9-11 July 2022
University of Amsterdam – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Submissions will open in November

SASE Annual meeting 2022

Fractious Connections: Anarchy, Activism, Coordination, and Control

Conference Theme Overview

Being “well connected” has traditionally been associated with having influential friends or relatives in “high places”. Privileged levels of social and economic capital differentiate them from the “poorly connected” in diverse, economically poor, but potentially socially rich communities. In the digital age, the implicitly positive association of being “well connected” implies being “plugged in”, “on the scene”, informed and involved with “what’s happening”.

However, a growing critique of being “over connected” or “disconnected” from mainstream economic and political life is forcefully apparent in the recent Ken Loach films: I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You. We are increasingly becoming aware of public, policy and academic debates about the “right to disconnect” or movements to increase “connectivity” for dislocated communities. But a closer examination of the concept of “connectedness” is needed to understand how strong and weak connections unfold at different levels and across different societies for disparate communities.

In “The Strength of Weak Ties” Granovetter wrote, “the personal experience of individuals is closely bound up with larger-scale aspects of social structure, well beyond the purview or control of particular individuals. Linkage of micro and macro levels is thus no luxury but of central importance to the development of sociological theory. Such linkages generate paradoxes: weak ties, often denounced as generative of alienation are here seen as indispensable to individuals’ opportunities and to their integration into communities; strong ties, breeding local cohesion, lead to overall fragmentation. Paradoxes are a welcome antidote to theories which explain everything all too neatly.” (1973:1377-8).

The paradoxical experience of connectedness has been poignantly evident on political stages around the world. The heated, and deadly, debates surrounding Brexit, Black Lives Matters and the storming of the US Capitol in 2021 illustrate the very fractious climate where these connections are being vociferously, and sometimes violently, contested.

The overarching theme of the SASE 2022 conference will be to explore the paradox of Fractious Connections. This will be done through the lens of four key concepts that have received varying degrees of attention in comparative political economy: Anarchism, Activism, Coordination, and Control.

The concept of Coordination in comparative political economy has received considerable attention in relation to debates around the Varieties of Capitalism. But has digital disruption undermined this coordination?

The concept of Control has been used to understand the labor process; but how is this evolving in relation to digital surveillance at work and in politics?

The concepts of Anarchy and Activism have, relatively speaking, received much less attention within the SASE community.

Activism is frequently discussed within an Industrial Relations framework. While traditional male, manufacturing union membership has declined; a plethora of new forms of organizing for an emergent “gig” workforce has included the voices of younger, female, and ethnically diverse communities. We need to know more about these developments evolving outside established organizations.

Anarchy is not often discussed in comparative political economy, although there is a vibrant discourse in international relations (Hedley Bull 1977), and in the work of Chomsky (1994). Understanding how disruptive digital practices have emerged anarchically exposes new structures and organization of power, opportunity, and oppression.

Re-examining these concepts and developments relates back to the work of Granovetter in connecting the individual experiences with global societal structures to understand the paradoxical way fractious connections are evolving.

While these concepts will inform the overall theme of the 34th SASE annual conference, a wide range of contributions are encouraged to participate in one of the 18 vibrant networks, or submit proposals to host a mini-conference.

SASE provides a platform for creative empirical and theoretical research on key social problems. We are committed to supporting a diverse international membership encouraging lively intellectual and interdisciplinary debates. So whether you are new to SASE, or a seasoned aficionado, we look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam!

President: Jacqueline O’Reilly (j.o-reilly@sussex.ac.uk)



Image by Jean-Philippe Berger, “Pop Art Fiction, Revolution !” 2018

Mini-Conference Proposal Deadline: 20 October 2021

Thematic mini-conferences are a key element of SASE’s annual conferences. We are currently accepting submissions for mini-conferences for the 2022 annual SASE conference, to take place at the University of Amsterdam, 9-11 July 2022. Preference will be given to proposals linked to the overarching conference theme, “Fractious Connections: Anarchy, Activism, Coordination, and Control”. Special consideration will also be given to proposals that cover areas currently underrepresented in SASE, notably race and ethnicity, migration, economic history, and heterodox economics – as well as submissions that provide a global perspective.

Before submitting a proposal, please consult the list of extant SASE networks.Proposals that would otherwise fit within a network will be expected to include an explanation as to why the topic should be discussed in a mini-conference format. You may also consult programs from past conferences (https://sase.org/events/past-meetings-archive/) to view mini-conference themes from previous years. SASE is committed to diverse membership and lively intellectual debates, and encourages proposals that are offered by a diverse group of organizers and/or are likely to bring a diverse group of participants. 

Proposals for mini-conferences must be submitted electronically to the SASE Executive Director (saseexecutive@sase.org) by 20 October 2021. To apply, please fill out the form available here. Please be sure to indicate if the mini-conference was organized in the past, with details on attendance and how the current application may or may not differ from the past. Do note, however, that past mini-conference organization does not guarantee future organization – the mini-conferences are not intended to be permanent structures, they rather vary in content and focus from year to year, depending notably on the conference theme of that year. If you have questions about transforming a mini-conference into a permanent SASE research network, please contact Executive Director Annelies Fryberger directly (saseexecutive@sase.org).

Contrary to previous years, each mini-conference will consist of a minimum of 3 panels and a maximum of 5 panels. These will be featured as a separate stream in the program. If accepted, your mini-conference will be included in the general SASE call for papers (deadline in January), and you will receive applications through our conference submission system. Applicants to mini-conferences must submit an extended abstract for review.

You will review applications and create the panel sessions for your mini conference, which may also include participants and panels you have invited in advance. If a paper proposal cannot be accommodated within your mini-conference, we will assist you in forwarding it to the most appropriate research network for consideration. As a mini-conference organizer, you will be expected to assign a discussant for each session that you organize.

Dates to bear in mind:

20 October 2021: Deadline for mini-conference proposals

Early November 2021: Notification of acceptance of mini-conference themes

Mid-November 2021: Circulation of general Call for Papers, which includes mini-conferences.

January 2022: Deadline for paper submissions to the SASE conference

February 2022: Accept/reject submissions for your mini-conference

March 2022: Create sessions and assign discussants

15 June 2022: deadline for full papers, to be given to discussants for review (if you set a full paper requirement)

9-11 July 2022: SASE annual conference

Proposals should be submitted to SASE’s Executive Director, Annelies Fryberger: saseexecutive@sase.org. You will receive confirmation of receipt. Please note that you may only organize one mini-conference per year – if a given individual applies as organizer of multiple mini-conferences and more than one is accepted, that person will have to choose which mini-conference they will actually organize. Please also feel free to reach out with questions about the application procedure.

View this call as a PDF

SASE is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all members and event participants, irrespective of, for example, race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, religion, disability, veteran status, or socio-economic status. Our association exists for the purposes of scholarly, educational, and professional exchange; much of the richness and vitality of this exchange is owed to SASE’s diverse membership and spirit of inclusiveness. We provide inclusionary events such as the Women and Gender (WAG) Forum, conference fees are based on socio-economic status, we are dedicated to a Code of Conduct, and we consider diversity in committees and convener teams. Discrimination and harassment of colleagues, students, or other participants in SASE events undermines shared principles of equity, free inquiry, and free expression – and is considered by SASE to be a serious form of professional misconduct.