Market Politics in Context

25 September 2012, 09:00 - 18:00

CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Open to all, but registration is required.
Online registration is closed now (deadline 17 September 2012)

Email el269@cam.ac.uk to check if there are places available.
Fee: £10.00

The market square used to host economic exchange, but also political life and social interaction. Likewise, Market Square – The Polity, Economy and Society Cambridge Research Group is a forum for researchers studying society in its overlapping economic, political, and organisational aspects. The idea behind Market Square is that social scientists can contribute to the public debate by pointing to possibilities, perspectives and solutions that go beyond received schemes and dichotomies, but are grounded in what is achievable in a given social context.

The aim of Market Square’s activities of this year is to go beyond the state vs. market dichotomies and consider markets as domains of interaction and conflict between actors whose economic and political strategies often overlap.

The Workshop will have two subthemes.

Subtheme 1: Market politics in the domestic context

The first sub-theme lays the groundwork for the overall analysis of market politics in context and investigated the entanglement of markets with social and political relations within the domestic context.

The group’s discussions have drawn from, yet aspired to move beyond, the understanding of markets as ‘embedded’ in social and political relations. How do ‘socially constructed’ and ‘embedded’ markets also influence, shape, and penetrate into the social and political spheres? How do economic and political relations shape each other and become entangled and inseparable?

These foundational issues can be built from, and applied to, the study of market politics in the domestic context. What is the role of economic actors and ideas in changing the political dynamics of a country, vis-à-vis the ongoing reconfiguration of markets in the political context? How does the mutual shaping of economic and political relations unfold in different countries at different times of history, for example in emerging economies or during economic recessions? How does this mutual shaping process evolve over time in different countries?

Subtheme 2: Market politics between the domestic and the international contexts

Phenomena such as protection of “national champions,” the race for natural resources, the trade of resources according to political rather than economic logics, and the rise of sovereign funds, require us to understand the entrenchment of economic and political logics in the political interaction of modern states. The second sub-theme is devoted to this line of research.

The group’s activities have highlighted some sets of key issues, such as the economic and political roots of interactions among states. Should interactions be explained in terms of long term economic trends or contextual political situation? Are interactions based on the economic interest of the states, or are they the result of conflicts of interests among groups within states? In decisions concerning foreign policy, what is the relative weight of nation states and transnational interest groups? One should question the very distinction between economic and political logics. For instance, are markets simply tools to pursue economic and political ends, or have they modified the very fabric of the constitutional order of modern states?

The study of the Welfare State can give us privileged insight into these issues, because it can be seen as a key locus of conflict, a sphere which crystallizes the interaction between markets and politics. The activities of the group point to several key issues. What has been the role of welfare states in the economic and political formation of developed economies? What are their economic and political functions in fast growing economies and more mature economies? How are welfare policies influenced by the international context to which a given state belongs? Furthermore, what political and economic actors benefit from the way the welfare state is organized in each context? What are the tensions between democracy and dependency, nationalism and internationalism that characterize welfare state politics?

About Market Square

The market square used to host economic exchange, but also political life and social interaction. Likewise, Market Square – The Polity, Economy and Society Cambridge Research Group is a forum for researchers studying society in its overlapping economic, political, and organisational aspects. The idea behind Market Square is that social scientists can contribute to the public debate by pointing to possibilities, perspectives and solutions that go beyond received schemes and dichotomies, but are grounded in what is achievable in a given social context.

For more information about the group and programme visit the main page on the right hand side of this page.


Tuesday 25 September 2012

 

10.30 - 11.00

Registration (and coffee)


 

Session 1: Market politics in the domestic context 

11.00 - 11.20

Welcome and Introduction

Ivano Cardinale (University of Cambridge) and
Anna Kim (University of Cambridge)

11.20 - 11.50


Peter Burke
(University of Cambridge)

Cultures and Economies: An Approach from Historical Anthropology

11.50 - 12.20

Adrian Pabst (University of Kent)
The Post-Liberal Alternative? Paradoxical Politics and the Resurgence of Civil Society

12.20 - 12.40
Discussion

 12.40 - 13.40

Lunch


 

Session 2: Market politics between the domestic and the international contexts

13.40 - 14.00 Introduction

Hassan Akram (University of Cambridge) and
Antonio Andreoni (University of Cambridge)


14.00 - 14.30
Grazia letto-Gillies ( London South Bank University)

Transnational Companies and Nation-States. An Analysis Based on Strategic Behaviour


14.30 - 15.00 Valeria Miceli ( Catholic University of Milan)

Sovereign Wealth Funds at the Crossroads of Finance and Politics

15.00 - 15.30
Lawrence King (University of Cambridge)
Welfare States in Contemporary Global Capitalism
15.30 - 15.50
Discussion

15.50 - 16.10 Tea/Coffee break
16.10 - 16.20 Final Remarks:
Roberto Scazzieri
(University of Bologna; Gonville and Caius College and Clare Hall, Cambridge)

16.20 - 17.20 Roundtable – Ways forward

17.20 Closing