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Karl Polanyi International Conference

15th International Karl Polanyi Conference
“The Role of the State in the post-COVID 21st Century”
Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
April 22-24, 2021
Deadline for submission of paper/panel proposals: December 1, 2020
Call for Papers


Previous Karl Polanyi Conferences

Theme: The Great Transformation & Contemporary Crises

Venue: Karl Polanyi Institute Asia (KPIA), Seoul, South Korea, October 12-14, 2017

Theme: The Intellectual Legacy of Karl Polanyi

Venue: Concordia University, November 6-8, 2014

Issues discussed

  • The “disembedded economy”
  • The “double movement” and agency in social transformation
  • The “economistic fallacy”
  • Freedom in a complex society

Call for Papers

Conference Program

Video Recording of Conference plenary sessions

Theme: Karl Polanyi and Latin America

Venue: Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 8-10, 2012

Organizer: José Luís Coraggio, Conurbano Institute, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, in collaboration with the Polanyi Institute, and with support from Consejo de Decanos de Facultades Sociales y Humanas, EMES – European Research Network, Red de investigadores Latinoamericanos de Economía social y solidaria (RILESS), and Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO).

Issues discussed

  • New theoretical perspectives in the social sciences
  • Neoliberalism, globalization and the current crisis
  • Public policy and resistance
  • Fictitious commodities and the social and solidarity economy in the South and in the North

The conference was also the occasion for the launching of the volume Textos escogidos. Karl Polanyi, edited by José Luís Coraggio (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento / CLACSO, 2012), a collection of published and unpublished works by Karl Polanyi in the Spanish language.

Call for Papers

Conference Program

Theme: The Relevance of Karl Polanyi for the 21st Century

Venue: Concordia University, December 9-11, 2008

Issues discussed

  • The significance of Polanyi to contemporary theoretical debates in the social sciences and the humanities in the search for new paradigms and conceptual frameworks relevant to the realities of the 21st century
  • Polanyi’s concepts of reciprocity, fictitious commodities, and double movements to the development of critical approaches in theory, action, and policy at the beginning of the 21st century
  • Polanyi’s relevance to national contexts and international cooperation
  • Polanyi’s social, economic and political thought compared to important social thinkers such as Marx, Gramsci, Arendt, Hayek, among others
  • The social economy as an alternative socio-economic model and a means for social transformation

Call for Papers

Conference Program

Theme: Protecting Society and Nature from the Commodity Fiction

Venue: Bogazici University, Istanbul, October 13-16, 2005

Organizer: Ayşe Buğra, Social Policy Forum, Kuzey Kampus, Bogazici University

Issues discussed

  • Work, Poverty and Social Exclusion
  • Land and Nature as Fictitious Commodities
  • Knowledge as a Fictitious Commodity
  • Entitlements for Social Participation
  • Responsibility, Agency and the Future of Social Policy
  • Contributions on the work of Karl Polanyi  

Call for Papers

Theme: Co-Existence

Venue: Concordia University, November 12-16, 2003

Issues discussed

  • Security of the West/ Security of the Rest
  • Globalizaton / Anti-Globalizaton
  • Universal Human Rights / Self Determination of Nations and Peoples
  • Multilateralism/ Regionalism
  • Public Interest and Public Goods  /  Private Accumulation
  • Issues of Secular and Religious Authority
  • Cultural Pluralism
  • Issues of Population, Health, and Environment

Call for Papers

Conference Program

Theme: Economy and Democracy

Venue: Univesidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), November 14-16, 2001

Organizer: Larissa Lomnitz, IIMAS, UNAM in collaboration with the Polanyi Institute

Issues discussed

  • Globalization and counter-movements
  • The role of social movements and civil society in building a new international order
  • Women and economic democracy
  • The environment and distributive justice on a global scale
  • The rights of the South to development
  • Free Trade Area in the Americas - an extension of the American empire, or an American Union like the European?
  • The rise of populism and right-wing religious fundamentalism
  • Community-based economic development
  • The role of civil disobedience
  • The social economy as an alternative paradigm


