Social Sciences Section Newsletter #

October 2012#

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Chair: Anne Buttimer ( AE Vice-President Elect 2012.
Secretary: Antoine Bailly (
Secretary contact and Newsletter manager: Renato Scariati (

Other committee members:

Anthropology: Justin Stagl, Austria (
Demography: Sture Öberg, Sweden (
Geography: Yola Verhasselt, Belgium (
Political Science: Yale Ferguson, UK (
Sociology: Alessandro Cavalli Italy (


This Section, re-constituted in 2009, includes representatives of several disciplines – anthropology, demography, geography, political science, sociology and education. In 2012 it has 134 members and operates in a "federal" fashion, the Section Committee comprising "liaison" representatives from each discipline which is free to pursue its own agenda in the framework of the initially agreed themes: "Social sustainability" and "Migration and identity". Meanwhile two new members have joined us: Sture Öberg (representing demography) and Antoine Bailly (Section Secretary). During 2011 two of our original committee members – "liaisons" for political science (Leif Lewin) and sociology (Anne-Marie Guillemard) have decided to withdraw from the Section Committee. Their replacements are Yale Ferguson and Alessandro Cavalli respectively (see co-ordinates above). Yola Verhasselt will still serve for one more year as liaison for geography. Given the substantially revised nature of the Section Committee, it seemed appropriate to arrange for a face-to-face meeting of all newly-elected members to take place during the Festival International de Géographie at Saint-Dié des Vosges on October 11, 2012 in order to discuss plans for the next triennial agenda (See 4 below).

As some of you know, a round-table discussion on the theme of "Sciences, culture and society: mobility and integration" was organized at the Paris (2011) meeting of Academia Europaea. Just as in the round–table discussion at Leuven (2010), speakers were encouraged to concentrate on successful outcomes of past experiences: These included:

  • Mobility and North African democratic movements: The role of ICTs (Professor Maria Paradiso, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy)
  • Strangers on the Move: Advances in Migration Impact Analysis (Professor Jacques Poot, New Zealand)
  • Migration and Policy Making in Europe (Professor Sture Öberg, Uppsala University, Sweden)

Discussions among participants were lively and an inspiring commentary on the theme was offered by our Erasmus Medal Laureate, Manuel Castells.

In 2011 also we gained 12 new members: Cristoph Antweiler, anthropology (Germany), Tuzin Baycan, geography, (Turkey); Ayse Caglar, anthropology (Austria), Joao Machado Ferrao, geography (Portugal), Sigmund Grǿnmo, political science (Norway), Peter Hedström, sociology (Sweden), Hans Joas, social theory (Germany), Alun Jones, political geography (Ireland), Aharon Kellerman, geography (Israel), Stephen Mennell, sociology (Ireland), Alexander Murphy, geography, (USA), Pierre Petit, anthropology (Belgium). We look forward to their contributions and suggestions.

Responding to a challenge posed by AE President Lars Walloe on the question of "Turkey in Europe" we were happy to join with two other sections (Economics and History and Archaeology) on this endeavour and with the leadership of Justin Stagl a highly successful conference was staged at the Austrian Academy in Vienna on the theme of "Turkey and Europe: Mobility, creativity and trajectories" on October 15-16, 2012. Possibilities for a follow-up meeting in Turkey are now being explored (See 5. below).


Academia Europaea is an international, non-governmental association of individual scientists and scholars, who are experts and leaders in their own subject areas as recognised by their peers. Since 2009 the AE has been incorporated as a Company limited by Guarantee and registered as a not-for-profit Charity at Companies House (number 7028223). The affairs of the company are managed by a Board of Trustees ( The work of the Academia is conducted in several Sections (of which we are one) and results of Section activities are published in the AE journal, European Review. Recent years have brought many challenges not least of which has been the withdrawal of previous sources of financial support from England and Germany. Austerity reigns! However, a generous five-year (2008-2013) grant from the Bank of Sweden Tercentennary Fund (Riksbankens Jubileumfond) for "Networking and Outreach" has enabled substantial investment in the website which has been constructed by Hermann Maurer at Graz and is now the major source of information and communication for AE members ( This Riksbanken fund has also enabled AE to organise a number of conferences and general meetings, among which our Section activities at Leuven (2010) and Paris (2011) may be counted. Executive Secretary David Coates arranged a face-to-face meeting with officials at Riksbanken in Stockholm on October 19, 2012 and he invited Hermann Maurer and Anne Buttimer to present summary accounts of their projects.

