Call for abstracts
The International Social Science Council (ISSC) proudly announces the third World Social Science Forum (WSSF) scheduled to be held at the International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa, from 13 to 16 September 2015. The Forum is the most significant gathering of scholars and policy-oriented intellectuals drawn from all the regions of the world and across different disciplinary interests in the social sciences and humanities. It serves as a platform for presenting new knowledge and insights, re-thinking received wisdom, charting new directions, promoting innovation in the research-policy-action nexus, and nurturing new international partnerships.
The 2015 WSSF is being convened under the theme of:
'Transforming Global Relations for a Just World'
The theme builds on critical issues that permeated debates during both the 2009 and 2013 editions of the Forum which focused respectively on the themes "One Planet - Worlds Apart" (2009) and "Social Transformations and the Digital Age" (2013) and addressed issues of power asymmetries, injustices, disparities, disjunctions and the divide that pervaded contemporary global realities. The 2015 WSSF will now focus on the issues of inequality and justice as core concerns around which discussions about global relations must be structured. The 2015 Forum will contextualise the debates within the framework of a global order that is in the throes of multiple transitions (such as global economic crises, economic growth in the South, and changes in global governance) which in turn offer possibilities for multiple transformations. These transitions straddle the national and the global in complex ways that deserve to be unpacked both in their specificities and generalities. Although the unfolding transitions are producing different degrees and dimensions of change, the central challenge to policy and politics is to ensure that they combine to produce transformative outcomes that will make for a more just world in the post 2015 global development agenda.
Participants in the WSSF 2015 will be invited to address this challenge, doing so through the deployment of interpretative and analytical tools that examine the roots and dimensions of global change with an eye on attaining greater sustainability through equity and justice in global relations. It is anticipated that selected papers from the WSSF 2015 will feed into the production of the 2016 edition of the triennial World Social Science Report whose theme will also centre on inequality.
The theme of the WSSF 2015 allows for rich and concentrated dialogues to take place among scholars coming from different disciplinary backgrounds, theoretical orientations, and geographical regions. It also facilitates an exchange between scholars and policy-makers, practitioners, and activists. Authors of abstracts and papers are encouraged to develop their own specific entry points into addressing the theme of the Forum. As a broad, but non-exhaustive guide, some of the sub-themes that will be covered by the Forum include:
- History, Trends and Patterns of Global Inequality
- Theorising and Measuring Inequality
- Drivers, Catalysts, and Determinants of Inequality in the Global system
- Nature, Dimensions, Types, and Sites of Inequality
- Inequality, Poverty and Citizenship
- Ethics, Social Policy and Inequality
- Policies, Experiences, and Experiments in Combating Inequality; and
- Challenges and Opportunities for Overcoming Global Inequality
Scholars and policy-oriented intellectuals interested in participating in the WSSF 2015 are invited to submit abstracts of the papers they wish to contribute on any of the sub-themes listed in this announcement, or around topics which they deem to be central to the overall theme of the Forum but which may not have been covered under any of the sub-themes highlighted. Abstracts should not be more than 350 words and should be submitted in an electronic format in English. The working language of the WSSF2015, as with the previous editions, will be English. Authors of abstracts are invited to address conceptual, theoretical, empirical, and policy dimensions of the Forum theme and should use language that can be can be understood by people with a strong interest in questions relating to inequality and justice but coming from various backgrounds.
Contributions that deploy comparative, transnational and interdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged. Female scientists and younger scholars are particularly invited to submit abstracts for consideration, including those which cover on-going research. Perspectives from the arts and humanities, as well as natural sciences, engineering and medical sciences are also welcome to complement those that will be received from the social science disciplines.
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Writing the Abstract
When writing an abstract, try to include as much information as possible. Be concise and avoid statements such as “work in progress” or “results will be discussed” wherever possible. If the results are unknown at this stage, give some indication of what they are expected to be and what the implications are.
Crucially, try to ensure that the abstract is easy to read and understand for the reviewer. He or she is your key audience for this process and may not be familiar with your exact field of work and/or may not have English as a first language. Try to make your abstract as easy as possible to comprehend – both in terms of the layout and the language that you use (avoiding acronyms and slang where possible).
Abstracts should not be more than 350 words and should be submitted in an electronic format in English. The on-line abstract submission system is user friendly. You will be guided through the submission procedure. Please follow the instructions as shown on the webpage. Although there is no set format for an abstract, you may wish to follow one of the following layouts in order to help structure and communicate your ideas effectively:
- Background: Indicates the purpose and objective of the research, the hypothesis that was tested or a description of the problem being analysed or evaluated.
- Methods: Describe the setting/location for the study, study design, study population, data collection and methods of analysis used.
- Results: Present as clearly as possible the findings/outcome of the study, with specific results in summarized form
- Conclusions: Briefly discuss the data and main outcome of the study. Emphasize the significance, care and/or support, and future implications of the results.
Once you have written your abstract, show it to some of your colleagues, and also to some family or friends outside of the field to see if they can understand it easily. Correcting mistakes at this stage gives your abstract a better chance of being accepted.
Choosing a Title
If your abstract is selected (see below), the title will eventually appear in the conference programme, the conference booklet and the conference website. It is crucial, therefore, that it is as descriptive – but short – as possible! A good title provides a one-line summary of exactly what your abstract is about – enough to inform reviewers and delegates about what they can expect.
Submit Your Abstract
Once you have written and checked your abstract, you can submit it online through the WSSF 2015 Abstract Management System. Go log-in to the online submission system and follow the links to registration. You will need to create a ‘New Account’ if you have not already done so. Once logged in, select the ‘New Submission’ option and you will be asked to select a presentation type – research, practice or advocacy and policy. This is to assist the SPC in sending your abstract to the most relevant reviewers, so please select the category that best fits your work. You will then be asked to enter details of the abstract and the abstract itself.
As part of this process, you will be asked to select one abstract sub-theme. This list is not exhaustive, but please try and select the one topic that best fits your work. Think about which session you would like to present your work in – where would it best fit? This is an important stage in the abstract submission as it helps the SPC to create the conference programme.
What Happens Next?
Once you have submitted your abstract it can be viewed in the 'View Abstracts' window. You will receive an email closer to the closing date for abstract submissions to confirm the information submitted. An international panel of experts will review the abstracts. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least two (2) different reviewers. Each abstract is given a score based on content, significance, originality, relevance and overall presentation. Abstracts may be selected for:
- Oral presentation
- Poster presentation, or
- May be rejected.
The SPC will meet to finalise the programme – creating sessions based on the abstract reviews. Please note that, in order to make the conference as inclusive as possible, only one oral presentation per person will be accepted.
The deadline for the receipt of all abstracts is 1 March 2015. Authors of abstracts whose entries are selected will be notified by the WSSF 2015 Scientific Committee by 17 April 2015and will be requested to confirm their conference registration by 6 May 2015. Authors will be notified of the final WSSF programme by 31st May 2015.
Key Dates to Remember:
- Abstract submissions open: 15 October 2014
- Abstract submissions close: 1 March 2015
- Abstract acceptance notifications issued to authors: 17 April 2015
- Registration deadline for abstract authors to have their abstracts admitted to the programme: 6 May 2015
- Final notification to presenting author of abstract allocation in the programme: 31 May 2015
- Final programme released to public on Forum website: 1 June 2015
To submit your abstract, please click on the button below to log-in/create an online profile. Once you are logged in, detailed guidelines will assist you to submit your abstract.