International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Economy & Society

Call for Abstracts: RC02 Sessions at the IV ISA Forum of Sociology, deadline: 30 September 2019

Below are the titles and abstracts for the RC02 hosted sessions at the IV ISA Forum of Sociology in Porto Algre, Brazil 14-18 July 2020. The deadline to submit paper abstracts to these sessions is 30 September 2020. Follow this link for the list of sessions and sumission portal on the ISA website: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/forum2020/webprogrampreliminary/Symposium568.html


Brexit and the World System: The Challenges of European State Restructuring to World Systems Theory and to Left and Feminist Politics

Brexit brought to the surface latent ruptures within British and European left politics. Dubbed Lexit, the left-exit position split the Labour Party. The Lexiteers shared a belief with the right's Eurosceptics in the autonomy of the nation-state and its capacity for action. In Germany, similarly there are advocates of ‘de-linking’ in the context of globalisation/anti-globalisation debates.

Is the Lexit position a new form of Left Nationalism or a traditional class-first politics that underestimates the role of the EU in gender, environment, and human security projects?  Is the EU merely a neoliberal machine unresponsive to the people?   Is the project to exit the EU to be understood as a working class claim to national sovereignty or as a project of the right to move the UK away from the gender equality and environmental regulations of the EU-hegemon? When gender is brought into focus does the analysis of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic projects in the world system change?

In this panel, Sylvia Walby will critically engage the nature of Left Nationalism in a debate with a proponent of the Lexit/de-linking position. 

Session Organizer:

Heidi GOTTFRIED, Wayne State University, USA, heidi.gottfried@wayne.edu

Care Policies and Gender Equality

Care has become a focus of increased public concern, political debate and academic research. The aging process and the increasing women labor market participation are bringing about new demands affecting traditional care models. A wide array of care policies are being implemented worldwide. Shifting the provision of care to the market, ensuring the provision of care by the state, through public policies, implementing flexible work, expanding maternity, paternity and parental leave and informal care work are some of the policies we seek to discuss. This session aims at bringing together papers from different parts of the world, South and North, that analyze institutions, organizations and policies, their material and symbolic impact, on reducing or exacerbating class, gender, race/ethnicity and nationality based inequalities.

Session Organizers:

Bila SORJ, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sorjbila@gmail.com
Karina BATTHYANY, FCS UDELAR, Uruguay, kbatthyany@gmail.com

Corporate Power, Fossil Capital, Climate Crisis

This session explores the intersections between (a) networks, structures and practices of capitalist class power (and resistance to it), as centred in large corporations; (b) the political economy of fossil capital as a way of life that has reached global scale; and (c) the accelerating climate crisis, whose urgency seems to be matched by its intractability at least within the strictures of capitalism itself. Papers should address all three of these concerns, but can focus on any of a range of power modalities, including the following: corporate networks and elites, corporate ownership and control, the financing of fossil capital, corporate social responsibility discourses, think tanks and corporate advocacy, business activism and lobbying, soft denialism and green capitalism, carbon energy commodity chains, flashpoints of resistance.

Session Organizer:

William CARROLL, University of Victoria, Canada, wcarroll@uvic.ca

Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Impact on Corporate Governance: Achievements and Limits

Corporate Social Responsibility is a dynamic movement spearheading a transformation project challenging traditional and outmoded forms of corporate governance that frequently pose troublesome ethical issues.  Since the mid 1990s, this movement has developed into a strong and rich institutional domain through at least 4 main sources: academic research; civil society movements; non-governmental standardization organizations and business corporations assisted by a large constellation of accreditation, auditing and control consulting firms.  Many people and organizations are now involved in a vast loosely integrated network of human and corporate actors that elaborate, promote defend and implement the different versions of the CSR regulatory model in a framework of power relations. 

 For this session of the ISA Research Committee 02 on Economy and Society, we welcome submissions that engage topics, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • CSR as an institutional standpoint on the relations between Economy and Society

  • Current core issues and debates on the impact of CSR on corporate governance

  • Where are the nation-states in the regulation practices of private (and public) organizations to follow the UN Guiding Principles: ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’?