In addition, largely due to the activities of Jerzy Langer (Warsaw) the AE has opened up its interactions with other bodies, e.g., (1) EU/EC policy debate on science policy at the European level, (2) targeted activities increasing the visibility of AE in conferences and science-related events, and 3) broadening the AE operational base toward a platform for new initiatives. A number of minor publications have been produced from these initiatives including an "AE response to the European Commission Green Paper on the Common Strategic Framework" and a paper "On the situation of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe", both issued in 2012. At a meeting of the Board in December 2011 it was decided that Anne Buttimer should be co-opted onto the Board and she agreed in February 2012.

The most dramatic developments in 2012, however, have been the territorial expansion of AE via the initiation of two new offices: one in Poland and another in Spain. Negotiations conducted mostly by the President and Jerzy Langer resulted in a formal invitation from the Wroclaw Municipality to set up an equipped office with 2 staff members - all at the expense of the city. On December 16, 2011 the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub at Wroclaw was opened. Costs for meetings of Trustees there will be covered up to 20,000 Euro per year. There have been follow-up meetings there during 2012 and in fact, this will be the site for our 25th anniversary conference in mid-September 2013 (details pending). Another "hub": at Barcelona is on the cards on the initiative of Professor A. Mas Colell. Initial negotiations were undertaken in February 2012 with Barcelona authorities and the Regional Government of Catalonia with generous financial assistance from the Catalan Science foundations. There is a hope that this could also serve as a focal point of interaction with the Young Academy of Europe (

The 24th annual conference of Academia Europaea was held on September 11-13, 2012 in Bergen, Norway. Prior to the conference there were meetings of the Board of Trustees where results of previous Board meetings were announced. The central theme of the Bergen conference was "Northern seas – the European Dimension". With a few hundred participants in attendance most of the sessions, covering diverse themes such as "Maritime cultures and imagination", "Nordvegr - Norway: from sailing route to kingdom" "New frontiers in Informatics", "Heavy Ions in Science and Health", "Managing the fragility of the Eurozone" and others - were held in plenary form. Our Section did not organise any session at this meeting. None of our Section Committee members deemed it appropriate to introduce a "social science" element within this theme.

As Section Chair, however, Anne Buttimer had already participated in meetings of AE Council and Nominations Committee before the Annual General Meeting which was held on Tuesday 11 September. On this occasion 10 Burgen Scholarships were awarded and the names of all newly elected AE members were announced. The 2012 Heinz-Nixdorf Erasmus Lectures were delivered by the laureates Geoffrey Burnstock (UK) and Tomas Högfelt (Sweden). An initiative by the Young Academy of Europe was also presented and an agreement reached with respect to its association with Academia Europaea. On the proposal by the President, Lars Walloe, Anne Buttimer was also elected unanimously as Vice-President of Academia Europaea, with special responsibility for the human and social sciences.


We are happy to welcome new members to the new members of our Section approved in 2012.

Donatella della Porta
Political Science, Italy
Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence. She has studied and lectured in Germany (Humboldt University), France (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) and the US (Cornell University) and has received significant research grants from national, European and North American sources during the last 10 years. While Italian is her native language, she speaks fluently English, German and French and has a passive knowledge of Spanish and Catalan.

Karl Donert
Education, UK
A leading European academic, Karl Donert acts as evaluator and expert on national and international projects. He initiated and led one of the largest Bologna thematic networks for higher education. As a nominated European expert to Brussels, Karl is consulted widely on quality assurance issues associated with Bologna on TUNING higher education, curriculum development, internationalisation and issues associated with career development of academic staff. Since 2002 he has been a member of the expert education panel in Brussels, and also acts as consultant to the Czech Ministry of Science and Apple Europe.

Kevin Edwards
Geography, Scotland
Kevin Edwards has served as Adjunct Chair of Archaeology at University of Aberdeen since 2007. The quality and prolific nature of his work meets the highest standards of paleo-ecological research in which the biological sciences, geography and archaeology all play a part in a synthesis which leads to an understanding of these northern societies’ environmental relationships. Though based in Scotland, Edwards has conducted research of trans-European interest and has co-operated with a diversity of northern scholars within Europe.

Sir Roderick Floud
Economic History, England
Roderick Floud is currently president emeritus (and professor emeritus) of London Metropolitan University. He is a leading researcher in the field of economic history with specific focus on themes ranging from technological change, the use of information technology and large data sets in the study of history, the evolution of technical education and changes in human height, health and welfare. In 2005 he was awarded a Knighthood for services to higher education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Stein Kuhnle
Political Science, Norway
Stein Kuhnle is among the leading international scholars of comparative welfare state development, and has been an organizer and participant within the European Consortium for Political Research since 1970. He has played an important role in developing the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen since he became professor (after Stein Rokkan) in 1982 Kuhnle was among the founding members of the Nordic Centre at Fudan University, Shanghai, where he was a board member, representing Norway, 1991-2001, and until 2014.

Virginia Mamadouh
Political geography, The Netherlands
Virginia Mamadouh is a close observer of the processes at work in the European Union. Her experience of two countries, France and the Netherlands, and three cultures, Arabic, French and Dutch, helped her to develop a deep understanding of the political and cultural problems of Europe and up to a point, the Mediterranean and Arabic Worlds. She frequently stresses the way cultural differences, the use of different languages, the practice of different religions are perceived by different groups, and used as political arguments by social movements and political parties at the local (urban), national and European scales.

Anders Malmberg
Economic Geography, Sweden
Malmberg was Professor of Geography and Dean of the Faculty of Social Science 2008-2011 and Pro Vice Chancellor of Uppsala University since 2012. He was the research co-ordinator of the European Science Foundation Scientific Programme on Regional and Urban Re-structuring in Europe between 1990 and 1994 and Director of the Centre for Research on Innovation and Industrial Dynamics (CIND) 2003-2011. Anders has held visiting research positions at Durham University, UK and at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Science. His research focuses on industrial dynamics and local and regional economic development, with an emphasis on the study of innovation and transformation processes in clusters and innovation systems.

Christian Pierret
Honorary Member on the AE President’s List
Christian Pierret's career profile epitomises the ideals of Academia Europaea. Few Europeans have contributed so energetically toward promoting a wider appreciation of scholarship and the value of interdisciplinary and international research on issues of trans-European concern. For twenty years now, the International Festival of Geography attracts thousands of participants from all walks of life - teachers, politicians, students, farmers, bakers and wine connoisseurs - and lively debates are conducted, while the latest publications on the chosen topic are on display. These debates usually conclude with recommendations to national governments and international agencies concerning matters affecting science, scholarship and public life. They thus fulfil another of Academia's central goals, i.e., 'to promote a better understanding among the public at large of the benefits of knowledge and learning, and of scientific and scholarly issues which affect society, its quality of life and its standards of living' (AE Directory p.3).

And new members are welcome. As of October 1 new nominations may be proposed. Only the "new" forms can now be used. Nominations on new forms can be accessed on <> All Section members should first share nominations with the respective discipline-liaison person. The First Nominator should then send the completed dossier first to "info" where it is checked for completeness before it is then returned to Anne Buttimer as Section Chair. She will then consult committee members regarding rankings which are needed before her submission to the Chairperson of the AE Nominations Boards.


September 2012 - Antoine Bailly

During the October 11th meeting of the Social Sciences Committee, organized by Antoine Bailly with the collaboration of the International Festival of Geography, the following proposals were made:

Wroclaw, Poland, September 17-19, 2013

Session organizers: Prof. Antoine Bailly and Prof. Anne Buttimer

Political Sciences:

Convergence and Fragmentation in the Study of Global Politics

Prof. Dr. Yale H. Ferguson
Rutgers University-Newark (USA)
University of Salzburg (Austria)

In the United States, International Relations as a field arose in the early twentieth century out of Law and Diplomatic History and became mainly associated with Political Science and the Realist theoretical perspective. Liberal thinkers continued to focus on the evolution of multilateral international institutions and norms, while Neorealists stressed the influence of system structure. Fierce methodological disputes raged between "traditionalists" and more quantitatively inclined "positivists." IR in Europe experienced some of these same divisions and was often a separate university department. An eclectic "English School" (now ES) emerged. French scholars emphasized legal, philosophical, and normative approaches, and Italians continued to treat IR as modern diplomatic history. German and Scandinavian scholarship closely reflected the work of their US counterparts. More recently, a "reflectivist" mode of IR scholarship challenged existing approaches on both sides of the Atlantic. Social constructivism has become a fashionable approach in IR. Postmodernism challenged the very foundations of "knowledge" in the social sciences. And there have been many other new theoretical approaches like feminist IR. The chaotic evolution of IR has inevitably impacted university institutions. In the US, IR is still an important subfield in Political Science. Nevertheless, around the world there are an increasing number of undergraduate/graduate multi-disciplinary programs in International Studies or Global Affairs. Whether housed in a School, Program, Center, or Institute, the study of IR has broadened well beyond its traditional roots in intergovernmental relations to engage with the many dimensions of a partially globalized world.


