Society of the Future: Recompositions 18th Polish Sociological Congress 14-17 of Sep, 2022

Panel: Elites and anti-elitism in contemporary Europe. Struggles over power and voice in the populist moment

Organizers: Elżbieta Korolczuk (Södertörn University, Sweden/University of Warsaw, Poland), Håkan Johansson (Lund University, Sweden)

In today’s politics the word “elite” circulates as a derogatory term, associated with arrogance, snobbishness and alienation from the “common people”. Many representatives of elite groups, including powerful politicians and billionaires, carefully avoid such self-description, trying to stress their democratic views and/or working-class background. “Elite” has became a useful shorthand for exclusion and the abuse of power, and the anti-elitist language has been promoted by both: the right-populist parties and movements, who claim that people can be empowered only by toppling the “liberal elites,” and by the left, who accuses economic and political elites of destroying the planet and democracy. The problem of unequal access to power, resources and voice is being increasingly addressed not only in politics and in economy, but also in civil society as some civil society organizations have become influential political actors in their own right, with considerable power and resources at their disposal. Analyses of the educational and class background of the leaders of civil society organizations show patterns similar to economic and political elites, such as a tendency to exclude women and people from ethnic minorities or economically disadvantaged groups.

This panel aims to discuss new research on elites and the rise of anti-elitist discourses, and modes of organization and mobilization in contemporary Poland and in Europe, from a sociological perspective. We invite analyses which are based on up-to-date empirical studies and/or offer new theoretical perspectives on elites, counter-elites and anti-elitism in contemporary Poland and beyond. The questions we aim to discuss include: a) what qualities, networks and values characterize elites in contemporary societies, and how are they (re)produced; b) to what extent do various elite groups interact or even overlap; c) by whom, on what grounds and with what effects are elites challenged and concentration of power and resources contested; and d) what mechanisms and processes lead to elite consolidation or elite contestations across countries and internationally, and e) what are the consequences of elite existence, reproduction, consolidation and contestation for contemporary societies?

Key words: anti-elitism, civil society, elites, populism, social change

Contact details:,

Panel link: Elites and anti-elitism in contemporary Europe. Struggles over power and voice in the populist moment – XVIII Ogólnopolski Zjazd Socjologiczny

Deadline for abstracts: 15th of March, see website for uploading abstracts.

New book out now: « Sociology of Europeanization »

Edited by: Sebastian M. Büttner, Monika Eigmüller and Susann Worschech

Published by: De Gruyter Oldenbourg

About the book:

The numerous and far-reaching socio-political transformations that have taken place on the European continent since the mid-20th century have stipulated the emergence of new approaches and research fields in the social sciences. One of these is the development of a Sociology of Europeanization. This textbook provides an overview of its major topics, concepts, and research approaches. Each of the 14 chapters of this textbook introduces one particular topic of the Sociology of Europeanization – ranging from major conceptual considerations to an exploration of the numerous spatial, cultural, economic, political, judicial, and socio-structural implications of Europeanization. Hence, this book is very suitable as a fundamental introductory reading and for teaching in European studies and related study programs. It is also recommended to everyone who is interested in more recent European history and current sociological studies of transnationalization.

The book description and the download link can be found here:

Call for Managing Editor PARISS

About the journal
First published in 2020, Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS) is a cutting edge academic journal whose mission is to create a space for outstanding scholarship on the political, the anthropological, and the international marginalized elsewhere due to academic conventions. Encouraging transversal social inquiries and stylistic experimentation, PARISS seeks to transcend disciplinary, linguistic and cultural fragmentations characteristic of the contemporary international social sciences. To promote a plurality of ways of thinking, researching and writing, PARISS is committed to visibilizing contemporary social scientists, especially from non-English-speaking countries, whose works challenge established boundaries but have failed to internationalize precisely because of their unorthodoxy. It also offers academics a unique location to reflexively analyze their own socio-professional worlds and critique transformations presently redefining the contemporary university.

