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.

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


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: – 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.

CfPs: SGIR conference 2010 in Stockholm

The call for papers for the SGIR conference in Stockholm (9-11 September 2010) ist out. Read the complete call here.

The following four sections are convened by members of this network:

The Deadline for the submission of paper and panel proposals has been extended to February 28, 2010.