European Sociological Association Conference, Murcia, Spain Sept 23-26 2003



The Mediterranean area is a varied and complex social space. Within it there intermingle different issues defining the present globalisation process. In the Mediterranean basin, Europe provides a background against which can be seen the tendency towards social inequality (between regions, classes, the sexes, ethnic groups etc.), the logic of identity building and its conflicts, migration movements, dynamics of risk creation and environmental insustainability. All these processes make up an agenda of scientific and political challenges and goals. That the Mediterranean should be one of the earth's "hotspots" is what has led some to see it as a space for the breakdown between civilizations and yet for others it forms a cultural and social mosaic on which to build a story of co-operation and dialogue.

This research stream aims to identify the main challenges that Mediterranean societies face in the coming years. Papers on the following questions and related topics are welcome, either comparative or country specific:

1. The Mediterranean from the perspective of economic, demographic and political development.

Keywords: Historic configuration of the Mediterranean in the world economy/Entry of the Mediterranean region into the international work sphere/Material and productive bases of the Mediterranean region/Economic and territorial inequalities in the Mediterranean/ Demographic dynamics and social structure of the Mediterranean countries/European politics and regional co-operation for the Mediterranean area.

2. The Mediterranean: between the grammar of the shock of civilizations and inter-regional solidarity.

Keywords: Identity conflicts in the Mediterranean area/ How can a story of inter-regional solidarity in the Mediterranean be built? /Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

2. Migrations and social structure of the Mediterranean countries.

Keywords: Historic make up of the inter-Mediterranean migration movements/North African migrations and societies/European immigration policy and stability in the Mediterranean.

3. Women and changes in family structure in Mediterranean societies.

Keywords: Patriarchy and Mediterranean societies/Changes in family structure/Women and migrations in the Mediterranean/Women in Moslem countries.

4. Environmental risks, sustainability and quality.

Keywords: Natural resources and production bases of Mediterranean countries/Water disputes/Tourism, urbanisation and sustainability/Water pollution and quality/Environmental dangers/Mediterranean agriculture and food quality.