The study of changing populations – future prospects in social science disciplines

Prof. Sture Öberg
University of Uppsala (Sweden)

Problems with international migrations, ageing populations and low fertility rates are not only discussed every day in media but are also common topics in disciplines like demography, geography and sociology and in subareas like population geography and migration studies. Also on intra-national migration - causing urbanization, depopulation, segregation, and other effects - we find a large scientific literature. This is partly depending on the need for publications in order to make academic careers. Theoretical findings are progressing but slower than the amount of literature. However, empirical results are important - especially for debates in the media - to ensure that population policy in different contexts is not only based on ideologies and prejudices. A question to discuss is: Should further details in our empirical knowledge necessarily give academic merits? Register data that were impossible to imagine a few decades ago are used today. The best research registers contain every person living in a country since several generations with more than hundred socioeconomic attributes and coordinates for home and workplace updated every year. It also contains data on relations to parents and children, which make specific studies on family related questions possible. To what extent is access to these registers an advantage for researchers? And to what extent do these registers restrict hypotheses to empirical questions that could be answered? Finally, the increasing opportunities to use registers and data today (owned by private companies filing our phone conversations, our net search and mails, our physical movements with mobiles and GPS cars) will be discussed with examples from where this has happened so far.


Recent trends and further prospects of anthropology

Prof. Justin Stagl
University of Salzburg (Austria)

Anthropology is in a paradox situation: "primitive societies" are disappearing or changing beyond recognition. The discipline has thus several options: to change into a historical/museological discipline or to turn towards contemporary societies. The latter option means to become predatory vis-à-vis other established disciplines. In this latter respect, anthropology has been surprisingly successful. Many other disciplines, including history, are becoming "anthropologized". Is thus a certain method, viz. participant observation/fieldwork, or a particular outlook (the "life world") the anthropological speciality? There are conflicting answers to this question, which should be weighed against each other.


Tendencies in social sciences

Prof. Yola Verhasselt
Free University of Brussels (Belgium)

A common feature to all social sciences is the growing importance of information technology making new tools available (f.ex., facilitating statistical analysis).Team work (in the framework of international networks) is expanding and becomes more predominant vis-à-vis individual research. Research topics are more diversified. New specific themes are approached (f.ex., gender issues in geography). New paradigms are developed. Some broad themes such as globalization or the human dimensions of environmental issues are becoming common research topics. Those tendencies are favouring multidisciplinary approaches. Moreover they are establishing linkages and building bridges between social and natural sciences. Geography is a good example. In this perspective the central role of social sciences and humanities (which we could call "human sciences") should be reconsidered (cf. EU programme Horizon 2020).

Regional Science:

Spatial imagery and regional science

Prof. Antoine Bailly
University of Geneva (Switzerland)

The regional scientists like all researchers in social and economic sciences finds himself faced with a complex world where he has to find order in the chaos, rationality in subjective human behaviours. The approach was lead by H. Simon with the "satisficer's theory", but since that time of lot of subjective theories came from geography, with Tuan's topophobia and topophilia, and from psychology with cognitive approaches to human behaviour. For regional scientists this new scientific world can use humanistic approaches to understand regions, not only as rational economic places, but as social places with their history, culture and type of life. This presentation will study the foundations for a humanistic approach for regional science, to open our understanding on cultural regions, the way they are organized and valued. The polysemy of lived regions are mirrors of our societies, and before planning any action in space and time, regional scientists have to understand the way people live and work in their places. T. Hägerstrand used to say regional science is for people, not only places, we have now the theoretical means to improve our understandings of spatial imageries to better plan a sustainable future.


