Call for Papers and Workshops

Deadline: 5th October 2018

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World society is facing a comprehensive social-ecological crisis related to fast political, economic, technological and social changes. The current economic model and its forms of excessive resource extraction and use exacerbate ecological problems and conflicts, generates political instability and increases social inequalities. There is emerging agreement in science, politics and society that a fundamental transformation is needed. Some stakeholders frame the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an important step towards recognising and addressing the most pressing transformation needs. However, many scholars argue that such a transformation requires a more radical change of current modes of production and living as well as development pathways instead of mere technological and managerial solutions.

In this context, the extraction, distribution, use and disposal of natural resources are of crucial importance. We acknowledge resources as a biophysical materiality and, at the same time, as a social, ecological and in the end as a political ‘construct’, and part of the powerfully-structured social relations. Such a perspective intends to overcome the dichotomy between society and nature in a wider concept of ‘societal nature relations’. A better comprehension of the multidimensional character of resources as well as a multiscale perspective is needed to achieve a better understanding of the complex nexus between resources and transformation potentials.

Following the first conference (“Towards International Resource Fairness - Theories, Conflicts and Policies” in 2014, see also programme, documentation and conference publication), the 2nd Austrian Conference on International Resource Politics focuses on the role of natural resources for a social-ecological transformation. Highlighting a North-South-perspective, the conference aims to analyse past, present and future challenges for transformation pathways that take global inequalities, geopolitics but also transnational resistance and forms of cooperation into account. The goal of the conference is to bring together researchers, practitioners and activists from different regions and disciplines to advance inter- and transdisciplinary research.

We welcome contributions from any field of political science, development studies, geography, economics, sociology, social ecology, law and related disciplines and kindly invite you to submit proposals in one of the following areas:

  • Theoretical and empirical reflections on the current social-ecological crisis related to natural resources, and their potentials and limits for transformations.
  • Looking to the past to understand the future: contributions from environmental and socio-economic history.
  • Methodologies and approaches assessing e.g. the economic, political, social, legal, and environmental impacts of resource extraction.
  • Analysis and evaluation of public and private policies and governance of natural resources (e.g. laws, codes, standards, certification schemes, labels).
  • Theoretical and empirical contributions on topics such as resource conflicts, territorial dynamics of resource frontiers or (global) commodity chains in context of social-ecological transformations.

The proposals should be submitted in PDF format until 5th October 2018 to in one of these three forms:

  • Individual Papers, including a title, an abstract (300-500 words) and a short CV (50-70 words);
  • Special Sessions (consisting of 3-4 thematic papers), including a session description (300-500 words) as well as title, abstract and short CV (200 words) for the individual papers of the session.
  • Open Workshops with interactive features on the conference topic for/from practitioners and scientists. This form especially aims to promote transdisciplinary dialog. Proposal should include a description of the workshop, methodology and goals (approx. 300-500 words) and short CV of the organizer(s) (50-70 words).