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Methods of Social Research Action 1: Educate

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Action 1 – Educate: Building a Global Methodological Network via Conferences

Action Speaker

Nina Baur (GCSMUS Speaker)

Action Steering Committee

Nina Baur (GCSMUS Speaker), Gabriel Faimau (University of Botswana), Fraya Frehse (University de São Paulo), Gaurav Raheja (IIT Roorkee), N.N. (GCSMUS Scientific Coordinator), Christine Ahrend (TU Berlin), Gabriela Christmann (TU Berlin/IRS) with ISA RC33 and ESA RN21

Heads of Local Organization Committees

‒ 1st GCSMUS International Conference – Africa 2021 Botswana: organized by Gabriel Faimau (University of Botswana)

‒ 2nd GCSMUS International Conference – Latin America 2022 Brazil: organized by Fraya Frehse (Universidad de São Paulo) and;

‒ 3rd GCSMUS International Conference – Asia 2023 India: organized by Gaurav Raheja (IIT Roorkee).

‒ 4th GCSMUS International Conference – Open Call


Most developed countries have a strong methodological infrastructure including systematic basic training at universities. There is also a strong international network providing both advanced training and academic discourse on how to further social science methodology. However, at the same time scholars lack discourse about what type of methods are suitable for research in the developing countries and how to build field contacts and an appropriate research infrastructure.

The lack of discourse in general throughout the developing countries may not be due to the lack of methodologies, but to the different focus of attention in different stages of social development with these countries. Taking China as an example, more quantitative and positivist research methods are preferred, and there may be less discussion on the theory behind the methods. In addition, in the developing countries, methodological training at universities is often even less systematic and training is provided by scholars who are generally not specialized in the area of research methodology. This results in scholars being in need of basic and advanced methodological skills, which, in turn, hinders participation in international methodological discourses and debates.

Suitability and necessity of action

Conferences on social research methodologies usually take place in cities in developed countries. Since expenses (conferences fees, travel and daily allowance) are fairly high and funding is markedly limited (and often even non-existent), scholars based in the developing countries – as participation numbers prove – are recurrently excluded from partaking. Thus, one of the first goals of the center is to educate in social science methodology by creating a global network of discourse on social science methodology that integrates both scholars from developing and developed countries, thus creating meeting points and building the basis for future collaboration.


In order to build this global network, lead partner from the developing countries, namely Gabriel Faimau (2021, Botswana), Fraya Frehse (2022, Brazil) and Gaurav Raheja (2023, India), will organize annual “GCSMUS International Conferences” in March/April, starting 2021. There will be an open call within the network for organizing the 4th conference (2024).

Each 7-day conference will include a social program for network building, advanced training by leading international methodologists, the actual conference and Ph.D. workshops on how to write and publish a paper. Conference participants will thus have the opportunity both to organize sessions on methodological topics of their choice; and to present their own research to an international audience; and to discuss current methodological problems with other scholars.

In order to make the conferences visible and attractive for scholars from both the developed and developing countries, the conferences will be organized in cooperation with ISA RC33 and ESA RN 21 and be open to non-GCSMUS members who bring their own funding. The “GCSMUS International Conferences” are therefore at the same time “RC33 Regional Conferences”. By integrating our new-to-build network into the existing international network from the start, a long-run perspective of the conference series is fostered.

Participation in the Action and Selection Criteria

The conferences are open to both network and non-network members. There will be no conference fees, and there will be travel grants for both network and non-network members from the developing countries. The conference is also open to other participants as long as they bring their own funding.

The year before the conference, there will be a Call for Session Organizers, followed by a Call for Papers both within network and via the global methodological networks. All network partners and session organizers will advertise the conference within their institution, country and research networks.

The RC33 rules for Session Organization apply. In particular, all English-language sessions and papers that address the conference theme will be accepted.

Time Line

Action 1 – Educate: Building a Global Methodological Network via Conferences
(Action Speaker: Nina Baur, Germany)


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