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Second ISA Forum of Sociolgy, 2012
Second ISA Forum of Sociolgy, 2012

Second ISA Forum of Sociology

Social Justice and Democratization

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012

Alberto L. Bialakowsky and Alicia I. Palermo, President and Co-President of the Local Organizing Committee, ISA Forum, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012: "Challenges of the ISA Forum in Buenos Aires: Fighting an Unequal World with an Equal Sociology"

Social Justice and Democratization space- a new ISA project initiated by Margaret Abraham, ISA VP Research and developed in partnership with Robert Rojek, and Naomi Blumsom, SAGE Publications

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ISA Forum of Sociology 2012
Social Justice and Democratization
Buenos Aires, Argentina
August 1 - 4, 2012

Research Committee on Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management RC10

RC10 Main Theme: Participation and democracy in a globalizing world

Program Chair
Isabel da Costa,
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research) – IDHE (Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l’Economie), Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France,
Program Coordinator
Julia Rozanova,
(Brown University, USA, >

RC10 Liaison in Argentina
Denise Kasparian, Universidad de Buenos Aires,
ISA Forum 2012 Overview of On-line Programme Development for Programme Coordinators you can see here:

RC10 intends to organize all its 12 allocated sessions
For more information please check the ISA Forum website at:


Important reminder: Abstracts submission deadline: 15 December 2011

Proposed sessions > preliminary program you can find here in document RC10 ISA Forum 2012 sessions.pdf

in provisional order

Session 1(A)

RC10 Business Meeting

Organiser and Chair

Isabel DA COSTA, CNRS-IDHE, France,

Sessions 2 - 3- 4 (B-C-D)

Social justice and participation: The role of higher education

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee]

Sessions 5-6 (E-F)

Diversity of civic participation patterns in a globalizing world


Pawel STAROSTA, University of Lodz, Poland,

The process of global transformation is accompanied by various consequences within economic, political and social spheres of contemporary societies. One of the globalists’ fundamental theses assumes that alongside the growth of the free flow of goods, ideas and people, potential possibilities of citizens to subjectively participate in shaping political and social structures increase too. In other words, the greater range of freedom and smaller pressure from the state structures put the blocked individual potential in motion and contribute to the increase of common good and democracy.
On the other hand, the proponents of conservative ideology point to the fact that the processes of globalisation, mainly the declining role of the national state and the growing role of freedom of individuals unprepared for making civic use of it, leads to quite opposite results. Normative system undergoes differentiation and relativisation, whereas social life becomes increasingly privatised and, consequently, public sphere becomes to break down.
A number of researchers provide empirical evidence of the decline of participation in the public sphere. The widely known publication by Putnam (2001) illustrates the complexity of this process in reference to the U.S. society, both on the national and local levels. There is also evidence from the European research pointing to the complexity of the phenomenon of civic participation in terms of the level of participation, patterns of participation and its determinants ( Skocpol,Florina,1999, Rosthstein 2002; Hall 2002; Li, Savage, Pickles 2002, Badescu, 2003; Uslaner 2003; Starosta 2010).
It needs to be stressed, however, that the analyses of civic participation conducted to date have most frequently referred to comparison of situation in different countries or different urban settings (Fung 2006). Less attention has been devoted to the transformations taking place in rural environments of different countries. Rural sociologists are interested more in the issues of rural communities` participation in development programmes than they are in the routine political behaviours. They frequently use case studies instead of survey databases. For political sociologists, in turn, rural parts of their societies are usually a less interesting subject of research due to their smaller significance as a national political force.
The papers in this session will aim to discuss and answer three main problem questions:

  1. What is the general level of civic participation in different countries?
  2. What patterns of civic participation dominate in contemporary societies?
  3. What are the major determinants of civic participation? In other words which of the models explaining differentiation of civic participation mentioned in the literature (Socio Economic Status Model; Social Capital Attachment Model, Rational Choice theory Model, Civic Voluntarism Model or Socialization Model) is best fitted to explain the changeability of civic participation?

Civic participation is understood here in a similar way to behavioural approach (Pattie, Seid, Whiteley, 2003) as an activity which is performed by citizens’ actions in the public, political and associational spheres. Such an approach suspends the role of individuals’ mental attitudes towards the civic society sphere and their reception of it displayed by an interest in political, public and associational issues.
Proposed analyses may refer to the three levels of civic participation: local, regional and national. Comparative analyses are highly desirable. As far as methodology is concerned, both qualitative and quantitative analyses will be accepted.

Session 7 (G)

Cooperatives/social economy in the new millennium

Maria FREGIDOU-MALAMA, University of Gävle, Sweden,
This session seeks papers that consider the issues of participation and democracy in relation to cooperatives and social economy in the new millennium. Are cooperatives and social economy a utopian perspective or a viable possibility for addressing concerns associated with the mainstream economic and social organization? Contributions analyzing experiences of how social economy and cooperatives function in diverse contexts across the world are welcome.

