Workshop theme

The Theme

The initiative for this 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.

For Polanyi, the utopian springs of the dogma of liberalism existed within the extension of the market mechanism to the ‘fictitious commodities’ of land, labour, and money. There was nothing natural about laissez-faire. The progress of the utopia of a self-regulating market was backed by the state and checked by a double movement, which attempted to subordinate the laws of the market to the substance of human society through principles of self-protection, legislative intervention, and regulation.

For Hayek, the utopia of freedom was threatened by the abandonment of individualism and classical liberalism. The tyranny of government interventionism led to the loss of freedom, the creation of an oppressive society, and the despotism of dictatorship that led to the serfdom of the individual. Economic planning in the form of socialism and fascism had commonalities that stifled individual freedom. Against the power of the state, the guiding principle of the policy of freedom for the individual was advocated.

The Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to revisit these magnetic poles of political economy as a compass for questioning today’s market economy in the twenty-first century.

The workshop will be held 15-16 August 2014 at the University of Sydney.


Call for Papers

We are now announcing an open call seeking papers and by leading scholars of political economy, broadly construed, both within Australia and internationally. The aim is then to publish the papers from the workshop as peer-reviewed articles in a special issue/section of a forefront journal of political economy and then subsequently as an expanded edited volume.

Deadline for abstract submission initially set at 1 March 2014.

We look forward to welcoming you at the University of Sydney!