On For the Desk Drawer this week it is great to be able to provide further details on the forthcoming workshop to be held at the University of Sydney on Karl Polanyi and Friedrich Hayek. The workshop is entitled ‘Questioning the Utopian Springs of Market Economy’ and will take place across 15 and 16 August 2014. It is part of a series of new developments this year linked to the Department of Political Economy — part of the School of Social and Political Sciences within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences — not least the fact that the Department of Political Economy will be very soon starting an appointment process for a permanent Lectureship position in Political Economy. There will be more news on that shortly. For the present, though, here are those details on the Polanyi-Hayek workshop.

Following my previous update, the workshop organising committee (consisting of myself, Damien Cahill, Martijn Konings and Stephen Castles) can confirm that there are currently 30 papers contributing to the workshop plus three plenaries. The latter includes Gareth Dale (Brunel University), Sandra Halperin (Royal Holloway University of London), and Philip Mirowski (University of Notre Dame).

TheRoadtoSerfdomThe paper presentations cover scholars from Australia, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. The initiative for the workshop stems from the seventieth anniversary, falling in 2014, of the publication of two seminal political economy texts written respectively by Karl Polanyi and Friedrich Hayek. In 1944 both Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation and Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom were published, delineating very different pathways to the utopian springs constituting and challenging market economy. These pathways focused on the ‘birth of the liberal creed’ (Polanyi) and the road to ‘security and freedom’ (Hayek) in mid-twentieth century conditions that still shape the present.

KarlPolanyi_TheGreatTransformationThe papers and plenaries will address at times both Polanyi and Hayek, or adopt a focus on one specific figure related to issues as diverse as finance; the ‘embeddedness’ of neoliberalism; migration; the environment; the battle of ideas; the ‘self-regulating’ market; utopian visions; and the great transformations shaping the geographies and political economies of capitalist development.

Both presenters and interested audience participants can click on the following link for the dedicated website for the workshop: HERE. The link has further details on the workshop theme; conference registration; the draft programme; dinner arrangements; and a section ‘around the workshop’ covering accommodation, visa information for international travellers to Australia, local travel, and child care facilities.

Updates to the draft programme will be made as soon as notifications are received about alterations. So, watch out for future updates and meanwhile we look forward to welcoming you to the University and Sydney.

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