Europe is currently sinking into its deepest morass since the 1960s. Questions about the sustainability of European political economies, social solidarity, party systems, values, and the project of European integration abound. With the British voting to leave the European Union, and powerful political forces in other member states pressing for similar moves, the future of the EU is on the line. Paraphrasing the famous quote from Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s great novel The Leopard, “for things to remain the same, everything must change.” Many argue: if Europe is to reinvigorate its economy, society, politics, and culture, transformations are necessary.
Sustainability, a concept borrowed from and often linked to ecology, refers to the capacity to survive, to remain diverse and productive into the foreseeable future. We invite panels and proposals that investigate the sustainability of current European policies, dynamics, and an integrated Europe, as well as proposals that explore ways political actors can promote or damage sustainability. Threats to sustainability often emerge from exclusive attention to improving efficiency, reducing risk, boosting legitimacy, or strengthening social cohesion at the local level (at the expense of the survival of the wider system in which these efforts are embedded). Companies that successfully pursue profit threaten their natural and social environment. Investors who hedge their own risk endanger financial markets. National politicians who pander to voters and shun international responsibilities to keep power imperil the global order. Efforts to achieve ethnic, regional, and national unity by fanning tribalism and xenophobia fracture relationships with other groups and generate largescale conflicts.
Are the refugee policies of the European states sustainable in the long run, or will short-term solutions destabilize Europe as a whole? Can the current policies governing the management of the European monetary union work for both individual countries and the entire union in the end? Has Brexit ushered in a phase of European disintegration? Are we entering a world of great volatility where decisions lead to unpredictable chain reactions?
Transformation refers to major change, in either form or substance. We invite panels and proposals that investigate the transformations Europe currently faces, as well as the major changes required to respond to them. For example, emerging technology is on the verge of making renewable energy viable; advances in genetics are confronting European societies with new ethical and medical dilemmas; the combined power of communication technology and artificial intelligence is now poised to profoundly reorganize the way people live, think and work and even the way crime and terrorism occur or can be averted. Dramatic shifts in the transnational movement of people and the demographic profile of European societies are intersecting to create new challenges for European politicians and citizens. The drift towards right-wing populism and the revival of nationalism are destabilizing democratic political institutions. These transformations are posing difficult problems and call for other major changes that deliver sustainable solutions.
Proposals may be submitted from August 15th to October 4th, 2016. Priority will be given to panel submissions. Participants will be notified of the Program Committee’s decision by January 9th, 2017.
For information on how to submit a proposal, please consult the Submission Help page.
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