(Digital) capitalism, trade wars and bubble economies: Reclaiming critical political economy in dystopian times

Call for Papers – deadline extended to 15 Feb 2019

The next Critical Political Economy Research Network (CPERN) event will be the CPERN (RN06) stream at the European Sociological Association Conference 2019.


(Digital) capitalism, trade wars and bubble economies: Reclaiming critical political economy in dystopian times (RN06)

14th European Sociological Association (ESA) Conference, 20-23 August 2019, Manchester, UK.

Current times appear dystopian. The rise of the populist right and neo-fascist movements and parties seems to overshadow the prospect for progressive alternatives. The aftermath of the global economic crisis has brought with it prolonged neoliberal restructuring, authoritarianism and heightened inequality. Trade wars, nationalism and closed borders seem to generate more hope than visions of global solidarity. Natural resources continue to be exhausted and climate change proceeds unabated. Quantitative easing – the one ‘solution’ to the last crisis – has only re-inflated the global financial bubble, and created the prospect for the next impending crisis to be greater than witnessed heretofore. All this at a time when digital technologies should be offering a major advance in human capacity; but instead seem only to result in fear of a world without employment.

These dystopian times therefore demand a critical political economy that at once diagnoses the crises that we face, delineates the social structures which have produced them, but also points towards alternatives that are grounded in a utopian vision for making a better world possible.

We invite scholars and activists from the broad spectrum of critical political economy, including scholars with Marxist, feminist, ecologist, postcolonial, labour- and social-movement perspectives, as well as scholars with critical approaches to finance, trade and investment; to reclaim the field of critical political economy, and to advance a form of knowledge that can contribute towards the politicisation and acceleration of social struggles, and transformative praxis.

We especially (but not exclusively) invite abstracts on the following topics:

  • Finance, debt, bubbles, and critical theories of money
  • Theorising critical political economy: Beyond mainstream, heterodox and/or post-Keynesian economics?
  • Rising trade protectionism: A welcome reversal of globalisation?
  • Capitalist production and value chains in the digital age
  • Authoritarian neoliberalism, coercion and the disciplining of labour
  • The role of trade unions, social movements and new left political parties/platforms
  • Anarchism, feminism, new materialism and Marxism – building alternatives from horizontalist escape-routes?
  • The materialities of ecological challenges: The political economy of migration
  • Damaged lives, intensified precarisation and the rise of inequalities
  • The question of social reproduction: commodification, cooperation, or mutual aid?

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 scholars and activists 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 variety of countries and backgrounds.

Notes for contributors

Deadline for submissions: extended to 15 February 2019

Abstracts should not exceed 275 words. Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in March 2019.

Abstract submission deadline: extended to 15 February 2019. Conference website and abstract submission platform:  https://www.europeansociology.org/abstract-submission-now-open

Make sure you submit to the correct stream: RN06.

If you have any questions regarding this Call, or the conference in general, feel free to contact a.wigger@fm.ru.nl or d.j.bailey@bham.ac.uk.