Category Archives: Events

Polanyi Lectures April/May 2019

In addition to the International Karl Polanyi Conference 2019, we are delighted to announce also the Polanyi Lectures scheduled for April/ May 2019, which will be part of the framework program of the conference.

Two events will be Department Lecture Series of the Department of Socioeconomics at WU Vienna  organized by the Institute of Economic Geography and GIScience and the Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development, one event will be the official opening of the Vienna part of the transnational conference.

Kindly find the detailed program below.

Call for Papers – International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) Conference 2019

Conference 2019 in Budapest and Vienna co-organized by
International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) &
Karl Polanyi Research Center for Global Social Studies
Karl Polanyi and the Future of Humankind
2 May 2019 in Budapest, Hungary

Conference day with invited speakers

Karl Polanyi was not only a harsh critic of existing global capitalism and its historic development; he was also concerned with how humankind shapes its own destiny. The first part of the conference seeks to understand what possible futures can be envisioned in the current circumstances and dynamics of global capitalism after a long period of neoliberal hegemony.


Universal Capitalism in Decline?
3-5 May 2019 in Vienna, Austria

Conference with call for papers

Call for Papers
In 1945 Karl Polanyi published “Universal Capitalism or Regional Planning” , using the term “universal capitalism” to describe the political-economic system that had led to the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II. The conference refers to this motive to analyze contemporary societal change, to share perspectives from around the globe and to reflect on methodological questions. These three broad concerns will be at the center International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) conference 2019.

A) Globalization, financialization, liberalization and the countermovement
“Universal capitalism” describes a series of processes familiar to us today. Neoliberal globalization, financialization and commodification universalize the market society and increase socio-cultural tensions. These globalizing dynamics have resulted in diverse anti- globalization movements, but might even have nurtured the spread of authoritarian regimes. The respective imaginaries of these movements against neoliberal globalization range from nostalgia of a lost past to visions of a commonwealth based on solidarity and equality. Karl Polanyi’s oeuvre provides us with a unique analytical framework, concepts and ideas to study these processes, crises, and transformations. Current movements should be examined from different perspectives, including:

  • Disentangling the relationship between free trade and finance on the one hand, national sovereignty and democracy on the other hand
  • Global ecological and social challenges and regional resilience strategies
  • National sovereignty, illiberal democracies and European solidarity
  • Western universalism, the rise of Asia and a new world (dis-)order
  • Trade wars, new forms of protectionism and the challenges for neoliberal globalization
  • Civil society initiatives, labor and social movements facing neoliberal globalization and political change

B) Bringing together Polanyi-inspired research from different regions and countries
Karl Polanyi has become an indispensable point of reference in critical discussions on contemporary transformations. However, scholars in different countries and regions emphasize different aspects of his work. We invite papers that focus on how Polanyi’s analyses of universal capitalism and its transformations are discussed in different parts of the world.

C) Commodification, double movement and embeddedness – concepts to understand the 21st century capitalism?
”Working with Polanyi today” means reflecting, thinking and acting under the conditions of fragmented, increasingly international academic communities in a neoliberal, more and more authoritarian environment. Polanyi, however, has always gone beyond academia, making his living as a journalist, teaching at public universities and contributing to public debates. The question of how social science can contribute to the elaboration of a democratic narrative for the ordinary people occupied Polanyi throughout his life. Therefore, we explicitly invite papers that dwell on the relation between the scientific and the ethical approach as well as possible academic contributions to public debates. Of special interest are conceptual clarifications and experimentation with new forms of partnerships between civil society, social movements and academia.

Conference language: English.

Submission of Abstracts
Abstracts should not exceed a maximum of 400 words, including the author’s full name, the title of the presentation, a maximum of 4 keywords, the author’s affiliation, full address and e- mail. Please send your abstract with all the necessary information to the address:, with in the subject line “Abstract Conference 2019”.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 31 December 2018
Notification of acceptance: 31 January 2019
Presentations of the papers will be held in Vienna.

Download the Call for Papers HERE

Budapest: Corvinus University of Budapest
Vienna: Austrian Foundation for Development Research (ÖFSE)
The organizers will arrange transportation between Budapest and Vienna for those interested.

Organizers and hosts of the conference
International Karl Polanyi Society:
Karl Polanyi Research Center for Global Social Studies:

Conference 2018, May 8-9

Invitation Polanyi Gala

Presentations at the event:

ÖFSE‐Development Lecture. May 7, 2018 – Opening Speech by Andreas Novy

(available only in German)

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, sehr geehrte Professorin Polanyi Levitt, liebe Kari,

Es ist mir eine Ehre, bei dieser ÖFSE-Development Lecture hier in den Räumlichkeiten der Österreichischen Nationalbank einleitende Worte zu sprechen. Und es freut mich, dass die Ehrung von Kari Polanyi Levitt an diesem für österreichische Wirtschaftspolitik wichtigen Ort stattfindet. Denn, so meine ich, es geht heute ganz wesentlich darum, dass wo, was und wie gedacht wird, nicht zufällig ist. Im Titel der heutigen Veranstaltung „A West-Indian from Eastern Europe – die Entwicklungsökonomin Kari Polanyi Levitt “ wird genau dies angedeutet. Denken ist kontextabhängig. Die Geschichte der Entwicklungsökonomie, so werden wir heute auch von Professorin Polanyi hören, stützt diese These in mehrfacher Hinsicht.

Beginnen wir lebensgeschichtlich: Kari Polanyi ist in Wien geboren und hat hier ihre Kindheit verbracht. Ihr Vater ging 1933 ins Exil, Kari 1934 und ihre Mutter Ilona, eine antifaschistische Aktivistin, 1936. Mit ihnen gingen sehr viele der herausragenden zentraleuropäischen Intellektuellen. In England waren sie entscheidend an einem innovativen Milieu aus Exilanten und britischer Elite beteiligt, das die Wirtschaftswissenschaften nicht nur durch die Keynessche Revolution veränderte. Auch die Entwicklungsökonomie hat dort wichtige Wurzeln.

„A West-Indian from Eastern Europe“ ist eine Beschreibung Karis durch Lloyd Best, einen karibischen Entwicklungsökonomen. Die West Indies und Osteuropa verbindet, dass sie nie Zentrum der Weltwirtschaft waren. Von den Rändern auf etwas zu schauen, eröffnet einen anderen Blick und macht einen Unterschied. Der Standpunkt spielt eine Rolle. Zentraleuropa bietet einen besonders fruchtbaren Boden für Reflexionen über Entwicklung. Schumpeter und selbst Hayek untersuchten Prozesse, Evolution, Entwicklung; ihnen war die Bedeutung von Geschichte bewusst. Und selbst ihnen, die ja wahrlich keine Revolutionäre waren, war bewusst, dass Freiheit, aber auch wirtschaftliche Ordnung keine Selbstverständlichkeit sind, sondern immer prekär und umkämpft.


Recording of the whole lecture by Kari Levitt Polanyi available here