Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

“Societal Conflicts: Collective Action in an Unequal World”

Zentrumstage 2022

An international conference by the
Center for Conflict Studies, University of Marburg

July 14-16, 2022

Classical conflict theories often understand conflict as a universal
feature of society. But there is variation. Over the last decades, in
different countries and continents, we have seen a rise of societal
conflicts, epitomized in a growing number of street-level collective
action. At the same time, economists and social scientists have observed
a fairly generalized increase in economic and concomitant political
inequalities within societies. This begs the question of whether and how
these trends are related. Does politics become more contentious when
inequality increases? How does collective action unveil, contest, or
even co-produce inequalities? What kind of inequalities are in the focus
of collective action and which ones remain at different levels of
conflict, and why? The Zentrumstage 2022 conference seeks to bring
together scholars to study societal conflicts, and the roles that
inequality and collective action play in them.

The salience of inequality and collective action in conflict is apparent
in different types of conflict and at different stages of the conflict
process. Inequality can serve as an underlying driver for conflicts or
can help prevent  them. Inequality affects the resources available for
parties in confrontation, and the strategies that actors take in
conflict settings. Meanwhile, the conflict process redistributes
resources and power in a way that reconfigures inequalities, and the
aftermath of conflicts brings about new patterns of social relations,
legitimacy claims, and new exclusions. But inequalities themselves are
usually not enough to explain conflict. In order to organize successful
protests, disadvantaged actors need to frame their perceived injustices
and overcome collective action problems. Their ability to negotiate
these processes will influence conflict strategies and processes, and
their capacity to stake new claims as conflict escalates and de-escalates.

By focusing on inequality and collective action in the study of
conflict, we hope to enrich the academic debate in conflict studies. We
invite contributions on the relationship of inequalities and collective
action and their respective role for societal conflicts. We welcome
papers from a variety of disciplines (conflict studies, social movement
studies, political science, gender studies, area studies, economics,
psychology, anthropology, sociology and others) drawing on a variety of
methodologies (qualitative, theoretical, and quantitative). We also
welcome research on topics associated with either high-intensity
societal conflicts, such as armed conflict or violent protests, or
low-intensity conflicts, such as peaceful protests, redistribution
claims, coalition dynamics, etc. Examples of suitable topics would be:

•    collective action in unequal societies
•    social justice and inequalities
•    different types of inequality and their contestation
•    peaceful protests
•    local peacebuilding
•    democratic and anti-democratic social movements
•    inequality in transitional justice movements
•    social movements online

To apply, please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words to by the 24th of January 2022. Please
indicate if you are a PhD student, Postdoc, or (Assistant, Associate, or
Full) Professor as well as if you are based in an institution in the
Global South. The conference language will be English.

We are currently applying for funding and, if successful, we might be
able to offer some travel and/ or accommodation grants for presenters.
However, for the moment, we cannot guarantee any travel or accommodation

The Organizing Team: Irem Aki, Felix Anderl, Astrid Juckenack, and
Miquel Pellicer

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