  • Sustainable business strategies regarding Human Rights, climate change and development 

  • Implementation of CSR and organizational change, particularly in Brazil and other countries of South America.

Session Organizer:

Arnaud SALES, University of Montreal, Canada, arnaud.sales@umontreal.ca

Economic Protectionist Impulses and Divergent Politics in Late Neoliberalism

The expansive growth of far-right nationalist politics, a resurgent interest in socialist and communist political mobilization, scrambling efforts to revitalize centrist politics, and apathetic or quiescent withdrawal are defining features of political environments in the contemporary era. This panel looks to shed light on the various ways (left, right, centrist, other) in which national populations have sought political mitigation (or given up on such mitigation) of economic hardships and adversities and how efforts to maintain neoliberal conditions have contributed to, and perhaps relied on, this political fragmentation and withdrawal.

Session Organizer:

Cory BLAD, Manhattan College, USA, cory.blad@manhattan.edu

Elite Perceptions of Inequality Compared: The Context-Specific Historical Accumulation of Privileges across Different Elite Spaces

This session aims to bring together researchers of ‘elite’ perceptions of economic inequality. We are particularly interested in exploring and comparing the context-specific, spatially and historically embedded elements of wealthy environments, and how these are considered in elites’ accounts of their own privileges. For instance, while elites in Brazil or Mexico utilise historic events particular to their national context, like colonialism, to explain and possibly legitimise their privileges, their peers in the UK rely predominantly on market-based explanations.

Previous work on elite perceptions has highlighted the importance of meritocratic ideas and of considering views towards inequalities of gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity. We aim to understand how these different dimensions of inequality influence elite perceptions, moving beyond a one-dimensional idea of privilege to understand how a ‘web of privileges’ is experienced. To that end, it is important to relate current perceptions to the history of place in which ‘elites’ find themselves in. Moreover, with few notable exceptions (e.g. Reis and Moore 2005), the growing body of literature on elite perceptions towards inequality has not yet focused on international or inter-place comparisons. However, to implement successful poverty and inequality reduction policies, it is crucial to understand contextually embedded elite perceptions. Therefore, we aim to scrutinize the role of context through a comparative lens to understand local particularities. Not all contributions will be comparative, but we are particularly inviting scholars keen to relate their own work on ‘elite’ perceptions of inequality to those of other scholars in different parts of the world.

Session Organizers:

Alice KROZER, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge, UK, ak857@cam.ac.uk
Katharina HECHT, LSE, UK, k.hecht@lse.ac.uk

Emerging Economy MNCs and Dominance Patterns in Global Capitalism

Multinational Corporations (MNCs) play a pivotal role in global capitalism and in shaping its dynamics. In a sociological perspective, MNCs emerge as powerful actors that are able to shape the global economy to a considerable extent. In such a perspective MNCs can be conceived of as “neo-imperial spaces” that are embedded in and are themselves reproducing a “hierarchical system of nations dominated by imperial powers” in the Global North (Boussebaa & Morgan 2014). Yet, the rise of the BRICs and particularly China may change the established patterns of dominance in the global economy.

This panel, therefore, focuses on emerging economy MNCs (EEMNCs), their internationalization strategies and practices, and their role in global capitalism. Contributions to the panel may address, but are not confined to, the following questions:

  • What are the particularities of EEMNCs, compared with their advanced economy counterparts, and how do these particularities matter for their role in the global economy?

  • What kinds of power relations do EEMNCs establish within their globally dispersed networks?

  • In how far does the emergence of EEMNCs, especially from China, indicate a shift of dominance in global capitalism?

Boussebaa, M. Morgan, G. (2014): "Pushing the frontiers of critical international business studies", in: critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 10 Iss 1/2 pp. 96 – 106.

