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The Event

In September 2008, from Thursday the 4th to Saturday the 6th, the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy (RC 19) will hold its annual academic conference in Stockholm co-organized by the Institute for Futures Studies and the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University.

The RC 19 annual conference draws together leading
international scholars in the field of comparative welfare state studies and encompasses a range of disciplines including sociology, social policy and political science. As is our practice, RC 19 conference sessions will be a mix of those that reflect the conference theme and those that bring together commonly-themed papers reporting on the ongoing research projects of RC 19 members.

The Theme

The theme of the conference is The Future of Social Citizenship: Politics, Institutions and Outcomes.

We hope this will encourage a broad set of Papers on the current challenges of a rights based approach to social policy. We wish to build on the global perspectives of the 2007 meeting in Florence and warmly invite papers from both the South and the North. The globalisation of the economy with its deregulation of financial markets has tilted the power in favour of capital with important consequences for the politics of the welfare state. The  demographic pressures are as evident as they are different in various parts of the world but share the common feature in the sense that they push for policy reform. The increasing inequalities in many parts of the world is a double challenge for social policy, both in that it points to increased need for policy interventions and in that it indicates policy failure of the existing programs.
RC 19 members are encouraged to submit paper proposals reporting on their ongoing research. Papers do not have to be addressing the theme of the conference. We wish to underline that it is the quality of the papers that will be guiding the acceptance of papers to the conference but that the organisers also will have to make sure that papers can be grouped into sessions where a general discussion of themes can be promoted.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Members of RC 19 are invited to submit proposals in the form of a detailed abstract of an unpublished paper indicating the leading research question, theoretical approach, research methods, data sources and analytical significance. Preference will be given to paper proposals which make a strong comparative and/or theoretical contribution. Our conference format (see below) allows for in-depth discussion of a limited number of papers; about 60 papers will be accepted for presentation at the conference. As we have a limited number of slots for paper presentations, it is possible that not all meritorious papers will be included in the program. Thus, the RC19 has a tradition of accepting "contributed papers," which are available via the conference website but which are not presented formally. Authors of both contributed and presented papers may be asked to be discussants. We will also allow for web-publication of the written comments of paper-discussants.

Submission of Abstracts, Papers and Registration

Please submit abstracts of not more than 400 words via this website from December 14 2007 to February 15 2008. (Abstracts (MS Word or Adobe PDF only please) may also be submitted via email to

Proposals are evaluated by the Program Committee, and notification of acceptance or rejection is sent to the authors by March 15, 2008. The decision by the Program Committee is final. Completed papers must be sent in by 1 July, 2008 to be included in the final conference program.
We ask that papers be no more than 20-25 pages maximum.

Membership in RC 19 is open to social scientists from all disciplines
upon payment of a modest membership fee. If you are not already a
member, please contact the RC19 Secretary, Daniel Beland

Financial Support

We will be able to provide financial support to a limited number of participants with papers accepted for presentation at the conference.
The support comes in the form of a travel and accomodation grant for researchers from low-income or soft-currency countries, that otherwise would be unable to attend the conference.
In order to apply for a travel and accomodation grant please indicate your financial situation in the appropriate box in the abstract submisson form. When selecting among those applying for the grant, the organizers will strictly follow criteria of academic merit and financial need.

Conference Format

The conference will be organised according to "Korpi's rules" which have made RC19 meetings famous for their intellectual liveliness and seriousness. The rules are named for Walter Korpi, past president of RC19, who instituted a workshop-style meeting format that the membership has found very congenial over the years:

a) papers are circulated (and read) in advance;

b) at the conference they are first briefly introduced but primarily commented by a discussant;

c) the author is only given limited time to react to thediscussant's presentation so as to leave more room for a general discussion.
Since it is assumed that all papers have been read in advance, we avoid summaries and go straight to the discussion! Thus, accepting a place on the program entails a commitment to complete the paper in time for others to read it and to come prepared to discuss papers. Equally, participants may expect to serve as discussant for another paper, and to open the floor with an incisive and fair assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. Completed papers are due July 1, 2008 and circulated to conference participants via the conference website.


The presence of a large number of international experts in social policy creates a special opportunity for junior researchers and graduate students to present their research for discussion. As part of the conference design, we will organize special mentoring sessions to match new researchers with senior scholars working in related areas. PhD candidates are invited to submit papers for these dedicated sessions but can apply for the regular sessions as well. Doctoral students may chose to submit their contribution to the regular conference sessions or participate in the mentoring program which includes separate sessions for doctoral students in the conference program. The sessions will follow "Korpi's rules" with mentors acting as discussants. The mentoring program is open for students who have begun the research for their dissertation (i.e. are not still at the stage of planning it) and who will not have submitted it for examination by the time of the conference. The mentoring program is co-ordinated by Sheila Shaver and the SOFI team.


February 15, 2008 - Abstract submissions
March 20, 2008 - Notification of acceptance by the Program Committee
June 15, 2008 - Closing date for registration
July 1, 2008 - Submission of completed papers

by Amélie Guisseau last modified 15-02-2008 14:38


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