Slovenian National Committee of the
UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Program (MOST),
School of Advanced Social Studies, Nova Gorica, Slovenia
in cooperation with
Slovenian Social Science Association and ISA Junior Sociologists Network
organised this year's
11th Slovenian Social Science Conference
„ Observing social transformations:
National and Transnational perspectives”
May 30-June 1, 2019, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Scope of the Conferences:
The social transformations we live in are becoming increasingly dynamic and hard to predict. While accelerated globalisation seems to be an obvious trend in the economic, political and cultural spheres, the future outcomes are far from clear. They do not depend only on the existing structures, processes and potentials but also on how these structures, processes and potentials are observed and perceived by individual and collective social agents. When these agents, through their actions, affect the future of our societies in increasingly morphogenetic terms, they are themselves inevitably affected by their own interpretations of the reality. The perspectives, narratives, semantics, discourses are thus no less important than social structures. The ways, in which transformations are understood, may thus be no less relevant for the future than these transformations themselves.
The global interconnectedness and interdependencies can be seen today as a place of accelerated capitalist market competitions and as an opportunity for alternative globalisations; as a need to move beyond the local perspectives and to re-affirm them; as transcending cultural differences and as re-affirming them, as the beginning of the end for the nation state and as a demonstration of its pervasiveness.
It is the role of social scientists to observe, interpret and evaluate these varieties of perspectives – and to add the perspectives of their own – well supported, of course, by relevant social theories and rigorous empirical observations. Special attention will be devoted to innovative research methods in comparative research, based on the combinations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods.
Based on this, our conference was primarily but not exclusively focus on:
- economic perspectives: explaining contemporary capitalist markets, their social and technological contexts, as well as social and environmental consequences – from the local to the global level; observing the persistence or re-emergence of (national) protectionism confronted with the ideas of free flows of labour, capital, goods and services; what are the opportunities and threats of these concepts and how they are related to each other;
- cultural perspectives: observing the complex relations between nationalism and cosmopolitanism, between the ideas of cultural universalism and cultural relativism, understanding and managing intercultural relations, clashes and solidarities, observing the varieties of imagined communities and the perspectives that see the world as divided into civilisations and the traps related to such views;
- political perspectives: the challenges for liberal democracy when confronted both with globalising and fragmentising trends, its links both to the nation state and to cosmopolitanism, evaluating local, national and transnational governance, new perspectives on borders and migrations, protecting human rights and free speech in the era of “political correctness”, “fake news” and “hate speech”.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS were:
- Professor Sari Hanafi
International Sociological Association President; Professor at the American University of Beirut
- Professor Stefano Bianchini
Director of Organisational Unit in Forli, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy
- Dr Mark Maguire
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Maynooth University, Ireland
- Dr Ladislav Cabada
Vice-rector for Research and Creative Work, Metropolitan University Prague, Czech Republic
- Slovenian National Committee of the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST)
- School of Advanced Social Studies / Fakulteta za uporabne družbene študije v Novi Gorici
- International Sociological Association: Junior Sociologists Network
- Slovenian Social Science Association
Conference venue was: