The Working Group on the Future of Austrian Democracy (ARGE Zukunft der Demokratie) of the Austrian Research Association is issuing a call for papers for its annual research conference to be held November 14 – 15, 2013 in Vienna, Austria.
The Working Group invites conceptually innovative papers devoted to questions of immigration, incorporation, and democracy. Preference will be given to work focused in particular on the themes and thematic profiles listed below.
Democracies in nation states are inadequately prepared for dealing with international migration. This is especially the case where nationhood is conceived along ethnic and narrow cultural terms. Conflicts about the proper composition of the demos, questions about adequate representation of diversity, and deficits when it comes to the exercise of equal democratic rights for all residents have since characterized liberal democracies. At the same time, there have also been numerous changes and significant adaptations of administrative processes, legal rules, and institutional arrangements to accommodate an increasingly diverse population.
First, it seeks to analyze how Austrian and European immigraiton societies and their institutions have reponded to the settlement of immigrants, and how their incorporation has been facilitated and negotiated. It wants to ascertain which modes of democratic innovations have emerged.
Second, the research conference focuses on how immigrants and immigrant communities in Europe/Austria have adapted to the institutional structures of the receiving societies and political systems. It also wants to determine how entrenched local and national arrangements have resisted such adaptations on one hand and how, as a result, immigrant groups have sought to develop alternative forms of involvement or engaged in transnational activities.
The conference is interdisciplinary in orientation and welcomes work from all social sciences and the field of legal studies. Whereas theoretical work is considered important, the Working Group is especially interested in sound analytical and empirical scholarship and the application of qualitative or quantitative methodology commensurate with, and appropriate for the discipline from which the work originates. Case study designs are welcome but it should be understood that the goal of the conference is to draw comparative conclusions and develop a general understanding of the matters at hand.
Thus, the ability to generalize from findings will be as much a criteria for inviting presentations as is the innovative character of the paper or project. Although the working group focuses primarily on Austrian democracy, this research conference and its themes are not Austria-centered and may draw on a wide variety of international experiences. However, the inclusion of Austria as a reference case in the analysis is certainly welcome.
- Panel 1: Democratic Deficits /Institutional Change & Innovation
- Panel 2: Citizenship /Fundamental Rights /Immigrants’ Representation & Participation
- Panel 3: Democratic Innovations /Immigrants’ Advocacy
- Panel 4: Perception & Categorization /Mobility & Diversity
- Panel 5: Immigration and Resources