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Call 14th Meeting of the GJSSS


Organization: apl. Prof. Dr. Carmen Schmidt (

Thursday 15 March 2018 - Saturday 17 March 2018

Venue: University of Osnabrueck


Download Tentative Conference Schedule....


Crisis of Democracy? Chances, Risks, and Challenges - A Comparison between Japan (Asia) and Germany (Europe)

“Is democracy in crisis?” By formulating this question, Joji Watanuki, Samuel P. Huntington and Michel Crozier started their legendary report on the governability of democracies to the Trilateral Commission meetings in Kyoto in May 1975. In this report, they provided a predominately optimistic prognosis of democracies’ viability in the West and Japan. Some forty years later, however, this question is being posed with increasing urgency. Besides severe economical and fiscal crises in Japan and Germany, we witness a visible loss in trust in political, economic, religious and other institutions.

Further, Europe faces new challenges due to a crisis of refugees; increasingly right-wing populist parties like the AfD gain importance. With regard to economic policies, many European governments implemented strict austerity measures, sometimes provoking harsh resistance from the citizens, to reduce government budget deficits, whilst Japan expanded its programme of “quantitative easing”, i.e. printing money to buy bonds – with an open result to date. The processes of demographic changes have further impact on the economy and the socio-political system, including the labour market, in both regions.

Our interdisciplinary and international conference with colleagues from political sciences, sociology, economics, psychology, including developmental psychology, history, law, and educational science, mainly from Japan and Germany, is intended to shed light on the future of our democracies and societies.

We would like to encourage papers on:  the future of our democracies, our economies, our educational systems, on party politics, national policies, social-structural changes and international relations as well as socialization in the family and school, and related value changes, stimulating citizen protest, new social movements, the foundation of new parties and new processes of integration and disintegration in the search for a “good life”, a “good society”, and a trustworthy, legitimate democracy. We are also interested in the implicit and explicit objectives of the actors on the various levels, namely the macro, micro and individual level within this process of change. Since the future of democracy is closely related to the process of political globalization, we are also interested in new forms of supranational political organization and regional integration.

Format of the congress: Members and non-members of the GJSSS are encouraged to give presentations on the aforementioned topics and to organize panels. Please send an English abstract on the proposed topic (max. 500 words) to: Please let us know in case you would like to organize a panel.

We have already invited three keynote speakers for the opening session: Prof. Dr. Yazawa Shujiro (Tokyo, Japan), Prof. Dr. Gian Vittorio Caprara (Rome, Italy) and Prof. Shin Kwang-Yeong (Seoul, South Korea) to widen our horizon with regard to democracy and new forms of collective political action and collaboration in Asia and Europe. Please refer to the attached conference schedule for more information.


Time table for registration: Registrations are possible from now onwards. Please send the attached registration form along with the proposed title for presentation and abstract to or Deadline for registration: 15 October 2017. Of course you can also participate without giving a presentation. In this case, registrations are possible at any time. But note that we only have a limited contingent of rooms for accommodation.

Registration fee: EUR 120 (members GJSSS); 150 non-members (including meals, coffee breaks, conference dinner). Please pay into our bank account (see below) or pay at the venue.

Accommodation: We have secured a contingent of rooms at the Arcona Living Hotel (, which is just across the street. Single room EUR 80/ double room EUR 100, breakfast EUR 15). The rooms are available from Thursday 15 March until Sunday 18 March (3 nights or shorter). Please fill in the attached registration form if you want us to book a room (Please note: First come first served!).

Time table for publication: As in the past, it is planned to publish selected contributions with an international publisher. The following procedure will be applied: On Basis of an expose and the abstracts of the papers (deadline for final abstracts: end of October 2017), the editors decide whether or not the outcome will be published. Thereafter, two independent referees are named by the editors (end of December 2017). The full articles are required latest until end of January 2018. The referees decide on each article whether to publish or not and give suggestions for revision (end of March 2018). The revisions and final articles are expected until May 2018; publication date summer 2018.

For further information please contact apl. Prof. Dr. Carmen Schmidt: or Karina Hermes:

 Supported by:


Institut für Sozialwissenschaften