About the Workshop – 1st Edition

The current economic crisis of capitalism has affected economies that have different structures, dynamics and income levels. Changes occurred through diverse channels and at different levels of severity, which, in turn, are related to differing economic cycles and types of global economic integration. This decade-long crisis is a result of an extended restructuring process of the methods and forms of the reproduction and accumulation of capital, as well as the effect of the role of the State as a catalyst or guarantor of the accumulation of private capital, particularly financial capital. Not only does the crisis limit the possibilities and scope of public expenditure, but it also leads to the restructuring of economic systems and social relations. The responses to the crisis, in the form of social austerity and monetary and fiscal initiatives, more or less-restrictive or expansionists, do not appear to have been efficient in promoting deep structural changes, nor helping to broadening, diversifying, deepening and articulating the productive base. As a result, the quality of life of citizens has been negatively affected in varying degrees of gravity, extension and depth, and the options for reproduction and sustaining medium and long-term economic development have been limited.
In this context, the Centre for African, Asian and Latin American Studies of the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (CEsA and ISEG) is issuing this call for papers for a workshop on the generic topic of “The Political Economy of the Crisis and Economic Restructuring: History, Dynamics, Implications and Lessons”. The workshop, which is designed for specialists and other interested parties, will take place in Lisbon, on the 12th and 13th of October 2017, at ISEG.

The workshop is organised around four main focal topics and goals. The first one intends to understand the contemporary history and dynamics of the crisis and the similarities and differences with previous crises, and between economies in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Special attention should be given to the channels of transmission of the crisis, its relationship with historically-specific processes of restructuring the social system of the accumulation of capital, and of the transformation and intervention of the State, and of its relationship with capital and labour. The second topic aims to assess the social, economic and political implications of the crisis. The third focal point intends to approach the discussion on the current crisis, from both the perspective of national policies, as well as that of international and regional coordination. In this particular context, albeit not exclusively, attention will be given to the public debt crisis from both the point of view of its restructuring, and also from the mobilisation and deployment of resources that debt restructuring could eventually make available, to promote a broader, more diversified and articulated economic and social development of the economies of these regions. Finally, lessons from ongoing crises will be identified for research, history, economic theory and public policy.

This workshop is organised as part of the programme of the PhD in Development Studies of Universidade de Lisboa, which is coordinated by ISEG, and is sponsored by The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It is part of CEsA’s initiative to promote research based on Political Economy, and, thus, it is a contribution to the creation of the Portuguese Association of Political Economy and to promoting Political Economy and its inherent inter-disciplinary approach as a method of study. Furthermore, this workshop aims to develop research links and networks, and, also, to encourage knowledge-sharing, publication and debate about the Political Economy of Development, and the transformation of capitalism in peripheral economies. Special attention will be given to Portuguese-speaking countries, without excluding other countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.