CfP: 2nd Witten Conference on Institutional Change: „Migration, Institutions, and Institutional Change”

The Witten Institute for Institutional Change (WIWa) invites submissions of papers and organized sessions for the 2nd Witten Conference on Institutional Change which will be conducted with the generous support by the Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft and the Forschungskolleg Siegen.

The 2015 Conference will focus on „Migration, Institutions, and Institutional Change“. It will take place on 6 and 7 November at Witten/Herdecke University in Witten, Germany.


In recent years, the “institutional turn” in the social sciences has increasingly influenced migration research. Especially in economics, this has led to a broader view on the determinants of migration decisions and the consequences of migration for the countries of origin as well as for the target countries. The institutional perspective on migration offers various opportunities for co-operation among the different disciplines in the social sciences. So far, however, these opportunities have not been fully exploited.

The 2nd Witten Conference on Institutional Change intends to foster the inter-disciplinary discourse on the institutional dimension of migration. Papers dealing with the general topic of „Migration, Institutions, and Institutional Change“ from an economic, sociological, philosophical, political and/or legal perspective are equally welcome.

 Key questions (non-exclusive) are:

  • How do formal and informal institutions influence “stay” or “go” decisions? And how do “stay” or “go” decisions influence institutions in the countries affected?
  • What impact does migration have on economic growth in the target countries?
  • What are the costs and benefits of migration, especially in the context of demographic change?
  • What is the possible impact of migration within the EU on the future of European integration?
  • What impact does migration have on social capital and social cohesion?
  • How can social security systems be designed to cope with the challenges of migration?
  • What are the consequences of migration for the culture and the population distribution both in the origin and target countries?
  • What does migration mean for traditional philosophical concepts such as “the state”, “society”, “language”, and “the moral code”?
  • What are the most important ethical aspects of migration, e.g. in a global justice perspective?
  • How do mass media, old and new, represent and interpret migration issues?

We invite submissions for individual papers (400 words max.) or sessions with (800 words max.) from any relevant discipline addressing the institutional dimension of migration. Please send your abstracts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Deadline for submission is 30 June 2015.

Selected papers will be published as a special issue of Schmollers Jahrbuch, a peer-reviewed international economics and social sciences journal.

Programme Committee:

  • Nils Goldschmidt (University of Siegen and Chairman of the Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft)
  • Jens Harbecke (WIWa, Witten/Herdecke University)
  • Carsten Hefeker (University of Siegen and Director of Forschungskolleg Siegen)
  • Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (WIWa and Witten/Herdecke University)
  • Matthias Kettner (WIWa and Witten/Herdecke University)
  • Birger P. Priddat (WIWa and Witten/Herdecke University)
  • Dirk Sauerland (WIWa and Witten/Herdecke University)
  • André Schmidt (WIWa and Witten/Herdecke University)
  • Joachim Zweynert (WIWa and Witten/Herdecke University)


The conference will take place at Witten/Herdecke University and is planned for two full days. There will be an informal get-together at the evening of 5 November and a  conference dinner at 6 November. Apart from regular sessions, there will be two keynote speeches. Depending on the number and quality of submissions, a poster session with additional papers may be organized.

Fees and Reimbursement Policy:

There will be no conference fee. Travel costs and accommodation have to be covered by the participants. The conference dinner will cost around 50.00 €.

Important Dates:

The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2015. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 20 July. Completed drafts of accepted papers are due by 16 October, and will be made available for download on the conference website.

For any questions, please contact the Director of WIWa, Joachim Zweynert: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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