Sessions 8-9 (H-I)

Participation and cultural sociology of the life course

Joint session of RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee] and RC11 Sociology of Aging

Session 10 (J)

Ibero-American views on participation, social justice and democracy

Jaime PRECIADO CORONADO, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico,

The aim of this session is to explore the particular approaches to the issues of participation, social justice and democracy that stem from the experiences of Ibero-American countries.

Sessions 11-12 (K-L)

Participation and its relationship to social justice and democracy

Isabel DA COSTA, CNRS-IDHE, France,
This session invites papers that explore from a variety of perspectives the conceptual issues related to participation and its relationship to social justice and democratic governance, with regards to different interdependent stakeholders both within an organization, and in the community where an organization is embedded, that include, but are not limited to, employees, managers, owners of different caliber, and citizens.

Session 13 (M)

Social justice and democratization through participation and/or self-management?

Vera VRATUSA, Belgrade University, Serbia,

The aim of this session is to explore past, present and future relevance of participation and self-management theory and practice in the historical circumstances of global accumulation of capital systemic crisis and search for alternatives to unjust, exploitative, oligarchic and ecologically destructive commodity market production on privatized means of production for private profit. Theoretical and empirical contributions are called for that would critically analyze one or both of the following problems and draw relevant lessons for the future: - Past (Paris Commune, ex-Yugoslavia, Lip…) and present (Argentina, Venezuela…) self-management attempts to overcome class division of labor - Past and present attempts of global financial oligarchy to instrumentalize participation as an organizational technology for reduction of its management costs and for domestication of the labor force

Session 14 (N)

Was social participation a way to manage the economic and social crisis?

Francesco GARIBALDO, Italy,
This session will explore whether social participation is a way to manage the economic and social crisis, or the occasion to roll it back? Papers are invited that consider and theorize sectoral, global, and country evidence.


Climate change: Implications for democracy and governance – extending the social contract to sustainable biospheres

Janet MCINTYRE, Flinders University, Australia,
This session will include papers that may engage with lessons from the Club of Rome and beyond, and/or report lessons from participatory action research and systemic intervention, and/or introduce anthropological themes that place systems within biospheres and consider their implications for social sciences and natural sciences. Also papers will consider youth action for climate change in South Australia and reflections of challenges for democracy and sustainability.
Papers will consider creating solidarity and respect for difference across conceptual maps in Indonesia and Australia, as well as accounting and accountability through case studies of challenges in Indonesia and reflection on implications for post national constellations. Papers will capture regional perspectives on social and environmental justice, and reflect on international and regional complicity through case studies of life chances in the Congo, the perspective of less is more when living elegantly and ethically– laws, policies and potential of nested forms of participation and governance, and new racism and its implications for democracy, as well as challenges of creating a safe public conversation.


The role of conflict in partnership building

Michal PALGI, Emek Yezreel College and the University of Haifa, Israel,
Helena SYNA-DESIVILYA, Emek Yezreel College, Israel,

The purpose of the session is to elucidate the paradoxical nature of partnerships. These alliances on the one hand are designed to promote collaboration between individuals, groups and organizations, but on the other hand, the processes of their formation and maintenance entail continuous engagement with power struggles and conflict. Partnerships draw their dialectic nature from the complexity ingrained in group dynamics – the interrelations between two focal processes – conflict and cooperation - as maintained by prominent social psychologists (Lewin, 1947; Sherif, 1966; Tuckman, 1965). These processes are often contradictory, albeit at times balancing and potentially contributing to positive group outcomes. In this session the intricacies of conflict- cooperation “dance” in the context of inter-organizational partnerships will be examined.
We want to integrate theoretical frameworks with praxis, as reflected in a variety of organizational, community and national contexts. Beyond our theoretical interest in the phenomenon of partnerships, the impetus for organizing this session stems also from practical concerns. There is a growing need for cooperative systems of relationships in light of shrinking resources, global competition, rapid and vast changes taking place in the organizational environment, producing mounting interdependence within and among organizations. Consequently, understanding the processes of developing and building partnerships and elucidating the factors promoting versus impeding their effectiveness deems increasingly important.


Emergent authoritarianism in democracies lacking equality of distribution of wealth and its social expression


Martha Nelida RUIZ URIBE, Instituto Universitario Internacional de Toluca, Mexico,
Our contemporary historical juncture is currently witnessing a crisis of capitalism that has led to an emergent authoritarianism in democracies that have adopted neoliberal policies and practices. This authoritarianism has provoked a variety of social expressions among populations most vulnerable in such a crisis such as student riots in France and the United Kingdom, worker riots in Greece, a dramatic increase in corruption and violence in Mexico, and growing anti-immigration sentiment and racism in the United States. This has forced governments to adopt more authoritarian measures in order to control the variety of expressions of social anger. The impact of these measures has had deleterious consequences, particularly for youth. These consequences could benefit from a sociological analysis that takes in consideration the social, cultural economic and ontological impact of these measures.
Papers that will explore these issues are invited to this session.