CfP: ‚After Globalization – The Future of World Society‘ 2022 Conference, World Society Foundation Zurich (Deadline: 2021-10-30)


After decades of apparently linear and perpetual rise of global integration and interdependence, more and more observers of world society see an increasing number of signals indicating that a trend of deglobalization is underway. Some scholars see a military deglobalization at work, while other focus on processes of financial and monetary deglobalization. Some researcher emphasize normative and cultural aspects of deglobalization, like value conflicts and clashes, while others interpret deglobalization mainly as a reconfiguration of global commodity and value chains, particularly in, but not limited to, the context of United States-China “decoupling” and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

From a longer-term historical perspective, we observe long waves of global integration and disintegration: phases of accelerated globalization, like the periods before 1914 and after 1989, are alternating with phases of deglobalization, such as the interwar period with rising national protectionism, or the early 21st century in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, which has been characterized by a return of economic and political nationalism, populism, and geopolitical rivalry. Are we currently witnessing just another globalization / deglobalization cycle or are we entering a new “after globalization” era?

The World Society Foundation (WSF), established in 1982 in Zurich, Switzerland, is celebrating its 40th anniversary of its activity as “world observatory” supporting social sciences scholars and scientific research all over the world, but particular those from the Global South, to investigate into the various processes of global integration and disintegration, (re)structuring and (re)configuration.

“World society is something which is, at the same time, highly relevant and widely ignored. (…) I postulate that world society is as it is because it is widely ignored (…) world society is, in fact, a self-reproducing structure of ignorance and knowledge.” (Peter Heintz, founder of the World Society Foundation, 1980).

With this call for papers the World Society Foundation invites theoretical and empirical contributions on the ongoing transformative processes (re)shaping the future of world society.

Issues that may be addressed by papers include (but are not limited to)

Deglobalization, fragmentation or reconfiguration of world society: What are the past, present, and future trends and structural transformations of global economic, political, societal, and cultural order?

Re-examining and (re)theorizing the concept of world society in the context of deglobalization: What are the conceptual origins, theoretical developments, usefulness and utilization of the concept of world society? How the concept of world society as an analytical tool in a context of “after globalization” may be further developed?

Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the European periphery as part and driver of a deglobalizing world society: Are we witnessing a regional fragmentation or a regional reconfiguration of world society? How does the rise of China and Asia and the new silk road dynamics transform the regional landscape of world society?

Deglobalization and digitalization of world society: How is digitalization related to (de)globalization? What role does the digital divide between North and South, core and periphery, play?

Deglobalization and democracy in retreat: How does deglobalization impact on democracy? Does rising isolationism, nationalism and populism undermine democracy and democratic movements in the global North and the global South, or does it increase individual autonomy and the political capacity to act?

World cultural de-standardization, (sub)cultural differentiation, and resistance: Do we observe a cultural segmentation and differentiation of world society? What forms and dynamics of cultural resistance are emerging?

Deglobalization and ecological transformation of world society: How do processes of deglobalization impact on ecological transformation and the capabilities of mitigating climate change?

Submission procedure

Please submit a 500 word abstract in English until October 30, 2021 (CET) to
The abstract should include the title of the paper, all author(s) names and affiliations as well as contact information. It should contain clear information on the research methods, data sources and analytical tools to be used. Please note that the organizers are seeking original contributions. Papers that have already been published or submitted for publication will not be accepted.
Authors will be notified before November 30, 2021 of paper proposal acceptance. Successful applicants are invited to elaborate their proposals into full papers and to participate in the 2022 World Society Foundation Award for Research Papers program.

World Society Foundation Award for Research Papers

Successful applicants of abstract proposals will be automatically selected to participate with their paper in the 2022 program of the World Society Foundation Award for Research Papers.
The selected authors are invited to submit a full paper (25–30 pages, but no more than 8000 words) in English by May 1, 2022 (CET) to Authors will be notified by June 1, 2022 of full paper acceptance / rejection. Authors of accepted papers are expected to present their work at the 2022 Online Conference (August 25–26, 2022). Each author will receive a paper and publication fee of $1000. The authors of the most outstanding papers will become candidates for the Foundation’s 2022 Award. Notification of selected Award papers will be given by June 15, 2022. The Award, with a prize of US $10’000, will be presented at the WSF 40th anniversary celebration event of August 26, 2022. The paper of the Award winner is expected to be published in the planned conference volume.

Authors’ webinar

Authors of accepted abstract proposals will have the opportunity to participate in a half-day authors’ information and discussion online workshop. This webinar will take place in February 2022.

Online conference

The online conference will take place on August 25–26, 2022. The authors of accepted papers are expected to present their paper at this conference.

Celebration event

A mixed on-site / online celebration event will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, in the evening of August 26, 2022. Keynote addresses will be given and the 2022 WSF Award winner will be presented.


The outcome of the conference and the 2022 WSF Award program
is a joint publication in the form of an edited volume that
is based on the papers presented at the online conference.
The final version of the papers for the book chapters is due by
October 1, 2022.

Paper and publication fee

Each author of an accepted full paper will receive a paper and publication fee of $1000 (one single fee per paper). This paper fee will be paid in two installments: the first installment will be provided after the online conference of August 25–26, 2022, the second installment once the paper has been finalized and accepted for publication.

Organizing committee

Hans-Peter Meier (World Society Foundation Zurich)
Christian Suter (University of Neuchâtel and World Society Foundation
Patrick Ziltener (University of Zurich).