Mid-term conference of ESA RN22


Mid-term conference of ESA RN22

4 – 5TH October, 2018

Kaunas University of Technology (KTU)

Kaunas, Lithuania


Programme of the event.

Venue maps.

If you want to participate without an abstract, please fill in the Registration form. The deadline for registration without an abstract is 20 September.

Complexity poses distinctive challenges to citizens, policy-makers, social organizations and systems and, moreover, to the social scientists studying them. Core concepts within social scientific studies of risk and uncertainty, such as trust, have been understood by some (most notably Luhmann) primarily in their function as reducing complexity in everyday encounters and relationships. Renn’s studies of risk governance, meanwhile, suggest that policy-makers’ approach and depth of engagement with publics should reflect the relative causal complexity around the risks being addressed. These are two more established analytical orientations among many theoretical frameworks addressing complexity, and each has its own particular ways of defining and conceptualizing various forms of complexity, and of relating complexity to wider socio-physical environments.

Studies of risk and uncertainty furthermore involve methodological complexities, often interdisciplinary in nature, and these will be also addressed in the conference.

This meeting – the Mid-Term Conference of the Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty research network (RN22) within the European Sociological Association – will address the salience of complexity for studying social processes around risk and uncertainty, through keynotes, panel discussions and a number of paper sessions.  Although the event will have a more specific focus on the theme of complexity, this is an open call for papers which explore aspects of risk and uncertainty across a broad range of sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives


Sakari TaipaleAgeing in a Digital Society, Dealing with Risks and Uncertainty

Academy of Finland Research Fellow, Research Group Leader in Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Editor of “Social Robots from Human Perspective” (Springer, 2015), “Digital Technologies and Generational Identity” (Routledge, 2018)



Esther Versluis The European Regulatory State at Risk? The EU as a Regulator of Complex Policy Problems

Professor of Regulatory Governance, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Editor of Balancing between Trade and Risk. Integrating legal and social science perspectives (Routledge, 2013)



Sylvia WalbyComplexity Approaches to Crisis

Distinguished Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, Lancaster University, UK. Author of “Globalization and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities”( Sage 2009), “Crisis” – (Polity 2015)



Thematic sessions:

  • Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty (General Session)
  • Theoretical Advancements in Risk and Uncertainty Studies
  • Methods and Methodologies in Risk and Uncertainty Research
  • Public Discourses and Media Representations of Risk
  • Risk, Uncertainty and Transformation of Urban Space
  • Risk, Uncertainty and Inequality
  • Risks in Health and Social Care
  • Responses to Complex Climate Change Risks
  • Risk and Uncertainties in Digitization

We welcome paper abstracts addressing complexity in its relation to risk and uncertainty and/or other close concepts. You can apply for a thematic session or for the general session.

Our previous mid-term conferences have included a fantastic mix of researchers from across the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and beyond, and we hope to receive abstracts from a similarly diverse range of disciplines and analytical approaches this time. We look forward to meeting you in Kaunas!

! The intensive PhD workshop Researching Risk and Uncertainty” will take place on 2nd – 3rd October, 2018, as a pre-conference event. More information here.

Inquiries: esa.risk2018@gmail.com

Please send your abstract of 300 words to esa.risk2018@gmail.com by 20th May, 2018.

Abstract submission form can be found here – ESA_Abstract-Submission-form.

Notification of acceptance: 1st June, 2018.

Early bird registration: 20th July, 2018.

Late registration: 30th August, 2018.

Fee will include coffee breaks and conference dinner (Thursday)

Early bird (by 30th June):

Regular: 150 Euros (members of ESA), 180 Euros (non-members of ESA),

PhD students: 100 Euros (members of ESA), 130 Euros (non- members)

Late registration (from 1st of July to 30th August):

Regular: 200 Euros (members of ESA), (250 Euros non-ESA members).

PhD students: 150 Euros (members of ESA), 180 Euros (non-members of ESA)


Payment information

Please direct your payment to:


Name: Kauno technologijos universitetas

Beneficiary’s account or IBAN: LT387044060003104481

Address: K. Donelaičio g. 73, LT-44029 Kaunas, Lithuania

Beneficiary’s country: Lithuania

Beneficiary‘s Bank:

Name: AB SEB bankas

Address: Gedimino pr. 12, LT-01103 Vilnius, Lithuania


Please specify in “Purpose of Payment (Details)”: KO055, ESA RN22, First Name Last Name

If you have any questions concerning payment, please contact Giedrius Žvaliauskas, e-mail: giedrius.zvaliauskas@ktu.lt

Conference is hosted by research group Civil Society and Sustainability in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at KTU (A. Mickevičiaus st. 37, Kaunas, Lithuania).

The Conference will take place in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania and European Capital of Culture 2022. Kaunas is easily accessible directly by plane to Kaunas Intl Airport, or by train/ bus from Vilnius.

Kaunas has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. The city is situated in the central part of the country and is well-known for its unique historical monuments and the local basketball team, BC Žalgiris Kaunas. Kaunas nestles at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, Nemunas and Neris.

Kaunas is one of the country’s most beautiful cities with a number of theatres, museums, parks and public open spaces. The centre of Kaunas is divided into the Old and the New Town. The Old Town is a remarkable archaeological monument and an architectural masterpiece incorporating Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. It is a concentration of the ancient architectural monuments, such as the remnants of the 13th century castle, the impressive Town Hall, popularly known as the White Swan, and the Vilnius street, a characteristic trade street of the Middle Ages. The New Town is represented by the Laisvės alėja or the Liberty Avenue – a central pedestrian street often called the ‘Heart of Kaunas’ where numerous hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars are located.

