Microfoundations of Diffusion Research:
Actors, Mechanisms, Institutions

Conference, September 13-14, 2012 | MPIfG, Cologne

Topic and Goal of the Conference

The idea of different units influencing each other and triggering processes of “diffusion” (of policies, innovations, institutions, and other outcomes) has been with social scientists for a long time. Recently, theoretical advances have questioned some of the assumptions long taken for granted in the diffusion research tradition. At the same time, more sophisticated empirical methods have become available to explicitly address unit interdependence in a variety of settings.
We are inviting papers that build on these developments and seek to go beyond them by explicitly taking into account the causal mechanisms that are underlying processes of diffusion. Specifically, we are interested in bringing together approaches that can serve as building blocks towards a micro-foundation of diffusion research. Possible theoretical perspectives and methods include, but are not limited to, theories informed by rational choice approaches, agent based simulation modeling, social learning, and institutional, or cultural perspectives.
On an empirical level, we are seeking to bring together contributions that focus on the causality of diffusion processes, either by empirically assessing the validity of theoretical claims, or in the form of case studies that trace the processes of diffusion events.
We wish to bring together researchers from various disciplines in the social sciences, most notably from sociology, economics, and political science. Together, these disciplines are in a unique position to develop a trans-disciplinary framework that can subsequently be used in diffusion research. With the near ubiquity of unit interdependence in social phenomena we feel that it is high time to address causal mechanisms more carefully and model them more rigorously. As a tangible product, we propose publishing a special issue of a scholarly journal that will make the workshop results visible to the larger research community.
Please submit your 400-word abstract no later than May 15, 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the workshop, please submit your paper by August 1, 2012. Please send your abstract containing author information, affiliation, e-mail address, and the title of your presentation to one of the workshop organizers, Mark Lutter or Christian Martin. Notification about acceptance will be no later than May 30, 2012.


Organization and contact

Mark Lutter, MPIfG

Christian W. Martin, University of Kiel


MPIfG: Conference "Microfoundations of Diffusion Research:
Actors, Mechanisms, Institutions" | http://www.mpifg.de/projects/microfoundations/index_en.asp [Last updated 25.03.2014 18:27]