CfP: Regional conference „Trust and Well-Being in the Balkans”, Sofia, 2021

The regional conference „Trust and Well-Being in the Balkans” is organized by the Bulgarian Sociological Association between 30 September – 01 October 2021, Sofia, Bulgaria, in collaboration with the national sociological associations of Romania, Serbia and Northern Macedonia, and with the support of the International Sociological Association.

The Balkans region presents a complex picture of similarities and differences, intertwining histories and projects for the future, that challenge us to use the resources of comparative data and findings to outline new research approaches and sociological understandings of the region. This is why the main goal of the conference is to provide a forum for comparative analysis, based on the data and findings of the European Social Survey (ESS) across the Balkan countries and beyond. As an academically initiated, cross-national study, which is conducted every two years since 2001, the ESS offers rich and reliable data to fulfil this goal. ESS data show that there is a connection between trust in institutions, the legitimacy of democracy and a personal sense of well-being. It is in this perspective that the analysis of problems with comparative data from the Balkans and other European regions could open possibilities for the development of important theoretical accounts; for better understanding of the processes of democracy building in this region (each country faces specific challenges); for the formulation of more effective public policies. In this sense, the conference aims to hold a high-level academic and research forum, but at the same time to retain the aim of public sociology, i.e. to participate in the formulation of public policies. The issue of the relationship between trust and well-being is interesting not only in the Balkans perspective. Contemporary societies – which we often describe as „individualized”, „fragmented” and „accelerated” appear to be at risk of losing the secret of social bonding. That is why we would like the conference to put in focus not only regional, but also global problems in order to propose theoretical interpretations and new approaches through which social trust and well-being can be examined. Beyond its academic and research goals, the conference will also contribute to strengthening the regional research network that has been collaborating at different intensity over the last decade and expand and orient it towards joint sociological research in order to guarantee its sustainability through collaboration.

Abstract submission deadline: 31 March 2021

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof. Michel Wieviorka, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Foundation, France; ISA President 2006-2010

Prof. Pepka Boyadzhieva, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Science; Honorary Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK

For more information see:

We are looking forward to your abstracts under the following broad themes:
(1) Comparative research on well-being, based on European Social Survey data
(2) Trust, fairness and inequalities
(3) Young people in the Balkans

At the moment we are planning to hold the conference in physical attendance in Sofia (venue to be announced later), but the Organising committee is aware of the dynamic and difficult to predict situation that COVID 19 has led to, and we are prepared for a possibility to have an online conference.

Important dates and information

Abstracts submission deadline – 31 March, 2021

Please, submit your abstracts by email to 

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words, and contain:

  • Title of paper
  • Keywords (up to 5)
  • Research questions
  • Theoretical framework and methodology
  • Preliminary findings or conclusions
  • The novel contribution and significance of your research
  • Names, academic affiliation, research positions of authors (submitting author will be considered as first author)
  • Email address and telephone number of first author

Notification of acceptance will be sent to abstract submitters one month after the deadline for submitting abstracts

Full papers are to be submitted by 31 August. Authors will be provided with a guide for writing their papers when they are notified of their abstract acceptance. Papers which are approved for publication through a peer-review process will be published in a special issue of the Sociological problems journal.

The conference is organised with the financial support of the International Sociological Association, which will allow us to provide materials and coffee breaks during the conference. Registration fee will not be charged, but attendees will cover their own accommodation and travel expenses.

Organisers of the conference and contact details:

Bulgarian Sociological Association
Prof. Rumiana Stoilova, President,
Prof. Petia Kabakchieva,

Association of the Sociologists of the Republic of Northern Macedonia
Prof. Gordana Kostovska, President,
Prof. Konstantin Minoski,

Romanian Sociological Association
Prof. Sorin Cace, President,

Sociological Scientific Society of Serbia
Prof. Smiljka Tomanovic,
Milena Tokovic,

Coordinating team
Dona Pickard, PhD,
Georgi Medarov, PhD,
Gergana Nenova, PhD,

Photo credit

The call for papers can be found in pdf format here.

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