Research Committee 51 (ISA-RC51)

The Research Committee 51 (ISA-RC51) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) is one of the more than fifty Research Committees which, along with a large number of national sociological associations, constitute the ISA.

The RC51 is oriented to promote the systemic perspective in the social sciences through sociocybernetics. This perspective integrates the general theory of systems, the cybernetics of first and second-order, and complexity sciences, with the aim to address complex social problems.


IV Forum: Challenges of the 21st Century: Democracy, Environment, Inequalities, Intersectionality


The ISA Executive Committee has decided to postpone the IV ISA Forum of Sociology in Porto Alegre until February 23-27, 2021.

All activities that have been prepared will be maintained and the abstract selected for the Forum in July 2020 remain valid for the Forum in February 2021. We have set a new calendar that allows Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups to update and re-open some of their panels. A new call for abstracts will open.

October 16-25, 2020: RC/WG/TG publish Calls for new abstracts
October 26 – November 12, 2020: Submission of new abstracts via online platform
December 15, 2020: Presenters final registration deadline

We hope you will join us in Porto Alegre for this 2021 ISA Forum of Sociology that will be a unique opportunity to learning from colleagues from all continents and sharing analyses of the crisis, its social impacts and the world that will emerge out of it.

The pandemic era: Observations and Reflections from a Sociocybernetics Perspective
July 14 -16, 2020

Conference Booklet (PDF document)


Conference Sessions

Day 1 - Introducing sociocybernetics: widening systemic perspectives.

In this first online session, the RC51 Members will introduce basic sociocybernetics ideas, concepts, authors, and tools to a wider audience. More...

Day 2 - COVID-19: A Second order observation

This session focuses on systemic analysis and/or sociocybernetics observations and reflections of COVID-19 around the world. More...

Day 3 – A manifesto for Sociocybernetics 

This is a participatory session, open to all, to discuss the core concepts and methodologies of sociocybernetics. More...

Conference Abstracts

Tackling the question of complexity and truth is not limited to scholars of the social sciences. Ever since the Enlightenment, the quest for truth has been said to be the ultimate duty of historians. Source criticism and hermeneutics are intended to reveal historical facts in light of the infinite dimension of (societal) reality. Nonetheless, historical research is dominated by conflicting narratives. Hence, there is no one truth either at present or in distant memory. For quite some time, scholars from many historical subdisciplines have been striving to combine social-scientific principles and methods with historical research. That is why we aim to initiate an interdisciplinary discussion of how truth is produced in and accepted by different parts of society, different regions of the world, and different historical time periods, which includes functional systems, organizations, and interactions. Thus, we bring together an international group of scholars from the fields of Sociology, Intellectual History, Economic History, and Philosophy, who present their individual views of the concept of complexity and truth.

This special issue address the social construction of truth building on the relevant intersections between the different disciplines.