Conf/CfP - Institutions in Development Research: New Buzzword or Real Impact?, 1-2 December 2016, Germany

Publish Date: Aug 13, 2016

Deadline: Aug 15, 2016

Event Dates: from Dec 01, 2016 12:00 to Dec 01, 2016 12:00

Call for Papers 3rd Witten Conference on Institutional Change: „Institutions in Development Research: New Buzzword or Real Impact?”

The Witten Institute for Institutional Change (WIWa) invites submissions of papers and organized sessions for the 3rd Witten Conference on Institutional Change which will be conducted in co-operation and with the generous support by the Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft and the Forschungskolleg Siegen.

The 2016 Conference will focus on “Institutions in Development Research: New Buzzword or Real Impact?” It will take place on 1 and 2 December at Witten/Herdecke University in Witten, Germany.

In recent years, development experts have (re-)discovered the impact of institutions on development. A vast and quickly growing empirical literature seems to prove that the quality of institutions is one of the most important determinants of prosperity or poverty. That “institutions matter” has become common wisdom by now not only in academia but also in development organizations and in politics. However, development research and practice have both seen a long chain of buzzwords and concepts. All of these promised to provide the key to explaining the global problems of development and/or to solving them. Finally, all these buzzwords shared the same fate: Sooner or later they were replaced with other "fashionable" concepts. So, is institutions just a new buzzword or does the inclusion of the institutional dimension of development provide real and relevant insights?

The 3rd Witten Conference on Institutional Change intends to foster the inter-disciplinary discourse on the institutional dimension of development. Papers and session proposals from economics, sociology, philosophy and political science are equally welcome.

Key questions (non-exclusive) are:

- What is the causal relationship between institutions and development? Do countries that improve their institutional framework experience higher incomes or do higher incomes facilitate institutional reform?

- What kind of institutions matters most? How should “growth supporting” institutions be designed?

- The role of institutions in development practice

- Multidisciplinary approaches to institutions and development

We invite submissions for individual papers (400 words max.) or sessions with (800 words max.) from any relevant discipline addressing the institutional dimension of development. Please send your abstracts to Deadline for submission is 15 August 2016.

Selected papers will be published as a special issue of Schmollers Jahrbuch. Journal of Contextual Economics, a peer- reviewed international economics and social sciences journal.


• Magdalene Silberberger (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)

• Joachim Zweynert (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)

• Nils Goldschmidt (University of Siegen and Chairman of the Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft)

• Jens Harbecke (WIWA, Witten/Herdecke University)

• Carsten Hefeker (University of Siegen and Director of Forschungskolleg Siegen)

• Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)

• Matthias Kettner (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)

• Birger P. Priddat (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)

• Dirk Sauerland (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)

• André Schmidt (WIWA and Witten/Herdecke University)


The conference will take place at Witten/Herdecke University and is planned for two full days. There will be an informal get-together in the evening of 31 November and a conference dinner at 1 December. Apart from regular sessions, there will be two keynote speeches. Depending on the number and quality of submissions, a poster session with additional papers may be organized.


There will be no conference fee. Travel costs and accommodation have to be covered by the participants. The conference dinner will cost around 50.00 €.


The deadline for submissions is 15 August 2016. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 12 September. Completed drafts of accepted papers are due by 16 November and will be made available for download on the conference website.

For any questions, please contact the Director of WIWA, Joachim Zweynert:

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