Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - GEWISOLA2021

Call for Papers

Call for paper (pdf-file)

The 61th Annual Conference of the German Society of Economics and Social Sciences in Agriculture (GEWISOLA) will be held from Wednesday, 22 September to Friday, 24 September 2021 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The conference theme is:

The Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems: Challenges for Economics and Social Sciences

The Organising Committee invites the submission of contributed papers related to this conference theme. Poster contributions are equally welcome. Contributions to other topics may also be submitted if they contribute to the state of knowledge regarding social and economic issues in the agricultural and food system. Methodological-theoretical and empirical work are equally welcome.

Current issues are also to be discussed at the Annual Conference in organized sessions. Preconference activities may also be proposed. The organizing committee welcomes suggestions for both kinds of activity.

Key dates

  • Submission of suggestions for self-organised working groups (organised sessions) and pre-conference activities by Friday, 5 February 2021 (confirmation of acceptance by 5 March 2021)
  • Submission of papers by Thursday, 4 March 2021 (confirmation of acceptance by 28 May 2021).

    Deadline for the submission of papers prolonged until 18 March 2021

  • Submission of poster contributions (written summary) by Friday, 30 April 2021 (confirmation of acceptance by 11 June 2021).
  • Delivery of written papers revised in accordance with reviewers’ comments for publication on the conference website and AgEconSearch by Friday, 20 August 2021.
  • Delivery of the final version of posters for publication on the conference website and poster jurors (as pdf-file) by Friday, 20 August 2021.
  • Delivery of the final version of papers and written summaries of posters for publication in the conference proceedings by Friday, 5 November 2021.

The conference theme

Agricultural policy-making between market and regulation has continuously raised debates. In Euro­pean agriculture policy, deregulation and liberalization have gained particular importance in recent decades, but certainly environmental and resource protection and the provision of public goods, in general, require appropriate policy frameworks and interventions. Today, the call for more regulation increases: the financial crisis and volatile agricultural and commodity markets undermine the trust in markets; BSE, EHEC and GMO upset consumers; and climate protection and renewable energy use cannot be improved without policy intervention.

Against this background the coordination mechanisms for sustainable agricultural development shall be addressed on the GEWISOLA Annual Conference. When does market and competition lead to better results for agriculture and society, when is public regulation required, and what is the proper balance between market and regulation for specific policy fields?

Such questions will be discussed on the conference for important policy fields. Relevant topics comprise:

  • Market and price policy, trade and globalization
  • Structural change, structural policy and development of rural areas
  • Environmental and resource protection
  • Instability and risk management
  • Climate protection and energy policy
  • New technologies and technology policy
  • Consumer protection and food security.

The agricultural and food system undergoes multiple transformation processes – nationally as well as globally. Population as well as income growth and the development of the bioeconomy lead to increasing demand for biomass, while land reserves decline and land degradation as well as climate change restrict agriculture in many regions of the world. In addition, societal demands increase for protecting and promoting biodiversity as well as the natural environment in general, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing animal welfare. Societal demands for transparent and fair social conditions along value chains up to fair access to food are increasing as well. Concentration processes in agriculture, and even more in up- and downstream sectors are under scrutiny. The increasing prevalence of transnational value chains poses new governance challenges. Finally, agriculture is increasingly considered part of a food system, including its health implications. This poses challenges regarding the integration of agricultural and food policy as well as the interplay of private, civil society and public actors in shaping the agricultural and food system.

These developments raise challenges for economics and social sciences. Complex problems and diverse and sometimes conflicting societal objectives need inter- and often transdisciplinary research concepts.

