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Dynamic equilibrium: experiencing paradoxes in a complex world

L’équilibre dynamique : vivre les paradoxes dans un monde complexe

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Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2021


The SARS-CoV2 crisis is revealing the fragility of our physical, mental, social, political, and societal equilibria. The Confluence Sciences and Humanities Journal is inviting researchers from various disciplinary fields to submit an original article which will be published in November 2022. In this issue, new approaches and methods for managing paradoxes will be questioned, in particular in a context of crisis (health crisis, changes related to the implementation of digital technologies, etc.).


Supported by the UCLy Research Center, the journal is at the confluence of life sciences and human and social sciences. The diversity of disciplines and units to which its committee members belong reflects its multidisciplinary and international ambition. It is committed to exploring unique scientific objects by promoting cross-disciplinary perspectives.


The COVID crisis, by questioning the balances to achieve between the protection of health and the guarantee of liberties, the growth of human activities and the respect of natural equilibria, appears to have upended our reference system. In fact, it is merely another illustration of the dynamic equilibrium which seemingly must guide living things in order to ensure their perenniality through their adaptability, in a context that is ontologically permeated with paradoxical tensions. In particular, these tensions arise from the encounter of the paradoxical needs and desires of the various entities involved (cells, environment, people, social body, companies, etc.), and generated by their interactions: everywhere and for everything, belonging to a system made of both complementary and interdependent relations leads to continuous adjusting, between harmony and compromise, chaos and stability, reason and justice, so as to preserve the stability of the whole system.

The simultaneous progress of individualism and globalization on the one hand, and the advances in knowledge and mastery of living things on the other hand, intensify existing paradoxical tensions and cause new ones to emerge.

Researchers are therefore encouraged to think of new approaches/methods to manage these paradoxes, among which the use of tools from new digital technologies seems to hold a prominent role.  More than ever, we evolve in a world that is infinitely complex, changing, fragile, and which requires to be able to identify areas of conflict, to create means to define and maintain a dynamic equilibrium within the system in question in order to contain the paradoxical tension without yet rejecting it, as it greatly contributes to its richness.

Therefore, as opposed to a static equilibrium, artificially fixed and bound to cause ruptures through its inability to adapt to the system’s complexity, other forms of balances should be examined: changing, dynamic, precarious by definition, but whose precariousness appears as the condition safeguarding the system’s perenniality. For this paradox of unstable equilibrium to be mastered, it will be necessary to identify and perhaps protect the movement’s intention and its trajectory, which will act as a guideline: beyond the apparent chaos, how dynamic equilibria are built, between serendipity and the assertion of common objectives and common values, should be determined. 

The contributions for this second issue of the CONFLUENCE Sciences & Humanities Journal may address one of the following three points (or combine them):

1- Reflection on the concept of dynamic equilibrium in human sciences and on the imperative to maintain paradoxes: some studies could highlight how simultaneously opposing logics are apprehended, verbalized and understood, or even “taken advantage of” for certain actors, in particular organizational situations or paradoxical areas. The description of phenomena involves requests/attitudes which are simultaneously conflicting (paradoxes) or reveal a need to find a balance between choices/situations seen as dilemmas. These phenomena may concern different levels: societal, organizational, individual. The studies could focus on identifying paradoxical situations and areas while questioning the simultaneously conflicting needs they highlight. The articles could focus on the tensions these paradoxical situations create for society, organizations, and individuals.

2- Implication of the equilibrium criteria in dilemmas or paradoxes: the search for balance involves a dynamic, an instability. The studies could examine the existence and utility of tools to look for an equilibrium, at times dynamic between conflicting expectations. Some studies could highlight the choice of a temporary equilibrium. The authors could question the need (or lack thereof) for an equilibrium to this paradoxical state, transforming the paradox into a dilemma (a choice between polarities may be considered).

3- Perspectives to understand paradoxical tensions: research may be carried out on the stakes and intentions explaining or justifying the choice of a given dynamic to support a paradoxical tension. Furthermore, a prospective analysis of emerging areas of tension (environment, technologies, health risks in particular) can be offered to anticipate their dynamic management guided by common objectives. Reflections on the possible dynamics/evolutions of paradoxical tensions could be offered, for example taking into account the notions of ecosystem or temporality of paradoxes. Some studies could also address the notions of order and disorder.

Issue coordinators

  • Marjolaine Monot Fouletier : Professor of Public Law, CONFLUENCE Sciences & Humanities Research Center, UCLy
  • Anne-Sophie Thélisson : Lecturer in Management Sciences, CONFLUENCE Sciences & Humanities Research Center, UCLy

Submission and review conditions

The submissions (up to 40,000 characters) may be written in English, in French, or in any of the following languages: Spanish, Italian, or German. They may originate from various scientific disciplines (environment and life sciences, human and social sciences, etc.).

They will be subjected to a double-blind review, according to the procedure specified on the journal’s website.

The instructions to authors and the rules pertaining to the journal’s, the reviewers’ and the authors’ scientific integrity are available in the same link.



  • Call start: September 17, 2021
  • Submission deadline: December 15, 2021

  • Selection of articles and initial feedback to the authors: February 2022
  • Issue publication: November 2022


  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021


  • SARS-CoV2, covid, paradoxe, équilibre, société, dynamique, technologie, crise


  • Elena Defay-Thibaud
    courriel : revueconfluence [at] univ-catholyon [dot] fr

Information source

  • Elena Defay-Thibaud
    courriel : revueconfluence [at] univ-catholyon [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Dynamic equilibrium: experiencing paradoxes in a complex world », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, https://calenda.org/912419

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