CfP: European Sociological Association 11th Conference – Torino, 28-31 August 2013 – ‘Crisis, Critique and Change’

European Sociological Association 11th Conference – Torino, 28-31 August 2013 – ‘Crisis, Critique and Change’ 

Call for Papers, Critical Political Economy Research Network (RN06) – DL 1 February 2013


The recent years have, in the eyes of many, been characterised by a multiplicity of crises, the growth in significance of critiques of the current state of affairs, and increasing demands for change. However, the uneven impact of crises, the concentration of voices of critique in only parts of society and the world, and the very different demands for change that have been articulated, force critical political economy scholars to ask the question ‘Whose crisis, whose critique and whose change?’

This observation has many aspects to it. For example, apart from the initial shock in late 2008, many of those towards the top of different societies have suffered very little (if any) decline in wealth and incomes over the last few years. Moreover, the critiques have come from the radical Right as much as from more progressive currents of thought such as the Occupy, Indignados and other movements. Finally, very real change may be taking place, but in Europe for example it is often in the form of brutal and authoritarian structural adjustment programmes, social and political polarisation/conflict and a more general crisis of everyday living for the majority of the population (e.g. the rise in bankruptcies, evictions and imprisonments related to debt, the reductions of salaries, social rights and entitlements).

For this reason we are interested in hosting a wide range of topics in our sessions that are linked to the above themes. For instance, this could include the sharp growth of precarious labour and insecurity, the rise of state authoritarianism, the question of resistance and dissent from all sides of the political and social spectrum, the crises of welfare states and everyday living, and so on. More broadly, this could also include the crises and continuities in ‘living dead’ neoliberalism, the evolution of Eurozone governance, the possibilities for more progressive ‘models of capitalism’ in the future, the lessons that can be learned from the ‘pink tide’ in Latin America, the Arab uprisings, etc..

We are interested in all of the above plus more. 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.

We invite submission of papers and panel proposals for our open sessions – please see the instructions below and in the general CfP in the attachment. Moreover, at the Torino conference we have two joint sessions with other ESA networks. If you are interested in participating in these joint sessions, please indicate this on your submission. 


The Eurozone Crisis as an Opportunity: Structural Changes within the Member States of the Eurozone and the European Union

(Chair: Laura Horn (RN06) and Nikos Petropoulos (RN08) )

This joint panel with RN08 invites submissions on the theme of ‘The Eurozone Crisis as an Opportunity: Structural Changes within the Member States of the Eurozone and the European Union’. The focus will be on the structural – economic, political, and social changes – within the member states themselves. Special emphasis will be on the states that have especially been affected by the debt crisis and have taken part of the ECB/IMF/EU bail-out mechanism (e.g. Ireland, Portugal, Greece) or have received loans from EU/ECB to support their bank system (e.g. Spain). Papers may also focus on structural changes, if any, within the ‘solvent’ states of the Eurozone and the European Union (Germany, Finland, Holland, Austria, the Czech Republic). Priority will be given to comparative empirical and critical analysis. 


Critical Political Economy of the Media and Communication in Times of Capitalist Crisis and Change

(Chair: Ian Bruff (RN06) and Christian Fuchs (RN18))

This joint panel with RN18 invites submissions on the theme of ‘Critical Political Economy of the Media and Communication in Times of Capitalist Crisis and Change’. Abstract submissions could, for example, focus on the role of media and communication in critical political economy approaches to the crisis, the role of critical political economy approaches in the sociology of communications and the media, or indeed any other aspects of topics and issues linked to this theme. In other words, this joint session focuses on the intersection of Critical Political Economy and the Sociology of the Media and Communication. It is interested in contributions that focus on one or more of the following questions:

  • Which approaches that are based on Marx, Critical Political Economy, or Marxism are there today for understanding the current crisis and ongoing changes?
  • What is the role of the media and communication in these approaches?
  • What is the role of Critical Political Economy, Marx, and Marxism in the Sociology of the Media and Communication?
  • What is the role and value of Marx today for understanding crisis, change, capitalism, communication, and critique?


Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session (open) or any specific session. Please submit each abstract only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 1750 characters (including spaces, approximately 250 words). Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts can only be submitted online no later than 1st of February 2013 to the conference website Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted.

The information requested during abstract submission include: 1) name(s), affiliation(s) and email of all the author(s); 2) contact details of presenting author (postal address, and telephone in addition to email); 3) title of proposed presentation; 4) up to 4 keywords (optional).

Submitting authors will receive an email of acknowledgement of successful submission receipt. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the relevant Research Network or Research Stream; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2013. Each author cannot submit more than two abstracts (as first author).

Abstract submission deadline: 1 February 2013
Abstract submission platform:


Barcelona conference

Dear all,

Last week’s CPERN conference was very successful, and we would like to thank everyone who presented and/or attended. The programme was the most diverse since CPERN’s inception, yet there was nevertheless plenty of opportunities for an ongoing conversation – particularly regarding the issue of knowledge production in times of crisis – across the two days. This was particularly evident in the plenary session, when Vicenç Navarro gave a passionate and highly engaging presentation on the current attack against social Europe in the current period.

Personally, as Chair I’d like to thank Mònica Clua-Losada and her team at Universitet Pompeu Fabra for their excellent organisation of the conference, especially given the very difficult conditions that any part of the public sector of Spain is experiencing at the moment.

At the end of the conference we discussed what the network’s Call for Papers could contain for next year’s European Sociological Association conference – – and the Board will work over the next couple of weeks to prepare a submission to the ESA. Expect more emails on this in the coming months.

Best wishes,


CfP: ECPR Joint Sessions 2013 ‘What we talk about when we talk about Europe – Methodologies of European Union’

ECPR Joint session 2013 What we talk about when we talk about Europe Outline 2012

Dear all,

at the ECPR Joint Sessions, 11-16 March 2013 in Mainz, Mònica Clua Losada and Laura Horn will be organising a workshop on methodologies of European Studies.

The Call has just been published. As you can see, the workshop explicitly addresses issues that are quite central in critical political economy debates (broadly defined), in particular with regard to a critical engagement with ontology and methodology. We would VERY MUCH welcome abstract submissions for the workshop from CPERN members!

The deadline is in early November – feel free to contact us before then if you have any questions with regard to submitting a paper.

Thanks, and best wishes,
Mònica and Laura

Special issue of Competition and Change on “Varieties of capitalism in crisis?” – based on Geneva conference

Dear all,

A special issue of Competition and Change – – entitled ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’ has just been published. Edited by myself and Laura Horn (Vice-chair of CPERN), these papers were originally presented at the CPERN sessions during the September 2011 European Sociological Association conference in Geneva.

We would like to thank Jane Hardy, the editor of Competition and Change and who also presented in Geneva, for encouraging us to produce a special issue and for supporting the project through to its conclusion. We think that this is a timely special issue, with a number of contemporary developments discussed.

In addition, it is an excellent representation of the Geneva sessions and, more broadly, of the diversity of papers one can find at any CPERN event. We hope that you find some or all of the special issue interesting!

Best wishes,


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.