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Call for Papers
April 15, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Borderlands, Ethnic History / Studies, Geography, Religious Studies and Theology, Sociology

The ERC SOCIOBORD and “Who cares in Europe?” Cost Action’s conference

Social assistance was originally designed according to religious norms. The supremacy of religious providers was then challenged by the emergence of statutory schemes of provision. During the last two decades one can observe a growing research interest in the role of religion in past and present developments of the modern welfare states and welfare regimes. This interest challenges and goes beyond the initial limitations of the secularization and modernization theses embedded in the earlier investigations into the modern European welfare. This revisionist merger of welfare and religious studies has brought fascinating insights into, for example, the long-term impacts of religious doctrines on shaping secularized national welfare regimes, the importance of Christian parties in the mobilization for or against the specific sets of welfare strategies, and the overall influence of religious/secular tensions to what are known as four major European models of welfare states.

Most research on the entanglement between modern welfare regimes and religion is still done from the perspective of the central state in its various forms. This conference aims at bringing the flourishing field of the borderland studies as a promising third party to research on religion and welfare in the modern period. The range of possible themes covered by a proactive dialog between the fields of borderland studies, religious studies and studies of European welfare is vast. Below, we would like to suggest the submission of the proposals of contextual and critical investigations, which could potentially evolve around the following research questions/themes:

·             How did the tensions between the “modern” schemes of welfare provision and religious patterns of social assistance unfold in the European borderland regions? Did this conflict evolve along the same trajectory and periodization as established in the research in the “national” histories of welfare?

·            What does the proximity of a political border do to religion, religious conviction, ways religious belonging is articulated through social assistance? In other word, how is religion made/alternated through the proximity of the existing or aspirational borders?

·            Religion as a basis of ethnic or national precategorization in the patterns of social assistance

·            How are the borders created/confirmed/reinforced/contested/transformed/experienced through religious pluralism and religiously motivated social provision? Alternatively, how is religion transformed through practices of social assistance in a proximity of a national border or by experience of border crossing?

·           Investigations into border making and dismantling narratives and strategies in the everyday practices of religiously motivated social assistance

·           The experience of border crossing reflected in the practices of religious providers and recipients of religious assistance

·            Religiously motivated social assistance in the borderland regions as sites of contestations, spaces of possibility, political arenas, emotional communities, scenes of experience

·            Religiously inspired social assistance in the borderlands as sites of confessional tensions between “majority” – “minority” churches as well as religious, ethnonational and political conflicts

·            Borders, religion and welfare as mutually reinforcing or competing signifiers of power and instruments of governmentality

Co-organized by the ERC SOCIOBORD 882549 ( and “Who Cares in Europe?” COST Action 18119 (, the conference welcomes presentations in the fields of history, ethnography, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, geography. Proposals should be no longer than 500 words, including a biographical note (150 words).


The event will take place in Florence, Italy between September 22-23, 2022.

The submission deadline is April 15, 2022, and responses will be given on May 2, 2022.

The advanced drafts of the papers (approx. 6000 words) are due by September 1, 2022.

The conference’s organizers plan to publish selected articles in a form of a special issue or an edited volume.

Please send your complete submission to Ellianna Farazi,  

For further questions, please contact

Pirjo Markkola,  or Dominika Gruziel,

Contact Info: 


Laura Borgese at 

Categories: CFP