Regulating Business in Times of Turbulence: Thinking out of the Box for a Sustainable Future - Call for papers

Daughters of Themis: International Network of Female Business Scholars celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2020. Daughters of Themis is a network for scholars in all areas of scholarship pertaining to business, including law, economics, management and administration, political science, sociology and natural sciences. We are pleased to announce a call for papers for our quinquennial Conference.

Deadline for abstract - 29 January 2020

Image may contain: Flower, Flowering plant, Petal, Plant, Pink.

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

The Conference will be held at the Sabanci University Istanbul, on 15 October 2020. The Conference, which will be open to all interested scholars, policy-makers, students and the general public, will be followed by a closed meeting and a social day for members of the network on 16 and 17 October.

Times of turbulence

It has become abundantly clear that we live in times of increasing turbulence. This turbulence is multifaceted and of various origins, which are interconnected and tend to be of a transnational nature. We see political turbulence connected to ecological turbulence, and societal turbulence informed by increasing social inequality within and across countries, raising questions of international distributive justice. Climate change, biodiversity loss and pressure on fresh water with its related ecological, social and economic problems contribute to new forms of migration, with ‘environmental refugees’ a 20th century addition to our vocabulary. An unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and increasing pressure on our planetary boundaries is compromising the quality of life for current and future generations.

Civil society is increasingly demanding a sustainable development: with ‘Fridays for Future’ as one of the most impressive newer examples of the younger generation exerting pressure on policy-makers. On the other hand, however, political changes in a number of countries show a reactionary tendency towards nationalism and populism, rejecting science-based knowledge, in harsh contrast to the transnational nature of the fundamental challenges that we urgently need to resolve.

Business and the grand challenge of our time

Business, as a key player in the global economy, is a part of the problem and will have to be a part of the solution if we are to meet the grand challenge of our time: securing the social foundation for humanity now and in the future, while staying within planetary boundaries. What does this mean for the regulation of businesses? We know that current efforts of regulating business have been inadequate, but how should a sustainability-oriented regulation of business be designed?

To move towards sustainability requires innovate solutions, informed by interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives, in order to achieve a transformation of business from a linear and unsustainable business as usual to one based on circularity and on internalising its environmental, social and economic impacts. We need business to create value in a way that respects human rights and contributes to securing the social basis for people and communities across global value chains. Circularity of business requires more than resource-efficiency and recyclability; the full cycle of products, processes and services of business must be designed and carried out so as to stay within planetary boundaries.

Thought leaders in business are advocating such a transformation, and increasingly, investors and consumers are exerting market pressure towards more sustainable business. We see an emerging shift in social norms, towards a more integrated and holistic thinking. Yet, these positive trends are insufficient in themselves – and new thinking about regulation of business is required.

Regulation, understood as state legislation, cannot alone provide a useful answer to the international and interconnected challenges of the turbulences described. Lack of legal compliance and various forms of cross-border regulatory evasion undermines the predominantly national regulation of business, which even if complied with fully, would not be sufficient for the necessary transformation to sustainable business. A broader understanding of regulation is called for, including social norms, markets pressure, and the physical world, both natural and manufactured, including financial technology, as regulatory modalities. This is in itself a call not only for legal scholars but also for business scholars from across disciplines to engage in a ‘thinking-out-of-the box’ analysis of the regulation of business.

Thinking out of the box for a sustainable future: call for abstracts and posters

The call aims to engage female business scholars to discuss new ways to regulate business – in the broader meaning of regulation described above – for a sustainable future.

The conference is open to all members of Daughters of Themis – and we welcome new members: anyone identifying as a female business scholar, i.e. undertaking research concerning business, in any discipline or across disciplines, may submit their membership application through this online form. We especially encourage scholars from low-income countries, of diverse backgrounds and in all levels of academia to apply.


We invite current and prospective new members from around the world and from various disciplines (and working across disciplines) to submit proposals for papers within or across relevant themes. Examples of such themes are listed below:

  • The role of finance in sustainability
  • Theoretical approaches to the nature of the firm
  • The role of company law and corporate governance
  • Breaking down the barriers between disciplines
  • Mainstream and alternative forms of business
  • Business models for a sustainable circular economy
  • Internalising negative externalities of business
  • Regulating global value chains
  • Institutions, business and regulatory capture

Abstract should be written in English and be of maximum 500 words.  

Publication of selected papers is envisaged, in a special issue of a high-level journal or an edited volume with a high-level publisher. Please indicate in the comments field when you submit your abstract whether you are interested in having your paper considered for publication, or whether it is already published or planned published elsewhere.


We also invite all members of Daughters of Themis to submit proposals for posters that will be available throughout the conference. The aim is to showcase the work of the members of the Daughters of Themis and to encourage networking and collaboration. The posters can concern project plans as well as ongoing or completed research. Any proposals that engage with the general topic of the event are welcome.

Abstracts for posters should be of maximum 250 words. It is possible to submit both an abstract for a paper and for a poster. Please include information about the double submission in the comments Field.

For accepted posters the author (or one of the authors if it is co-authored) must be available during the Daughters of Themis quinquennial Conference.

Practical information

Important dates

  • The deadline for abstracts (for both papers and posters) is 29 January 2020. Earlier submission is encouraged. Abstracts are to be submitted through this online form.
  • Response will be given by 25 February 2020.
  • Working papers and posters are to be submitted by 30 June 2020. Earlier submission is encouraged.
  • Thursday 15 October 2020: This is the date of the open conference, Regulating Business in Times of Turbulence, where the selected papers will be presented in different plenary sessions with time for questions and discussion with the audience. Posters will be available in an adjacent venue, where coffee breaks, lunch and a drinks reception after the conference will be held.
  • Friday 16 October 2020: Closed meeting for members of Daughters of Themis. More information to follow.
  • Saturday 17 October 2020: Optional social day for members of Daughters of Themis, with sightseeing in Istanbul.

No registration fee – financial hardship possibilities

The organisers are not able generally to offer funds for travel or accommodation. However, no registration fee is charged for conference participants; refreshments and lunch will be provided for all participants, and all presenters will be invited to a conference dinner, free of charge.

Especially with the aim of supporting members from low-income countries, of diverse backgrounds and in junior positions, we anticipate having a (limited) budget available to contribute to travel and accommodation expenses. Any member whose participation would be contingent on such support, is encouraged to submit a brief financial hardship application through the online form when submitting her abstract.

Organising committee

Any questions may be directed to Beate Sjåfjell.

Published Oct. 2, 2019 11:44 AM - Last modified June 8, 2021 10:35 AM