European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges

in Computational Social Science


2019: Polarization and Radicalization


Zurich, Switzerland

September 2-4, 2019





March 10th, 2019Workshops and tutorials proposal submission deadline
March 30th, 2019Workshops and tutorials acceptance notification
April 10th, 2019Deadline for abstract submission
April 10th, 2019Travel grant application deadline
June 10th, 2019Notification of acceptance (including travel grants)
August 10th, 2019Registration closes
September 2nd, 2019Workshop and tutorial day
September 3rd-4th, 2019Main symposium


This is the third in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. In 2019, the focus will be on “Polarization and Radicalization” (Zurich, 2019). In the previous two years, the focus was  “Inequality and Imbalance” (London, 2017) and “Bias and Discrimination” (Cologne, 2018).

With these three events we provide a platform to address one of the most pressing challenges in today’s digital society: understanding the role that digital technologies, the Web, and the algorithms used therein play in the mediation and creation of inequalities, discrimination and polarization.

By addressing inequality as the topical issue for the symposium series we intend to explore how CSS can contribute to opening up new ways of thinking about, of measuring, detecting and coping with social inequality, discrimination, and polarization. We will discuss how divides and inequalities are proliferated in digital society, how social cleavages can be observed via web data, how the organizational structure of the web itself generates biases and inequality, and how, in contrast, algorithms and computational tools might help to reduce discrimination and inequality. We will also investigate how bias and unequal social structures foster political tension and polarization, including issues of radicalization and hate.

The Symposium series is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.




Details will be announced in autumn 2019. To stay informed you are invited to join our Computational Social Science Network (Google Group).








Call for Abstracts

We welcome submissions in the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences, including (a) new approaches for understanding social phenomena and addressing societal challenges, (b) improving methods for computational social science, (c) and understanding the influence of the Web and digital technologies on society.

For the 3rd Symposium we are especially interested in the following four main topics:

I. misinformation and censorship
(including political tension, upheaval and disrupt; public sphere in the digital age; social media as alternative communication channels; information leakage; whistleblowing)

II. discourse polarization and echo chambers
(including discourse radicalization; effects of filter bubbles; online and offline radicalization; diffusion of information)

III. online and offline group formation
(including global, national and local network structures; effects of weak and strong ties in contemporary and historic societies; mobilization patterns)

IV. political polarization and populism
(including political networks and party politics; detection of radicalization and deradicalization; political campaigning)

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: April 10, 2019
Acceptance notification: June 10, 2019
Conference days: September 3rd and 4th, 2019

Submission Guidelines:

Extended abstracts should be submitted in English and in pdf format [here]

Submissions should be abstracts of approx. 2-3 pages (up to 1000 words plus references and figures) summarizing the work to be presented. We encourage researchers to also submit abstracts of work that has already been published and/or submit work in progress. Please give a sufficiently detailed description of your work and your methods so we can adequately assess its relevance. Please consider that reviewers will be from an interdisciplinary community.

Each extended abstract will be reviewed by a Program Committee composed of experts in computational social science. Accepted submissions will be non-archival, i.e. there are no proceedings. Submissions will mostly be evaluated based on relevance and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions. Submissions may be accepted as talks or posters.



Call for Workshop and Tutorials

Workshops will give the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with a selected focus, providing an excellent forum for exploring emerging approaches and task areas and bridging the gaps between the social science and technology fields.

Tutorials will be an opportunity for cross-disciplinary engagement and a deeper understanding of new tools, techniques, and research methodologies. Tutorials should provide either an in-depth look at an emerging technique or software package or a broad summary of an important direction in the field.

Members of all segments of the social media research community are encouraged to submit proposals. To foster interaction and exchange of ideas, the workshops will be kept small, with 30 participants maximum.

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: March 10, 2019
Acceptance notification: March 30, 2019
Workshops and tutorials day: September 2nd, 2019

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit your workshop or tutorial proposal by sending a PDF file via email to

Proposals for workshops and tutorials should be no more than three (3) pages in length (10pt, single column, with reasonable margins), written in English, and should contain the following:

a) A concise title
b) The names, affiliations, and contact information of the organizers
c) Planned duration of the event (half-day or full-day meeting)
d) A short abstract describing the scope and main objective of the event
e) A description of the proposed event format and a detailed list of proposed activities

Workshops and tutorials will be selected based on the following criteria:

1) Timeliness of the topic
2) Potential to attract the interest of researchers in computer science and social/organizational sciences
3) Promotion of activities that are different from the classic mini-conference format; those include challenges, games, interactive sessions, brainstorming and networking.
4) Involvement people of different backgrounds in the organizing committee
5) Addressing topics at the intersection of different disciplines



The symposium will take place in Zurich, Switzerland in 2019. More details will be announced in 2019.

Travel Grants

Due to the generous funding by Volkswagen Foundation we are able to offer a limited number of travel grants to researchers whose submissions are accepted for the symposium (presenters of talks or posters at the main symposium, workshop or tutorial organizers).

Travel grant recipients will be selected based on academic excellence, financial needs and diversity (e.g. gender, geographical and disciplinary diversity).

To apply for a travel grant please send an email with the subject “Travel Grant” to including the following information: a) your submission number in EasyChair or the title of your submitted workshop/tutorial, b) your contact details, c) your motivation for the grant application and d) whether you will still attend the symposium without a travel grant.

Travel grants will be awarded as lump sums, the amount to be awarded will be based on the country of the awardee’s affiliation.
Grants will be paid out after the conference.

The grants aim to especially support attendees with limited travel resources and attendees from countries where computational social science is not yet well established. We acknowledge that there may be more meritorious applications than we will be able to award and support.

Deadline for travel grant applications is April 10th, 2019 (for all submission types). Late applications cannot be considered.













Organizing Team

+49 (0221) 47694-254


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