‘Conference Business’ as Usual? Open Letter to European Sociological Association

We’re a bit late posting this, but those concerned with the future of the European Sociological Association should definitely read this open letter and engage with the accompanying website:

As participants of the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA), we were disappointed by the discrepancy between the main topic and the actual event. The ESA conference is an important academic meeting that influences European sociology and consequently we feel that it is important to open discussion about its purpose, format, and desirable impacts, issues that seem to have not been questioned in recent debate.

We are well aware that the ESA conference is embedded in the much larger structures of the academic world of which it represents just one small part. Despite this, we believe it is important not to be cynical and accept the view that when things are done in a certain way they cannot be changed. Some scholars are uncomfortable with mass events like the ESA conference, for reasons that we shall outline below. They react by avoiding them, but that will only serve to deepen cleavages within European sociology. We have therefore decided not to remain silent. We hope that the comments and proposals we present in this letter can help make the ESA conferences better and more consistent with the issues they address.


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