ISA - International Sociological Association
Research Committee 51 on Sociocybernetics
Honorary Presidents: Walter Buckley, USA; Felix Geyer, Netherlands
International Coordinator: 
Richard E. Lee
SUNY - Binghamton, USA
Fax: +1-607-777-4315
President RC51:
Bernd R. Hornung
University of Marburg, Germany
Fax: +49-6421-286-6572
National Coordinator:
Mario Vieira de Carvalho
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Fax: +351-21-3715643

5th International Conference of Sociocybernetics
Social Knowledge for the Contemporary World

Lisbon, Portugal, July 26-31, 2004

1st Call for Papers


Contemporary society is characterized by globalization and an ever speeding-up dynamics on the one hand, and by a turn towards regionalization and localization on the other hand. The latter even tends to include a withdrawal of the citizen to fun, leisure, and privacy. Often called knowledge or information society, the core problem of contemporary society does not seem to be making available always more and more information and knowledge, but rather an information overload, as, e.g., analyzed by James G. Miller, and a loss of orientation what to do and where to go, as deplored by many social scientists and intellectuals under the label of “cultural crisis” and loss of values.

The conference aims at pointing out a clear and encompassing holistic sociocybernetic framework for understanding this situation. The focus will be at analyzing how, under conditions of what in sociocybernetic terms is a complex and highly diversified multilevel system, human actors, i.e. individuals, groups, organizations, but also nations can find their ways to cope with such diversity and organized complexity and how they can navigate successfully in an ocean of information and knowledge. Key elements to be considered for such social steering and control are communication and self-reflexivity.

Particular attention will be paid to how social actors can develop strategies, including the setting of goals, that are conducive both to a humane life for the individuals and to the sustainability of society at large.

Although the contributions are expected to focus on application and practical relevance along with the theoretical tools required for this, also papers are most welcome which deal with the epistemological, normative-ethical, and methodological issues of the problem area described.


DATES, Venue, and Accommodation:

The conference will take place from Monday, July 26, to Saturday, July 31, 2004. Participants are expected to arrive on Sunday, July 25, by late afternoon. Opening addresses and a reception are being planned for the early evening. Saturday, July 31, may be a day of excursion, while the departure of the participants is expected for Sunday.

The conference will be held in the building of the Rectorate of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, which is located at the University’s Campus de Campolide 1099-085, not very far from the center of the city. It is close to the museums and gardens of the Gulbenkian-Foundation and provides a picturesque view of the baroque water supply line constructed in 1732, which resisted the catastrophic earthquake from 1755, in which Lisbon was completely destroyed.

Accommodation will be available in close-by student apartments at a rate of about 10,70 to 13,91 Euro per day (bed in a single room without / with private bathroom), or 8,56 Euro per day (bed in a double room).

For the 5th International Conference of Sociocybernetics 15 single and 15 double rooms will be reserved in the student apartments. There is also the possibility of accommodation at Hotel Dom Manuel I, in Av. Duque d’Avila (10 minutes by foot), at rates of 57,50 Euro (single) and 67,50 Euro (double), including breakfast. 10 rooms will be reserved there.

The Campus the Campolide of the University can be reached by metro (station S. Sebastião) and train (Station of Campolide, trains to the other side of the river Tejo), as well as by bus.

For information see also the website at <> and the website of RC51 at <>.



Conference fees are for:

- RC51 Non-members: 100 $ US

- RC51 affiliated members (non-ISA): 50 $ US

- RC51 regular members (ISA): no fees

In special cases (e.g. students) exemptions can be granted upon request.

The fees can be paid on the spot or by bank transfer (in the latter case in Euro and with all charges to the participant) to:

Bernd R. Hornung

Account no. 39 72 049 02, BLZ 533 400 24, SWIFT COBADE FF 533


Bahnhofstr. 2

D-35037 Marburg, Germany



Abstracts for papers should be 500 to 1000 word detailed abstracts for the review process and the definitive assignment to a particular session. In addition, 250 word regular abstracts are needed for publication on our website. All abstracts should be sent to the Chair of the Abstracts Committee, our Scientific Quality Coordinator and Vice-President Vessela Misheva (<>), and to President Bernd R. Hornung (<>). The Abstracts Committee will review the detailed abstracts and will decide about acceptance. Possibly it will suggest improvements and modifications, in particular in order to ensure compliance with the conference theme. Abstracts have to deal with one of the major issues mentioned above and should fit well with the overall objectives of this conference.



March 1st, 2004: 500-1000 word detailed abstracts and 250 word regular abstracts.



For any further questions and information you may consult the RC 51 website at <> and the website in Lisbon <>This may already answer many of your questions, or you may also directly contact any of the members of the International Organizing Committee.



Richard E. Lee, International Coordinator <>

Felix Geyer, Honorary President RC51 <>
Bernd R. Hornung, President RC51 <>
Vessela Misheva, Vice-President RC51 <>
Soeren Brier <>
Chaime Marcuello <>
Bernard Scott <>
Karl-Heinz Simon <>
Cor Van Dijkum <>


NATIONAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE and Cooperating Institutions:

Mario Vieira de Carvalho (Chair) E-mail:

Universidade Nova de
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - CESEM

Manuel Lisboa

Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - SOCINOVA



Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian - Serviço de Ciência