The ISA is coming to Vienna for its Third Forum. We can expect anything from 4,000 to 6,000 participants from over 100 countries with up to 1,000 sessions. The theme: “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggle for a Better World.” The irony is that most sociologists will not be able to afford to travel to Austria and partake in this exciting global dialogue. With this in mind and with the simple desire to intensify communication, in 2010 the ISA embarked on an online venture that would bring sociological worlds to people’s computers without making expensive trips. This endeavor into digital worlds involved interviews with well-known sociologists; global seminars engaging major social scientists from all corners of the planet; a blog on Universities in Crisis; PhD abstract submissions; a social justice and democratization space; streaming of plenary sessions at the world congress, not to mention facebook and twitter.
The most ambitious venture of all was the creation of a magazine, Global Dialogue, designed to meet the challenge of global sociology—produced by global actors for a global audience. Global Dialogue began in 2010 as an eight-page newsletter published in three languages, and it quickly morphed into a 40-page online open access magazine that appears four times a year in 16 languages. Articles are short and accessible and in the first four years it published 334 articles from 63 countries, written by 310 different authors. Continue reading
Sage Studies in International Sociology is an old publication of the International Sociological Association (ISA). In 1978 at the Uppsala World Congress, it was decided that ISA should publish papers presented at the Congress plenaries. Sage which has been handling ISA publications (it started publishing ISA’s first and one of the oldest peer reviewed journal, Current Sociology, in 1952) was contracted to bring out the books in a new series titled: Sage Studies in International Sociology. Since then, ISA and Sage have been publishing at least one to two books a year in the SSIS Series.
The first book was published in 1985 and till today we have 27 publications. Over time various editors have transformed the format and style of the series taking into account changes occurring in intellectual interests, readers’ needs and publishing technologies. In the 90s, SSIS introduced handbooks and later monographs. However, like other books on the market, SSIS books were first published as hardback copies (only when hardbacks were sold out, were they published as paperbacks) and these over time became very costly-each book cost pounds 80 to 90. These became unaffordable even to ISA members in the global North and could be bought only by the libraries of North America, UK and the antipodes; its reading public had shrunk.
When I joined in January 2010, I was told by SSIS’s retiring editor Julia Evetts that SSIS books needs to be reinvented for the series to sustain itself as ISA’s flagship in the book market and I had to plan a policy and program for its revival. Continue reading