Varoufakis argued for a European New Deal, solidarity, while della Porta analysed social movements in the context of Europeanism and Euroscepticism. Hartmut Rosa DE argued for a critical theory that foregrounds the notion of resonance for bringing about a paradigm shift in society.
How can we support colleagues so that sociological research undertaken and published in languages other than English can also be heard? At the conference, we optionally introduced a new bottom-up abstract submission process for some of the semi-plenaries. The conference introduced another optional session type: The RN keynote used by 6 RNs and round table sessions.
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The conference featured a total of 2. The latter were organised in the form of 37 Research Networks with a total of sessions, thirteen Research Streams with 57 sessions, eleven PhD sessions, one General Assembly, thirteen Mid-Day Specials, three plenaries, and thirteen semi-plenaries.
Table 2 presents some statistical data that compare the Athens conference and the Prague conference. The mid-day specials featured four book author meets critics sessions, two ESA lecture series sessions, two sessions on journal publishing, one session each on Greek civil society, academic freedom, university restructuring, research funding, research and impact assessment.
Semi-plenaries were held on the topics of the European public sphere, migration, food consumption, child refugees, the Greek crisis, Europe, capitalism, solidarities, subjectivities, extremism, care and affective labour, Eastern European capitalism, and public sociology. As mentioned above a number of semi-plenaries used an open submission and selection process that was complemented by the established method of invited speakers who are leading experts on the semi-plenary themes.
This combination aimed at giving both established researchers and unknown talents voice and visibility. In ESA conferences, there has traditionally been an over-representation of Northern and Western European sociologists and an under-representation of Southern and Eastern sociologists. In , the conference hosted delegates from 77 countries. It is notable that some Southern and Eastern countries are among those with the largest absolute number of conference delegates and that there was an especially high level of participation from Southern Europe.
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In , there continued to be a relatively high proportion of Northern European participants and a relatively low share of Eastern European participants. Regional divisions at different organisational levels remain an issue for the ESA that reflects the uneven development of Europe and global society. At the same time, we also find uneven development within each region and country so that it has become an important task to defend critical social science as part of the struggle against neoliberal university models, in which universities become corporations and the worldview and approaches of business and management colonise academia.
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General Assembly on Friday, 1 September The level of the conference fee does not come out of the blue. From an organisational point of view, reducing the conference fee risks making a financial loss, which in respect of the Athens conference was a particularly pertinent issue because operating a conference under extreme austerity conditions required special infrastructural investments e.
Universities and scholars in Greece have been particularly hard hit by the ongoing crisis, which has resulted in high salary cuts and extreme cuts to the budgets of public universities. To organise the ESA conference at, and together with, two public universities Panteion University, Harokopio University was for the organisers an important political symbol in order to stress the importance of all public services for society. Organising the conference under the continued imposition of austerity on Greek academia and society posed practical challenges.
It is truly sad what capitalism, neoliberalism and austerity are doing to Greece, the Greek people and their public services. The ESA and the local organising committee worked tirelessly to organise an alternative which resulted in a co-operation with Panteion University and Harokopio University and enabled the conference to go ahead. In times of deep capitalist, political and ideological crises, critical sociology and its contribution to the public is of vital importance.
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