Third Critical European Studies (CES) workshop, University of Greenwich (UK), 18-19 June

The workshop follows previous CES workshops held at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (2015) and at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2014), put together with the support of CPERN scholars. This year, additional support is generously provided by AkE/AkG,  BISA-IPEG and Greenwich University Business School. The workshop provides a forum for scholars and activists to meet and discuss critical theoretical and empirical perspectives on the configuration of European capitalism, the EU and political resistance. This year’s workshop will focus on Europe’s many crises (economic, social, political, ecological, geopolitical) and their consequences, as well as the potential and challenges for resistance, particularly through education and academia. The themes discussed will include forms of dispossession and punitive mechanisms under neoliberalism; challenges to class compromises and social reproduction; and the crises of Europe understood in relation to ‘the rest of the world’, for instance focusing on the migrants’ crisis.

The workshop is open to all scholars and activists interested in critical perspectives on European issues. It is free of charge but registration is required. See the full programme below.

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Call for Papers – Mid-term conference: (Conflicting) Political Ontologies and Implications for Transformative Action

CPERN in collaboration with the Institute of Labour Studies, Ljubljana:  (Conflicting) Political Ontologies and Implications for Transformative Action  

27-28th of May 2016, Department of Sociology, University of Ljubljana

Ontology is often overlooked in discussions about political thought and action. Several emerging debates reflect different and conflicting positions that are often either assumed, invisible or intentionally opaque. Breaking down the apparent barriers between philosophy and theory and theory and action, we welcome discussions on ontologies of power and transformative action. Critical realists have long demanded that ontology be taken seriously and have encouraged discussions on how ‘reality’ conditions action. New materialist and anti- and post-capitalist debates tease out the assumptions across Marxism and poststructuralism, and demand new ways of thinking about specific thought formations, ethical and moral frameworks. The current crisis has forced us to think, explore, and practice multiple ways of organising, resisting and building prefigurative practices. Understanding ontology not only as a philosophical standpoint but also as a myriad of calls for action will allow us to understand how people organise and what motivates us to do so/prevents us from doing so, and to initiate new ways of communicating and reflecting on our own ontological praxis.

We are keen to receive paper proposals which focus on exploring political and social ontologies for transformative action. Some of the topics we would like to invite in particular are:

  • Ontologies of capitalist spheres of production, trade and finance
  • Ontologies of praxis in trade unions, social movements and new Left political parties/platforms
  • Anarchism, feminism, new materialism and Marxism – ontological friends or foes?
  • The materialities of ecological challenges
  • The political economy of migration and human trafficking
  • Building tomorrow’s future today (with yesterday’s historical conditions) – Prefigurative practice and its relationship to time, space and capitalism
  • Damaged lives, intensified precarisation and horizontalist escapes
  • Reclaiming the Caliban and the Witch: social reproduction as a source of value-creation  

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CPERN (RN06) at the 12th ESA Conference

Critical Political Economy Research Network (RN06) @ the 12th Conference of European Sociological Association, Prague, 25-28 August 2015.

The programme for the CPERN sessions at the ESA conference in Prague is available. We’re delighted that the network has attracted such an exciting range of papers, and triggered such interesting discussions throughout the conference.

The CPERN business meeting also took place in Prague on Wednesday 26 August.

**Deadline Extended** CfP: Re-Imagining Class – Materialities of Resistance, State Power and the Commons | 2015 ESA conference

**New Deadline: 15th February**

The Critical Political Economy research network is inviting paper and panel submissions for our sessions on ‘Re-Imagining Class – Materialities of Resistance, State Power and the Commons’ at the 2015 ESA conference in Prague, 25-28 August.

Please find the CfP below. Deadline for submissions is 15 February 2015.

We hope that you will find this Call interesting – please also share with colleagues and students who might not be part of the CPERN community yet! We welcome the submission of individual papers, but also panel suggestions.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this Call, or the conference in general.

Many thanks and all best wishes,

The CPERN board: Angela Wigger, Mònica Clua Losada, Jamie Jordan, Andrew Morton and Laura Horn

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CPERN mid-term conference programme, 12/13 September, University of Vienna

Crisis, Resistance and Rights: Critical Political Economy Perspectives

Thursday 11 September

Drinks from around 19.00 onwards at Cafe Kollektiv Gagarin (Garnisongasse 24, 1090 Vienna)

Friday 12 September

8.30

Welcome by local hosts and CPERN

Welcome by Ulrich Brand and Johannes Jäger on behalf of the local organizing team
Laura Horn on behalf of CPERN

9.00-10.30

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Call for Papers – Mid-term conference: Crisis, Resistance and Rights: Critical Political Economy Perspectives

Crisis, Resistance and Rights: Critical Political Economy Perspectives

12-13 September 2014, University of Vienna

The current crisis reveals one of capitalism’s key contradictions: the relationship between rights, the state and society. Giving primacy to austerity politics, governments appear unable to guarantee basic rights vis-à-vis market forces. These developments constitute fundamental challenges to social reproduction. Governments have for example been pro-active in protecting banks’ rights in foreclosures and housing evictions at the expense of people’s right to housing, or imposed labour reforms marking a retreat of labour rights and rights to decent work. Similar trends can be observed with respect to welfare rights, the right to education, the right to water or democratic rights that go beyond ballot boxes, such as the right to protest and claim public spaces. Of particular importance here is also the political ecology dimension, with a focus on the financialisation of nature, enclosure of commons, and the green economy as a new hegemonic project. Resistance movements and civil society organisations/groups increasingly challenge private property rights and demand collective socio-economic and human rights. Academic discussions of rights have long been a prerequisite of liberal political philosophy and received little attention from critical scholars.  What can scholars in law, political economy, political science and sociology contribute to a critical understanding of rights? How does an emancipatory conception of rights look like? What are common rights, and/or rights to commons?  How could such conceptions add to a critical understanding of crisis and resistance?

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