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 cpern@criticalpoliticaleconomy.net 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.

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Save the date: Next CPERN Conference 20-21 September at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Dear all,

This is a quick ‘save the date’ announcement. We have finalised the date and venue for the next Critical Political Economy Research Network conference. It will take place on Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. The local organiser is Mònica Clua-Losada, Visiting Professor in Public and Social Policy in theDepartment of Political and Social Sciences and also the Secretary on the board of this network. As indicated in September, the theme will revolve around the ‘critical’ in ‘critical political economy’, which will encompass both conceptual reflection on the purpose of critical research, the concrete themes and topics that critical research should be addressing at the moment (labour, immigration, capitalism ‘moving East’, etc.), and the purpose of critical research in terms of its impact on policies, social struggles, etc.

We will circulate a Call for Papers in the coming weeks!

Thanks,

Ian

Geneva report

Dear all,

The Critical Political Research Network sessions at the 10th European Sociological Association conference took place from 8-10 September 2011, and were a great success. Based on the theme ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’, our panels attracted an average of 20-25 people per panel, and generated discussions that ranged across different parts of the conference. In addition, the composition of the presenters was the broadest yet, with 16 countries represented, and there was a very healthy range of presenters, from MA level up to Professor.Thanks very much to the contributors and participants at the ESA conference: it seemed to go very well, and we were especially pleased with the interest our panels generated – in terms of both the size of the audience and the questions and conversations that the presentations provoked.

For those of you who were unable to attend this meeting, our next event will be hosted by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, hopefully in autumn 2012. The dates are not fixed, though, and again we will send messages to the CPERN mailing list once this has been resolved. Secondly, we had an excellent discussion regarding the possible theme of the UPF conference. A consensus seemed to form around foregrounding the ‘critical’ in ‘critical political economy’, which would encompass both conceptual reflection on the purpose of critical research, the concrete themes and topics that critical research should be addressing at the moment (labour, immigration, capitalism ‘moving East’, etc.), and the social purpose of critical research in terms of its impact on policies, social struggles, etc.

The board elected at the Business Meeting was:

Chair: Ian Bruff (University of Manchester, UK)
Vice-chair: Laura Horn (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Secretary: Mònica Clua-Losada (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain)

Many thanks to Jan Drahokoupil (University of Mannheim) for all of his hard work over the past 6 years, from founding the network to being its chair from 2005-9, to being a member of the board until now. He is now on our International Advisory Board, along with Bastiaan van Apeldoorn (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Dorothee Bohle (Central European University, Hungary), Jan Drahokoupil (University of Mannheim, Germany), Eva Hartmann (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Martijn Konings (University of Sydney, Australia), Magnus Ryner (Oxford Brookes University, UK), and Susanne Soederberg (Queen’s University, Canada).

The next CPERN event will be announced in the coming months; watch this space!

Final programme: Varieties of capitalism in crisis? Critical Political Economy sessions at 10th ESA Conference Geneva, 7-10 September 2011

The final programme for the network’s section at the Critical Political Economy sessions at 10th ESA Conference Geneva, 7-10 September 2011, is out.

Conference theme: ‘Social relations in turbulent times’.
Read the full programme of the conference here.

Critical Political Economy sessions theme: ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’
Read the programme of our section here.

CfP: Varieties of capitalism in crisis? Critical Political Economy sessions at 10th ESA Conference Geneva, 7-10 September 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS – SESSIONS ORGANISED BY THE CRITICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH NETWORK OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION AT THE 10TH ESA CONFERENCE, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, 7-10 SEPTEMBER 2011 – https://criticalpoliticaleconomy.net/ http://www.esa10thconference.com/index.php

Conference theme: ‘Social relations in turbulent times’. Critical Political Economy sessions theme: ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’

The continued fall-out from the economic crisis has led to continuous debate about the impact of this systemic shock to the world economy. For instance, evidence could be amassed to support or refute the argument that it has had a significant impact on the future of capitalist diversity. On the one hand, it has generated common systemic pressures everywhere – the most salient being the recurrent fiscal crises of different national states – but on the other, there have been important differences in the national responses to the crisis – compare for example Germany and the United States.

