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Critical Perspectives on COVID-19:
Engaging the Social Sciences and Humanities

21-22 April 2022

Call for Papers

International Conference on the
The Impact of the 2020–2022 Pandemic on World Society
WSF-ISA-RC55 Pre-Conference to the World Congress of Sociology
Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia
June 23–24, 2023

The novel corona virus, COVID-19, was first detected in China in late 2019 and by mid-2020 it had become a pandemic across the globe. The pandemic and the measures implemented to contain it challenged not only individuals, countries and public authorities, but also world society as a whole. For world society the pandemic represents a new and dramatic experience of global risk and crisis. The high levels of integration of national economies into the world economy allowed for unrestricted international travel and trade ensuring that this highly transmissible virus threatened every citizen in every country. Countries and international organizations, national and local authorities and health systems were forced to react and to implement strategies to handle the pandemic. In 2020, international borders closed restricting the movement of people into and out of countries. Furthermore, many countries introduced harsh internal lockdowns, restricting movement within cities and regions, and between cities and regions. The mix ofmeasures implemented and their impact on the economy and society varied considerably across countries and world regions. Although vaccinations were developed relatively rapidly, their distribution across the world was patchy. Some wealthy countries of the Global North were initially over-supplied whereas some poorer countries of the Global South waited for months, prolonging their isolation. Furthermore, as new variants of the virus evolved, it became clear that some vaccines were less effective than others. Millions succumbed to the virus and millions more lost their livelihoods due to the economic impact of the restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus. The global pandemic exposed the limitations of globalization as global supply chains were disrupted. Some industries slowly shut down as container ships carrying components remained at sea, unable to dock. Consequently, shortages of food and other essential supplies continue to impact the daily lives of millions. Migration, both between and within countries, slowed considerably due to border closures and travel restrictions. Many migrants returned to their country of birth forgoing their income to reconnect with their families. Uncertainty became endemic as the disruptions to daily life took precedence over future plans.

This call for papers invites contributions examining the impact of the 2020-2022 pandemic on world society and world economy, on national economies and societies, and between and
within national economies and societies. Issues that may be addressed by papers include (but are not limited to):

  • Transformation and change of world society in the context of the global pandemic.
  • Strategies and approaches of crisis management and coping strategies at the different levels of world society.
  • Short-term and longer-term (negative and positive) impacts of the pandemic on particular aspects and parts of world society, world economy, and world polity.
  • The health, social, economic and/or political impacts of the pandemic in particular countries or regions.
  • The consequences of policy measures enacted to slow the spread of the virus.
  • Behavioral impacts of the pandemic and their differences across countries and societal groups.
  • The impact of the pandemic on social inequalities, social cohesion, trust and solidarity.
  • The impact of the pandemic on quality of life and well-being.
  • Indicators, measures, monitoring tools, and methodological approaches measuring/analyzing the evolution of the pandemic and its impacts.

Travel grants: The organizers award a limited number of travel grants covering airfare and accommodation (in full or in part). Accommodation, travel and visa support will be provided for one author per accepted full paper using the most economical travel route. Researchers from the Global South (African and Latin American countries, International Sociological Association country categories B and C), doctoral students, and members of ISA-RC55 are in particular encouraged to apply.

Submission procedure: Please submit a 1000 word paper abstract in English before September 30, 2022 (CET) to Jenny Chesters ( The abstract should include the title of the paper, all author(s) names and affiliation 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. Authors will be notified by November 15, 2022 of paper proposal acceptance. Successful applicants are invited to elaborate their proposals into a full paper (25-30 pages, but no more than 8000 words) in English to be submitted by February 15, 2023 (CET). Authors will be notified by March 1, 2023 of full paper acceptance/rejection. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to the conference. Accommodation, travel and visa support (in full or in part) will be provided for one author per accepted full paper using the most economical travel route.

Venue: The conference will be held at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education,
University of Melbourne. There is no conference fee.

Publication: A selection of outstanding papers will be published in a conference volume.
Authors of accepted papers will receive a publication fee once the paper has been finalized
and accepted for publication.

Organizing committee: Jenny Chesters (University of Melbourne), Sandra Fachelli (Pablo
de Olavide Unversity), Christian Suter (University of Neuchâtel).

Conference Sponsorship: The conference is supported by the World Society Foundation
(Zurich, Switzerland), ISA Research Committee 55 on Social Indicators, and the Graduate
School of Education of the University of Melbourne. For more information on the conference and for updates, please check at:

All COVID related images on this event page were taken and supplied by TASA member Deborah Lupton.