Dimensions Of Equality, Effectiveness And Efficiency – Past And Future

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The conference offers an interdisciplinary perspective on economic, historical, legal, political and social debates in research and academia, with an emphasis on inequalities and exclusion around gender, sexuality, ethnicity, citizenship, race and religion. It is a forum that fosters inter-cohort academic collaboration and cross-institutional exchange.

Max Weber Programme 2006-2016: 10th anniversary MW Fellows June Conference

8-10 June 2016

Badia Fiesolana, San Domenico di Fiesole


At the annual June Conference of the Max Weber Programme the research of current Max Weber Fellows (MWFs) is brought together with the recent work of former MWFs as well as other early-career postdocs (within five years of obtaining their PhDs) who currently hold EUI Jean Monnet Fellowships or Marie Skłodowska-Curie grants at either the EUI or elsewhere. One of the bedrocks of the Social Issues for Social Science conference is its cross-disciplinarity. During the 2015/16 academic year, the Max Weber Fellows have been exchanging ideas in the context of six thematic research groups, each of which is represented by a section at the June conference. For each section we welcome papers or posters – both theoretical and empirical ‒ that respond to the topics listed below from an economic, historical, political, sociological or legal perspective:

  • Challenges to the understanding and governance of economies: causes, consequences and solutions
  • Citizenship and migration within and beyond crisis: new challenges or old issues?
  • Challenges to democratic legitimacy and institutional design in a globalizing world
  • Europe and the world: international relations, globalization and encounters
  • Determinants and consequences of inequality
  • Methodological encounters

In addition to the panel sections the conference will mark the 10th anniversary of the Programme with:

1. A roundtable with former Fellows organized by Zsófia Lóránd (MWF HEC) and Julija Sardelić (MWF SPS and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice):

“Women and Inequality in Academia — Experiences, Analyses”
MW Common Room, 9th June, 11.00 – 12.30

Participants: Juliana Bidadanure (Stanford), Diana Georgescu ( UCL), Annaig Morin (Copenhagen Business School), Mariely Lopez-Santana (George Mason University), Cristina Poncibò (University of Torino)
Chair: Julija Sardelić

2. Keynote Lecture by Sir Stephen Wall (Official Historian of Britain and the European Union and former UK Perm,anent Representative to the European Union) , MW Common Room, 9th June, 16.00 – 17.30

3. Keynote Lecture by Professor Iván Szelenyi (Emeritus Professor NYU Abu Dhabi and Yale University), MW Common Room, 10 June, 9:00-10:00

Scientific Committee:
Silvia Calò (MWF RSCAS), Maria Adele Carrai (MWF LAW), Guillemette Crouzet, (MWF HEC), Zsofia Lorand (MWF HEC), Bilyana Petkova (MWF LAW), Anastasia Poulou (MWF LAW) and Julija Sardelic (MWF SPS).

Sections abstracts:

Section 1: Challenges to the understanding and governance of economies: causes, consequences and solutions

Economies are complex beasts: over recent years we have witnessed dramatic changes in macroeconomic aggregates, in the behaviour of agents within economies, and in the way we understand, describe and regulate the economy. At the same time the links between the social, political and legal spheres and the economy have become ever more salient. The papers in this section explore these phenomena. Contributions from every discipline are welcome, to offer insight into the current debates and to strengthen the interdisciplinary understanding of how economies work and interact with other social, political, legal and historical phenomena.

Section 2: Citizenship and migration within and beyond the crisis: new challenges or old issues?

In recent years Europe has witnessed the phenomena of forced migration, represented in the media as either a “migrant crisis” or a “refugee crisis”. As a result of these developments both public and academic debate has revolved around the theoretical and practical challenges that have been presented because of the refugee crisis: from the question of open borders and global inequality to multicultural policies and a reassessment of territoriality, but also to new narratives of inclusion and exclusion as well as diversity. However the question remains: are these challenges particularly new or are we readdressing pre-existing issues that are now in a new format? This section invites papers from a wide variety of disciplines that are (re-)addressing the challenges that surround citizenship and migration. It especially encourages applications from scholars focusing on global perspectives or inequality connected to citizenship and migration.

Section 3: Challenges to democratic legitimacy and institutional design in a globalising world

The new types of governance emerging in a globalizing world are often questioned both for their legality and for their legitimacy. The rise of executive power, the judicialization of politics, the influence of transnational expert networks and the predominant role of the market pose a challenge to the democratic principle in the EU and its member states. Citizens experience infringements of their civil and social rights, without being able to successfully hold the responsible actors accountable. This is often translated into a distrust of international and supranational structures as a whole, or even into extremism and nationalism. Should this be seen as the result of a failure of particular policy choices or as symptomatic of a deeper systemic failure of institutional design? Can civil society actors offer a remedy? How should we conceptualize legitimacy today? We are interested in exploring the legal, political, historical and sociological dimensions of the challenges to democratic legitimacy in the following contexts (though this list is not exhaustive): financial crisis, international organizations, immigration, minorities, welfare state, security and privacy, human rights, citizenship and global constitutionalism.

Section 4: Europe and the world: international relations, globalisation and encounters: past and future

In the last century Europe’s relations with the world and its role in the global world order were challenged. The two World Wars, the Cold War and the decolonisation process have shaken the supposed long-established European domination over the World and what is problematically called “European identity”. In the European Union project, local actors and countries have tried to invent a new economic and political role for a geographically complex continent, divided up until the early 1990s. The recent economic crisis, the European debt crisis, the rise of the Islamic State and the Arab Spring have revived the debate on a potential leadership position for Europe and on its duties as a humanitarian and military power.

In this section, we invite papers ‒ from all the disciplines ‒ that interrogate European colonisation and imperialism since the 15th century, Europe’s political, economic and cultural relations with the world in the long run, Europe’s transnational connections and encounters with extra-European actors, or the history of European integration.

We hope to put together panels in which we reflect on Europe’s quest for leadership in the new world order, its policies of leadership and partnership, but also on the fundamental question of the political, economic and geostrategic definition of this complex geographical space called “Europe”, with multiple borders in the making. We hope to address the issues surrounding an old “continent” facing new challenges.

Section 5: Determinants and consequences of inequality

In this section, we welcome submissions of applied papers that analyse the determinants and the effects of inequality on health, education and labour market outcomes. We are particularly interested in the following topics, though the list is not exhaustive: the role of family, school, ethnicity, social protection, the welfare state and the effects of policy interventions; the role of history, economic growth, development and political institutions; and the measurement of income inequality and its consequences on labour, education, health and political participation.

Section 6: Methodological encounters

It is an often frustrating, however just as often enlightening activity, to look up from the methodological frames of our work and be confronted with other approaches. Talking across methodologies is a difficult element of interdisciplinary dialogue, as the Max Weber Fellows themselves often experience it. The diversity of methodologies with which social, political and historical phenomena are assessed and analysed is, however, one of the most fascinating elements of the humanities and social sciences. In this section, we welcome submissions with a methodological focus, aiming at a dialogue between and across disciplines and methods.

For more information please visit the conference website or contact [email protected].

Download the detailed programme (pdf)

Conference pictures on Flickr