Geneva report

Dear all,

The Critical Political Research Network sessions at the 10th European Sociological Association conference took place from 8-10 September 2011, and were a great success. Based on the theme ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’, our panels attracted an average of 20-25 people per panel, and generated discussions that ranged across different parts of the conference. In addition, the composition of the presenters was the broadest yet, with 16 countries represented, and there was a very healthy range of presenters, from MA level up to Professor.Thanks very much to the contributors and participants at the ESA conference: it seemed to go very well, and we were especially pleased with the interest our panels generated – in terms of both the size of the audience and the questions and conversations that the presentations provoked.

For those of you who were unable to attend this meeting, our next event will be hosted by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, hopefully in autumn 2012. The dates are not fixed, though, and again we will send messages to the CPERN mailing list once this has been resolved. Secondly, we had an excellent discussion regarding the possible theme of the UPF conference. A consensus seemed to form around foregrounding the ‘critical’ in ‘critical political economy’, which would encompass both conceptual reflection on the purpose of critical research, the concrete themes and topics that critical research should be addressing at the moment (labour, immigration, capitalism ‘moving East’, etc.), and the social purpose of critical research in terms of its impact on policies, social struggles, etc.

The board elected at the Business Meeting was:

Chair: Ian Bruff (University of Manchester, UK)
Vice-chair: Laura Horn (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Secretary: Mònica Clua-Losada (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain)

Many thanks to Jan Drahokoupil (University of Mannheim) for all of his hard work over the past 6 years, from founding the network to being its chair from 2005-9, to being a member of the board until now. He is now on our International Advisory Board, along with Bastiaan van Apeldoorn (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Dorothee Bohle (Central European University, Hungary), Jan Drahokoupil (University of Mannheim, Germany), Eva Hartmann (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Martijn Konings (University of Sydney, Australia), Magnus Ryner (Oxford Brookes University, UK), and Susanne Soederberg (Queen’s University, Canada).

The next CPERN event will be announced in the coming months; watch this space!

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