Ukraine and the changing nature of war: critical political economy, geopolitics, nationhood

Thursday 28 April, 5pm BST, 6pm CEST, 7pm EEST

speakers:

Aliona Liasheva (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv)

Marko Bojcun, Ukrainian socialist and author of The Workers’ Movement and the National Question in Ukraine 1897-1918.

Yuliya Yurchenko (University of Greenwich)

This event was dedicated to a discussion of the complexities of the pretexts, narratives, critical political economy and geopolitics of the war in Ukraine that is now in its ninth year. The discussion is organised around a reading of three different texts by three authors/Ukraine researchers with different areas of expertise. This discussion will be as political as it is scholarly (as always, but more so this time for obvious reasons).

The workshop aims to challenge conventional understandings and discourse, and to develop a deeper understanding of Ukraine’s political economy, its statehood and nationhood, strengths and weaknesses, socio-economic and societal ills. In doing so, the workshop will seek to draw materially-rooted conclusions that challenge the epistemological, ontological, and methodological weaknesses of conventional political economy, international relations, and political science approaches to understanding the world, and to do so outside Eurocentrism and its equally limiting critique.

The workshop will open with an outline of the major challenges facing Ukraine at the moment and the state of the war to date, followed by brief interventions from the authors before opening up for discussion.

Readings

Alona LiashevaWithout shelter: housing policy in wartime

Marko Bojcun – On the Current State of Negotiations, April 2022

Yuliya Yurchenko – Fighting for Ukrainian Self-Determination

Further readings/links:

https://commons.com.ua/en/zapiski-zi-lvova/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2022/03/ukrainian-working-class-formation-ussr-nato-war-national-identity

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/why-is-war-in-eastern-ukraine-still-going-on/

https://www.openpetition.eu/petition/online/people-around-the-world-demand-imf-to-cancel-ukraines-unjust-debt?confirm=c48e28e7f89562da89bcde11d35c9f25

https://spectrejournal.com/fighting-for-ukrainian-self-determination/

A critical political economy of health movements

A critical political economy of health movements

La Marea Blanca toma la calle para protestar contra el recorte horario en los centros de salud | Mireia López Sánchez

Thursday 24 February 

5pm (GMT)/6pm (CET)

Mònica Clua-Losada (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) 

Olatz Ribera-Almandoz (CIDOB: Barcelona Centre for International Affairs)

Mary Naughton (University College Dublin)

Mònica Clua-Losada and Olatz Ribera-Almandoz will discuss their recent paper, ‘Health movements in the age of austerity: rescaling resistance in Spain and the United Kingdom‘.

The paper analyses the rescaling strategies implemented in public health services in Spain and the UK during the current economic crisis, and contributes to the understanding of the scalar dynamics and strategies of two social struggles against the privatisation of hospitals and health centres in these two contexts: Marea Blanca (White Tide) in Madrid and Keep Our NHS Public in Greater Manchester. It argues that social movements are more successful when they exploit scale shifts to transform institutions into centres of resistance.

This will be followed by reflections from Mary Naughton on the critical political economy of health care and resistance, and beyond, that the paper raises. 

Followed by an open discussion.

We are very pleased to have such excellent speakers join us.

Monica Clua-Losada is a Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Her research focuses on Critical Political Economy (CPE) and the role of subaltern groups, with a focus on labour in the context of authoritarian neoliberalism. As well as being an earlier convenor of the the CPERN board and currently co-editor-in-chief of the new journal, Global Political Economy.

Olatz Ribera-Almandoz is a Associate Researcher at CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) in the area of migration. She is also a member of the Johns Hopkins University – Universitat Pompeu Fabra Public Policy Center. Her research focuses on the interactions between social agents and public institutions in the context of multilevel states, with a special focus on migration and asylum policies and the (new) demands of social justice, welfare and housing. She recently completed a PhD in Political and Social Sciences at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).

