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“1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” and “SMUS Conference” in cooperation with ESA RN21 “Quantitative Methods”
15 – 21.03.2021, Gaborone, Botswana

Call for Session Organizers (Deadline: 31.03.2020)

Dear Colleagues,

we are happy to announce that the Research Committee on “Logic and Methodology in Sociology” (RC33) of the “International Sociology Association” (ISA) together with the “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS) and the Research Network “Quantitative Methods” (RN21) of the European Sociology Association” (ESA) will organize a “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” which will at the same time be the “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (“SMUS Conference”) from Monday 15.03 – Sunday 21.03.2021, hosted by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. The main conference days will be from Thursday 18.03. – Saturday 20.03.2021. There will be travel grants GCSMUS members and African scholars can apply for.

The seven-days conference aims at promoting a global dialogue on methods and should attract methodologists from all over the world and all social and spatial sciences (e.g. area studies, architecture, communication studies, educational sciences, geography, historical sciences, humanities, landscape planning, philosophy, psychology, sociology, urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning). Additionally, the conference programme will include advanced methodological training courses, Ph.D. workshops and a social programme. Thus, the conference will enable scholars to get in contact with methodologists from various disciplines all over the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from various methodological angles.

With this mission, we invite scholars of all social and spatial sciences and other scholars who are interested into methodological discussions to suggest a session topic. Conference sessions should mainly address a methodological problem. All sessions on general issues of social science methodology and epistemology as well as on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches are equally welcome. In addition, we especially invite scholars to suggest session topics on one of the following issues:

         spatial methods and analysis

         cross-cultural methods and issues of comparability

         decolonizing social science methodology

         methods of and for the Global South

         methodological issues relevant for specific world regions (e.g. Africa, America, Asia, Europe)

         monitoring and evaluation methods and analysis

         applied research methods on urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning

         arts- and design-based methods

         participatory and action research methods

         interdisciplinary and collaborative research methods

         big data, digital methods and cross-disciplinary research

         methods for values research, global wellbeing and sustainability

         methods for analysis of space and social inequality (e.g. space and class, gendered spaces, space and age, space and race)

If you are interested in organizing a session, please submit an abstract containing the following information to ([log in to unmask]) by 31.03.2020:

       Session Title

       Session Organizers (Name, Email-Address, Institutional Affiliation)

       Session Abstract (containing a short description of the session and the type of papers you want to be submitted to the session).

If you do not receive an acknowledgement of submission within three working days, please resend your submission. The conference organizers will inform you, if your session has been accepted, by 13.04.2020. Please note that all sessions apply to the rules of session organization named in the RC33 statutes and GCSMUS Objectives (see below).

Please find more information on the above institutions on the following websites:

         “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS):

         ISA RC33:

         ESA RN21:

         University of Botswana in Gaborone:

If you are interested in getting further information on the conference (such as Calls for Abstracts) and other GCSMUS activities, please subscribe to the GCSMUS newsletter by registering via the following website:

Please also kindly forward this information to anybody to whom it might be of interest.

Best wishes,

Nina Baur                                                                                                 Gabriel Faimau

RC33 Past President and GCSMUS Speaker       GCSMUS Botswana Lead Partner

Technische Universität Berlin                                                University of Botswana

Germany                                                                                                           Botswana

Rules for Session Organization
(According to GCSMUS Objectives and RC 33 Statutes)

1.       There will be no conference fees.

2.       The session organizers and speakers will be expected to cover the costs of their accommodation and travel expenses themselves. However, members of GCSMUS partner institutions will be able to apply for a travel grant via their home institution. In addition, there will be travel grants for non-GCSMUS scholars from Africa who present a paper or organize a session. Travel grants will cover travel costs and living expenses. Details on the application process will follow later this year.

3.       The conference language is English. All papers therefore need to be presented in English.

4.       All sessions have to be international: Each session should have speakers from at least two countries (exceptions will need good reasons).

5.       Each paper must contain a methodological problem (any area, qualitative or quantitative).

6.       There will be several calls for abstracts via the GCSMUS, RC33 and RN21 Newsletters. To begin with, session organizers can prepare a call for abstracts on their own initiative, then at a different time, there will be a common call for abstracts, and session organizers can ask anybody to submit a paper.

7.       GCSMUS, RC33 and RN21 members may distribute these calls via other channels. GCSMUS members and session organizers are expected to actively advertise their session in their respective scientific communities.

8.       Speakers can only have one talk per session. This also applies for joint papers. It will not be possible for A and B to present at the same time one paper as B and A during the same session. This would just extend the time allocated to these speakers.

9.       Session organizers may present a paper in their own session.

10.   Sessions will have a length of 90 minutes with a maximum of 4 papers or a length of 120 minutes with a maximum of 6 papers. Session organizers can invite as many speakers as they like. The number of sessions depends on the number of papers submitted to each session. E.g. if 12 good papers are submitted to a session, there will be two sessions with a length of 90 minutes each with 6 papers in each session.

11.   Papers may only be rejected for the conference if they do not present a methodological problem (as stated above), are not in English or are somehow considered by session organizers as not being appropriate or relevant for the conference. Session organizers may ask authors to revise and resubmit their paper so that it fits these requirements. If session organizers do not wish to consider a paper submitted to their session, they should inform the author and forward the paper to the local organizing team who will find a session where the paper fits for presentation.

12.   Papers directly addressed to the conference organising committee (and those forwarded from session organizers) will be offered to other session organizers (after proofing for quality). The session organizers will have to decide on whether or not the paper can be included in their session(s). If the session organizers think that the paper does not fit into their session(s), the papers should be sent back to the conference organizing committee as soon as possible so that the committee can offer the papers to another session organizer.


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