Kaunas is famous for M. K. Čiurlionis Art Gallery, where you can find the unique collection of works painted by the famous Lithuanian painter and composer M. K. Čiurlionis. The conference venue is located in the centre of Kaunas and within walking distance to various interesting places.

More Information

For more information, see the official tourist information site or visit the Tourist Information Office at the Railway Station, the Bus Station, the hotel Park Inn Kaunas, the Town Hall and at the Kaunas International Airport.

Getting to Kaunas

  • Travel from Kaunas airport to the conference venue: Kaunas Airport is located approximately 15 kilometres from the conference venue and can be reached by taxi at a cost of approximately €10 (~15 min.) or by bus for €1 (tickets can be bought from the driver). Bus No. 29 runs between Kaunas airport and the city centre Kaunas from the airport (see the route here). It will bring you right to conference venue in about 40 minutes. You have to get off at the stop ‘Gedimino g.’.
  • Travel from Vilnius airport to the conference venue: Vilnius Airport is located approximately 110 kilometres from the conference venue in Kaunas and can be reached by intercity bus or train at a price of €5-7 one-way. Travel from Vilnius Airport to Kaunas by taxi is at a cost of €150. Vilnius Airport approved taxi rank can be found just in front of the arrivals terminal. For more details on taxi fares click here.

Vilnius central bus and train stations can be reached in few different ways from the airport:

  • By taxi at a cost of €5-7 (see the route here) or by bus No. 1 (the stop is located in front of the airport arrivals hall) for €1 (see the route here).
  • By train at a cost of €0.72 as special train runs from Vilnius Railway Station to the airport on a regular basis (see train schedules here). A covered pedestrian walkway connects the Airport’s arrivals terminal to the railway stop.
  • The company TOKS offers a service to the residents and guests of Vilnius City – a drive by a minibus from Vilnius Airport to the central bus station and back (see schedule here). You will find minibuses just outside the arrivals terminal (Exit C).

Travelling from Vilnius bus/train stations to the conference venue in Kaunas

  • Vilnius-Kaunas bus will bring you to the Kaunas bus station which is approximately 2 kilometres away from the conference venue (bus schedules can be found here). The journey is quicker with the train. Vilnius-Kaunas train will bring you to the Kaunas train station which is also approximately 2 kilometres from the conference venue (train schedules can be found here). You can reach the conference venue by taxi at a cost of €5-7 (see the route from the train station here and from the bus station here) or by bus/trolleybus for €1. There are bus (No. 18, 23, 29, 35, 39, 42) and trolleybus (No. 1, 5, 7, 14, 15) services from Kaunas train/bus stations. Bus or trolleybus will bring you to the ‘Gedimino g.’ stop, which is approximately 5 minutes’ walk from the conference venue.

The venue is located in the city centre. Please find bellow recommended hotels that are located in walking distance from the venue.

  • Park Inn by Radisson Kaunas

K. Donelaičio g. 27, 44240 Kaunas, Lithuania


  • Metropolis hotel

S. Daukanto g. 21, 44249 Kaunas, Lithuania



A. Mickevičiaus g. 28 A, 44311 Kaunas, Lithuania


  • Hotel Kaunas

Laisvės al. 79, 44297 Kaunas, Lithuania


  • Hotel Europa Royale

Miško g. 11, 44321 Kaunas, Lithuania


  • Kaunas City Hotel

Laisvės al. 90, 44251 Kaunas, Lithuania


  • Best Western Hotel Santaka

J. Gruodžio g. 21, 44293 Kaunas, Lithuania


Alternatively, you can book other hotels. For more information please consult booking.com or our tourism information center www.visit.kaunas.lt/en.

Inquiries: esa.risk2018@gmail.com

Research network coordinators:

Chair: Aiste Balzekiene, Kaunas university of Technology. Email:  aiste.balzekiene@ktu.lt

Vice-chair: Patrick Brown, University of Amsterdam. Email:  P.R.Brown@uva.nl

Scientific committee (ESA RN 22 Board and Advisory Board)

  • Aiste Balzekiene, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania (Chair)
  • Patrick Brown, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Vice-Chair)
  • Kayhan Delibas, Adnan Menderes University, Turkey
  • Jeremy Dixon, University of Bath, UK
  •  Efim Fidyra, Emmanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Russian Federation
  • Kirill Gavrilov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
  • Bert de Graaff, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Maria Grazia Galantino, Sapienza University of Rome , Italy
  • Piotr Matczak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
  • Gemma Mitchell, University of Leicester, UK
  • Veronica Moretti, Bologna University, Italy (PhD students)
  • Susanna Öhman, Mid Sweden University, Sweden
  • Anna Olofsson, Mid Sweden University, Sweden
  • Jens Zinn, University of Melbourne, Australia

Local organisers (Kaunas University or Technology, Civil Society and Sustainability Research group)

  • Aistė Balžekienė (Chair)
  • Agnė Budžytė
  • Eglė Butkevičienė
  • Audrone Daubarienė (Secretary General)
  • Jurgita Jurkevičienė
  • Marija Grigaliūnienė
  • Audrone Telešienė
  • Giedrius Žvaliauskas (Treasurer)
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