Mary Naughton is based at UCD, where she works with the ERC project: Labour Politics and the EU’s New Economic Governance Regime. She recently published, ‘Mobilising societal power: Understanding public support for nursing strikes‘, in the Industrial Relations Journal.

We look forward to seeing you there!

CPERN workshop: Fraternal capitalism with Bhabani Shankar Nayak

For the January 2022 CPERN monthly workshop we were joined by Bhabani Shankar Nayak who is a political economist at the University for the Creative Arts, UK, and whose research interests include political economy, South Asia, the market, microfinance, faith and the Hindu religion and capitalism. His recent book, Hindu Fundamentalism and the Spirit of Global Capitalism in India, focused on the relationship between the rise of Hindu fundamentalism and mining-led capitalism while evaluating the impact on the new economic reforms on tribals and their social, cultural, and religious identities in Odisha. In the paper presented we considered Odisha from the perspective of microfinance and microcredit networks, as a framework for capitalist accumulation.

The paper was followed by a discussion led by CPERN board member, Yuliya Yurchenko

Fraternal Capitalism examines microfinance and microcredit networks led by local, regional NGOs, COs and Self-Help Groups in Odisha. The paper further explores the link between these networks and different regional, local, national and international agencies tapping the small savings of rural poor. It is organised and securitised by the Government of India and Odisha to create and facilitate a fraternal framework for capitalist accumulation processes in rural Odisha. It shows the dynamic nature of global capitalism that engages with small savings of rural poor.

Critical Political Economy early career scholar writing workshop

Critical Political Economy early career scholar writing workshop

Thursday 21 July 2022
University of Limerick

On the day before this year’s CPERN mid-term workshop we will be holding a writing workshop for early career scholars (PhD students and recently completed PhDs). This will be an opportunity for those working on attempts to secure their first publication. Participants will be paired with a more established scholar in the field of critical political economy, in order to receive detailed feedback with the goal of facilitating the writing and publication process.


This is the second time we’ve run the early career scholar writing workshop – the last one went well and provided an opportunity for detailed feedback on papers being prepared for publication. We’re confident that this year’s workshop will be equally constructive. 


The workshop is supported by the Conference of Socialist Economists, which publishes the journal, Capital and Class, and which can provide limited funding to support travel and accommodation

If you are interested in attending, please send a brief note detailing the paper you are currently working on (1 paragraph), outlining what stage in your academic career you are currently in (1 paragraph max), and what publications (if any) you already have to date.

Email to: cpern@criticalpoliticaleconomy.net by 28 February 2022.

Agency and the Data Subject, Policy and Praxis

CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION

Save the date: 24th March 17.00 (GMT) 18.00 (GMT)

Data agency in surveillance capitalism: empowering citizens in CryptoParties

Prof Dr Sigrid  Kannengiesser 

While citizens are more and more disempowered and exploited in surveillance capitalism, there are initaitives that reflect on the problems and challenges of current datafication and try to empower users of digital media technologies and online communication to put them into the position to decide for themselves if and with whom they share their data and develop skills of data protection. Using the concept of „data agency“ the talk presents results from a study in which CryptoParties have been analyzed as an examples of initiatives in which these empowering practices take place: activsists from diverse backgrounds share their expertice in encryption practices to enable citizens who try to learn these practices to protect their privacy in processes of online communication. While the presentation discusses the possibilities and potentials of data agency in CryptoParties, also constraints and ambivalences that can be identified in these practices are revealed. 

