Description of the workshop’s theme and aims:
As contemporary Europe has become ever more diverse due to globalization and international migration, processes of mediation and brokerage have become increasingly central to communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution in a range of political, institutional, and social domains. Whether as religious mediators, ethnic community leaders, diaspora experts or so-called migrant smugglers, middlemen and go-betweens bring together disparate communities and translate across different social fields. To describe their role, the concept of brokerage is used across a variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, development studies and subfields of each discipline, such as social movement studies, network studies, religious studies, and organizational studies. However, disciplinary boundaries have meant that disparate conceptions of brokerage coexist with limited exchange across research fields. This two-day multi-disciplinary workshop aims to bring together scholars working on brokerage in different social and political domains with the aim of identifying trends and divergences across various fields. We also seek to share and develop conceptual and methodological frameworks for studying brokerage in a diversifying Europe.
We invite paper presentations on the following topics, but are open to any paper addressing brokerage in a diverse Europe:
- What are typical characteristics of brokers? Are certain groups or individuals more likely to act as brokers, and if so, why?
- What are the conditions of success of brokerage and what leads to its failure?
- How do brokers negotiate loyalty and conflicting interests between different social groups?
- How does brokerage reinforce or challenge static conceptions of ‘culture’, ‘communities’, ‘borders’?
- How can we understand brokers as gendered, racialized and classed subjects?
- What is the role of brokerage in the governance of diversity?
- What distinguishes brokers from related figures, such as native informants and mediators?
Please submit abstracts of approx. 500 words by the 24th of November to firstname.lastname@example.org
The workshop will take place 12-13 January 2018 in London and is organised by Sara de Jong (The Open University/Göttingen University) and Avi Astor (Autonomous University of Barcelona). The workshop is sponsored by the Council for European Studies (CES). There is no registration fee, but participants have to fund their own travel and accommodation.
We seek to develop concrete plans for the publication of a special issue or edited volume on the basis of selected papers presented at the workshop.