IAMCR 2013 - Communication and HIV/AIDS and Health Communication and Change Working Groups - Call for Papers

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been fore-warning about the effects of the economic crisis on the global health care system and delivery mechanisms. Since the economic crisis deepens social inequalities, it is necessary to ensure that health remain equally accessible to all. However, many countries are trying to protect their own national economies, at the expense of the health care system if necessary. Ensuring access to health and promoting the right to health, in the context of the crisis conditions will therefore require negotiation between social actors, economic systems, and commitment from local, national, and international actors.

In low-income countries, the impact of the crisis is being felt through reduced demand for exports, tighter access to capital, less foreign direct investment and falling remittances. Consequent unemployment too often comes with no protective safety net. As incomes fall, public sector services become the more favoured source of health care at the very time that government revenues to finance them are under greatest pressure.

Many high-income countries with ageing populations have been positioning themselves for anticipated increases in spending on health and pensions. Several are in the process of undertaking complex and politically challenging reforms. We must be concerned when we see evidence that plans to set aside resources and create the fiscal space to address the future health needs of the elderly are being shelved as the crisis deepens. As a result, developed nations have cut short the funds earmarked for health research as part of the austerity measures. The impact has been felt across health systems, from research to service provision, at global and local levels.

Call for Papers

Against this backdrop, the working groups jointly invite papers for the Annual IAMCR Conference to be held at Dublin City University, Ireland from June 25-29, 2013, that engage with how communication processes and research in the context of health and HIV/AIDS are being affected by the current economic crisis and its various manifestations, asking: how do political-economic dynamics manifest themselves in health policies, communication and research practices? We invite papers on (but not limited to) the following areas:

Impact of specific ingredients of the new economic landscape on policy making in relation to health.

  • The implications of differential access to health-related information for citizenship.
  • The moral status and significance of health communication/promotion in the context of tighter budgets and funder agendas.
  • Assessing and evaluating the policy-impact of uncertainties and gaps in the evidentiary basis in an evolving new economic landscape.
  • The transformative potential of online and social media in the area of health.
  • The role of health journalism in the context of increasing influence of economic imperatives in health and media spheres.
  • The social, political and economic underpinnings and effects of the circulation of biomedical knowledge and research.

Papers on the ethical dimensions of health communication practices, research ethics and how scholars and practitioners negotiate the ethical aspects of their work will be of interest for the groups. This could include dealing with issues encountered in fieldwork to interpreting and disseminating findings to trying to translate findings into policy and practice, while complicated by tight budgets and constraints arising in responses to the financial crisis.

We also encourage research that looks at the dynamics of citizen-state relations in the context of public health and the relations between material inequalities and the construction and circulation of discourses on public health. In line with the conference sub-themes we also encourage papers engaging with how online and social media, and the increasing influence of economic factors in the health and medical field, are reshaping how health information is produced, circulated and received and with what implications for access and citizenship.

We encourage papers from multiple disciplinary perspectives and are particularly interested in qualitative approaches and critical theoretical contributions. Individual papers, posters and panel sessions are possible. The sessions of the working groups will be organised to suit emerging themes from submitted abstracts. It will also consider the implications of researchers’ work for theory and practice in health and HIV/AIDS communication.

Logistics & Deadlines

Individuals may submit 1 abstract (paper) per Section or Working Group as lead author, and a maximum of 2 abstracts (papers) to a single IAMCR conference in general. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to other Sections or Working Groups of the Association for consideration, after an initial submission. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be automatically rejected by the Open Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Referee. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Upon submission of an abstract, you will be asked to confirm that your submission is original and that it has not been previously published in the form presented. You will also be given an opportunity to declare if your submission is currently before another conference for consideration.

Abstracts or panel proposals should include: the name(s) of author(s) and professional title(s); institutional affiliation; and e-mail address/contact information. Due to scheduling considerations, a limited number of panels will be accepted.

The deadline for submission of abstracts (between 300 and 500 words in length) is January 28, 2013. Please note that this deadline will not be extended. All abstract submissions must be made centrally via the IAMCR Open Conference System (OCS) at http://iamcr-ocs.org. The system will open on November 15, 2012, and will close on January 28, 2013. Early submission is strongly encouraged.

You will be informed whether or not your abstract is accepted by 28 February, 2013. The deadline for full paper submission is 28 May, 2013.

Abstract Submission

All abstract submissions must be made centrally via the Open Conference System (OCS) at http://iamcr-ocs.org There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

If you have trouble with the online submission process or questions related to this call for papers, please contact the co-chairs of the working group. Please CC the co-chairs of the Communication and HIV/AIDS Working Group and the Health, Communication and Change Working Group:

Sarah Cardey:  
s.p.cardey [at] reading.ac.uk

Ravindra Kumar Vemula:     
ravindrakumar [at] efluniversity.ac.in

Nanna Engebretsen:
nanna.engebretsen [at] hil.no

Marjan De Bruin:
marjan.debruin [at] uwimona.edu.jm

Kate Holland:
kate.holland [at] canberra.edu.au

Please note that if your abstract is accepted, you may be called upon to facilitate or moderate one of the working group sessions.