About the role
PARISS is presently looking to appoint a Managing Editor. This role will require you to assist the co-editors in chief with:
– Keeping track of submissions, both by email and through the editorial manager software. Suggesting reviewers for submissions.
– Liaising with authors and reviewers (through email) throughout the submission, review, and re-submission process.
– Communicating with the production team at BRILL publishers, particularly the desk editor, keeping the production of articles on track.
– Communicating with the Editorial Board and Scientific Committee, upon request.
– Submitting finalized articles by proxy to production, if necessary, through the editorial manager software.

In terms of skills and competencies, the co-editors in chief are ideally looking for candidates who:
– Have strong communication and deadline management skills.
– Possess a capacity to work autonomously and are detail-oriented.
– Have previous experience working for or with an academic journal.
– Have a multidisciplinary, international educational background and/or research experience.
– Speak English and are bi/multi-lingual.

The role of managing editor will be paid a stipend of Euro 750 per issue.

Interested candidates should send a brief email by the 21st of December explaining their interest in the role and a CV to the following email address:

Mauro Barisione : Polar Stars. Why the Political Ideologies of Modernity still Matter

Mauro Barisione : Polar Stars. Why the Political Ideologies of Modernity still Matter

New book out now!


Contrary to the cliché that our age is post-ideological, this book contends that political ideologies are part of  the logic itself  of modernity and continue to permeate ’hyper-modern’ politics. Using a multitude of  primary sources (texts) and data, the author identifies the ‘polar stars’ – guiding principles such as order, freedom and equality – around which ideological fields have developed, mainly in Europe, in recent centuries. In place of  the too reductive concepts of  ‘left’ and ‘right’, this book uses a different strategy to analyse the orientations of  contemporary political movements, parties, policies and voters: it reconstructs the main ideological ‘matrices’ of  modern politics in their historical origins and subsequent phases of  radicalisation and hybridisation, which still continue, both among these political matrices and with ‘metapolitical’ ideologies like populism. In doing so, the book also propounds a broader theory that helps to interpret recent ideological trends as reflecting a distinctive ‘double movement’ of  modernity: the continuous tension between liberalising pressures for greater individual  rights and, vice versa, ’centripetal’ countermovements along either the matrix of  order or that of  socioeconomic equality.

About the author: Mauro Barisione is a Professor of Political sociology at the University of Milan.

The book description and the download link can be found here: The pdf and epub versions are open access.

Book Publication: « Made in France » by Andy Smith

« Made in France: Societal Structures and Political Work » by Andy Smith, with Manchester University Press

Book description:

Exploring a range of age groups and types of social activity, including work, business, entertainment, political mobilizations and retirement,Made in France examines where significant change has occurred over the last four decades. Smith argues that while transformation has occurred in France’s financial and education sectors, only relatively marginal shifts have occurred elsewhere in French society. To explain this pattern of continuity and isolated change, the book strongly nuances claims that neo-liberalism, globalization or a rise in populism have been its causes. References to these trends have impacted upon French politics to varying extents, Smith argues; however, France continues to be dominated by issues which are specific to the country and linked to its deep societal structures and history. Smith provides a comprehensive account of French society and politics andin doing so proposes an insightful analytical framework applicable to the comparative analysis of other nations.

About the author:

Andy Smith is a Research Professor at the Centre Emile Durkheim at the University of Bordeaux

For more information and to order the book, please visit:

Call for papers: Panel on how experts organize and interact with the political world – 5th International Conference on Public Policy (ICCP5), Barcelona, July 5th-8th 2021

Panel: « How Experts Organize and Interact with the Political World? The Political Socializations of Experts »

Chair : Valentin THOMAS (IRISSO – Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Université)
Second Chair : Jean-Baptiste Devaux (Sciences PO Lyon)
Third Chair : Muriel Surdez (University of Fribourg)

Submission deadline:  January 29th 2021

Further information and submission form:


This panel focuses on « experts », i.e. actors mandated to participate in the design of public policies in the name of their specialized knowledge (Robert 2010). These groups of policymakers are often approached by addressing the links between the professions or intellectual traditions they represent and the institutions in charge of public policies. These approaches discuss fundamental divisions such as expert/ laymen, science/politics, risk assessment/risk management. By contrast, this panel aims to shift the perspective. It grasps the expert’s stance by questioning their political socializations, which has so far been insufficiently examined, especially by political scientists specialized in public policies studies. When they take on their role, experts confront themselves with objects identified as political, i.e. State, markets, political parties, public problems, instruments of public policies, etc. (Brint, 1996, Lebaron, 2008). It is therefore relevant to pay more attention to the ways in which they learnt to 1) perceive and interact with these political objects ; 2) to establish a boundary between political and non-political issues.

