Call for Paper

International Conference

Risk, Life Course and Social Exclusion in Asia – A Social Policy Perspective

Date: June 13 – 14, 2013

Venue: City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

In recent years, social policy in modern industrialized societies has been challenged by new social risks: developments such as increasingly volatile labor markets, the growing participation of women in the labor market, and longer human life-expectancy challenge the presumption in much of existing social policy of a standardized, relatively stable and predictable life course. Alternatives of the standard life course, for examples, in the maintenance of intimate relationships, in family formations, in child bearing, in waged employment, and in retirement plan, are more and more prevalent among different social groups. While individuals in Asia are considered as relatively conservative, more group and family-oriented, various indicators have shown that non-standardized individual preferences, life-courses and families were more prevalent. Higher incidents of poverty, insecure employment, and family breakdown lead to acute and persistent problems while people are expressing a heightened sense of risk and uncertainty. Many adapt to the challenges by constantly adjusting their life-course plan and decision, or have to rely on external provisions, including informal and formal resources through social policy arrangements.  However, many social welfare institutions and government policies still focus on specific and standard life course and the transitions within it, ignoring the complexity and fragmentation of life courses, the different ways how life courses are connected, the relationships between early and later transitions and the differences between generations. Hence, individuals with non-standardized life-courses face problems due to the mismatch between individual preferences and policy orientations. Policies could even produce new risks and perverse effects when not fitting real life experiences.

This conference aims to address various issues related to risks and life course changes; and it impacts, in order to provide new insights to inform social policy development in various Asian societies. The conference will devote attention those relating to social exclusion particularly, resulted from the changing life-styles and choices in a life course, such as the adoption and planning of different life-course tasks, in an increasing uncertain society.


The conference accepts papers that address the following themes, or other themes considered to be relevant to the issues of risk, life course, and social exclusion, from a range of empirical and theoretical perspectives in Asia:

 Changing patterns of life course across different populations

 Different kinds of risk associated with different life styles and choices,

 The points of transition across the life-course and the vulnerabilities and risks that individuals are facing

 Factors and contexts that leading to social exclusion across the changing life course in contemporary society

 Heightened and individualized inequalities

 Policies that enhance social inclusion for those at-risk

 Changes in the neo-liberal orthodoxy after the financial crisis

Submission of abstract:

Abstract, approximately 200-400 words with full name of authors, affiliations and contacts, should be sent to the organizer: Raymond Chan ([email protected]), by February 15, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be announced by March 15, 2013, at the latest.

Full-length papers of 6,000 to 8,000 words must be submitted by May 31, 2013 for author’s presentation to be included in the conference proceeding.

Conference venue:

The conference will be held at the City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong ( The University is located in the center of the city, well-connected by public transport. It is a 30-minute journey by taxi, from the Hong Kong International Airport.

Registration fee:

There will be NO fee charged for the presenters and participants.

Travel and accommodation:

Participants will need to make their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. Conference organizers will provide information about accommodation, as well as suggestions about different alternatives for accommodation in Hong Kong. This information will be made available in Spring 2013.

Sponsorship for presenters:

The organizer will provide limited sponsorship for accommodation expenses to presenters from outside Hong Kong, based on the merit of the abstract submitted. The vetting committee will consider every abstract submitted and to notify those authors of the result. Receivers of sponsorship are required to submit their full papers at a time as required by the organizer or sponsorship forfeited.

Publication of papers:

We intend to publish selected high quality papers presented at the conference in a journal special issue and/or a monograph. The organising committee will contact paper presenters as soon as possible, and invite their participation in the publication project.

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Raymond K H CHAN, City University of Hong Kong (convenor)

Prof. Lih-rong WANG, National Taiwan University

Dr. Jens Zinn, University of Melbourne & President – TG04 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty, ISA

Dr. Wing-chung HO, City University of Hong Kong

Dr. Chau-kiu CHEUNG, City University of Hong Kong

Dr. Bryan WONG, City University of Hong Kong

Dr. Chris CHAN, City University of Hong Kong


All enquiries can be sent to:

Dr. Raymond Chan

Department of Applied Social Studies

City University of Hong Kong

Email: [email protected]