CfP: CPE-RN Conference – ‘The “Critical” in “Critical Political Economy”’. Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September 2012, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

‘The “Critical” in “Critical Political Economy”’. Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September 2012, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.

To be ‘critical’ in one’s work is a common rhetorical aspect of political economy research, especially in the post-2007 world. However, what ‘critical’ refers to, and the implications of being ‘critical’, are frequently neglected or left unclear. For example, does it entail: the promotion of normative commitments in one’s work; the highlighting of previously ignored/neglected topics or aspects of the world; the unravelling of taken-for-granted assumptions in a text; the attempt to take inspiration from different social science disciplines; or the support for particular ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies? Or should we consider broader issues as well, such as: the changing nature and role of Higher Education in contemporary societies; the relationship between academia and wider society; participation in social and political movements, such as Occupy; and attempts to reform government policies in a more progressive direction?

This two-day conference in Barcelona seeks to explore these issues in an open, honest and reflexive manner. We are interested in all of the above plus more, and wish for the conference to cover a wide range of topics. As such, we seek contributions from those with an interest in political economy research, regardless of their disciplinary affiliation and whether they are in academia or not. We also hope to attract a diverse range of participants, from a number of countries and backgrounds. To this end, limited funds will be available for assisting PhD researchers who present a paper – especially those from Central and Eastern Europe – with their travel and accommodation costs.

Introducing the conference will be Mònica Clua-Losada, Visiting Professor in Public and Social Policy in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. This will be followed by a plenary address by Professor Vicenç Navarro, Professor in Public Policy at John Hopkins University and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and the Director of the Social Observatory of Spain.

The conference language will be English, and there is no fee for attending and participating in the conference. However, as a network formally affiliated with the ESA, we encourage those participating in the conference to: (i) join our mailing list through the above URL; and (ii) consider becoming a member of the ESA, through which for a small supplementary fee one can affiliate with CPERN and therefore support its present and future activities.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted to by no later than Wednesday 25 April 2012. The applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision by no later than Wednesday 9 May 2012.