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Tag Archives: Social Crisis




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

Call for Papers, Critical Political Economy Research Network (RN06)

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. 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 CzechRepublic).  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:

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Now Available in paperback!

Democracy and Economic Planning
Pat Devine
University of Manchester

“A democratically planned socialist economy – perhaps along the lines of Pat Devine’s model of negotiated coordination – offers the best hope of realizing the values of the anti-capitalist movement.” Alex Callinicos, King’s College, London

“In this fascinating book, which deserves to be widely read, Pat Devine raises numerous important and interesting questions about the management of the economy.” Times Higher Education

An excerpt from the new preface:
This book was first published in 1988, the year before the Berlin wall came down and three years before the Soviet Union collapsed. The short-lived era of free-market capitalist triumphalism that followed was not an auspicious time for a book on economic planning. Since then, growing awareness of the depth of the ecological and social crisis facing us, together with the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s, has rekindled belief that ‘another world is possible’, a post-capitalist world. But what would such a world look like, in particular, how would economic activity in such a world be organised? The model of democratic planning through negotiated coordination set out in Part IV of the book offers an answer to this question by outlining a possible architecture for the institutions and processes through which a self-governing society might operate.

Publication details:
Publication date: August 2010
978-0-7456-3479-1 paperback £19.99 20% discount price £15.99
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Capitalist Crisis


The Crisis in Europe: Depression economics –social crisis – state policy –alternatives

International workshop by transform! europe
Vienna, 15th/16th January 2010

Please see: 


Friday, January 15th


Welcome and opening by Elisabeth Gauthier (transform! europe)


Joachim Bischoff (editor of the monthly review Sozialismus): Overaccumulation of capital: what does it mean for the understanding of the current crisis?

14.45–15.00h : Break


Bob Jessop (Lancaster University): The role of the state today: internationalization and the nation state

16.30–17.00h: Break


Francisco Louça (Lisbon, tbc): Europe in the world economic crisis: comeback of Keynesian politics or launching of a ‘financial coup d’état’ (D. Harvey)?

Interventions by Euclides Tsakolotos (University of Athens), Peter Fleissner (Univ. prof. em., Vienna), Jiri Malek (transform!Czech Republic) and others (Spain, Italy…)

Saturday, January 16th


Maria Karamessini (University Pantheion, Athens): The social crisis in Europe: politics of precariousness or shift to a new social model of regulation

Interventions by Stephen Bouquin (University Amiens France), Asbjörn Wahl (Norway, Trade unionist, tbc), Lutz Brangsch (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Berlin)

11.30–12.00h: Break


What are the lessons of the crisis and how can they be communicated?

Proposals and projects of ‘the left of the left’

Round table with: Thomas Händel (MEP) Jürgen Klute (MEP) Miguel Portas (MEP) Francis Wurtz (former leader of GUE/NGL in EP)

Inputs from transform!, European Left Party and members of GUE/NGL-Group

Walter Baier (transform!) is chairing the debate

Languages: English, German, French

Important: registration until December, 20th via E-Mail: transform!
Gußhausstraße 14/3, A-1040 Wien

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