Early Career Research Symposium

Jointly organised by the German Academic Exchange Service, the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies and ICAS:MP Metamorphosis of the Political, the symposium will offer a platform for early career researchers to showcase their work in the overarching subject of Resilient Societies. It aims to recognise and facilitate synergies amongst researchers and exchange of ideas in the wider fields of humanities and social sciences.

Open for all: Panel Discussion

Societal Transformations for a Resilient Future
8 Sep, 16:30 IST


About the Symposium

The symposium aims to recognise and facilitate synergies amongst researchers and exchange of ideas in the wider fields of humanities and social sciences. It will offer a wide spectrum of inter- and multidisciplinary topics on resilient societies by engaging early career scholars, junior researchers, research fellows and academics. If you belong to this target group, then this symposium is an ideal platform to help you propel your research and amplify its reach. Present your papers and receive feedback from the scientific community. The symposium guarantees diverse and insightful perspectives.

Resilience – a term often highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic and in current debates surrounding the impact of climate change and violent conflict – constitutes a highly ambiguous concept, one that nevertheless forms one of the most important needs for societies, impacting international conflict and cooperation, national and local politics, individual and household behavior as well as social interaction. Resilience as such depicts sturdiness, stability, solidity, sustainability; at the same time, its pursuit frequently requires fluidity, flexibility, coping, adaptation, and adjustment. Its connotations with durability tend to rest on change. Similarly, its relationship with efficiency is complex. In turn, when employed at the societal level, one needs to account for the demands various types of resilience place on different aspects of social organisation. Keeping in mind the complexities and ambiguities in studying resilience, the organisers invite paper presentations from across the humanities and social sciences as well as related disciplines, and inter-disciplinary approaches.

Do take a look at the topics that will be covered in the symposium.

ECR 2022

The workshop will be organised as a virtual event from 5 to 9 September 2022.

Application is now closed.
Call for Papers 2022

The entries will be shortlisted by an expert committee.
Selected candidates will be contacted by 15 July 2022.

A longer abstract (max. 1,000 words) needs to be submitted by all selected applicants by 1 August 2022 and will be circulated among workshop participants.

In case of questions/ queries, please write to narke@daad.de.

Topics 2022

The symposium will focus on six main areas of inquiry, though approaches that explore links to different topics are welcome.

1. (Public) Health, Bodies and Emotions

The present pandemic has once again highlighted the problems in creating resilience in (public) health, just as much as it has brought into focus the impacts of health-related concerns on bodily and emotional well-being. Health crises, and efforts to strengthen social responses to them or their aftermaths, however, go well beyond the immediate context and need to be studied empirically as much as in their historical trajectories and in comparative frameworks. Beyond policy, one needs to understand their impacts on bodies and emotions to explore coping mechanisms that link the individual to societal and state responses and extend the inquiry from public to private responses and patterns of organization.

2. Poverty, Inequality and Development

While inequality frequently is resilient in its own right, poverty heightens the need for developing coping mechanisms among the poor, placing additional burdens on livelihood strategies and, ultimately, poses dangers to social and political stability. Development, in turn, may have vastly different outcomes in terms of resilience, depending on a group’s specific location along socioeconomic and socio-ecological parameters: It may favor unequal growth trajectories as much as provide for the means to produce robust coping strategies, enlarge the available assets that can be employed for mitigating the impact of crises, or undermine livelihoods to the extent where new forms of coping become a necessity. Beyond the superficial equation of development and prosperity with resilience, experts seek to study the linkages between various forms of resilience in societies that are affected by poverty, inequality, and growth.

3. Sustainability and Ecological Crises

Sustainability in resource use and as a goal of development strategies is frequently linked to the creation of resilience in the face of both local and global climate and resource use crises. The goal of ecological resilience at global scales, in turn, may at times threaten short-term strategies for resilience in other socially important fields, compromising the ability of people to adopt long-term strategies in line with the larger goals of ecological sustainability. In turn, the deterioration of ecological resilience, both globally and locally, tends to undermine livelihoods as much as development strategies, while also contributing to conflict across the world. The organisers seek contributions that identify and observe linkages between the various scales of resilience and sustainability, and the complex feedback loops between resilience and sustainability across social contexts.

4. Governance, Institutions, State-building and State Failure

Institutional resilience, reflecting the successes and the harmful potentials of interaction between politics and society, is constantly negotiated and contested. Institutional resilience may facilitate trust in the capacity of states to address people’s concerns, but it may equally contribute to the establishment of governance systems perceived as unjust or oppressive, in turn affecting the capacity of policies concerning the resilience of societies in other fields. Crises in institutional resilience may facilitate state failure, but state failure often also stems from the resilience of institutional forms of organization, favoring some types of resilience over others. Contributions that dissect the various fields of forces underlying institutional resilience, and that create links between the former and their outcomes for resilient societies, are invited.

5. Crisis, Conflict, Violence and Trauma

Violence – at various scales – constitutes one of the most durable problems for societies, on the one hand reinforcing the resilience of social structures of oppression and exploitation, on the other hand occurring in the wake of resistance. Violent conflict transgresses scales of social interaction, ranging from localized and sporadic acts to sustained and organized, even institutionalized violence at national and international levels. At times, violence may appear to be devoid of direction, yet it also affects the stability of social interaction and has long-term implications for social cohesion. One of its outcomes – trauma – significantly undermines the possibility for peaceful cohabitation, thus feeding into the resilience of patterns of violence in society and compromising resilience across a wide array of social practices. Contributions that study the operation of violence in society, and address its impacts on social resilience, extending from its immediate outcomes to long-term implications, are sought.

6. Urbanity and Urbanisation

Urban agglomerations constitute one of the most complex forms of social organisations, especially concerning the interplay of development, inequality, (public) health, contestations of social space, security and violence, resource use and sustainability. They form spaces where the ordering and regulating intent of institutions directly and substantially interferes with the livelihood concerns of residents and migrants. On their perimeters and through the link with mobility, they encounter and tend to disrupt other established forms of resilience. This complexity necessitates governance regimes that balance a multiplicity of conflicting claims; it often results in intrusive tendencies that, in turn, at times magnify resistance and evasion. At the same time, the heightened complexities of urban living facilitate the frequency and extent of crises, thus reinforcing endeavors to enforce order and stabilize specific forms of resilience. The organisers invite paper proposals seeking to emphasise the kaleidoscope of permutations in which urban living has affected (and is affecting) resilient societies across geographical and cultural contexts.

The German Academic Exchange Service, the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies and ICAS:MP Metamorphosis of the Political look forward to your papers and participation.