Call for Contributions – Bucharest, 18-19 November, 2016

International Conference

(Bucharest, 18-19 November, 2016)


Call for Contributions

The second half of the 20thcentury was a period of significant expansion of secondary and tertiary education throughout the world. The number of students grew exponentially, the institutional landscape of higher education diversified, the share of university graduates on the labor market became more significant than ever before, and their impact on the overall economic performance of various societies also increased. Europe played a significant part in this global success story. On both sides of the Iron Curtain, there was a strong relationship between the dynamics of economic development and the expansion of higher education. Nevertheless, systemic framework conditions mattered. In socialist command-systems higher education was part of centralized planning and, in principle, it was shaped to fit the requirements of the economy. In the more liberal systems prevailing in Western Europe, the connection between higher education and the economy was less one-sided, as the universities had more say in the configuration of professionalization patterns. The aim of the conference is to provide a fresh look at the complex relationship between the contribution of higher education to human capital formation, the functioning of professional structures in various social systems across Europe since the end of World War II, and the dynamics of student movements in the context of changing institutional settings.

The conference is linked to the following research projects, all financed by Romania’s National Research Programme (PN-II): Economic Planning, Higher Education, and the Accumulation of Human Capital in Romania during Communism (1948-1989)[1] (PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0476), TURNING GLOBAL. Socialist Experts during the Cold War (1960s-1980s)[2] (PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0335), and From Corporatism to Diversity: A Neo­institutionalist Study of Representative Student Organizations in Postcommunist Romania[3], (PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2296).

The main topics on which we expect contributions are:

  1. Drivers and institutional frameworks for the expansion of higher education
  2. Professionalization patterns – national and international contexts
  3. Status and dynamics of expert knowledge & interventions in different social systems
  4. Labor market, human capital and skills-premium for higher education graduates
  5. International student mobility. “East” –“West” – “Third World” countries
  6. political opportunity structures for student unrest
  7. collective action within universities

Presentations which do not focus on these topics, but are nevertheless relevant for the conference themes, will be welcomed. Presentations based on a comparative approach are encouraged. The conference aims to bring together analyses focusing on national and/or local case-studies, which have the potential to constitute the basis for comparative research.

A selected number of articles originating in the works of the conference will be published in a special issue of the International Review of Social Research, vol. 7, issue 3, October 2017.

The submission of paper proposal will consist of filling in a proposal form (see infra) and of attaching a short CV (no more than one page) to

Deadline for submission: October 17, 2016




Call for Contributions – Bucharest, 18-19 November, 2016

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