Call for Papers ASEAS 15(1)


Today’s social world is increasingly shaped by the Internet and digitalisation, which have created societal change at the macro level (values ​​and norms), the meso level (institutions and regulations), and the micro level (behaviours) – and continue to do so. However, the social theories designed by social scientists in early industrial societies (and even in advanced capitalist ones) are insufficient to understand this digital society. Digitalisation has, for instance, blurred the class stratification of labour relations as conceived by Marxism and Neo-Marxism, creating so-called partnerships (as in the online transportation industry) and a modern precariat. This also holds true for the region of Southeast Asia, where the need for a new kind of social science is more prevalent than ever, especially given the fact that the excessive adoption of and fascination with technology have often overlooked the human aspect. In addition, as recent studies show, Southeast Asia’s Internet users are far more diverse than usually reported. While Singapore has been named the world’s top nation in terms of digital readiness, Indonesian users continue to access the Internet mainly through their mobile devices – therefore calling for more nuanced analyses of these diverse digital societies.

The digitalocene – a simple term referring to the age of the digital transformation and revolution, or the digital epoch, which includes the massive adoption of telecommuting, digital marketplaces, and other digital solutions, – has powerfully changed the social world in a lasting way. It has also significantly disrupted the distribution of power in societies previously marked by political asymmetry, economic contestation, gender inequality, and more. This dynamic has been compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has created a physically and socially distanced world with unforeseen effects and severe consequences that reach beyond geographical borders. If the digitalocene and post-COVID-19 outbreak are our (immediate) future, how will this affect the human aspect in our (un)differentiated social world, and more particularly, how will it shape social science theory and research in 21st century Southeast Asia? What does the future hold for human and non-human relations in Southeast Asia and beyond?

ASEAS 15(1) aims to publish articles that discusses these issues, including (but not exclusively) presented at the 2nd Symposium on Social Sciences (2020), organised by the Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies (CESASS), Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, under the umbrella topic of “Rethinking the Social World in the 21st Century”. We thus invite papers that discuss one or several of the following topics in the region of Southeast Asia:

  • The future of the ‘social’, including (rethinking) social science theory and research;
  • Digitalocene and the social impact of the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence Technology;
  • Global ecological awareness, or the ecolocene, including environmental regimes;
  • COVID-19 pandemic, health and ecological disaster, and disaster management, including digital technology solutions;
  • Social justice and human rights in large-scale technological projects;
  • Digital technology, economic development, and future mobility.

Guest Editors: Vissia Ita Yulianto (Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada), Hakimul Ikhwan (Department of Sociology, Universitas Gadjah Mada) , & Muhadi Sugiono (Department of International Relations & Center for Southeast  Asian Social Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada)


Abstract submission: 1 January 2021


Issue publication: 30 June 2022

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Please find a PDF version of this call here.