In short, the aim of the panel is to take the experts out of the specificity of their technical activities in order to approach them as ordinary and politicized actors who contribute to produce and legitimize the social and political order.

It is as depositories of knowledge legitimized by a specific background – typically a professional experience – that experts are mandated by political actors. Traditionally, work in political science devoted to expertise thus addresses the groups of experts through this mandate. On the one hand, it highlights the way in which expert knowledge is produced, selected, and affects the governance of public problems (Stampnitzky 2013; Demortain 2020). On the other hand, it sheds light on the socio-professional identity of the actors involved in public decision-making. Some researchers have questioned the professional trajectories of experts, as those working in think tanks (Medvetz 2014). Other work examines the legitimization of public decision making. It highlights the growing role of the government-dedicated sciences in the production of public action (Ihl, Déloye, and Joignant 2013). More recently, scholars have also questioned the loss of legitimacy of the specialized knowledge on which the authority of experts is based (Eyal 2019) to emphasize the importance of their networks and their alliances. All in all, this work tends to reduce experts to their « technical » skills or to the specialized knowledge for which their assessment is required.
This panel, instead, explores how experts learn and update the cognitive frames with which they « organize the political world » (Conover and Feldman 1984; Sigel 1989) and how they assimilate and activate certain visions of the social and political order available at a given time (Duchesne and Haegel 2004). For example, some researches addressed this question regarding senior officials in the French administration who designed immigration policies (Laurens 2009). Other researchers have studied the primary and secondary political socializations of people in the engineering profession, retracing the process which leads these professionals to perceive themself as having a « scientific », « objective » and “neutral” way of seeing political issues (Sainsaulieu, Surdez, and Zufferey 2019). The panel’s ambition is to open this research perspective to the different groups of experts appointed in the construction of public policies.


This panel will bring together authors interested in the politicization of experts committed to the production of public policies. For example, how do economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or at the European Central Bank (ECB), conceive and have learnt to conceive the role and legitimacy of the State, private economic actors, social movements or of their own institutions? How do the scientists and physicians of the World Health Organization (WHO) or national health agencies deal with the tension between individual and collective responsibilities in understanding (and acting on) pandemic phenomena? What attitudes do toxicologists at the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) have towards « technical progress », economic productivity, ecology, etc.?
Paper submissions should draw on empirical materials that will be specified. They will conduct empirical studies that highlight the social trajectories, lifestyles and political subjectivities of the experts, specifying how they contribute to the panel’s questions. They may focus on groups of experts appointed in a commission or part of a more flexible national or international network. They may also focus on a single actor. The panel is open to a variety of methodological perspectives, technique and material. For instance, papers can draw on interviews, archives, observations or questionnaires and process these data in various ways, be it qualitative or quantitative.
We suggest four lines of research that can be mixed or explored separately:

  1. Addressing the primary, secondary and professional political socializations of experts allows us to question various ways to grasp political objets. An interesting approach could be to revisit the process of expertise as a sequence structured by the long-term process of political socialization,be it shaped by explicit activist activities or not. From this perspective, the experts’ careers have to be connected with their social, professional and political trajectories.
  2. Papers could address the way in which the actors mandated as experts apprehend the social, institutional and political order as « ordinary citizens »: vote, interaction to public administrations (taxes, welfare system, transport, police, army, etc.), social distance or proximity to political arenas and professional politicians, etc.
  3. Papers could address expertise as a product of ordinary social practices and relationships. We wish to question the way in which experts’ positions and activities structure and are structured by their lifestyles (everyday experiences shaped by class, gender and race reality, by family relationships, by recreational or cultural activities). These elements indicate positions in the social space that are often hidden by the institutional dimension of the expert’s mandate.
  4. The sociology of the professions has shown the links between certain groups of experts and certain areas of public policy. It could be interesting to ask whether or not these various sectors produce different forms of political socialization. Conversely, one might also ask how struggles between groups of experts for involvement in the same area of public policy affects the political socialization of actors.


