pil  About the IIS World Congress

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International Institute
of Sociology

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The 39th IIS World Congress will be held in Yerevan, Armenia on June 11 - 14, 2009.
The theme of the congress is "Sociology at the Crossroads".
Further information will be available soon.


PROGRAMME BOOK of the 38th IIS World Congress

CHANGES received after the printing of the programme book (Updated: June 24)
Further changes will be announced directly at the congress venue.


Welcome to the 38th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology

Since its foundation in 1893 the International Institute of Sociology (IIS) has played an important and at times crucial role in the international world of social science. The IIS was created as a forum for discussions among scholars whom we now think of as classics of sociology and social science. They shared a sense of urgency about social conditions but also a conviction that systematic inquiry would make human beings more able to grasp and overcome them. They also shared a belief that scholars from different nations and different theoretical traditions can form an international community and engage in intellectual contestation and dialogue while remaining respectful of each others diversity.

In recent years the IIS has increasingly come to play a role analogous to that of its early years. Thus the four previous World Congresses of the IIS have highlighted dilemmas of human existence and societal institutions amidst processes of globalization, cooperation and violent conflict. They have done so in the spirit which guided the formation of the IIS, namely that of an engagement and encounter between a variety of theoretical positions among members of a truly international community of scholars.

The 38th World Congress will reaffirm that spirit. It will address some of the most fundamental issues of sociological inquiry in the light of global processes and the development of a range of other fields of knowledge: What does it mean to be human? What is the nature of social as opposed to natural processes? How do different efforts to map the social and political world interact with that world and with traditional sociological practices? What can we now say about relationships between scientific, political and religious beliefs? These are some of the questions that will be raised in a congress that has the ambition to set the stage for a sustained look at what sociology may say about the twenty-first century and to address the overarching theme of the Congress, namely:

ôSociology Looks at the Twenty-first Century: ĹFrom Local Universalism to Global Contextualismĺ ô

The character of the IIS as a community of scholars and not a union of professional associations may be helpful in this endeavour. It also makes it clear that the IIS plays a complementary rather than a competitive role relative to its younger but larger sister institution, the International Sociological Association (ISA), of which IIS itself is a member and with which IIS is engaged in close and friendly interaction. Thus it is an honour and a delight that the President of the ISA will once again attend and contribute to the World Congress of the IIS. It is also a delight that former Presidents of the ISA choose to do the same.

The Congress is co-organized and co-funded by Central European University (CEU), Budapest and Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), Uppsala, a collaborative arrangement that could not have worked out more smoothly and pleasantly.

It is a delight for us to welcome you to a Congress that promises to set landmarks for the further development of sociology and the social sciences at large.

You are warmly welcome to Budapest,

Yehuda Elkana and Bj÷rn Wittrock
President and Rector, CEU - President, IIS; Principal, SCAS