Call for Papers

Homeless, helpless, hopeless? Taking Stock of (Un)successful Approaches to End Homelessness in Advanced Democracies

Deadline: October 1st, 2023

According to estimates by the Foundation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA, some 700.000 people face homelessness every day or night in the European Union, representing a 70% increase in ten years. Similarly, the National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that in the U.S. increases in homelessness has seen an annual growth of six percent since 2017, while also the Canadian statistics on homelessness are ›visibly on the rise‹. But not only is the sheer number of people experiencing homelessness in advanced democracies concerning. Ever more vulnerable groups such as the elderly, disabled, women, families, and even children are without a home, thus facing severe poverty, social exclusion, and a much higher-than-average risk of experiencing violence, health hazards, or even death. Likewise, many migrants and members of ethnic minorities are affected by restrictive social policies and face discriminatory practices in the labour and housing markets, expediting pathways into homelessness. In light of these concerning trends and statistics, the European Union and national governments alike have pledged to end homelessness by 2030, which necessitates mobilizing all relevant stakeholders and identifying good practices that sustainably help persons experiencing homelessness.

For our upcoming workshop, we invite papers that, for instance, explore structural causes of the rise in homelessness on a socio-economic basis; or papers that hone in on (new or improved) practices that effectively address the problem; or papers that critically interrogate existing approaches to homelessness and thus highlight how and why policies tend to be ineffective, inefficient, or even harmful to users. The idea of latter is that we can learn just as much from what not to do, as we can from what works at preventing homelessness, providing social protection to people experiencing homelessness, or effectively and sustainably ending spells of homelessness. As this conference targets an academic audience, the papers should develop thorough theoretical perspectives, for instance – but not exclusively – by engaging with questions of power, resilience or emancipation, or are sensitive to aspects of (socially constructed) categories such as class, race, ethnicity, gender, body, disability, or age. Comparative papers are particularly welcome.

The publication of the conference papers in an edited volume is planned. The conference hosts have already been in contact with Edward Elgar and will submit a book proposal after receipt and selection of abstracts. Full drafts of papers are expected to be circulated at least one week prior to the conference. Revised papers to be published in the edited volume will be due three months after the conference. Some financial assistance for presenters without their own, or insufficient, travel funds may be possible. Please identify financial needs when submitting the abstract.

Please submit abstracts no longer than 400 words by October 1, 2023 to Timo.Weishaupt(at)​​Christian.Hinrichs(at), and Jan.Weckwerth(at)