Scientific Knowledge Commercialization and Valorization in Europe

Prof. Tüzin Baycan
Istanbul Technical University (Turkey)

In recent years, commercialization and valorization of scientific knowledge has come to be seen as an important stimulant of economic growth. In parallel, the traditional mission of universities including teaching and research has gradually changed with new perspectives on the role of the university in the system of knowledge production and has expanded in order to take over a ‘third mission’ namely commercial activities including patenting, licensing and company formation. These developments have led to the emergence of new phenomena called ‘entrepreneurial universities’ and ‘academic entrepreneurship’. The transformation of universities towards a more entrepreneurial restructuring is leading to new types of relations and governance systems such as the ‘Triple Helix’ model of university-industry-government relations. Academic knowledge commercialization first became part of the economic development agenda in the United States in the 1980s. Later in the 1990s it spread to European countries. A decrease in public research funding at universities, a public debate about the role which universities have to play in society and a Bayh-Dole type of Act adopted by many European countries played an important role in this process. Therefore, following the change in American universities in the 1980s, the universities in Europe have also changed dramatically since the mid-1990s. This paper aims to investigate the recent trends in scientific knowledge commercialization and valorization in Europe. Considering commercialization and valorization of knowledge as a complex and a multi-faceted phenomenon, the paper aims to highlight the implications of knowledge commercialization from the perspective of social sciences.

Session time: 2 hours
Each paper: 15 minutes
Discussion of each paper: 5 minutes
General discussion: 20 minutes



An interdisciplinary conference on "Dialogue of European Social Sciences" is planned to be held at the Barcelona hub in 2014, co-ordinated by Anne Buttimer and Antoine Bailly. This time special emphasis should be placed on the young academics, with invited papers and a round table to open new gates for social sciences in Europe. Special efforts will also be made for follow-up activities on the theme of "Migration and Identity", to be co-ordinated by Sture Öberg.


Under this title an inspiring conference was organized by the AE Social Sciences Section and jointly hosted with the Commission for Migration and Integration Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The generous assistance of Heinz Faßmann and Wiebke Sievers was vitally important and deeply appreciated. Papers were presented in the beautiful Theatersaal of the Austrian Academy in Vienna on the 15th and 16th of October 2O12. Between 50 and 100 persons from various disciplines and many different countries attended the sessions, including even the Turkish Ambassador to Austria, H.E (Ms) Ayse Sezgin and the Embassy Councillor, Mr. Guclu Kalafat, Director of Research at the Turkish Embassy. Each speaker was allowed 45 minutes and follow-up discussions were lively. Justin Stagl, as local organiser, introduced Lars Walloe, President of AE, who also attended and gave a welcoming address. Another welcome speech and introductory remarks were delivered by Arnold Suppan, Vice-President of the Austrian Academy and also a historian of South Eastern Europe. Anne Buttimer also took the occasion to present the chosen agenda of our Social Sciences Section focus on Migration and Identity – this conference also constituting an important part.

The programme speakers presented a diverse range of themes: Max Haller (Graz) and Natalia Skaro (Dubrovnik) provided overviews on the images of Turkey and of Turks in Europe and on the Balkans, where the interaction had been closest for over 500 years. Other contributions were dedicated to migration and economic affairs. Heinz Faßmann (Vienna) described demographic details on Turkish migration to Europe and its changes over time, Yale Ferguson (Rutgers) remarked on the political parameters of these movements, and Tüzin Baycan (Istanbul) focused on the entrepreneurial projects of Turkish migrants, particularly in the Netherlands. Gudrun Biffl (Krems) dealt with the general economic relations between European countries and Turkey, Sylvia Hahn (Salzburg) compared Turkish and other migrant groups in Austria historically, and Ayse Caglar (Vienna) presented a new theory of the interactions between migrants and modernity, emphasizing especially the roles of place, space and time in adaptation processes. Finally, Esma Durugönül (Antalya) analyzed the experiences of return migrants from Europe: costs and benefits. Much time was given to the discussions and all speakers were grateful for the feedback received. Now revised versions of these papers will be edited by Anne Buttimer and Justin Stagl for publication in European Review.


Established in 1991 the Vautrin Lud International Geography Prize is the highest award that can be gained in the field of geography. The award is modelled on the Nobel Prize and is called the "Nobel Prize for Geography". It is named after the 16th century French scholar Vautrin Lud who is credited with naming the new world "America". The nomination is done by an international jury who chooses, among proposals given by world specialists, a high level geographer who gave a significant contribution to the evolution of geography. The 2012 prize was awarded on October 13, 2012, at the International Festival of Geography (Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France) by Anne Buttimer, President of the Jury. Yi-fu’s lecture on "Home and elsewhere" was very highly attended and inspiring event. To date indeed, geographers have been the most energetic contributors to the work of the AE Social Sciences section.

Metadata:Social Sciences Section Newsletter October 2012
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