Call for Papers


Complex Societal Issues


XVI ISA World Congress of Sociology

Research Committee on 
Logic and Methodology RC33


Complex Societal Issues

Chairs: Dorien J. DeTombe,

International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam,

The Netherlands, Europe Tel: +31 20 6927526



Cor van Dijkum, Utrecht University, Netherlands


send abstracts before 30 October 2005


(detailed abstracts 500-1000 words)



send full papers before 15 December 2005



15 January 2006 regular abstracts (250 words)

preregistrate before May 31 2006

we welcome contributions of:

-         methodology of complex societal problem: all subjects

-         methodology of complex societal problem: HIV/AIDS

-         the use of simulation models in societal complexity


send abstracts/papers to:


Dorien J. DeTombe

International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam,

The Netherlands, Europe Tel: +31 20 6927526




We also encourage participants to make their complete papers available to Sociological Abstracts' vast user audience.

To do so, simply send a hard copy of the complete paper, noting that the abstract has been submitted electronically, to:
CSA Sociological Abstracts, Conference Papers
P.O. Box 22206 ,San Diego, CA 92192-0206, USA

Making the paper available in this manner in no way limits the author's copyright.


The subject of Methodology Handling Complex Societal Issues:


Methodology of Handling Complex Societal Issues focuses on methods and tools for analyzing, structuring, guiding and evaluating complex societal problems.


Complex societal problems are often policy problems that can occur in many fields, like in the Agro-industry (Mad-Cow disease, BSE; Foot- and Mouth disease; Fowl Plague), in the transportation sector, in healthcare (Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Sars, Flu), in Water affairs. It focuses also on handling local safety problems like large city issues and natural disasters as flood and hurricanes and global safety problems like war, terrorism. Although many of these issues have a different cause, they have so much in comment that they can be approached in the same way. Besides that, being in Africa means also to be confronted with the complexity of the AIDS/HIV problem.


Complex societal problems, as such, are unstructured, dynamical and constantly changing and have a large impact on society on macro, meso and on micro level.


Handling complex societal problems needs a special interdisciplinary approach. The content knowledge comes from content experts. The process knowledge comes from facilitators. The attention of the research group is on the methods and tools facilitators need for supporting these kinds of problems. The facilitators use methods specially created for the field of societal problems combined with methods and insights derived from their original field like medicine, law, economics, societal sciences, methodology, mathematics, computer sciences, technology, engineering sciences, chaos theory and operational research. Often a combination of methods is needed. In this way the field uses all kind of methods from social sciences and operational research. An often-used approach is simulation. A simulation model is one of  the powerful tools to describe societal complexity. With simulation models one cannot only understand the causal relations between the phenomena but also see what effect changes have.


The aim of the session on the ISA 2006, RC33 is to present a set of lectures focusing on methodology for handling real life complexity, the emphasis can be any subject, AIDS/HIV or the use of simulation models in complexity.


Keywords: Methodology, complex societal issues, decisions, simulation, HIV/ Aids

For any further questions and information you may consult the RC33 or the ISA website at:
These may already answer many of your questions. You may also directly contact the Session Organizers.


Other activities in 2006 organized by the International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity see agenda2006