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Social Sciences Conference in Slovenia

Deadline:  15 May 2014
Open to: social scientists and experts
Venue: 25th – 27th September 2014, Piran, Slovenia

6th Slovenian Social Sciences Conference
“The Challenges of Social Transformations”
organised by the
Slovenian National Committee of the
UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST) and the
School of Advanced Social Studies (Fakulteta za uporabne družbene študije),

co-organised by
Making Migrations Work for Development EU funded Project and ISA Junior Sociologists Network

that will take place in Piran, Slovenia, from
25th – 27th September 2014.

Scope of the conference

The 6th Slovenian Social Sciences Conference will be based on a relatively broad focus of social transformations. They include a wide range of political, economic and cultural dimensions that can be observed from the macro level of social systems and structural changes to the micro levels of varieties of aspects of individuals’ lives. The world has never before been so closely interconnected and interdependent as it is today by the processes of globalisation, which implies global consequences of the local events and vice versa. Moreover, the increasing ability of small events to generate enormous consequences has led to the new links between the micro and the macro levels of analyses making them increasingly interconnected as well. However, we do not only intend to describe and explain social transformations but also to address the issue how to deal with them. Confronted with the issue of managing social transformations, the decision makers at various levels, in different parts of the world and in different social fields or subsystems are equipped by an increasingly rich variety of tools of leadership, governance and management. On the other hand, they are also confronted by the growing societal complexity, which may make the outcomes both less predictable and the errors less repairable. We plan to organise the panels dealing with political, economic, cultural and individual transformations as well as the students’ panel dealing with the same issues.

Political transformations

While political transformations at the end of the 20th Century clearly implied following the model provided by the western (representative) democracies, the situation seems to be less clear in the second decade of the new Millennium. Trends such as increasing distrust in political elites, growing social complexity as well as the shifts in decision making processes from the national to the transnational level have contributed to the increasing scepticism and criticism of the existing democratic systems, which may be a serious challenge in the context of the lack of persuasive and viable (democratic) alternatives. On the other hand, events such as the Arab Spring or ‘Euromaidan’ in Ukraine have demonstrated that democracy remains to be strongly desired – even in the places where such tendencies were (stereotypically) underestimated – but also hard to implement.  What kind of democratic transformations are needed to manage the recent political and social transformations and how do they affect the issues such as political efficiency, legitimacy, citizenship and participation.

Economic transformations

Despite a clear trend toward the global domination of market economy, the market based economic systems have been significantly challenged by the global economic crisis, to which different varieties of capitalism generated different – more and less successful responses.  Economic globalisation has remained both the opportunity and the threat for the development of more cohesive societies and communities from the local to the global level. While the markets left to their own spontaneity may produce unbearable risks, intervening in them by the national and transnational authorities may be no less risky as well, for instance in terms of generating new moral hazards, particularly among the economic elites.


Cultural transformations

Globalisation and modernisation have not produced any kind of unified value system but a complex combination of different cultures, values and norms exposed to different – both converging and diverging – transformations while significantly influencing each other in clearly asymmetrical ways due to the impact of the phenomena such as the mass media, mass culture and mass migrations. We are thus inevitably confronted by an uneasy coexistence of postmodernism and fundamentalism, universalism and relativism, homogeneity and heterogeneity, preservation and change. Consequently, management of social transformations is supposed to consider a delicate balance between diversity and unity.

Individual transformations

Social transformations in terms of modernisation and globalisation are significantly interrelated and mutually influenced with the transformations of individuals as personalities.  Social transformations ranging from big institutions to small life worlds, related to the fields of economy, politics, culture and the related everyday life inevitably affect their psychological conditions and health by providing new challenges in this regard. On the other hand, transforming individuals are becoming increasingly reflective, which also affects their roles as the agents of social transformations.

Migrations and social transformations

Both domestic and international migrations are inherently related to social transformations. Social transformations might foster or hinder migrations. Migrations might foster or hinder social transformations. Currently the internal migrations have lost intensity and relevance in European societies. Instead, the relevance of immigration and emigration has tremendously increased. Both processes strongly influence the demographic, economic, political and cultural developments in the ageing European societies. Some of them profit from international migration despite the numerous problems related to the integration of immigrants. Other European societies are losing the most valuable human capital. Immigration and emigration pose the challenge of very much needed efficient management of related social transformations.

Students’ panel

We are also introducing the students’ panel. It will include presentations of papers of B.A. and M.A. level students. Papers shall address general scope of the conference. If some paper, prepared by the student will be seen as elaborate enough, it will be included into corresponding panel. PhD candidates are supposed to present their papers at the four panels described above.

Participation, papers and registration

The broad range of topics and their interdisciplinary nature implies that we welcome a broad range of social scientists and experts in the fields such as sociology, psychology, cultural and political studies, economics, anthropology, psychosocial counselling, business, law etc. Wherever possible, the presented papers should address the theoretical, empirical and practical (policy) issues of managing social transformations.

We are looking forward for your early expression of interest that can be done by sending us e-mail with the title of your paper and abstract of no more than 150 words before 15th May 2014. The authors will be notified about the acceptance of their papers before 15th June 2014.

A selection of full papers presented at the conference and delivered till 31st October 2014 will be published in an e-book and/or scientific journals.

Paper abstracts, requests to participate and questions should be sent to: Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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