Call for Papers

WSF Award of Excellence Program for Research Papers on World Society 2010

The Global Economic Crisis: Perceptions and Impacts

Download here: Call for Papers

What began as a financial meltdown in the United States has now become a crisis of the entire world economy. Crisis impacts, however, vary across countries and regions, thereby affecting global and international social inequality, altering core-periphery relations, and re-defining the international power balance. While several semiperipheral countries are profiting from their considerable foreign currency reserves to gain more political weight in international financial institutions, peripheral countries are experiencing sharp rises in poverty and accumulating new foreign debt. Given their lack of fiscal space to implement stimulus programs, peripheral countries are likely to suffer substantially longer from the crisis fallout than the rest of the world. There is a great risk that faster recovery in core and semiperipheral countries may again drive up oil and food prices, leading to a renewal of the food crisis and heightening existing political tensions at the periphery of the world-system.

Simultaneously, the crisis has left politicians, policy advisors and top managements of enterprises and international institutions in an ideological vacuum. Well-established theories of the market, as well as hegemonic assumptions about the alleged benefits of unfettered global economic integration, are falling into pieces. The current recession nevertheless calls for immediate policy responses. There is strong need for ad-hoc theories of the crisis' causes to guide short-term cures and long-term structural reforms, both at the national and the international level. International organizations, business representatives, and civil society organizations have entered a fierce interpretative contest over crisis mechanisms and possible political remedies. The current crisis thus presents a extraordinary opportunity to study the strategies employed by various interested actors to gain public resonance and influence for old and new political ideas.

With this call for papers, the World Society Foundation encourages researchers to investigate into the social construction of crisis interpretations and/or the effects of the current crisis on perceptions of global social relations (economic globalization, North-South relations, multilateralism, etc). Issues that may be addressed include:

- Crisis representations and interpretations in the mass media (qualitative and quantitative content analysis) or the general population (quantitative surveys);

- Crisis framing by social movement organizations, business actors, or international organizations (content analysis, participant observation, etc);

- Impacts on political mobilization and transnational organizing among civil society organizations (protest event analysis, participant observation, interviews, etc);

- Impacts on national and international regulating agencies and mechanisms;

- Effects of the crisis, and policy responses to the crisis, on trust in (international) political institutions;

- Effects of the crisis, and policy responses to the crisis, on perceptions of global and regional governance institutions;

The above list is not exhaustive. The Foundation will give highest priority, however, to papers that combine a general theoretical discussion with new empirical findings. These findings may be based on comparative research as well as single-case studies, and on qualitative as well as quantitative research methods. In any case, paper proposals should give a very clear indication of the research methods, data sources and analytical tools to be used.

Please note that the Foundation is seeking original contributions. Papers that have already been published or submitted for publication will not be accepted.

Interested scholars are kindly invited to submit their paper proposals before December 15, 2009. The Foundation's Board of Members will evaluate these proposals and ask successful applicants to elaborate their proposals into full papers (25-30 pages, but no more than 8000 words) in good English language. We strongly encourage authors to discuss the implications of their findings for both, future global social integration and existing world society theories. The deadline for delivering the papers is May 31, 2010.

Each paper meeting the typical quality standards of the leading scholarly journals will be honored with US$ 1.000. The most outstanding papers will be published in a forthcoming volume (2011/12) of World Society Studies, the Foundation’s edited book series.

The authors of the most outstanding papers become candidates for the Foundation's Award of Excellence in World Society Research (2010). The prize money for the Award will be US$ 10.000 (First Prize) and US$ 5.000 (Second Prize). The candidates will be invited to a conference to be held at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, on September 10-11, 2010, where the award will be presented. The Foundation's Board of Members will act as the jury for this evaluation.

Applicants are invited to present proposals for their papers giving the following information:

- Title of the paper

- Abstract of no more than 500 words (longer abstracts will be disqualified)

- Name of the author(s), present address (including e-mail address), and name of the institution to which the author is affiliated (if applicable)

Proposals must be sent by e-mail to; submissions by postal mail will be disqualified. ~~UP~~

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