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More to come on the ilpc programme

The conference programme will soon be posted on the homepage of the conference and here on the blog we will give more details and background information about the conference and about Stockholm. This photo is from the Old town.   /Åke


Nobel prize, Aula magna and the City Hall live December 8 and 10

As I write this, Dec. 8,  in my office some 100 meters from the Aula Magna at the Frescati Campus, Nobel prize laureates are lecturing all day. I may go there in the afternoon to listen to the economists. All lectures are transmitted live on the net.

If you are not interested in this years economists, perhaps Paul Krugman’s lecture is of interest?

Saturday the 10th Dec. is the Nobel day. Prizes will be awarded by the king – now under pressure becasue of supposed contacts with organized king and ‘café cirls’ – and in the evening there will be a gala dinner in the City Hall with a cultural programme in the Blue hall, and dancing in the Golden hall. Swedish television will broadcast it all.

If you are not invited to the gala dinner the television is one option. Another one is to wait till March 27, that is the reception that Stockholm city will be giving the ilpc2012 in the Blue hall.

Or if you are on Runmarö, the island of the poet Tomas Tranströmer, this years prize for literature, there will be a local gathering for neighbours and friends  in the Runmarö Community Center and local museum, with dinner, dance and wide screen projection from the City Hall.

Below, again, a picture I like. I shot it at a poetry reading a summer day on Runmarö a few years. Tomas Tranströmer’s stroke and afasi now prevents him now from reading, but he enjoyed the afternoon with his wife and neighbours.

I often quote a couple of lines from ‘The truth barrier’ (1978): ‘Deep in the forest there’s an unexpected clearing that can be reached only by someone who has lost his way’  I think that is part of research, related to serendipity.

While waiting for next summer, have a look at the lectures today, and the City Hall party this Saturday night.

Photo: Aftonbladet

Some five years ago the Center-right government as one of its first acts decided to close down the Arbetslivsinstitutet, the National Institute for Working Life, where both Fredrik Movitz and myself were then working. On the evening of the Nobel prize award ceremony researchers from the NIWL gathered outside the Concert Hall and protested. On the picture you may see among others professors Niklas Bruun (European labour law, now at the Helsinki school of economics and Stockholm university) and Casten von Otter (sociology of public sector organization). Today the 200 researchers are spread out, many have left the field of worklife research, others continue. But the strong milieu for critical research on work and organization has been destroyed, and that was the ambition. The banner in the middle reads: No noble prize to the Swedish government.

Åke Sandberg

Facilities for ad-hoc meetings

The International Labour Process Conference in itself never fails to be an interesting and inspiring event. But apart from this, the conference is also great opportunity to reconnect with old acquaintances and meet new colleagues from across the globe, and to do so while away from the everyday impositions of e.g. teaching and administration.

In order to facilitate face-to-face meetings for discussing e.g. future research proposals, book projects, we will book a limited number of seminar/class rooms at Stockholm University in relation to the first and last day of the conference, i.e. before lunch on the 27th and after lunch on the 29th of March.

If you are interested in booking such a room, please contact the local organizers as soon as possible at For booking purposes, please inform us of the estimated number of participants and when you would like to have the room (before lunch on the 27th, or after lunch on the 29th).

The seminar rooms will be offered free of charge to attendants to the ILPC 2012. But since Stockholm University, in adherence to new public management ideas, use internal debiting for rooms, there is a limit to the number of rooms we can offer. Please do not ask us to book a room if you do not intend to use and let us know as soon as possible if you no longer require a previously booked room so that we can offer it to other delegates.

Fredrik Movitz, Åke Sandberg, Lotta Stern

ILPC 2012 Book launch: Are Bad Jobs Inevitable?

Together with Palgrave, the ILPC publishes at least one themed volume a year, predominantly consisting of papers or authors connected to the conference, launching it at next year’s conference. As a conference attendant, you will receive a personal copy of the volume as part of the registration fee (co-sponsored by the conference and Palgrave).

We are happy to announce that the title of the volume to be launched at ILPC 2012 in Stockholm is: Are Bad Jobs Inevitable? Trends, Determinants and Responses to Job Quality in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Chris Warhurst, Françoise Carré, Patricia Findlay and Chris Tilly

The Editors description of the book:

Job quality matters.  It contributes to economic competitiveness, social cohesion and personal well-being. This book focuses on bad jobs. It was once assumed that these jobs would disappear. The reality is different; bad jobs persist and recently some good jobs have become worse. Whilst it is recognised that bad jobs are a problem, there is little evidence of a coherent policy response. The contents of this book address the question ‘are bad jobs inevitable?’ The contents are global in scope, draw upon new and multidisciplinary approaches, employ methods ranging from statistics to case studies, and draw out lessons from policy and practice from Europe, North America and Australia. The contributions from leading international scholars outline debates, developments, issues and trends in job quality; define and measure bad jobs; explain variation and change in job quality; and identify workplace practices and broader non-workplace strategies for making bad jobs better.

