152 Accounting Historians Journal, June 1999
CALL FOR PAPERS
Accounting in Crises
The contemporary purpose, character and perceptions of a particular craft are
often illuminated and elucidated when its pursuit is implicated in a crisis.
Social scientists have often considered that the functioning of a technique
together with the values and relationships which surround its practice, are
most observable when its deficiencies are located as the source of a calamitous
event. Discourses also surface when practices are impacted upon by exogenous
adversities. Accounting historians have recognised that change in accounting
practice and regulation has often been instigated by high profile failures,
frauds and ensuing litigation. The role of accounting has also been made visible
when the discipline and its practitioners have been perceived as repositories
of possible solutions to problems which have emerged during periods of
severe economic and military crisis. Total war, for example, has been a catalyst
for considerable change in the accounting profession and cost accounting.
These changes, in turn, have had consequences for wider organisational and
social functioning. The inter-war depression saw accounting feature in the
search for solutions to a crisis of capitalism. The nature of accounting and the
vocation has also been laid bare at times of crisis within the discipline itself.
The object of this special issue of Accounting History is to focus on crisis and
change and on crisis and making accounting visible in contemporary contexts.
Submissions are sought which explore themes such as:
• The impact of particular crises on accounting development and its
• Crisis, identity and legitimacy in accounting
• Crisis and causality in accounting history
• Crisis and continuity in accounting history
• Crisis and opportunity in accounting
• Crisis and revelations of the functioning of accounting
• The profession and the management crises.
The above list is not intended to be exhaustive and contributions are encouraged
which examine accounting in crises in a variety of times and locales. This
special issue will appear in November 2000. Submitted papers will be refereed
in the usual way.
Submissions (three copies) should be forwarded by 1 February 2000 to:
Stephen P. Walker
Department of Accounting and Business Method
University of Edinburgh
50 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9JY