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Understanding when institutions change, how institutional innovations are propagated and how institutional evolution occurs, are key theoretical and empirical questions that have long shaped institutional research in economics, sociology, politics, history, geography and other disciplines. In today's context of major challenges and transformations, these questions are arguably more pressing than ever.

Ours is an era in which digital and other new technologies are recasting economic and political institutions, and social media are transforming personal relationships, reconfiguring civil society and altering the functioning of democracies. As the climate emergency furthermore threatens social stability and human survival, the global balance of power is also shifting, posing challenges to existing institutions set up to maintain world order.

Organised in collaboration with the University of Catania, Sicily, Italy, the Seventh WINIR Conference will explore these and related issues, and use the opportunity to enhance our theoretical understanding of how institutions evolve.

The conference will be held in the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicoḷ l’Arena, located in the historic part of Catania, and will open on the afternoon of Thursday 10 September and end with a dinner on Saturday 12 September. There will be an optional guided tour on Sunday 13 September.


Keynotes lectures, representing different relevant disciplines, will be given by:


Eric Beinhocker (University of Oxford, UK)
Mary Ann Glynn (Boston College, USA)
Wendy Wheeler (London Metropolitan University, UK)
David Sloan Wilson (Binghamton University, USA)


Individual abstracts or 4-paper session proposals related to the conference theme or any aspect of institutional research, in line with WINIR’s aims and research priorities, are welcome. All submissions are evaluated by the WINIR Scientific Quality Committee.


Submit an individual abstract proposal here.


Submit a 4-paper session proposal here.


Please note the following important dates:

10 April 2020 - Deadline for individual papers and session proposals
30 April 2020 - Notifications of acceptance
1 May 2020 - Registration opens
9 June 2020 - Early registration deadline
10 June 2020 - Standard fee applies
31 July 2020 - Registration deadline for accepted authors
1 August 2020 - Non-registered authors removed from programme
1 August 2020 - Late fee applies
1 September 2020 - Full paper submission deadline


Organising subcommittee: Maurizio Caserta ([log in to unmask]), Francesca Gagliardi ([log in to unmask]), David Gindis ([log in to unmask]), Geoff Hodgson ([log in to unmask]) and Salvatore Spagano ([log in to unmask])

Generous support for the WINIR Conference on Institutional Innovation and Evolution is provided by


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The World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research brings together scholars from across the social sciences and the humanities to promote the study of institutions and institutional thought around the world.

Visit www.winir.org  |  Follow @winir2013 | | Use #WINIR2020