Theme: Re-Thinking Human Needs

Venue: Centre Auguste et Léon Walras, Université Lyon, France, May 26-28, 1999

Organizer: Jean-Louis Laville, Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, France in collaboration with the Polanyi Institute

Issues discussed

  • Social/solidarity economy and alternative economic strategies in light of the decline of the welfare state
  • The social dimension of globalization
  • Evolutionary economics and economic sociology
  • Fictitious commodities
  • Politics of recognition
  • The global financial crisis

Theme: Reciprocity, Redistribution and Exchange: Re-Embedding the Economy in Culture and in Nature

Venue: Concordia University, November 7-10, 1996

Issues discussed

  • Ecology, economy and society
  • Urban social movements, the social economy and local development within the context of globalization
  • The commodification of labour and culture
  • Social and cultural dislocation in economies in transition   

The Institute published three volumes of proceedings from this conference

  • Social Economy. International Debates and Perspectives
  • Prehistory and History. Ethnicity, Class and Political Economy
  • Economy and Society. Money, Capitalism and Transition

Theme: Re-Reading The Great Transformation: Freedom in a Complex Society

Venue: Dr. Karl Renner Institute, Vienna, Austria, November 10-13, 1994

Organizer: Egon Matzner, Austrian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the Polanyi Institute

Issues discussed

  • International political economy, with emphasis on the implications of the globalization of finance
  • The micro-economic issues and macro-economic problems of countries in transition and their integration into the European system
  • The role of social movements and informal economic initiatives
  • The future of socialism
  • Identity, ethnicity and nationalism
  • The relevance of Polanyi’s work to the sustainability debate 

The Institute published a volume of proceedings from this conference

  • Karl Polanyi in Vienna. The Contemporary Significance of The Great Transformation

Theme: Beyond Market and State: Survival Strategy or Autonomous Development?

Venue: Concordia University, November 1992

Issues discussed

  • Globalization
  • Socio-economic restructuring and emergent responses to the economic and social crisis at national, regional and local levels, and their capacities to transform the communities they addressed
  • The informal sector in developing economies

The Institute published four volumes of proceedings from this conference

  • From Political Economy to Anthropology. Situating Economic Life in Past Societies
  • Humanity, Society, and Commitment. On Karl Polanyi
  • Artful Practices. The Political Economy of Everyday Life
  • Europe. Central and East


Theme: The Seductive Market and the Future of Socialism

Venue: Facoltá di Scienze Politiche, Universitá degli Studi, Milan, Italy, November 1990

Organizer: Alfredo Salsano, Editoriale Bollati Boringhieri, Italy in collaboration with the Polanyi Institute

Issues discussed

  • Socialism as social transformation
  • Ideological and Political Contradictions of Capitalism
  • Constructing a new economic paradigm
  • Ecological Economics

The Institute published a volume of proceedings from this conference

  • The Milano Papers. Essays in Societal Alternatives



Theme: Market, State and Society at the End of the  20th Century

Venue: Concordia University, November 1988

Participats at this conference explored the interplay between market, state and society in broad terms, theoretically and from comparative perspectives, and discussed Polanyi-inspired alternatives for social reconstruction.

The Institute published a volume of proceedings from this conference

  • The Legacy of Karl Polanyi. Market, State and Society at the End of the Twentieth Century


Theme: Karl Polanyi Centenary

Venue: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, November 1988

Organizer: The Hungarian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with professors Kari Polanyi Levitt and Marguerite Mendell

Issues discussed

  • Polanyi and Hungarian intellectual life
  • Polanyi’s model of functional socialism
  • Issues relating to The Great Transformation
  • Comparative economic anthropology
  • Comparative political and economic thought
  • The reception of Polanyi’s work within a comparative perspective

The Institute published a volume of proceedings

  • The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi







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