Data subjects as strangers

Prof Dr Phoebe V Moore

Progress has been predicted by privacy activists for people who are also known as ‘data subjects’ by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) because we, as data subjects, technically have more rights to access and control data about ourselves based on this legislation. However, there is not enough clear discussion about the data subject herself in intrinsic, ontological ways not only in recent regulation but in the everyday lives of (deep) mediatisation. The GDPR’s definition refers to an ‘identifiable natural person’. Digging deeper we see that the subject is referenced against two very different ‘selves’: one, a consumer; and two, a worker. These identifiers cannot be conflated, given the opposite social positions that workers and consumers possess, and in particular, the social relations of alienation depending on which transaction we conduct. Data construction of subjects, subjectification and subjectivation must be problematised and Althusser’s theory of interpellation revived. Subjects are potentially so abstracted we become strangers to our’selves’. Indeed, what happens to our subjectivities in the process of datafication? Who now has the right to ‘enunciation’, or the right to formate the self, the right to subjectivity? 

Discussant: Dr Stephan Görland 

Developments in Social Reproduction Theory

The next CPERN workshop (every final Thursday of the month)

Social Reproduction Theory | Socialist Review

Thursday, 25 November 5pm (GMT)/6pm (Central European Time)

speakers: 

Kirstin Munro, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.

Jule Goikoetxea, University of the Basque Country

Register here: https://bham-ac-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZclf-ioqTwtHNC7Vyt-9ns8jqwGV2rK6EhC 

For this session, we are focusing on developments in Social Reproduction Theory. 

The discussion will begin with a consideration of the recent paper by Kirstin Munro in Science and Society: “Social Reproduction Theory,” Social Reproduction, and Household Production”   https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/siso.2019.83.4.451
This will be followed by reflections from Jule Goikoetxea on issues for social reproduction theory, and beyond, that the paper raises. 


Followed by an open discussion.

We are very pleased to have such excellent speakers join us.

Kirstin Munro is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley and  much of her recent work has explored the question of social reproduction theory, as well as questions relating to production, unproductive workers, the household, and the Marxist critique of political economy.

Jule Goikoetxea is professor of political theory at the University of the Basque Country, as well as being a member of the International Gender Studies Centre at Oxford University. Her work includes a focus on political theory, state theory, political philosophy, feminist theory and feminist philosophy.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Critical Political Economy for a new Global Political Economy

 CPERN mid-term workshop – Call for Papers (deadline 28 February 2022).

Friday 22– Saturday 23 July 2022

University of Limerick, Ireland

The Global Political Economy is now described, depending on who describes it, as “over-stimulated”, “scarred”, “squeezed”, “unsustainable”, or “jammed up”. Commentators routinely cite the threat of stagflation. The (post-)pandemic recovery is considered “K-shaped”, with assets inflated, to the benefit of asset holders, whilst livelihoods are (further) degraded. Governments have so far failed to put in place a global Green New Deal. The pandemic has exposed the recklessness of decades of austerity, commercialisation, and under-funding of our health and social care systems. While the populist zeitgeist seems to be waning, its successor on the horizon is yet more tepid neoliberal centrism that seeks only to deter those who hope for egalitarian alternatives. Likewise, within academia, efforts continue to sideline, discourage and, if possible, eliminate critical thinking and our ambitions for social change.

Yet, much of the mainstream analysis fails to explain why we face these problems, or how we are to address them. The ‘economy’ is conceptualised narrowly, ignoring the wider social and socio-natural relations that make up our complex and interconnected reality. Economics is considered only in terms of the production, distribution and exchange of commodities; concealing from view exploitation, alienation, extraction, sexed, gendered, and racialised forms of exclusion, and processes of ecological destruction, plus the contestation of each of these social bads. 

In contrast, those of us working (or trying to work) in critical political economy seek to conceptualise and explain the deep rooted inequalities, crisis tendencies and discursive diversions that mark our faltering global political economy. At the same time, we aspire to delineate the alternatives around which progressive social coalitions can (and should) coalesce, as part of our collective struggle to disrupt, ameliorate, transform and (hopefully) transcend the manifold pathologies that comprise contemporary global capitalism. 

