Covid Capitalism: advancing critical political economy, accelerating progressive alternatives

Call for Papers – deadline: 15 February 2021

Abstract submission is OPEN!

Submit your abstract via ConfTool 2021:

The next Critical Political Economy Research Network (CPERN) event will be the CPERN (RN06) stream at the European Sociological Association Conference 2021.

Covid Capitalism: advancing critical political economy, accelerating progressive alternatives (RN06)

European Sociological Association (ESA) Conference in Barcelona, 31 August – 3 September 2021, Barcelona.

The contradictory and destructive tendencies of capitalism have landed the world in the Covid-19 pandemic and saddled it with the worst recession in living memory. More than ever, we need a critical political economy that can both ask questions of, and provide answers to, global capitalism’s doomed project for humanity; while also addressing the failure of conventional social sciences to grasp the complexity of our global crises.

This catastrophic fiasco of productivist capitalism is set against (and reinforces) the backdrop of our broken planetary metabolism.

Global capitalism’s contradictions are now evident to all. They already invoke political, social and economic reactions – albeit in sometimes contradictory forms. From proposals for a Green New Deal to Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, and the Women’s Strike.

In academic and political spheres, alternative epistemologies and praxes are sought, with desperation, frustration and zeal. To transform (re)production processes, we require a rethinking of our economic models. We need alternative models of care to the racialized, sexed, gendered, and classed provisions that crumbled under the COVID context.

Overlapping forms of poverty and indebtedness – including of time, digital resources, fuel, transport, and finance – have combined with unemployment and a lack of healthcare to define a world that can be either won or lost. We see opportunities for both our empancipatory visions and for a far right politics of hate.

It is in this historic opportunity that we seek a critical political economy that will accelerate the momentum of progressive movements and contribute towards the production of an ecosocialist world built on principles of deep sustainability – economic, social and environmental. And in doing so, negate the productivism of capitalism and its intrinsically racialized, sexed and gendered discrimination.

We especially (but not exclusively) invite abstracts on:

  • Theorising Covid capitalism
  • Capitalism and the climate crises
  • Are we there yet? The Greatest Recession to come?
  • Understanding the financial rescue(s), the lack thereof, and the impact of “QE infinity”
  • Alternative epistemologies for alternative political economies
  • Dissent and resistance under Covid Capitalism
  • Gender, sex, care and the household during and after “the lockdown”
  • Isolation, psychological health crisis, cities/slums
  • Transforming production and globalised exploitation
  • Beyond a Global South and North

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: 15 February 2021

Abstract submission is OPEN!

Submit your abstract via ConfTool 2021:

If you have any questions regarding this Call, or the conference in general, feel free to contact or