Call for Papers – Practicing Sovereignty. Interventions for open digital futures

For the 4th conference on the subject of “Practicing Sovereignty. Interventions for open digital futures” at Alte Münze, Berlin the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society is calling for Papers till 28th of February 2022.

»The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society is organizing its 2022 annual conference on the subject of “Practicing Sovereignty. Interventions for open digital futures” and invites interested scholars and artists to submit papers and abstracts for presentations and workshops. The conference will take place at the venue „Alte Münze“ in Berlin on Thursday, 9 June and Friday, 10 June 2022.

The premises of how ICT impacts societies worldwide have changed. Instead of further indulging in collective imaginaries of better, digitally ediated futures, today’s narratives are dominated by worrying aspects of the digital transformation. Issues such as the increasing vulnerability and manipulation of individuals, the violation of fundamental rights through mass surveillance, and the digitally mediated undermining of democratic institutions and practices have become more and more threatening to an open and free society.

Against this backdrop, the notion of “digital sovereignty” is currently witnessing an increasing interest. Being hotly debated for its implied potentials, but also for its shortcomings, the term denotes diverse concepts that negotiate competences, duties, and rights in the digital age. Questions of trust, confidence, and competence – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic – contextualize digital sovereignty in a fundamental reconsideration of what has been known as democratic principles, civil rights, and national identities.

The international conference and exhibition will investigate new opportunities for digital participation and policymaking and discuss alternative technological and social practices from various fields and disciplines. We frame digital sovereignty as a right to be claimed and a process constantly in the making, as a condition of the ability to critically partake in the digital transformation.

The conference will provide a transdisciplinary platform for scholars, artists, activists, and human rights advocates who develop transformative practices spaces to foster digital involvement. Grassroots initiatives, community projects, and participatory practices in design, art and activism appear as collective counter strategies and bottom-up interventions that challenge the normalization of inequalities and insecurities and push back against threats to an open society. They lay the groundwork for new forms of agency, paving novel ways of practicing sovereignty – both in the sense of collective activities as well as in terms of public education and experimentation.

To investigate the notion of digital sovereignty while respecting the plurality of its forms and approaches, the conference and exhibition offer four different tracks with shifting focuses:

  1. Digital sovereignty: terms, concepts, limitations
  2. Datafication and democracy
  3. Digital literacies and inequalities
  4. Digital sovereignty and scientific autonomy




Paper length should be between 2,500 and 3,000 words (including notes, excluding references) and follow the Word template formatting. When using LaTeX, please adapt the formatting of the Word template. Please upload the paper in PDF format. As the paper will be reviewed in a double-blind process, please anonymize any information which could point to your authorship (including information in references and notes). Papers accepted in the review or revision process will be published as part of the conference proceedings. In addition, selected submissions will be given the opportunity to be published in a special issue of the Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society that will focus on the conference topicsAuthors are expected to hold a 20-minute presentation of their submitted papers.

Authors are expected to hold a 20-minute presentation of their submitted papers.

Proposals for workshops and project presentation

The conference will provide space for workshops and project presentations in fields of scientific research and also for artistic research and projects, activism/hacktivism, design, or other interactive or participatory formats. Please submit a project proposal as PDF (max. 3 pages) including a description (max. 1,000 words) and, if applicable, images. If the proposal includes video or audio material, please provide within the pdf hyperlinks to a video/audio hosting platform where the work can be accessed (e.g., Vimeo or platforms of educational institutions). The review process will be single-blind and include suggestions for revision considering the conditions of the conference site and schedule. The description will be published in the conference proceedings (a selection of descriptions also in the Weizenbaum Journal, s. above), combined with images and potential documentation material (depending on the individual project and to be discussed with the contributor).



  • Deadline for submission:  Due to many requests  extended deadline for the CfP until February 28, 2022.
  • Notification for acceptance: 15 March 2022
  • Conference: 9/10 June 2022



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