UWE Reteachers at the 9th Annual IIPPE Conference in Political Economy

Susan Newman, Sara Stevano, Lotta Takala-Greenish

The 9th IIPPE Annual Conference in Political Economy took place from 12-14th September 2018 at Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia. Keeping up with recent years’ record, Reteachers from UWE Economics were well represented. The conference was organised around the overarching theme of ‘The State of Capitalism and the State of Political Economy’ and over 300 scholars and activists from across the world discussed their political economy research, touching upon various facets of capitalist transformations and pushing the frontiers of political economy.

TThe three UWE Reteachers who were in attendance intervened in panels on neoliberalism, the political economy of work, social reproduction and commodity studies. Lotta Takala-Greenish presented her research onExploring formal/informal work structures in South African waste collection (slides here).Susan Newman presented her joint paper with Sam Ashman onNew Patterns in Capital Flight from South Africa and discussed the preliminary findings of her joint paper with Sara Stevano onThe neoliberal restructuring of UK Overseas Development Assistance (slides here), both papers were very appreciated by the audience who thought them revealing and timely. Sara Stevano presented her paper onWomen’s work in Mozambique: Gender, social differentiation and social reproduction (slides here) in a great all-women panel on social reproduction and the political economy of work.

Across several sessions, there was much discussion of the future of pluralist economics and education where UWE economics was highlighted as a leading institution. UWE Economics is now considered as an established centre for critical political economy, with possibly the largest concentration of early career critical political economists in a UK university. UWE’s recent recruitment of pluralist economists has been noted widely and was reflected in questions about future recruitment plans. Participation of UWE Economics in IIPPE continues to reaffirm the presence of our group in current political economy debates and generates opportunities for collaboration with colleagues in the UK and beyond.

One of the key aims of IIPPE is to provide a platform for early career researchers to interact with more established and senior scholars in political economy. The conference provided an opportunity benchmark and share information about postgraduate training in political economy. The UWE MSc in Global Political Economy was mentioned as one of only a handful degrees providing an interdisciplinary political economy approach housed within an economics department. The first intake of UWE’s MSc Global Political Economy students will be submitting their dissertations end of September and are being encouraged to submit their research to present at the next IIPPE conference in July 2019. UWE Reteachers are welcoming our new 2018-2019 MSc students who will no doubt contribute to the active research environment at UWE Bristol.