Business Meeting Minutes (Crete, 2010)

September 12, 2010

The First International Conference in Political Economy co-organised by the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy (IIPPE) and the Greek Scientific Association of Political Economy was a huge success. It proved to be a very interesting and stimulating experience in all respects and for all involved. The numbers well exceeded our expectations with 140 papers presented. Almost one hundred of these have been uploaded on our website. There were representatives from more than 20 countries, mostly from Europe but also from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey, Kenya and South Africa. About 40 papers were directly related to the theme of the conference. The format with three plenaries and no keynote addresses proved to be successful as the plenaries attracted large numbers of people (the first one, on Friday, was attended by 180-200 people) and created fruitful discussions. The quality of the papers was generally very good with many interesting new findings, both theoretical and applied.

1. 2011 IIPPE Conference

IIPPE’s Second International Conference in Political Economy will be held at Istanbul University, Beyazit, 20-22 of May, 2011. Theme of the conference: “Neoliberalism and the Crises of Economic Science” We also discussed the 2012 Conference. We will explore the possibility of co-organising this one with the French Association somewhere in France with another option being somewhere in Holland.

2. Pluto/IIPPE Book Series on “Political Economy and Development”

edited by Ben Fine (bf@soas.ac.uk) and Dimitris Milonakis (milonakis@econ.soc.uoc.gr) has taken off the ground with one book already in print by Ben Fine “Theories of Social Capital: Researchers Behaving Badly”, and two more edited volumes on development issues already in the pipeline. More proposals are needed.

3. Publication outlets for papers from our workshops and conferences

The special issue in Spectrum from the Ankara workshop has now been published with Faruk Yalmaç as editor. The special issue of the Forum for Social Economics with Guest Editor Dimitris Milonakis and with 8 articles drawn chiefly, but not exclusively, from the Procida workshop is in the final stages of preparation and will appear in 2012.

Several ideas were put forward about possible themes for special issues with articles drawn from the Crete conference (including one on systems of accumulation) and possible outlets have been identified (including Capital and Class, Economy and Society, Historical Materialism, and other journals). Expressions of interest in publishing individual articles and editing special issues are welcome.

Contact: Alfredo Saad Filho (as59@soas.ac.uk).

4. Working Groups

The conference was based to a large extent on streams and sessions organised by working groups (WGs) where some WGs did a fantastic job. These include the finance WG (5 panels), system of accumulation (5 panels), value (5 panels), political economy of work (3 panels), development (1 panel), environment (1 panel), social capital (1 panel), privatisation (1 panel), migration (1 panel), socialism (2 panels), public finance and welfare (1 panel), urban and regional political economy (1 panel). In addition to these, there were also four panels and two plenaries on the theme of the conference, of which one panel and one plenary on the Greek crisis. Last, there was one panel on the political economy of Turkey and another two on Greek poverty, one on critique of mainstream economics and one on applied political economy.

There are currently 18 IIPPE working groups, with some more active than others. All need to establish more permanent activity through the organization of thematic day conferences, working paper series etc., in addition to organising panels for our annual conference.

Contact: Susan Newman PLEASE NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS (susanamynewman@googlemail.com).

5. Membership

The IIPPE mailing list now includes about 700 names and is currently managed using Microsoft Excel. We plan to use an open-source tool to manage our membership database and the mailing list.

Contact: Heesang Jeon (hidarang@gmail.com)

6. Website

The IIPPE web site is powered by MediaWiki, an open-source tool and the engine of Wikipedia. Currently, we have 100 pages about working groups, announcements, conference/workshops and so on. So far, about 250 files have been uploaded, most of which are papers for IIPPE research workshops/conference (86 papers from the Crete conference). WG coordinators are given edit rights and can create new pages about WG activities.

Up to now, our focus has been on building the web site and adding necessary content. Now is the time to think about enhancing the graphic design. We welcome contributions from members who have visual design capabilities.

Contact: Heesang Jeon (hidarang@gmail.com) and Satoshi Miyamura (sm97@soas.ac.uk)

7. External relations – country representatives

We need to extend and deepen our relations with other Institutions and organisations. The co-organisation of the first conference with the Greek Association was a move in this direction, as was the invitation to Cristina Marcuzzo who was the ex-president of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET). We are already exploring possibilities for further cooperation with ESHET. Similarly with the French Association with which, as mentioned already, we are exploring the possibility of co-organising the 2012 conference. After our conference, another conference of the EuroMemorandum group was held in Rethymno and we discussed with them the possibility of mutual cooperation.

We need more country representatives especially from European countries. So far we have representatives in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Belgium, S. Africa, S. Korea and Brazil.

Contact: Daniela Tavasci (dt28@soas.ac.uk).

8. IIPPE Newsletter

The next issue of the IIPPE Newsletter will appear in November. We are looking for short pieces (300-500 words) on any issue of political economy and current economic developments.

Contact: Susan Newman PLEASE NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS (susanamynewman@googlemail.com).

9. Constitution – Elections

Two versions of the constitution were presented, one with membership sovereignty and one with working group sovereignty. The issue of fees was also discussed. There was a suggestion for the election of a Council who would run the organisation together with the Executive Committee, rather than the secretariat which would still exist. The question of voting for the Executive Committee and the Council every two years rather than every year was also raised. The timetable is for a final decision on the constitution to be taken at the IIPPE meeting at the HM conference, and for the first elections to take place around the next IIPPE conference in Istanbul. The discussion on the statutes will continue until the HM conference. You can find the two versions of the statutes at the IIPPE website and any comments should be directed to Alex Abreu (alexjabreu@gmail.com)

Other possibilities are:

  • the Hague in Holland (Susan Newman has already done some preliminary exploration and the first signs are encouraging),
  • Berlin (Simon Mohun and Ozlem Onaran to liaise with Trevor Evans),
  • Turin (John Haskel to investigate).

10. Issue no 5 of the Newsletter is out.

If anybody wants to contribute to the next issue s/he can contact Susan Newman

11. Constitution

The discussion of the constitution was postponed due to lack of time. So far we have the two original versions and some new amendments by Irini Sotiropoulou, George Lambrinidis and Ferda Donmez. Alex Abreu will draft a new version on the basis of what we have at hand and final decisions will be taken at a special meeting at the Istanbul conference.


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