Against this background, we encourage theoretical/conceptual as well as empirical submissions addressing especially, but not exclusively, the following topics:

  • Effects of transformation drivers on the development of structures within agriculture as well as agri-food business.
  • Implications of digitalisation for social and economic relations within the agricultural and food system.
  • Perspectives for animal husbandry in light of increasing demands for animal welfare and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural and food system.
  • Development of horticultural and crop production systems in between environmental protection and production.
  • Access to sustainable and healthy food for all population groups.
  • Options for shaping fair working conditions and exchange relationships along value chains.
  • The roles of the private sector, civil society and the state in shaping a sustainable agricultural and food system and governing the delivery of public goods.
  • Opportunities and limits for collectively shaping food environments.
  • Options for rewarding the delivery of public goods by agriculture in internationally integrated markets.
  • Institutional requirements for a stronger consideration of the common good in agricultural and food policy.
  • The role of new stakeholders in the agricultural and food system (F4F, Food Councils, Regionalwert AGs, LSV).
  • Role and potential of Corporate Social Responsibility and private standards in national and international value chains.
  • Measuring and monitoring environmental and social functions of agriculture beyond the distinction between organic and conventional agriculture.
  • Adjustment processes of farms and agribusiness to an increasingly differentiated demand for various, more or less marketable outputs of agriculture.
  • Social and economic strategies to cope with climate change in the agricultural and food system.
  • Effects of the bioeconomy as a societal and economic transformation process on the agricultural and food system.

We look forward receiving contributions from agricultural economics and social sciences as well as from disciplines such as sociology, communication science, psychology, geography, political science and economics.

Information for contributors

Written papers and presentations

Complete papers must not exceed 12 pages (including literature but excluding the title page) and can be written either in German or in English. The formatting requirements and templates can be found on

Manuscripts are to be submitted by 4 March 2020 as pdf-files via The number of accepted presentations of submitted papers is limited to one presentation per speaker. When papers are written by more than one author, the prospective speaker should be named. For papers submitted in English, it should be stated whether the presentation will be made in English or German. For English papers, also a German version of the title of the paper has to be provided.

Reviews are carried out anonymously by two reviewers using the following criteria: relevance of the topic, originality of the paper, appropriateness of the methodological approach and comprehensibility of the presentation. Positively evaluated papers will be invited for presentation at the Annual Conference in thematic working groups. Final papers will be published in the conference proceedings after due consideration of reviewers’ comments.

With their submission, authors agree that their written contribution will be electronically distributed to the registered participants of the conference and made available to the public via AgEconSearch.

Organised sessions

Topical issues in agricultural economics and social sciences can be discussed in self-organised working groups with representatives from politics, economics, and society. A time slot of 90 minutes is available per working group. Proposals for organised sessions should explain on no more than four pages (either in German or in English) the subject of interest and the session’s format (concept, timings, papers, speakers, panellists). Proposals are to be submitted by 5 February 2021 as pdf-files via The organising committee and the board of GEWISOLA will jointly make a selection decision of the submitted proposals.

Poster contributions

Proposals for poster contributions should describe on no more than two pages (either in German or in English) the problem statement, the methods and the results of a piece of research. Submitted proposals are evaluated based on their quality and thematic suitability for the conference. Formatting templates can be found on the conference homepage. The proposals are to be submitted by 11 May 2021 as pdf-files via the conference homepage. Accepted posters are to be designed according to the information provided on The poster contributions will be grouped by topic and presented by their authors within a fixed timeframe in parallel groups (max. 10 minutes per poster for the presentation and the discussion). A maximum two-page summary of accepted and presented posters will be published in the conference proceedings.

Pre-conference activities

Pre-conference activities can be hosted during the morning of 22 September 2021. They can be organised as workshops, meetings or discussion groups on self-selected topics. Proposals describing the content, structure, speakers, and participants on a maximum of two pages (either in German or in English) have to be submitted by 5 February 2021 as pdf-files via The organising committee and board of GEWISOLA will jointly make a selection decision of the submitted proposals.

Information and conference office

More information about the Annual Conference can be found on
If required, you may contact the conference office:

Local organisation & program committee

Prof. Dr. Peter Feindt
Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe
Dr. Sarah Hackfort
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Mithöfer
Prof. Dr. Martin Odening
Prof. Dr. Matthias Ritter
PD Dr. Khalid Siddig