Advancing Community Cohesion
Call for Abstracts

Abstract Submissions Closed

The Conference will bring together Australian and international experts on social cohesion and multicultural issues. Conference speakers will include government ministers, community leaders, senior government officials and scholars from leading universities and research centres as well as members of civil society.The Organizing Committee of the Advancing Community Cohesion Conference warmly invites submissions for paper proposals for presentation at the Conference. The 2015 Conference will focus on ways to understand and advance social cohesion in Australia and aims to address a broad range of social, economic, educational and legal issues and contribute to policy development.

In particular, we invite the submission of papers concerning the following topics, including case studies and best practice examples:

1. Review of Global Trends in Social Cohesion

  • Social cohesion in diverse societies.
  • What are the best practice examples of an effective balance between universalism and cultural specificity?
  • What defines a well-functioning multicultural society? 

2. The Concept of Cohesion in a Diverse Society

  • What are the unifying standards or mechanisms for a modern society?
  • What are the key pillars of a cohesive society?
  • Universal values, cultural specificity and safe spaces for disagreement.

3.  What are Key Obstacles to Social Cohesion?

  • To what extent is economic and social equality important to social cohesion?
  • What are the unique challenges to social cohesion posed by religious pluralism?
  • Are there other issues of special relevance to cohesion, such as homophobia, or lack of freedom of expression, or other specific groups experiencing exclusion?

4.  How to Nourish Social Cohesion and Advance the Culture of Tolerance and Respect?

  • What could/should governments do to advance social cohesion and intercultural dialogue? In search for opening new opportunities.
  • The role of citizenship in advancing social cohesion.
  • What should education institutions do to advance social cohesion and intercultural dialogue?
  • What is role of human rights education for a cohesive society?
  • Can the media shift public opinion on social cohesion issues?
  • Role of civil society in advancing social cohesion.
  • Implementing the human rights based approach in businesses and community organizations.

 5. What are Key National Initiatives to Advance Social Cohesion?

  • Advancing economic and social equality.
  • Eliminating racism.
  • Promoting respect for and tolerance of diverse others.
  • Promoting positive intercultural relations.
  • Which initiatives work the best - comparative analysis?
  • How to evaluate cohesion programs?
  • Best practice research methods on the state social cohesion.
  • Research for multicultural policy development and practice.

 6. How to Deal with Social Conflict?

  • Human rights training for those dealing with conflict (e.g. military, police and humanitarian workers).
  • The application of human rights in disaster contexts.
  • Peace building and long term solutions to social cohesion.

Instructions for Submission of Papers

1.  Abstracts of a maximum of 200 words are invited by Friday 1 May 2015. Extended to Friday 15 May. We also ask that you provide a 200 word statement on why it is particularly important for this paper to be included in the program and any factors that make you well placed to contribute to the Conference.
2.  Abstracts will be reviewed for their relevance, academic merit and timeliness by a panel. Authors will be notified of decisions via email by Monday 25 May 2015.
3.  If accepted, complete papers should be submitted online by Friday 19 June 2015. Instructions will be included in your acceptance email.
4.  Abstracts and full papers will only be accepted via the online submission process.

5.  Presentation Guidelines and Instructions will be included in your acceptance email.
6.  Each author may only present one paper at the Conference, however authors can be named as co-authors on multiple papers.

Please note: If your paper is accepted for presentation at the Conference, AT LEAST ONE named author on each paper must register and pay to attend the Conference by 5.00pm AEST on Monday 1 June 2015 or the paper will be removed from the program. Early bird registration fee also expires on Monday 1 June 2015.

Please submit any questions regarding this call for papers to Dr Sev Ozdowski, Conference Convenor and Director, Office of Equity and Diversity, University of Western Sydney at

For technical assistance with the online submission process, please contact Julie Jerbic, Conference Manager, Conference Online at