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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

C2G2 hosts Polanyi conference

Published: 22 March 2011 Origin:  Politics and International Relations

The University of Southampton's Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance (C2G2) hosted a conference entitled 'New Directions in Polanyian Scholarship' on March 12th and 13th, 2011 at Sarum College in Salisbury.

The conference (arranged and convened by Dr Christopher Holmes ) drew together internationally renowned academics from all over the world and, true to C2G2’s interdisciplinary remit, attendees came from a variety of disciplines, including not only political science and political economy, but also anthropology, philosophy and sociology.

Papers were given on a diverse range of topics, both empirical and theoretical, but united in that they all either reflected upon or drew inspiration from the work of the mid-twentieth century political economist and anthropologist Karl Polanyi.

Papers given were as follows:

  • Owen Worth - 'Polanyi: A man for all seasons?';
  • Gareth Dale - 'Polanyi in Vienna';
  • Chris Hann - 'Polanyi and Mauss';
  • Hannes Lacher: 'The mystery of the 'self-regulating market';
  • Nancy Fraser - 'Marketisation, social protection, emancipation';
  • Christopher Holmes - 'Polanyi in a post-Polanyi world';
  • Michele Cangiani: 'Freedom in a complex society';
  • Sally Randles - '(Neo-)Polanyian perspectives on technology-economy relations';
  • Hadrien Saiag - 'Conceptualising money in a Polanyian perspective;
  • Matthew Watson - Transcending Karl Polanyi's Adam Smith problem';
  • Jean-Michel Servet and Isabelle Hillenkamp - 'Reciprocity and householding: two Polanyian tools for analyzing solidarity today' and
  • Mark Harvey - 'The instituting of economic processes in capitalism'.

The workshop vividly demonstrated the value of Polanyi’s work at fulfilling the promises of inter-disciplinarity by providing a common language through which to converse about social scientific issues. Various coherent analytical themes emerged across the different papers presented, provoking spirited and productive exchanges between participants.

Dr Holmes is currently in the process of editing a journal special issue including a selection of papers delivered at the workshop. This innovative project - the first ever special issue focusing on Polanyian social science - promises both to capture something of the growing buzz surrounding Polanyian research agendas and to showcase some of the most cutting edge work drawn from them.

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