Call for Papers: Empirical Globalization Research. Professions, Medical Practices, and Travelling Knowledge (at the University of Duisburg-Essen)

Call for Papers for a Conference at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Duisburg Campus) on March 25–26, 2021. Deadline: December 16, 2020

Conference hosted by the DFG-project “Glocalization of medical professional knowledge and practice” (Glopro)

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Tao Liu, Benjamin Quasinowski, Dr. Ilka Sommer, Prof. Dr. Anja Weiß, Sarah Weingartz

Call for Papers

Global Studies comprises a wealth of theoretical and empirical approaches. World systems theory, world polity theory, world society approaches, along with historical institutionalism and the sociology of global and transnational fields offer fruitful theoretical perspectives. Yet, dialogue between different approaches is rare and Global Studies is divided between macro and micro approaches.

The conference works toward an empirically grounded sociological meso-social perspective in Global Studies by combining a theoretical interest in emerging global and transnational forms with empirical studies of meso-social forms and situated practice. These studies employ various research methods, such as the analysis of global microstructures, transnational surveys, comparative statistics, global ethnographies, and the study of assemblages. They yield important insights and concepts bridging theory, methods, and empirical material with a worldwide scope.

Hannah Bradby, Karin Knorr Cetina, Peggy Levitt, and Tobias Werron have confirmed their participation as keynote speakers. We now call for abstracts concerning the following conference goals:

  • to conceptualize global and transnational forms: In what ways and to what extent are professions, epistemic communities, organizations, networks, etc. transnationalizing or globalizing? What are specific conditions for these diverse social forms to globalize or transnationalize? (cf. Heintz & Werron 2011)
  • to improve our understanding of the ways in which local and global, particular and universal articulate during processes, of different temporalities, and also in situated practice. So far, such processes and practices have been variously studied, among others, as

– standard diffusion (Dobbin et al., 2007) – often from centers to peripheries,

– vernacularization (Levitt & Merry 2009), i.e. as universalization and re-invention on the


– “glocalization” (Robertson, 1995), in which situated knowledge from particular contexts universalizes, and is then re-appropriated by local contexts again,

– “local universality”, as insisted on by Social Studies of Science and Medicine (Timmermans/ Berg 1997), and which coincides with Sassen’s (2007) and Beck’s (2014) insight that the “‘Global Other’ is in Our Midst”.

What can be gained from a dialogue between these approaches and how can such a dialogue become fruitful?

  • to ask how new salient theoretical concepts of the global can develop from empirical research addressing micro or meso level phenomena – do new concepts synthesize older concepts or do they go beyond them?
  • to consider whether particular theories of the global are suited for particular empirical approaches, or whether the relation between empirical research and theory should be kept open as wide as possible.

See the Call for Papers and References (PDF)

More information can be found here. The application deadline is the 16.12.2020.