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International Conference on Resistance(s): Between Theories and the Field


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Psychreg, (2016, August 24). International Conference on Resistance(s): Between Theories and the Field. Psychreg on Events. https://www.psychreg.org/international-conference-resistances-theories-field/
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Call for Papers
International Conference on “Resistance(s): Between Theories and the Field”
14th and 15th of December 2016

Centre for the Study of International Cooperation and Development (CECID),
Free University of Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles – ULB), Belgium
Deadline for the submission of abstracts (in English or French): 15 October 2016
Confirmed keynote speakers: James Scott (Yale University) and Stellan Vinthagen (University of Massachusetts Amherst)


This conference is intended to stir an international debate on the concept and understanding of “resistance” in its various meanings. In this respect, the use of the word resistance in its plural form for the title of this conference is not incidental. It emphasises our will to explore the complexity and multi-faceted forms, locations, aims, and outcomes inherent to the concept of resistance. We see resistance(s) not only as a concept that can be engaged with from various angles. It is also an approach that can help a dialogue between academia and other sectors, a thing that this conference seeks to explore in broad temporal and geographical perspectives.

From mass public protests during the Arab Springs and the Indignados and Occupy movements, to individual disobedience from whistle blowers (Assange, Snowden), resistance (to domination, oppression, or simply mainstream political power) has been manifesting itself in a variety of modes. This newly available empirical evidence rapidly generated numerous, rich accounts and encountered studies of social movements and contentious politics. What have remained largely understudied are the accounts of non-politicised or non-overtly politicised movements, the transformation of informal resistance into movements, their politicisation, and the relationship between informal resistance and political change.

Some recent works have, however, addressed this lack in the field (see, for instance, Chenoweth and Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works, Schock, Civil Resistance Today, Vinthagen, A Theory of Nonviolent Action: How Civil Resistance Works). We would thus like to encourage emerging research on this subject.

We welcome empirically-grounded case studies as well as theoretical (and/or) epistemological reflections on topics related (but not limited) to:

  • Silent and “loud” resistances as case study (nonviolent, violent, public and hidden, individual or collective…)

  • Resistance and social change

  • Informal networks, practices, and their significance in policy making

  • Globalised vs localised resistance

  • Vulnerability and resistance (gender, minorities, marginalised communities)

  • Economic or financial resistance

  • Everyday struggle and resistance vs more organised and long-term forms of resistance

  • Methodological approaches and consideration for the study of resistance

  • Ethics and resistance (how to deal with the publication of cases where resistance is secret, or needs to escape the radar of authorities)

We are keen to promote an interdisciplinary reflection on the concept of resistance and a broad theoretical and methodological understanding of the issue. Accordingly, we would like to open participation to activists who would like to present an analytical reflection based on their work.

In addition, willing to challenge past and present understandings of the concept, and to bring about new perspectives, we welcome contributions from both experienced and early career researchers.

Practical information:

If interested, send a 3,500-word abstract (in English or French) by 15 October 2016 to resistanceULB@gmail.com including a short biographical statement. Applicants will be notified by the 05 November 2016 about their acceptance.

We might be able to provide some financial support to researchers (especially early career researchers) who have no sponsorship from their own institute. We can’t guarantee full sponsorship for everyone but we will try to offer a contribution in the region of 250 EUR for participants from Europe and 500 for participants from outside of Europe. If you would like to be considered please mention, below your abstract, what kind of support you would need (travel, accommodation, etc.).

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