Online Conference «The Psychology of Global Crises: State Surveillance, Solidarity and Everyday Life» – Call for Contributions

Online conference at May 20–30, 2020 at The American University of Paris,

The current global Covid-19 crisis is unprecedented in many ways. Yet, ‘crisis’ as a phenomenon is everything but new. In the past years, we have been in the middle of the so-called ‘refugee crisis,’ the European sovereign debt crisis, the subprime mortgage crisis and the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. Some attest to a more general crisis of liberal democracy, an eventual crisis of capitalism, or a ‘population change crisis.’ Climate change is typically identified as a central factor in the emergence of future global crises. Beyond economically driven crises, we experience crises on the social and cultural levels: the Occupy movement, #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Cambridge Analytica, the global surveillance disclosures, etc. On a smaller scale, we witness crises of various academic disciplines, famous among them perhaps the replication crisis in psychology. Some go further and argue that the social sciences are in a state of perpetual crisis at least since the beginnings of the 20th century. Last not least, psychologists identify and treat crises on an individual level: loss of workplace, loneliness, depression. Every crisis phenomenon maps its territory and calls for its experts and expert discourses, measures and publicly communicated courses of action.

Sparked by current developments, the theme of this conference is ‘crisis’ in all its varieties. Who is speaking to the current crisis and with what advice? Which voices are heard? What can the social sciences contribute to understand crises, the current global situation and expectations for the future? How can we critically examine the concept of ‘crisis.’ Who defines a situation as a crisis? Who benefits from and who is negatively affected by crises? How do crises change local communities? How do they affect the individual agency and the relationship of citizens to one another?

In times of crisis, let us come together in the virtual world and discuss the phenomena at hand.

Presentations could focus on but are not limited to:

  • crisis, victims, power struggles
  • agency and activism during crises
  • health and inequality
  • how crises implement politics
  • solidarity in times of crises
  • nationalism and crises
  • the history and genealogy of the concept
  • the philosophy of crisis
  • globalization and geopolitics

Please submit an abstract to your contribution (max 200 words). The entire conference will take place online. This allows us to handle a large variety of contributions. You are welcome to experiment. Talks can be delivered asynchronously (you can create a recording in advance). This makes sense specifically if you want to include other media etc. You are asked to be present at the time your talk is streamed to allow for a (synchronous) discussion of your ideas. Synchronous talks are also possible. We actively encourage creative and experimental formats.

The deadline for submission is May 10, 2020. Submit your proposal using the form on the website