The conference books are published by Palgrave as the Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment series. For further information on the series contact Irena Grugulis on

For more information on the book series and a list of previous volumes, please visit the official ILPC homepage

Fredrik Movitz, Åke Sandberg, Lotta Stern

Login/submission problems? Don’t Panic!

The vast majority of submissions are sent in the last few days before the official deadline, 31st of October. This can at times make the page very slow, or even make it impossible to login. If you experience such problems, please just try again later.

We will of course not reject submissions that are late due to technical problems. And the submission system does not automatically close down after the 31st of October, it allows later submissions.

If you thought of submitting a proposal for a symposium that can be done also during the first ten days of September, as the organizers will now first deal with late incoming abstracts of papers.

Problems due to many site-viewers can also affect the official conference e-mail If this occurs, please direct e-mails to or to Note: Please do not send abstracts to these addresses unless the submission system continues to be down. Else, try again.

The practicalities of submitting abstracts will be solved one way or another.  Scientific conferences were actually organised before web-based submissions, the Internet and even fax machines… 😉

Fredrik Movitz, Åke Sandberg and Lotta Stern

Q&A: info, papers, panels, fees, language …

Questions we got and our answers

1. How to get more information? Get basic information and announcement at the conference homepage. Get updates and additional information also in this blog. To know more, get a free account at the homepage, and you will get access to more detailed information. Also to get updates continuously, subscribe to this blog via the RSS  button in the top right corner of the blog page.

2. Can I organize a session, a panel with three papers? No you cannot. You can organize a symposium, e.g. in the form of an open  panel discussion, but no paper presentations. Papers are submitted and evaluated individually and grouped in sessions by us in the organizational committee. Se more on this  in a blog post.

3. How do I submit a symposium/panel discussion? You submit a suggestion for a symposium via the homepage in a way similar to submission of a paper. To submit multiple names for a symposium, simply list them (and their affiliation) in the same box where you describe what the suggested symposium is about.  Please note that this is not the registration form for actually attending the conference. Once the registration opens in December 2011, each participant will have to register individually via the conference homepage.

4. Which languages are used? English is the working language for the whole conference. But we will urge presenters, especially those with English as their native language, to speak slowly and clearly, respecting those participants that have not English as their first language. Bringing and handing out powerpoint presentations or summaries may also be helpful.

5. Must I present a paper? No you are very welcome also without presenting a paper. And the conference is open not only to researchers, but also to policymakers and practitioners in working life, companies, unions and organizations.

6. What deadlines are there? To present a paper and to suggest a symposium the deadline is October 31st, submit on the homepage. Later we will inform about the latest date you must pay if you want to appear in the conference programme.

7. What is the cost? When do I have to pay? How do I register? Information about the fee and when to pay the fee will be announced on the homepage in December, when registration for the conference opens.

Fredrik Movitz, Åke Sandberg, Lotta Stern

Papers, symposia and panels

Judging from proposals and questions we get, we believe we have been somewhat unclear in trying to present the idea of a symposium and its relation to presentation of papers. And we learn that earlier ilpc organizers have met the same questions.

Deadline for all proposals is October 31. All proposals are sent in via the conference website where you must first log in. Abstracts for papers are submitted either to the ‘general conference‘ or to one of the four streams. At the conference papers are grouped into sessions, each paper is presented and there is time for discussion, and then comes the next paper; the traditional academic paper seminar.

If you want to propose a symposium it is not formally related to papers. Neither is it part of a stream, but may of course be related to the theme of a stream. A symposium is meant to be something else than a traditional paper session. The form might be e.g. a panel discussion, with a few participants giving their different points of view on a given subject. Or it might be a moderator questioning participant in a panel. We are open to various formats, but a  symposium should ideally have an international composition and a broad spectrum of perspectives on the issue discussed.

Participants do not present papers in the symposium and it is not a forum for a sequence of monologues but for dialogue and debate. But during the symposium participants may of course bring handouts to facilitate communication with the audience.

As individuals participants in a symposium may of course also submit abstracts of full papers to be presented in the ‘general conference’.  Papers that are accepted will be grouped into sessions by the organizing committee, based upon the subject of the paper. So papers that have much in common will be put in the same session.

We hope this makes the issue of papers, symposia and streams somewhat more clear. And you are welcome to contribute to the clarity by commenting this blog post here.

Åke Sandberg