Executive Committee 2014-2018

June 2018


It is hard to imagine that we are just a few weeks away from the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology in Toronto, Canada. This Congress with its theme, Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities, provides us with an important platform to consider meaningful ways to address these keys concerns that impact our lives in multiple ways. For this Congress, we have a strong successful program due to the combined efforts of the Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups, National and Regional Associations, ISA Program Committee, ISA Executive Committee, ISA Secretariat, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), and the Canadian Sociological Association.

XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Some highlights of the upcoming Congress include:

  • More than 5000 participants from 101 countries.
  • The Online program
  • Over 10,000 abstracts received and over 1200 Sessions scheduled.
  • A wide array of sessions, including the Presidential Sessions, Plenary Sessions, Spotlight Sessions, Canadian Thematic Sessions, Integrative Sessions, Sessions by Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups, Joint Sessions, Associations of Sociology, Professional Development sessions, Author Meets Critics, ISA Former Presidents Session, Ad Hoc Sessions, Other Activities and ISA Administrative Meetings.
  • NEW!  Spotlight Sessions: We have initiated three co-sponsored important spotlight sessions with distinguished speakers including from other disciplines and fields who will share their perspectives on a spotlight issue that is pertinent to the congress and public! It is open to question and answers.
         a.    Beyond Borders: Addressing the Crises in Displacement
         b.    The Power of the Media: Reflections, Roles and Responsibilities
        c.    Screening of the award-winning documentary film, Colonization Road, followed by a panel discussion.
  • Preparations in Toronto by the by LOC led by Dr. Patrizia Albanese (LOC Chair).
  • The Opening Ceremony organized by the Local Organizing Committee and the Canadian Sociological Association will take place on July 15, 2018.

Nominations and Elections of ISA officers for 2018-2022

Let me also draw your attention to the elections for ISA officers for 2018-2022 which will be held during the XIX Congress. The list of all nominees, their brief bios, and in the case of candidates for President and Vice-Presidents, their statement on priorities, if elected, are also posted on the website. My thanks to all the members of the Nominations Committee from the Council of National Associations and the Research Council (RC-NC), especially the respective committee chairs, Patricia Almaguer (RC) and Rima Sabban (CNA) for their valuable work. See, https://www.isa-sociology.org/en/about-isa/executive-committee/ec-officers-elections/

Global Mapping of Sociologists for Social Inclusion (GMSSI)

As part of the presidential initiative, in February 2018, GMSSI was officially launched and posted on the ISA website for ISA members as well as for all sociologists across the globe for their participation. We are pleased that sociologists are connecting to GMSSI and promoting it. However, a collective effort is required to sustain the momentum to mobilize and encourage colleagues from different parts of the world to join in and help make GMSSI a truly global community of sociologists.  So please do encourage your sociology colleagues and students to go visit this site -  https://www.isa-sociology.org/en/publications/digital-platforms/gmssi/  - in order to:

  • Add a brief bio and a few keywords pertinent to your areas of expertise or interest.  
  • Add a research project, course you teach or policy report you have written.  
  • Look for ISA conference presentations or journal articles by particular people or on particular subjects.  
  • Try the email, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn sharing links.
  • Offer comments, feedback or suggestions to improve the system at gmssi@confex.com

Fourth ISA Forum and XX ISA World Congress

Based on a review of bids and onsite visits, the ISA is pleased to hold the next ISA Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2020 and the XX ISA World Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2022. The organizers of both venues will make presentations at the World Congress in Toronto. We thank and deeply appreciate all those who submitted bids and offered venues.

New Editors for Global Dialogue

In September 2017, Brigitte Aulenbacher and Klaus Dörre were appointed as the new editors of Global Dialogue. We welcome them! Together with their team, they have already published their first issue of Global Dialogue in April 2018. I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank past President, Michael Burawoy for his vision and initiative in creating Global Dialogue in 2010 and building this open access ISA publication in these past seven years into a magazine that is translated into seventeen languages. Truly impressive! I thank him and all the members of his team who have contributed to the huge success of this publication. I also want to thank our ISA VP Publications, Vineeta Sinha for an outstanding job in heading the searches for new editors during the past four years and for her successful leadership of publications for ISA.

ISA Laboratory for PhD Students

The 15th ISA PhD Lab was organized by Haverford Institute of Public Sociology and the University of Poznan, Poland, in September 2017 with the theme of Struggles for Substantive Citizenship, Community Building in Troubled Times for Democracy. Fifteen PhD students participated and also ISA Executive Committee members Filomin Gutierrez, John Holmwood, Simon Mapadimeng and Grazyna Skapska.  Our thanks to Dr. Suava Salameh for taking the lead in organizing a very successful PhD Lab and also to the host institutions.


As I have often said, I view an important part of my role as the ISA President to be an ambassador for the ISA.  In the past months, however, I have limited my travel so as to focus on the XIX ISA World Congress. But here is a list of trips I made just in 2017: In August 2017 I was invited by Raquel Sosa, LOC Chair for RC04 meeting in Mexico, to participate in the Forum on Education and Exclusion. Unfortunately, I could not attend this due to the massive earthquake in Mexico, a day prior to the conference. Despite the earthquake, the conference organizers managed to run a strong program that included 40 participants.  In November 2017, I was invited by Dr. Martha Nélida Ruiz to Los Cabos, from Mexico, for an important Pre ALAS conference organized on Gender, Social Movements and Emerging Citizenships. In November 2017, I was invited by Prof. Milda Ališauskien? to attend the 9th annual conference of Lithuanian Sociological Association on the significant theme of (In)equality, Power and Social Justice in Contemporary Society that was held at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. In the past four years, I have been fortunate to receive several invitations to speak at conferences and meetings of national and regional associations.  I have done fifty-seven trips to various cities in twenty-eight countries.  During these visits, I delivered talks, engaged with sociologists and also met with academics, community activists, students and policy makers. These trips also offered a vital perspective on the importance of knowing the everyday lives of sociologists and reinforced the need to build a contextual global sociology. The visits to these diverse societal contexts also provided important insights about the challenges sociologists face and the critical role Sociology can play in shaping structures for achieving a just and democratic world.   https://www.isa-sociology.org/en/about-isa/executive-committee/executive-committee-2014-2018/presidential-corner/

Let me end by saying that it has indeed been a pleasure to communicate with you in the past four years and share the important, multi-facetted work of the ISA.  Much has been accomplished by the association because of all the hard work of our members through their diverse contributions. I also take this opportunity to thank Izabela Barlinska, ISA Executive Secretary, and the ISA Secretariat for their work and dedication to the organization.

Thanks to each one of you for all that you do for our organization, discipline and the profession!

Margaret Abraham
President, International Sociological Association

Professor of Sociology, Hofstra University
202F Davison Hall, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA