Last Call for Abstract – XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities
Toronto, Canada, July 15-21, 2018

Affiche du congrès de l'ISASince the inception of the discipline, sociologists have been concerned with power, violence and justice. Current social, economic and political challenges enhance their relevance. As capitalist globalization expands and deepens, corporate power increases along with global, national and local inequalities. New geo-political power configurations and confrontations are emerging, with violence being used as a tool to oppress and also to resist oppression. Colonial histories and contemporary land appropriations reflect the structures and cultural processes that perpetuate violence against indigenous and minority communities. States’ failures to meet their responsibility to provide basic resources are often deflected by blaming the most vulnerable. Both global economic and geo-political processes create crises and massive displacements of people and, at the same time, fuel racism, nationalism and xenophobia. We have also seen an increasing buildup of a culture of fear as a powerful tool used by states, corporations and other institutions to generate popular support for curtailing freedom in the name of security. Efforts to curtail the flow of desperate refugees, attest to the reinforcement of national and racialized borders. Despite visible progress on equality issues, violence against women and intersectional violence point to the entrenchment of the gender border around the world. Equally significant is the need to consider the role of state and institutional power relations to ongoing everyday violence. In response to disempowerment, violence, and injustice we have also witnessed nonviolent movements, humanitarian interventions, and peace processes that have empowered communities, reduced violence, and promoted justice. These diverse communities have built solidarities outside the neo-liberal frames of state-global capital nexus.

This XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology will focus on how scholars, public intellectuals, policy makers, journalists and activists from diverse fields can and do contribute to our understanding of power, violence and justice.

Margaret Abraham
ISA President

For basic info on the Congress, see

Panel : Theorizing Informal and Precarious Worker Organizing Under Global Capitalism

Session Organizers: Jennifer Jihye Chun & Chris Tilly

Informal work is one of the most elementary forms of labour commodification and exploitation, yet its persistence in the context of technological advancements and global economic transformations raises fundamental questions about how we theorize informal work as a conceptual category. What is the relationship between informal work, precarious work, and global capitalism? How do such understandings change when theorizing informal and precarious work from the lens of worker collective action?

This panel invites papers that advance theoretical understanding of informal and precarious worker organizing as a mode of political struggle against global capitalism. In particular, we seek papers that consider the intersectional basis of power and domination under capitalism, including the significance of gender and patriarchy, ethno-racial nationalism, and exclusionary citizenship regimes in the struggles of informal and precarious workers. We also seek papers that engage concretely with questions of worker power. What is the relationship between informal poster-isa-congress-2018-enworker organizing and the structure of political power? How do political parties, collective bargaining institutions, social movement spheres and geopolitical dynamics influence the development of distinct types of worker power (e.g. structural, associational, symbolic), and vice-versa.

We particularly welcome comparisons across nations or regions and analytical pieces that focus on the significance of worker agency, the determinants of social action, and/or questions of causality.

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