Find out more about our upcoming lectures and seminars.

1-5 July 2019 – Summer School in Political Economy Methods.

This five day workshop will equip scholars with the methodological tools for acquiring empirical knowledge in political economy and the theoretical tools for questioning the validity and limits of the knowledge produced. It will begin with a brief exploration of the ontological and epistemological foundations of knowledge production, and then feature a series of intense workshop on different methodological approaches and techniques. This includes the quantitative approaches, such as Stata regression analyses and NVivo coding, as well as qualitative approaches, such as social network analysis and the conducting of semi-structured elite interviews. These sessions entail a combination of lectures, practical work and feedback. The course will then conclude with the utilisation of these techniques in your own specific research projects, presentations of your work, and a discussion of methodological strengths and weaknesses in each case.

12 June 2019, 5pm to 8pm – PEC Workshop

The Political Economy of the Post-Soviet Space: Between Empires, Histories, and Uncertain Futures

Convenors: Prof Stuart Shields and Dr Yuliya Yurchenko (Greenwich University)

The post-Soviet space is positioned on the crossings of the empire of capital with its internal competititors and shifting spatial and social boundaries. It is torn by inequalities, economic crises, various forms of conflict, and reinvigorated struggle for geopolitical presence between the Russian “empire 2.0” and the new-old west. In global political economy debates and scholarship, the post-Soviet space tends to be discussed in an “adjacent” manner. That is to say that focused discussions are often left in the domain of the area studies, while the broader ones lose depth by fixating on the west-Russia ongoing rivalry. Such shortcomings leave contextualised analyses on individual states and societies sidelined in Global Political Economy (GPE) scholarship. The aim of this workshop is to address the complexity of the transformations in the post-Soviet space in a systematised interdisciplinary discussion thus contributing to a better understanding of the region, its internal dynamics, global positioning and significance for GPE problematic and analysis.

1-5 September 2020 – The 7th International Degrowth and 16th ISEE Joint Conference

Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of Ecological and Political Crisis

The worsening ecological and climate crisis means we must urgently abandon practices of production and consumption associated with ecological degradation and unsustainable extractivism. We must develop alternative livelihoods which are harmonious with planetary limits and safeguard material living conditions.  We must invent and trial new ways of working, providing for everyone's needs, caring for each other and democratising the economy. We must seek clarity about the systems of provisioning which will be utilised in a society beyond growth where states and markets play more peripheral roles in the allocation of resources. In short, we must ask what are the alternative livelihoods which ensure the future conditions of societal wellbeing.

The construction of alternative livelihoods entails a radical transformation of economy, culture and society. What are the institutional arrangements which safely provide for basic needs, social stability and democratic legitimacy in the transition to environmental sustainability? How can we ensure both social justice and ecological justice for the populations of the Global North and the Global South? How can we mobilise political support for the necessary transformations? How are we to make the transition to environmentally sustainability socially sustainable, politically viable and democratically legitimate?

This conference will bring together academics, policy-makers, artists and activists in order to discuss these multiple transformations. There will be interdisciplinary debates, round-table discussions and also artistic performances, walking tours and installations which speak to the themes of the conference. It will also seek to contribute to local activist initiatives. It will therefore strive not only to exhibit and deliberate cutting-edge thinking on alternative sustainable livelihoods but also encourage political mobilisation amongst academics, activists, artists and policy practitioners.

The conference will organise discussions underpinned by the search for social and ecological justice, including on the future of states and markets, the future of employment and work, the merits of degrowth versus green growth, forms of decommodification and non-capitalist modes of recourse allocation, the democratisation of the economy and alternative forms of business ownership, the production and conservation of energy, re-commoning resources, non-monetary measures of prosperity, a basic income or jobs guarantee, decentralising power, measurements of prosperity and progress,  how to respond to the threat of nativist nationalist populism, the politics of transitions to sustainability and the lessons to be learned from past socio-economic and cultural conflicts.

The conference will be run in collaboration with the Future Economies Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Leeds, Queen’s University, Steady State Manchester, Rethinking Economics, the Degrowth Research Neetwork and the International Society for Ecological Economics.