In the field of political economy, a much-discussed approach has been the varieties of capitalism literature. Conceived here as wider than just the paradigmatic Varieties of Capitalism framework and inclusive of a general institutionalist orientation when studying national political economies, a weakness in this work has been the low priority placed on the wider social relations which institutions are inevitably part of. Therefore, although much progress has been made in the past 15 years, the ability of the varieties of capitalism literature to account for the developments of the past few years – and thus its more general explanatory capacity – is open to question.

As such, the phrase ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’ has two distinct but connected meanings. For this reason, the CPE RN is interested in receiving abstracts which consider the evolution of empirical capitalisms – we expect our sessions to focus on but not be exclusively concerned with Europe, be it at the national, regional or supranational level – and/or conceptual issues related to the study of capitalist diversity. We seek contributions from scholars with an interest in political economy research, whatever their disciplinary affiliation (sociology, political science, economics, geography, anthropology, ethnology, development studies, area studies, history, etc.). Hence we aim to attract a diverse range of junior and senior researchers, from postgraduate students to professors.

Paper proposals can be submitted through the abstract submission platform on the ESA website: http://www.esa10thconference.com/submission.php – we are RN06.

Deadline for submission is 25 February 2011!

NETWORK OVERVIEW: The network was established in 2005 as a platform to promote and facilitate research aimed at understanding recent transformations of capitalism and capitalist societies in the European Union and Europe. Its purpose is to reassert political economy perspectives in European social science, and to promote critical and emancipatory scholarship. We are avowedly interdisciplinary in our outlook, and seek to  bring together researchers employing a range of critical political economy perspectives.

CfP: CPE-RN conference “The Eurozone in Crisis” February 2011 in Frankfurt

CALL FOR PAPERS – WORKSHOP ORGANISED BY THE CRITICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH NETWORK OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION – https://criticalpoliticaleconomy.net/ http://www.europeansociology.org/

The Eurozone in Crisis: Challenges and Controversies in the European Political Economy(ies) and in Political Economy Research. Friday 18 – Saturday 19 February 2011, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.

The ongoing economic and political turmoil in the eurozone (for example, Greece’s bailout, the downgrading of Spain’s credit rating, Ireland’s fall from grace) has highlighted the need for critical reflection on, and analysis of, developments in recent years. Accordingly, this workshop provides a forum for discussion of the European political economy(ies), plus the broader debates in critical political economy that have taken place in this period.

Therefore, papers will be sought on, FIRSTLY, empirical issues linked to the challenges faced by: member states; regions within the eurozone (e.g. the so-called PIIGS); CEE countries wishing to join (e.g. issues of euroisation faced by Hungary, etc.); institutions such as the ECB; the euro as a global currency; the crisis itself (inclusive of the 2008-9 period and the current fall-out from Greece’s troubles). SECONDLY, though, we are also interested in contributions which, while retaining Europe as their empirical focus, speak to broader conceptual and theoretical debates that have taken place over the past decade. To give a few examples, there have been lively discussions on: supranational governance in the light of the euro; the internationalisation of national states; the rise to prominence of inter alia the ‘cultural political economy’, ‘everyday life’ and ‘neo-Poulantzian’ literatures; neoliberalism; and ‘models’ of capitalism plus (in the European context) the notion of a social ‘model’.

As such, we seek contributions from scholars with an interest in political economy research, whatever their disciplinary affiliation (sociology, political science, economics, geography, anthropology, ethnology, development studies, area studies, history, etc.). Hence the workshop aims to attract a diverse range of junior and senior researchers, from postgraduate students to professors. To this end, limited funds will be availabe for assisting PhD researchers who present, especially those from Central and Eastern Europe, with their travel and accommodation costs.

The workshop will be held on Friday 18 – Saturday 19 February 2011 at Goethe University Frankfurt. Introducing the workshop will be Andreas Nölke, Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt. This will be followed by a plenary address on global/supranational governance and the internationalisation of the state by Ulrich Brand, Professor of International Politics at the University of Vienna.

There is no fee for attending and participating in the workshop. The workshop language will be English.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted to ianbruff@gmail.com by no later than Wednesday 13 October 2010. The applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision by no later than Friday 22 October 2010.