Brint, Steven. 1996. In the Age of Experts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Conover, Pamela Johnston, and Stanley Feldman. 1984. ‘How People Organize the Political World: A Schematic Model’. American Journal of Political Science 28 (1): 95–126.Demortain, David. 2020. The Science of Bureaucracy: Risk Decision-Making and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Duchesne, Sophie, and Florence Haegel. 2004. ‘La politisation des discussions, au croisement des logiques de spécialisation et de conflictualisation’. Revue francaise de science politique Vol. 54 (6): 877–909.

Eyal, Gil. 2019. The Crisis of Expertise. 1st Edition. Cambridge, UK ; Medford, MA: Polity.

Ihl, Olivier, Yves Déloye, and Alfredo Joignant, eds. 2013. Gouverner par la science: perspectives comparées. Grenoble: Presses universitaires de Grenoble.

Laurens, Sylvain. 2009. Une politisation feutrée. Paris: Belin.

Lebaron, Frédéric. 2008. Central Bankers in the contemporary global field of power: a “social space” approach. The Sociological Review, 56(1)121-144.

Lefébure, Pierre. 2009. ‘Les rapports ordinaires à la politique’. In Nouveau manuel de science politique, by Bernard Lacroix, Antonin Cohen, and Philippe Riutort, 9–20. La Découverte.

Medvetz, Thomas. 2014. Think Tanks in America. Illustrated Edition. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press.

Michel, Hélène (dir.). 2006. Lobbyistes et lobbying de l’Union européenne : Trajectoires, formations et pratiques des représentants d’intérêts. Strasbourg: Presses universitaires de Strasbourg.

Robert, Cécile. 2010. Chapitre 11 : Expertise et action publique. Presses de Sciences Po (P.F.N.S.P.).

Sainsaulieu, Ivan, Muriel Surdez, and Éric Zufferey. 2019. ‘Parcours de socialisation politique d’ingénieurs au travail’. Revue francaise de science politique Vol. 69 (3): 439–59.

Sigel, Roberta S., ed. 1989. Political Learning in Adulthood: A Sourcebook of Theory and Research. 1st Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Stampnitzky, Lisa. 2013. Disciplining Terror. How Experts Invented ‘Terrorism’. New York: Campbridge University Press.

CfP: Conference ‘Ideologies, Values, and Political Behavior in Central andEastern Europe’, Timișoara, Romania, 4-6 December 2020

Invitation to the 18th edition of the International Symposium ‘Ideologies, Values, and Political Behavior in Central and Eastern Europe’

Organized by the Department of Political Science, West University of Timișoara
The Symposium will be held on December 4-6, 2020, in an online format.
Deadline for proposals: 20 November 2020. Selected participants will be informed before 27 November 2020.

It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the upcoming 18th edition of the International Symposium Ideologies, Values, and Political Behavior in Central and Eastern Europe. This edition marks the 20th anniversary of the Department of Political Science at the West University of Timișoara, Romania.

The event aims to bring together researchers interested in Central and Eastern European politics. We welcome paper proposals from scholars on political topics in Central and Eastern Europe as detailed below. The proposal should be no longer than one page and it should include a short Curriculum Vitae.

Selected papers will be included in the forthcoming volume of the Political Studies Forum journal, published yearly by the Department of Political Science and relaunched in 2020:

The Symposium will include panels such as:

  • The European Union at crossroads: political, social, economic and cultural challenges
  • The specter of populism: continuity, change, diversity
  • Diplomacy and international relations: shaping the 21st century
  • 30 years since the reunification of Germany: regional and international implications
  • Intelligence and security studies: challenges and opportunities

These are just some of the scientific topics that will be addressed during the conference. We welcome contributions on similar topics from the fields of political science and international relations.

