Conference 2019 in Budapest and Vienna co-organized by International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) & Karl Polanyi Research Center for Global Social Studies
Karl Polanyi and the Future of Humankind
2 May 2019 in Budapest, Hungary
Conference day with invited speakers
Karl Polanyi was not only a harsh critic of existing global capitalism and its historic development; he was also concerned with how humankind shapes its own destiny. The first part of the conference seeks to understand what possible futures can be envisioned in the current circumstances and dynamics of global capitalism after a long period of neoliberal hegemony.
Universal Capitalism in Decline?
3-5 May 2019 in Vienna, Austria
Conference with call for papers
Call for Papers
In 1945 Karl Polanyi published “Universal Capitalism or Regional Planning” , using the term “universal capitalism” to describe the political-economic system that had led to the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II. The conference refers to this motive to analyze contemporary societal change, to share perspectives from around the globe and to reflect on methodological questions. These three broad concerns will be at the center International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) conference 2019.
A) Globalization, financialization, liberalization and the countermovement
“Universal capitalism” describes a series of processes familiar to us today. Neoliberal globalization, financialization and commodification universalize the market society and increase socio-cultural tensions. These globalizing dynamics have resulted in diverse anti- globalization movements, but might even have nurtured the spread of authoritarian regimes. The respective imaginaries of these movements against neoliberal globalization range from nostalgia of a lost past to visions of a commonwealth based on solidarity and equality. Karl Polanyi’s oeuvre provides us with a unique analytical framework, concepts and ideas to study these processes, crises, and transformations. Current movements should be examined from different perspectives, including:
- Disentangling the relationship between free trade and finance on the one hand, national sovereignty and democracy on the other hand
- Global ecological and social challenges and regional resilience strategies
- National sovereignty, illiberal democracies and European solidarity
- Western universalism, the rise of Asia and a new world (dis-)order
- Trade wars, new forms of protectionism and the challenges for neoliberal globalization
- Civil society initiatives, labor and social movements facing neoliberal globalization and political change
B) Bringing together Polanyi-inspired research from different regions and countries
Karl Polanyi has become an indispensable point of reference in critical discussions on contemporary transformations. However, scholars in different countries and regions emphasize different aspects of his work. We invite papers that focus on how Polanyi’s analyses of universal capitalism and its transformations are discussed in different parts of the world.
C) Commodification, double movement and embeddedness – concepts to understand the 21st century capitalism?
”Working with Polanyi today” means reflecting, thinking and acting under the conditions of fragmented, increasingly international academic communities in a neoliberal, more and more authoritarian environment. Polanyi, however, has always gone beyond academia, making his living as a journalist, teaching at public universities and contributing to public debates. The question of how social science can contribute to the elaboration of a democratic narrative for the ordinary people occupied Polanyi throughout his life. Therefore, we explicitly invite papers that dwell on the relation between the scientific and the ethical approach as well as possible academic contributions to public debates. Of special interest are conceptual clarifications and experimentation with new forms of partnerships between civil society, social movements and academia.
Conference language: English.