For the interim conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA) Research Network 8 “Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network” (DCSCRN), that is organized in collaboration with the Rector’s Office, the Sociology of Work Laboratory and the Laboratory for Social-Cultural Digital Documentation of the  Aegean University  and will be held on the island of Lesvos (Greece), on 13-14 September 2012. Venue for the conference will be the amphitheatre of the Chamber of Commerce of Lesvos in the city of Mytilene (    The general theme of the conference is:


During the last 4 years and since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Eurozone has been confronted with the greatest economic crisis since the great depression of the 1930s.  Especially hit are the member-states of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy - the so-called “PIGS” states (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain).  There has been a lot of debate as to the causes and the ways of responding to this debt crisis. Some attribute the crisis to expanding global capitalism and the competition for new and cheaper labor markets, while others view it as a problem of modernization, national character, and over-consumption in relation to a country’s production capacity.

With regard to the response, the Eurozone member-countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have created a bail-out system for the countries with excessive fiscal imbalances and high public debts. This bailing out was accompanied by a series of austerity measures  (e.g. cuts in public and private spending, cuts in salaries, wages and social security income) and large increases of taxes as well by demands for  structural reforms in tax, social security, health and occupation systems, labor relations and privatization of public properties. And all these within compressed time frameworks in order to increase the country’s solvency. These measures were first implemented in Greece, then Ireland and Portugal who also have used the EZ and IMF bail-out mechanism.   Spain and Italy have so far avoided utilization of the bail-out mechanism by taking “proactive” austerity measures themselves.

Two years of experimentation/implementation of the EZ-IMF austerity model in Greece has not solved the debt problems, either because of the wrong prescription or because of delays in implementation of accompanying demands by the member country.  Instead, it has led to a vicious cycle of recession, further dependence on the EU and the IMF, and more domestic austerity measures.  The austerity measures have had serious social impacts on business closures and unemployment, on the personal lives of millions of citizens whose life-plans were suddenly undermined, on the relations of citizens to the system of government, as well on the relationships among citizens of the “donor” and “recipient” countries and on the relationships of member states to the emergent European Union institutions. Although some structural progress have been made on the management of the economic crisis of member states, the above social impacts are expected to be aggravated, threatening member countries in the periphery with bankruptcy and social unrest and the EU itself with breakup and/or compartmentalization, unless decisive measures are taken to break once and for all the vicious cycle of recession and austerity measures.

The principal purpose of this mid-term conference will be to explore the various social impacts of the Eurozone debt crisis. Specifically, papers, power-point presentations and works in progress are invited on the following topics:

  1. The Political-economy of the EZ Crisis
  2. The EZ Crisis, Unemployment and Poverty
  3. The EZ Crisis, Migration/Return Migration and Racism
  4. The EZ Crisis, Anomie, Mass Violence and Crime
  5. The EZ Crisis and the Welfare State (Health [1], Education, Housing etc.)
  6. The EZ Crisis, Businesses and Tourism
  7. The EZ Crisis and the “Green Economy”
  8. The EZ Crisis, Social Protest and the Civil Society (e.g. indignados movements)
  9. The EZ Crisis, New Social Structures, New Social Institutions and New Identities in Member States and the European Union


Abstract - Paper Format and Language. The organizers invite theoretically or empirically grounded papers on the above (or related) topics.  Special consideration will be given to empirically grounded papers, either comparative or country-based, that focus on the social impacts on the “indebted” countries and their citizens. The language of the abstracts, the papers and the conference will be in English. Abstracts should be about 300 words, and should be accompanied by the name(s) of the author(s), his/her/their affiliation(s) and E-mail(s). Individuals may not participate as senior authors in more than one session. Abstracts should be submitted to Dr. Nicholas Petropoulos, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30 April 2012.  Upon receipt, they will be sent to members of the scientific committee for review. Participants will be notified regarding acceptance the latest on 15 May 2012. Those whose abstracts are accepted are urged to submit their completed papers by 31 August 2012 for publication of the proceedings by RN08 and Aegean University.

Conference and Hotel Fees:  ESA non-members: 100 Euros for non-students and 50 Euros for students. ESA members: 80 Euros for non-students and 40 Euros for students.  The fees will cover two lunches, one supper and the conference bag. It is understood that participants will cover their own travel and hotel expenses. The local organizing committee is negotiating with the local hotels for discounts.  Generally, hotels rooms fluctuate between 35 and 55 Euros for singles and between 45 and 75 Euros for doubles per night. Paper presenters and conferees are expected to register by 30 June 2012.  Conferees should arrive in Mytilene on Wednesday, 12 September, as the conference opens at 9AM Thursday.

Tours.  The Local Organizing Committee plans to organize one-day or two day tours within the island of Lesvos and across to Turkey (Ayvalik, Troy, Pergamon), for Saturday and Sunday (15 and 16 September). Lesvos, the third biggest island of Greece, has (1) many significant pre-historical and archeological sites from the Miocene period 20 million years ago (e.g. the petrified forest) to more recent historical periods (Greek antiquity, the Hellenistic, the Roman, the Byzantine and the Ottoman periods), (2) a number of mineral water springs (spas) that are accessible to tourists, and beautiful beaches for swimmers.   We are in the process of researching alternative packages.  More information about specific routes and costs will be sent out in the immediate future.

By the end of March 2012, the  Organizing Committee will have completed the construction of a separate page within the website for on-line registration and with information concerning local hotels, tour preferences and methods of payment.


Scientific Committee:

-Murat Balamir, Prof. Emeritus, Dept. of City Planning, Middle East Technical University, Coordinator of RN08 (DCSCRN) of the European Sociological Association.

-Sotiris Chtouris, Prof. of Sociology, Director of the Laboratory for Social and Cultural Digital Documentation, Aegean University.

-Maureen Fordham, Principal Lecturer in Disaster Management, School of Built & Natural Environment, Northumbria University, United Kingdom, RN08 Advisor

-Nicholas Petropoulos (Coordinator), former Sociology Counselor of Pedagogical Institute, Sociologist, Athens, RN08 Advisor.

-George Tsobanoglou, Assoc. Prof. of Sociology, Director of the Sociology of Work Laboratory of Aegean University.

-Anastasia Zissi, Asst. Professor of Sociology, Aegean University.


Organizing Committee:

-Local MembersNicholas Petropoulos (Chair), RN08 Advisor, Athens, Greece, Chairperson; George Tsobanoglou, Assoc. Professor of Sociology, Director of the Sociology of Work Laboratory, Aegean University; and Andromache Myrogianni, Director of the Lesvos Chamber of Commerce.

-DSCRN Members:  Nina Blom  Andersen, Vice-Coordinator of DCSCRN,  Asst. Professor,  Dept. of Communication, Business and Information Technology, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark;  Antti Silvast, Website Manager of DSCRN and Editor of the Network’s, Newsletter, Doctoral Candidate, Dept. of  Social Research,  University of Helsinki, Finland.


Important Deadlines:

Abstract Submission:  30 April 2010

Paper Acceptance: 15 May 2012

Registration: 30 June 2012

Completed papers:  31 August 2012


Relevant Websites:

-European Sociological Association:

-Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network:

-Aegean University:

[1] Health covers both physical and mental health.  With respect to the latter rates of depression and suicides would be of special  interest.