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12th Conference of the European Sociological Association on "Differences, Inequalities and the Sociological Imagination"

25–28 August 2015 | Prague, Czech Republic

Re-Imagining Class - Materialities of Resistance, State Power and the Commons: CfP of the Critical Political Economy Research Network (RN06) for ESA 2015

In a context of increasingly authoritarian processes of austerity measures in response to the crisis in Europe and beyond, various groups and social movements have articulated quests for more democracy and reclaiming the Commons. Categories of public goods and the commons include amongst others education, health, environment, food, water, air, energy, land, housing, transport, cities, or waste management. These notions generally engender new forms of horizontal participatory and inclusive bottom up democratic decision-making and communal ownership structures not considered for profit. Democratic imaginaries are however only seldom spelled out, as if such wished-for democratic structures were without a teleology. This raises the question of which concrete conceptions the (radical) Left has to offer with respect to the political economy of democracy and the commons? Which lessons can be drawn from prefigurative politics and existing/real life examples in the organisation of the economy and public goods? Which implications would such imaginaries have for rethinking class, and the materialities within social movements? At the same time, in order to contextualise these processes in the concrete materiality of crisis and resistance, we need to understand the changes and continuities in the imaginaries of state power and authoritarian governance, and the relations between social forces struggling over the prerogatives of resistance and contestation.

As the overall conference theme suggests, it is through sociological imagination that we can begin to understand the current conjuncture and formulate alternatives. Re-imagining class should be a core focus in this process. We are interested in hosting a wide range of topics in sessions that are linked to the above themes. This could include a focus on various social movements on the Commons; contestation and resistance to austerity measures; new forms of democratic participation and citizenship; conceptual reflection and critique on the use of class concepts; authoritarian dimensions of the ongoing capitalist restructuring; new manifestations of the capital-labour conflict; or the social/human geography of contestation and resistance. Of particular importance here are critical feminist political economy perspectives that challenge underlying patriarchal structures and social relations.

We are interested in all of the above plus more. We invite contributions (papers and/or panel proposals) from those with an interest in critical 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.

Notes for authors

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.

List of the topics for RNs: About Research Networks

List of the topics for RSs: About Research Streams

Call for Papers

ESA 2015 Conference uses on-line application ConfTool for the abstract submission. Please read carefully these instructions first.

You can create a new account and submit your contribution through Abstract Submission or via ConfTool until 1stFebruary 2015.

Please note that abstracts submitted for ESA 2015 should be on a topic relating either to the Conference’s Research Networks (RN) or Research Streams (RS). The number of submissions is limited to 2 per person.

European Sociological Association also invites applications for junior scholar grants to attend the ESA conference in Prague 2015.

Abstract submission deadline: 1 February 2015.

If you have further questions regarding this call, or the Critical Political Economy research network, please contact us at [email protected].

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