International symposium "Mountain regions, territories of innovation"

Call of proposals : International symposium « Mountain regions, territories of innovation » 11 to 13 january at Cité des Territoires, Université Grenoble-Alpes (FRANCE)


What does the future hold for mountain regions, bearing in mind that they are first in line faced with changes in climate and in the relationships between societies and nature? New opportunities are opening up in the midst of today's diversity of aspirations and the resource crisis. Transitions, alternatives, reproduction, normalisation, marginalisation: these multiple paths cannot merely be reduced to crisis philosophies or trivialisation. Rather, they prompt us to observe how the endogenous and exogenous processes of change and adaptation are transforming mountain regions, from the perspective of both the environment and that of organisations, or in terms of meanings and symbolic values: what role in innovation at the local and regional levels (and their links)? Which meanings and visions of the mountain are at issue in the light of change? And what kind of territories emerge from these transitions? 

The question of mountain specificity looms in the background behind these different points. Is this relationship with the environment special in terms of constraints, vulnerabilities or resources? The diverse possible responses involve the status of mountain regions in this changing society: can this former peripheral area become an area of alternative development? This position engages the territoriality of individuals and societies, real or imagined, ideological or emotional. Mountain specificity also harks back to the natural environment: does climate change take on a particular form in this context? Does it have a greater impact on peripheral areas given the phenomena associated with slopes, gravity or water movement? Could the public interest which the mountain represents in this instance turn into a global threat for downstream regions? 

Mid-way through an extensive multidisciplinary research programme, LabEx Innovation and Mountain Territories seeks to explore and debate these questionings, and to open its fields of study and its topics to a theoretical and empirical confrontation. Indeed, beyond merely having knowledge about the dynamics of these unique sites, at issue is understanding what they tell us about the spatial aspect of change processes.

Call of proposals

Proposals will be selected following a dual assessment in consideration of the following: originality of the subject matter, quality of the argument developed, theoretical and methodological significance, and potential for comparison. We encourage presentations that place territories into perspective and compare them with other equally sensitive and vulnerable territories in the face of global change: coastal territories, insular territories, sparsely-populated territories, extreme climates, etc.

Papers may also adopt methodological or theoretical perspectives, for example on research practices and methods. Furthermore, the integrated approach called for by the territory and the understanding of relationships between human and environmental transformations require the use of multi or interdisciplinary procedures and the introduction of new observation systems. Papers may thus consider the epistemological consequences of the analysis of territorial transformation, and discuss tools, initiatives and innovative methods. 


Papers may be held in English or French. Paper proposals should be written in the same language and registered exclusively on event's website. (

Proposals should be between 3500 and 5000 characters (excluding bibliography). 

Schedule of the call

1st step

  • Submission of paper proposals no later than 27 June 2016 ; exclusively via the event website.

  • Notification to authors will be given electronically in mid- September 2016.

2nd step

  • Submission before October 31, 2016 by a summary in French and English (between 800 and 1000 characters, including spaces) that will be incorporated in the program and distributed at the opening of the symposium.

The accepted papers will be filed in the HAL UGA – LabEx ITEM open archives. The value of works will be highlighted through their publication (with a selection of papers) in thematic review issues (for certain sessions) or in the LabEx electronic review entitled "Les carnets du LabEx ITEM" / "LabEx ITEM logs".

List of thematic sessions

Workshops and thematic sessions are open to further explore certain issues. They are not exclusive ; proposals for papers may or may not be featured. 

Frase Negra