Call for Papers
Conference at Centro Stefano Franscini, Monte Verita, Ascona, Switzerland, July 7 to 10, 2024 on
Emergence, Stability, Social Change
Call for papers
Social norms are fundamental for the social cohesion of societies. They constrain human actions, but
they are also of essential importance in enabling us to act at all, coordinate actions and solve cooperation
problems. Theoretical and empirical studies of social norms are conducted across disciplines in
sociology, psychology, behavioral economics, political science, philosophy, and other social and human
sciences. While much of existing research is concerned with compliance with social norms, in the
planned conference we will also focus particular attention on analyses of the emergence and change of
social norms. While the main thrust of the conference is on the explanation of norm emergence and
norm change, systematic studies of international/cultural differences in norms or historical change of
norms are also welcome. In addition, we will focus on applications of the findings from research on how
social norms change and operate. Today, there are numerous new findings in this field, which are
particularly relevant in the context of the climate problem and energy transition but also for other
currently debated issues like changing gender norms and the use of artificial intelligence, to name just a
few. Since norms also constrain human action, they might be perceived as harmful by those who are
subject to the norms or by external observers. One example is the practice of "female genital mutilation"
(FMG). The conference will bring together early career and senior researchers from various countries
and disciplines to share new research findings. Presentations may focus on both basic research, such as
the development of new theoretical perspectives and the testing of theories, and policy-relevant
applications of norms research. Key topics are:
(1) New perspectives, hypotheses, and empirical findings concerning the emergence of social norms.
(2) Addressing the question on how to measure social norms. Contributions from different
methodological perspectives are welcome.
(3) Studies on international/cultural differences in norms of historical change of social norms.
(4) The state of knowledge on conditions that contribute to the change of social norms or to cultural
differences in social norms.
(5) The contribution of social norms to ensure social cooperation.
(6) Stability of social norms. The role of rewards and sanctions.
(7) The emergence, change, and decay of signaling norms.
(8) Inducing change when norms are “sticky” and detrimental.
(9) Applications of norm research in the area of e.g. energy transition, development policies, health
behavior, law making, gender relations, artificial intelligence and other fields.
(10) Other norm-related topics.
Keynote lectures by:
Cristina Bicchieri, Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, USA;
Karl-Dieter Opp, Sociology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Linda Steg, Psychology, University of Groningen, NL;
Sonja Vogt, Economics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Registration fee (including excursion to Isola Bella) 150 CHF
Board and lodging (3 nights Monte Verita, breakfast/lunch/dinner) 645 CHF
Submission of abstracts until February 15th, 2024 to: social.norms(at)uni-leipzig.de
Supported by CSF, DFG grant to AD, Universities of Leipzig and Zurich, Academy of Sociology