We need a new Global Political Economy, and we need critical political economy to provide the intellectual, methodological, analytical and strategic tools through which to conceptualise, explain and critique the multiple crises we face. We invite scholars and activists from across the field of critical political economy to contribute to the next CPERN mid-term workshop, where we seek a Critical Political Economy for a new Global Political Economy

We are especially keen for papers that address the following themes:

  • (Post-)pandemic possibilities. How has our global political economy changed as a result of the pandemic? What are the (new) inequalities, uncertainties and crises that have been generated? To what extent, and why, is public policy (un)able to respond to contemporary social and democratic demands? What, if any, are the (new) opportunities for progressive social change?

  • Build Back Better? The role and the changing nature of the state, and its theorisation, in the post-pandemic recovery. How do we conceptualise the (capitalist) state as it developed and changed over the course of the pandemic?

  • Alternatives and resistance. How, if at all, has the capacity for collective resistance and everyday struggles changed during the pandemic? How, if at all, can social struggle, resistance, and/or social movements play a part in shaping the post-pandemic future?

  • Global production after the pandemic? Jammed up and ready for replacement? How have global production and trade relations changed as a result of the need (but failure to) adjust to the pandemic conditions?

  • Labour after COVID 19. Are we witnessing instances of a “refusal of work”? How can we conceptualise the return of strikes and labour militancy? Has the pandemic opened a new era of grassroots labour organising?

  • (De-)development, dependency and neo-colonialism, before and after the pandemic. How are the divisions, and relations, between the Global North and South affected and changing through the pandemic?

  • Intersectional struggles of capital and labour. How do (changing) struggles, expressed along class, race, sex, and gendered lines, intersect with each other, and within the global political economy?

  • Culture, meaning, identities and alternative imaginaries. How have our cultural understandings and imaginaries of the global political economy changed and developed in a context of lockdowns and social, economic and ecological crisis?

  • Social reproduction. How do we understand social reproduction in the context and (eventual) aftermath of the pandemic? How, if at all, is social reproduction secured in the current state of the global political economy; how are classed, sexed, raced and gendered inequalities manifest in it; and how does critical political economy understand and contribute to the above?

  • Eco-socialism after Covid-19 and COP26. Was the pandemic the most vivid illustration of nature ‘striking back’? If so, what can and should we do about it? What lessons can be drawn regarding human (mis)management of the human-nature relationship through a critical political economy lens? How can this lens help us envision and assess transformative alternatives, ranging from a Green New Deal to a postcapitalist future of de-growth and/or eco-socialism?

  • The critical political economy of geo-politics and militarism. The geo-political tensions that continue to destabilise our world are often neglected by political economy analyses, among other. Yet capitalism and geo-political rivalries are interconnected and require a critical political economy analysis. 

We are interested in all of the above, and more, and wish for the workshop to cover a wide range of topics. We welcome scholars and activists with an interest in critical political economy, from a variety of countries, social backgrounds, and disciplinary affiliations, regardless of whether they are in academia or not. We are particularly committed to promoting the participation of PhD students, early career scholars, and activists. Limited funds will be available for scholars and activists in precarious situations (who cannot get other sources of funding) to support travel and accommodation costs. Please inform us if you may require help with funding when you send us your abstract.

The workshop is planned for in-person attendance, as far as that is possible. If you are unable to attend in-person, let us know and we will try to facilitate online-only sessions to run alongside the workshop agenda.

As a result of our links to the new journal Global Political Economy we also welcome, and will gladly facilitate, panel submissions where the intention is for the panel to result in a special issue proposal for the journal

We will be able to provide workshop invitation letters for those needing a visa.

There is no fee for attending the workshop. The conference language will be English.

Abstracts of around 250 words should be submitted to: cpern@criticalpoliticaleconomy.net by 28 February 2022.

Many thanks,

The CPERN Board

David Bailey, Bernd Bonfert, Alona Lyasheva, Owen Worth, Yuliya Yurchenko

The Critical Political Economy Research Network is Research Network 06 of the European Sociological Association.