Theme 1: Financial, Economic and Fiscal crisis

Keywords: globalization, neoliberalism, political economy, financialization, credit ranking agencies, overaccumulation, bank bail out, state debt …

Events taking place in just a few weeks between October and November 2008 gave us all a wake-up call. The benefits of precepts such as free markets, free trade, financial deregulation and the like, vanished in front of the eyes of thousands of astonished economists, journalists, and members of the public. In a similar way to that in which private debt had been made public in several Latin American economies during the 1980s and 1990s, core capitalist states then transferred public money to the bankers in an effort to restore stability to the financial system. Increasing unemployment, deteriorating working standards, prosecution of migrant labour, state fiscal "discipline" and the politics of austerity are now affecting billions around the world, while concentration of profits and assets appear to be accelerating in the higher spheres of the financial system.

The workshops and debates encompassed in this Theme will be related to the uneven geographical causes and consequences of this economic, political and social shift, broadly centred in (but certainly not limited to) the following questions:
Is this a crisis? If so, what sort of crisis is it?
Does this crisis represent the end of neoliberalism?
What sort of critical research is needed to analyse this shift?
How is it related to other crises historically and geographically?
What is the response of states in diverse regions and countries of the world?
How are localities, communities, and social movements responding?
What are the implications for international financial and trade arrangements?
What new regulatory forms are emerging?

Taking these questions a step further, and considering the exceptional space the Conference offers for debate, we invite proposals, which explore the question of the kind of economic order(s) we want for the future.


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