Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Call for Papers & Panels: Social Movement & Conflict Research in Dialogue: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Violence, Resistance & Mobilisation

Annual conference of the Institute for Social Movement and Protest 
Studies in cooperation with the INTERACT Center for Interdisciplinary 
Peace and Conflict Research at Freie Universität Berlin

5 and 6 October 2023, Freie Universität Berlin

News vom 16.02.2023

What is the relationship between civil society and violence and does 
violence make civil society "uncivil"? What are the limits of legitimate 
resistance - are these limits relational to the systemic violence in 
which resistance is embedded, or are they subject to objective criteria? 
And how helpful is the normative liberal democratic framework as a guide 
in light of the observed convergence of repressive practices in 
democracies and autocracies across the globe? The divergent perceptions 
of mass mobilization against state restrictions in the frame of the 
pandemic across the globe, the hesitant support of popular uprisings 
against autocracy in Sudan and Iran, but also the controversies over the 
return of disruptive or “radical” direct action in the shape of the 
climate justice movement have brought these questions back to the fore.

Radical politics and their relation to various forms of political and 
social conflict have moved back to the center of both, social movement 
research and peace and conflict studies, yet, in different ways: Both 
fields of research deal with conflicts and contestations, struggles over 
different kinds of grievances and demands, how they are expressed and 
dealt with. Both fields address dynamics between the micro- and the 
macro-level. And both fields acknowledge the importance of building 
their insights on context-sensitive, empirical research. However, while 
social movement and protest research has mostly investigated contentious 
episodes up to a certain state of escalation, peace and conflict studies 
often focus on dynamics after the outbreak of violence and their 
aftermath. Social movement studies have frequently built their concepts 
and approaches based on insight gained in the Global North, while peace 
and conflict studies have heavily focused on contexts in the Global 
South. These lines are becoming increasingly blurry, and we would like 
to push this further, bringing the two fields (even more) into a 
conversation with each other.

Call for contributions

Against this backdrop, this year’s annual conference of the Institute 
for Social Movement and Protest Studies (ipb) is dedicated to exploring 
the intersections of peace and conflict studies and social movement 
studies in the context of radical politics and (non)violent resistance. 
Together with the INTERACT Center for Interdisciplinary Peace and 
Conflict Research we hope to explore to what extent both fields and 
their conceptual repertoires and methodological toolkits may benefit 
from and complement each other. The aim is explicitly not to contrast 
the two fields and their approaches, nor to contribute to the 
reification of disciplinary boundaries and cleavages. Rather, with this 
conference we intend to provide an occasion for interdisciplinary 
exchange and foster dialogue between researchers with, at times, 
different perspectives on remarkably similar subjects.

Thematic foci

We thus welcome submissions from scholars and practitioners working in 
the fields of both peace and conflict studies as well as social movement 
studies. Thematically, we invite empirically and theoretically inspired 
submissions that examine various forms of resistance and their ruptures 
and continuities with armed struggles, from civil disobedience to more 
militant forms of contention. In particular, we are interested in 
submissions that connect with one of the following three thematic foci.

(Non)violence and radical politics: The thematic focus explores the 
contingency of contestation processes and the conditions under which 
they escalate into violent conflict. This concerns the material relation 
between different forms of resistance and state repression as much as 
their embedding in cultural and affective struggles over the legality, 
legitimacy and effectivity of specific modes of social interaction. 
Furthermore, it also concerns the role of identity, culture, and power 
in shaping what is commonly considered as violent, radical or conflicted 
action, including the role of media, security forces and subaltern 
discourses. Finally, this section aims to explore the fading lines 
between authoritarian and resistant practices across the globe and 
highlight continuities and ruptures in the ways in which contestation 
processes are managed transnationally across regime boundaries. For 
questions about this thematic focus please refer to Myriam Ahmed and 
Jannis Grimm.

Socio-ecological conflicts: In this section, participants will focus on 
mobilization dynamics in socio-ecological conflicts . Conflict studies 
have long particularly  focused on extractive projects and the resulting 
local conflicts at the project site such as land grabbing, pollution, 
resettlement and the destruction of habitats and livelihoods. Social 
movement studies have increasingly appreciated the enormous mobilization 
dynamics of the transnational climate justice movements, for instance by 
studying their collective action at international climate summits and in 
national arenas in the Global South and North. In recent years, these 
movements and their legitimating narratives increasingly converge, such 
as in the frequent forest occupations against infrastructure projects. 
This section aims to explore the interconnection of socio-ecological 
conflicts and resistance and the question of what conflict studies and 
movement studies can learn from each other in order to understand 
mobilization related to climate change, resources and the environment. 
For questions about this thematic focus please refer to Felix Anderl and 
Christin Stühlen.

Knowledge politics: This section aims to explore questions of knowledge 
production and knowledge politics both (1) as a substantive field of 
interest for social movement and conflict studies, as well as (2) 
relating to reflections on knowledge production and knowledge politics 
of the research fields themselves. How is knowledge produced about and 
during protests and in (violent) conflict, by whom, and with what 
consequences? What knowledge is influential in conflict transformation, 
peacebuilding, and development? How do knowledge politics influence the 
(power) dynamics in movements, protests, and conflict, as well as in 
their aftermath? And what role does the knowledge politics of academic 
inquiry play for the production of knowledge on violence, resistance, 
and mobilization? What do we research and how? What methods do we use? 
How do we build theories and concepts? For questions about this thematic 
focus please refer to Laura Kotzur and Mariam Salehi

➞ In the submission form, applicants may indicate whether their 
proposals fit either of these thematic foci, or indicate a preference to 
present in the conference’s general section.

How to submit your proposal

We welcome proposals for various types of contributions. Please review 
our guidelines and submit your paper/panel by 31 March 2023. Proposals 
can be submitted via Google form in two different formats:

Pre-organized panels: Complete panel submissions include up to three 
presentations as well as a dedicated commentary that ties the three 
contributions together and situates them within the overarching thematic 
framework of the conference. Panels can be chaired by one of the 
participants or include an additional chairperson. The chair will serve 
as contact person for further correspondence between the conference 
organizers and the panel participants.

Individual contributions: Next to paper presentations, individual 
contributions may include academic research and activist reflections, 
methodological reflections, as well as presentations of ongoing research 
projects with thematic relation to the conference call. During the 
selection process, the organizing team will match these individual 
contributions with related submissions and assign a discussant to create 
coherent thematic panels.

We kindly ask you to submit individual paper submissions in English only 
to allow for flexibility in the composition of thematic panels. Complete 
panel proposals may be submitted in English or German.

To submit a proposal please complete all entries until 31 March 2023: This link (or use https://forms.gle/vYB7q1jWV45ecsEP6)


It is also possible to simply take part in the conference without 
presenting a paper. To do so, please await our general call for 
registration in May/June.

The conference fee is 30 € (reduced for students and doctoral candidates 
10 €) and can be paid via bank transfer or directly on site. A limited 
number of travel grants will be available to PhD students and scholars 
from the Global South. For questions about eligibility and general 
concerns please contact the organizing team at 

We look forward to receiving your proposals and to an inspiring 
discussion in fall 2023.

The conference organizing team

Myriam Ahmed, Felix Anderl, Bettina Engels, Jannis Grimm, Laura Kotzur, 
Mariam Salehi, Christin Stühlen.

4 / 7
SFB 700