Board of the International Karl Polanyi Society

Foundation of the International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS)

In recent years, there has been a Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) revival. Scholars all over the world are referring to his masterpiece The Great Transformation to understand and explain the development and changes of contemporary capitalism, of market fundamentalism and the rise of new reactionary forms of authoritarianism. Karl Polanyi promoted an integrated analysis of complex, conflict-laden phenomena that did not resort to dogma. Engagement with and criticism of his concepts and predictions have inspired new research fields – be it in transformation studies, socioeconomics or cultural political economy.

The International Karl Polanyi Society – founded May 8, 2018, in Vienna – will take up this intellectual legacy as well as the huge international interest. It will aim at promoting and broadening the research inspired by Karl Polanyi to understand the contradictions inherent in contemporary capitalism. In the age of the climate crisis, rising illiberal democracies, social polarization and looming geopolitical confrontation, his writings inspire us to engage with the multiple contradictions of economic growth and technological progress (“improvements”) on the one hand and threats to ecological sustainability and sociocultural well-being (“habitation”) on the other.

Presentations at the event:

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