanish.

2.6. I come from a Social Sciences & Humanities discipline, but not from Sociology. Can I submit an abstract?
Yes, all neighbouring disciplines are invited to react to our Call for Papers. For the PhD Summer School, students can be registered for a PhD in Sociology or aligned discipline in a European University

2.7. Will the papers be published in a journal?
No, due to the large number of submitted papers, this is not possible. However, there will be an Abstract Book (PDF only) and you can also try to submit a manuscript based on your conference paper to the ESA journals, European Societies and the European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology.

2.8. I don't remember my ConfTool password, please help!
Don't worry – go  to the login page of ConfTool: and click on the link "Forgotten your password?" You will receive a new password then. Please note that in case you had a ConfTool account before (e.g. for the ESA conference 2019 in Manchester), you still have to create a new user account in ConfTool 2021.

2.9. I would like to edit/withdraw my abstract. How?
You can do this yourself until the deadline for abstract submission. Log in to ConfTool and go to 'Your Submissions'. After the deadline for abstract submission on March 1st 2021, you can contact the ESA 2021 organisers at esa2021[at] In your message, please indicate the ID number of your abstract and what exactly you want to be changed or done.

From April 15th registration is only open for the online option. The early bird registration is open until May 22nd and, after that date, the late registration fee applies.

You can take a look at the fee structure here:

4.0. General information
All RN / JS / RS / SP sessions have a duration of 1.5 hours. Usually, there are 4 paper presentations in each RN / JS / RS session (meaning about 15 minutes per paper) and 2 presentations in each SP session (meaning about 30 minutes per paper), followed by discussion. Some RN sessions may have a different format, depending on what the RN coordinators plan to do.

4.1. What are the different session types?
While Research Network and Research Stream sessions cover the immense variety of sociological inquiry, Plenary, Semi-Plenary and Midday sessions offer the opportunity to engage in core debates. All session formats will include time for open discussion.

Plenaries (P) address the main conference topic. They take place in the evenings (Tue, Wed and Fri).

Semi-Plenaries (SPs) discuss the main conference theme from the viewpoint of different fields of research. They promote discussion between speakers, next to that with participants. SPs are based on proposals made by the ESA Research Networks and the Executive Committee. This time, two of them are open for abstract submission.

Midday (MD) sessions cover topics which are relevant for sociology as a discipline and/or for the day-to-day work of sociologists. They are offered at lunchtime.

Research Network (RN) sessions feature research papers submitted in response to the Call for Papers. The majority of sessions is organised by ESA's 37 Research Networks. RNs are open to all ESA members. All RNs hold a business meeting at the conference (this time on Thursday, 2 September, after the last regular session). New members are cordially invited to join one or several RNs of their choice. Note that many RNs organise Joint Sessions (JS).

Research Stream (RS) sessions are made by sociologists from several European countries who come together to organise sessions on very specific sociological topics. RSs are self-organised bodies with a loose structure which is determined by the researchers who join the stream. While some RSs are regularly organising sessions at ESA conferences, other RSs offer ad hoc sessions around spur-of-the-moment topics.

4.2. Can I submit and present in another language than English?
No, the working language of the conference is English. Note that you will be able to meet and talk to colleagues from all over the world! The only exception to this rule is Research Stream 02: A New Normality For a New Europe? - ¿Una nueva normalidad para una nueva Europa?, that admits abstracts in Spanish.

4.3. What kind of files can I share to deliver my presentation?

You can use any format you can visualize in your screen. During the Zoom meeting you will actually share what your screen displays. Thus, PPT, PDF and similar file formats are fine.

4.4. Where is the manual for speakers?

Below you can find the link to the speaker manual as well as some tips for speakers & general instructions for the presentation:

5.0. Where do I find the links to the sessions in the virtual platform?

5 minutes before the session starts, you can search for the session that you wish to attend in the conference platform and you will see a "join session” button. That button contains the zoom link, and you will be able to access the session by clicking on the button. Once you are in the session, there will be a volunteer to assist you with anything you need.

5.1. How do I find my sessions in the virtual platform?

On the top menu, please click on "all sessions" and then use the search bar and enter the session code (e.g. RN33_T09_02) and/or the title of the session.

5.2. My verification code is no longer valid

Each time you enter the virtual platform, you'll receive a new verification code on your email. You always need to enter the last verification code received; previous codes will not be valid.

5.3. What software will the sessions use

General sessions will take place in a regular zoom meeting. Plenary and Semi-Plenary sessions will take place on the virtual platform, as a webinar. Both types of sessions can be accessed through the “join session” button that will appear 5 min before the session starts.

6.0. Information about the PhD Summer School 2021 can be found here.

6.1. Who is eligible to participate in the PhD Summer School?
Students registered for a PhD in Sociology or allied discipline in a European University. You must also be ESA member (student category) or become ESA member before the Summer School, here.

6.2. Does the ESA offer a travel grant for selected candidates?
Yes, up to 300 Euro will be available for each student accepted for the PhD Summer School. The amount of the travel grant will depend on your travel expenses. If you are selected, please make sure to keep all receipts – you will be reimbursed after the conference.

6.3. Do participating PhD students have to pay the conference fee?
No, the Summer School takes place before the conference and the selected PhD students are invited, but not obliged to attend the 15th ESA Conference. For participating in the Summer School, no fees are charged!

6.4. Do participating PhD students have to make their own accommodation arrangements?
No, the ESA will organise and fully cover the expenses for 3 nights' accommodation (28-31 August 2021) in Barcelona, Spain. However, please keep in mind that if you wish to stay for the 15th ESA Conference, you will have to make your own arrangements for the extra nights.

6.5. What exactly does the "preparation of an article for publication" in the Summer School mean?
This does not mean that your paper will be published in an ESA journal. It means that you will be invited to discuss your manuscript with the Summer School teachers and other participants.

6.6. Can PhD students submitting an abstract for the summer school, submit as well for the main conference?
When you submit for the summer school, you will be asked an RN of your choice to which your paper will be transferred in case your paper is good enough to be presented in the main conference, but not selected for the summer school. For that reason, summer school applicants can only be co-authors (not main authors) to a second paper in the main conference.

7.0. Information about visa requirements is provided right here.

ESA is very aware of the present challenging situation due to the new Coronavirus. The ESA 2021 Conference will take place fully online. ESA is currently working to make the conference happen successfully considering the pandemic constrains.

Last updated: August 29th, 2021