There is no participation fee. For further information, details and for sending the application please contact Dr. Emanuel Copilaș at

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our event!

CfA – Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences 2020

Please find below the call for abstracts for the 10th Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences.


Linking Theory and Empirical Research

Berlin, July 20 – 30, 2020

We are delighted to announce the 10th edition of the Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences. The summer school aims at supporting young researchers by strengthening their ability in linking theory and empirical research. The two-week program creates an excellent basis for the development of their current research designs.

In the first week, we address the key methodological challenges of concept-building, causation/explanation, and micro-macro linkage that occur in almost all research efforts. We strive for a clarification of the epistemological foundations underlying methodological paradigms. In the second week, these methodological considerations are applied to central empirical fields of research in political science, sociology, and other related disciplines. In this second part of the program, participants are assigned to four thematic groups according to their own research topic. The thematic areas covered are: « Global Governance & International Relations », « Citizenship, Migration, and Identities », « Social Struggle and Globalization », and « Democracy at the Crossroads ».

The program is characterized by a varied format comprised of lectures, workshops, seminars, and a one-to-one consultation. During the summer school, participants will also have the opportunity to present and discuss their own work extensively. Participants will be provided with hands-on advice for their research designs.

The school brings together a faculty of renowned international and Berlin-based scholars. Among the confirmed international lecturers are Ann Swidler (UC Berkeley), David Stark (The University of Texas at Austin), Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore), Felix Berenskoetter (SOAS University of London), Hendrik Wagenaar (University of Sheffield) and Vera Troeger (University of Warwick).

The Berlin Summer School was co-funded by the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Details on the location and tuition fees can be found on our webpage

The international summer school is open to up to 60 PhD candidates, advanced master students, and young postdocs. The call for applications is currently open. Applications can be submitted online via the application form on the summer school webpage until March 22, 2020.

The decisions of the selection committee will be announced to the applicants in April. If you have any further questions, please contact the organizing team at

Call for Papers: ‘Current Sociology’ Special Issue on ‘Lay’ or ‘Citizen Expertise’

Dear colleagues,

for a special issue on ‘lay’ or ‘citizen expertise’ (to be published by Current sociology), we are still looking for 1-2 contributions.

Abstracts can be sent until February 15th to both guest editors: Taina Meriluoto ( and Eva Krick (

Our special issue deals with the involvement of citizens in the role of experts through a range of practices (e.g. service user involvement, participatory governance, citizen juries, citizen science etc.).
All these initiatives promise to accentuate the views of the public and include alternative forms of knowledge at the same time. We want to take a critical look at these practices, map the different types and discuss their effects for democracy, society and the roles of citizens and experts in particular.

Contributions should address the following key questions:

  • What kind of knowledge is being generated by lay experts? What is the core of what can count as expertise, and what are the boundaries?
  • How are the role of ‘citizen’ and ‘expert’ reconciled in these practices? How are questions of power and inequality between citizens and experts affected?
  • What are the democratic legitimacy implications when public participation is being expertised? Which democratic legitimacy criteria do these practices speak to?

We are especially looking for case-based studies and we welcome democratic theory perspectives in particular.

Papers should make sure to address the issue of lay expertise from a sociological perspective.

The deadline for a first draft of the paper to be sent to the guest editors is 1st of June 2020.

The deadline for papers submitted to Current sociology will be in September 2020.

We are very much looking forward to your proposals!

Best wishes,

Eva Krick and Taina Meriluoto

Reminder: Call for Nominations for the Mattei Dogan Prize

Dear reader,

We hope that you had a good start to 2020. We would like to remind you of the nominations for the Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize. The deadline for nominations is Monday 2 March 2020. Please follow the link below to get to the nomination procedure:

The Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize is our chance to award outstanding contributions to the advancement of political sociology, and to increase the visibility of our Standing Group. Hence, take up this chance! Your input is very much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance. Have a nice day.

Best wishes,

Oscar and Laura