Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft

Call for Participants

World Café on “Whither Norms Research in Times of Uncertainty?”

28th Academic Convention of the DVPW, 14 - 16 September 2021

Here you can download the Call for Participation (pdf).

Organised by the thematic group on IR norms research.

Organising Team: Sassan Gholiagha, Johanna Speyer, Jan Wilkens, Carmen Wunderlich


Global normative order(s) are currently facing manifold challenges: Complexity increases as the liberal-Western narrative is confronted with a multiplicity of alternative perspectives. A diverse set of actors contest established regulations and multilateral arrangements. The pluralization of actors is mirrored in the differentiation of issues that require regulation, thereby exacerbating the lingering sense of uncertainty and unpredictability. Rapid technological developments also bring to the fore normative voids. Issues such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic further present daunting challenges. They highlight normative tensions with regard to governance, as democratic procedures are contested.

We believe that norms research can offer important insights and analytical tools to address some of these issues – which also present new challenges and interesting research avenues. The increase of contestation requires IR researchers to critically reflect on colonial assumptions of the discipline and to create conceptual avenues that account for the multiplicity of actors on the global scale. A more public discursive space, such as a world café, allows to connect established insights and develop new ideas by creating links between senior and early career researchers. The method of world café is particularly well suited for fostering deep engagement with complex and challenging issues. Against the backdrop of the overall conference theme, participants are asked to provide ideas by answering the question, “Whither norms research in times of uncertainty?



The world café will run for 90 minutes. After a short introduction, we will split up into smaller groups or tables for 45 minutes. These tables will be put together based on the submissions to this call. The sessions will be chaired by a member of the organizing team and conducted by a moderator. In a concluding plenary, the moderators will summarize the discussion, and key takeaways will be discussed.


Submissions – Deadline: 14 March 2021

We ask that participants prepare a short think piece (2 pages) to be circulated amongst all participants, the moderators, and the organizers before the world café.  To be considered as a participant for the world café, we ask you to fill out a form kindly set up for us by the DVPW office (see below). The deadline for submissions is 14 March 2021. We will inform everyone whether they have been selected or not by the end of April 2021. The form requires the usual personal information. In addition, you will be asked to provide the following: 1) Two sentences on the think piece you plan to write; 2) A research question you engage with; 3) Your understanding of uncertainty or insecurity on which your think piece is built. Please note that in case of acceptance, you will have to register for the DVPW Convention. Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at normenforschungdvpwde.

Berlin, 25 February 2021