Session Organizer:

Ursula MENSE-PETERMANN, Bielefeld University, Germany, ursula.mense@uni-bielefeld.de

Entrepreneurship and Its Challenges to Sociology: Accounting for Failure, Achieving Success

Studies of entrepreneurs inform us of their challenges in launching, achieving success and even their revival from failure. Comparisons among Latin American countries find that entrepreneurs work the market, playing one lender off against another to obtain optimal loans with few encumbrances. Research in poorer communities (favelas) in Brazil indicates that while entrepreneurs receive support from government and NGOs such as foreign and religious organizations and political parties, alliances also occur with informal investors and non-law groups such as gangs. Yet at the end of the day if entrepreneurs are not successful, if they tumble do they resurrect? Does entrepreneurial spirit endure? A recent study finds that it does. Via the Internet a researcher learned how entrepreneurs accounted for their failure and what they did to restore their initiative. Information technology, by sourcing the internet, offers new methods to study entrepreneurship and to what extent it contributes to the wealth and welfare of nations.

Session Organizers:

Lúcia MÜLLER, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul - PUCRS, Brazil, mullucia@gmail.com
Harry M. MAKLER, University of Torontro, Canada, makler@stanford.edu

Global Inequality: Emerging Dynamics in Deglobalizing World

The session calls for papers which discuss exacerbating global inequalities with new forms and dynamics unfolding today. The panel is interested in examining the issues of global inequality under deglobalizing trends from historical, comparatives and structural approaches. We welcome papers of the following topics, but we are open to any other topics related to the issue of global inequality and methodological approaches:

  • trend of deglobalization and nationalism

  • democracy and fascism

  • conflict, war, and development

  • income inequality and global hierarchy of wealth

  • gap between top 1% and the rest

  • analyses of the newly-industrializing countries (NICs), the group of BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with South Africa sometimes included), and the Latin America

  • the rise and fall of new hegemon

  • global and regional social movements in the context of deglobalization, nationalism, and neoliberalism

  • relationship between within-country and between-country inequality

  • generational gap and conflict

  • migration, climate change and environment

  • gender and ethnic politics

Papers may provide theoretical, empirical, historical, or methodological discussions centered around the theme.

Session Organizers:

Christopher CHASE-DUNN, University of California-Riverside, USA, christopher.chase-dunn@ucr.edu,
Yoshimichi SATO, Tohoku University, Japan, yoshimichi.sato.a5@tohoku.ac.jp
Hiroko INOUE, University of California, Riverside, USA, inoueh02@ucr.edu

Global Management Practices in Emergent Economies

In this session, we want to explore the type of management approaches that are practiced in selected emerging countries. Papers presented in this session will explore how companies, subsidiaries, and enterprises become profitable and grow in emerging countries by incorporating globalized norms and standards of management with the local ways of doing business. These processes of adaption are considered as glocalization or hybridization.

We want to demonstrate how hybrid and innovative forms of private companies' management can be shaped by the mobility of people, capital, goods and knowledge. We also want to demonstrate that local business practices (traditions, social networks, so called "poor" governance, and "insufficient" managerial skills) are not obstacles to development but may create economic opportunities.

Understanding of this new approach to management can be achieved through the following strategies:

  • Collaborative empirical research across cultures by applying similar research approaches;

  • By examining the background, the education and the career of business leaders and managers of industrial and commercial enterprises of selected countries;

  • By collecting ethnographic data and producing business related and organization-based case studies from which it will be possible to develop a theoretical framework on how business is conducted, and organizations are managed in emergent economies.

This will allow advancing a cutting-edge, empirically grounded theoretical framework on business and management practices in emergent countries. We will accept papers that present research on the above described topics.

Session Organizers:

Ulrike M.M. SCHUERKENS, Université Rennes 2 LiRIS EA 7481, France, uschuerkens@gmail.com
Habibul KHONDKER, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates, habib.khondker@gmail.com

Professional Services Firms in the Global Economy

There is a growing awareness of the critical role that professional service firms—e.g., actuaries, lawyers, accountants, consultants, engineers—play in shaping the global economy. In recent decades, professional service firms have been implicated in such processes as rising income and wealth inequality, authoritarianism and technocracy, as well as financialization and wide-scale organizational misconduct. While some professional services, such as law and accounting, are both relatively old and highly regulated, several more recent professional services, like management consultants and IT analysts enjoy few regulations, allowing them to easily work across national borders. Furthermore, professional service firms are not limited to advising large corporations, but increasingly NGOs and governments. Papers should explore these dynamics, focusing specifically on theorizing the role of professional service firms in creating, maintaining, and changing institutional arrangements, diffusing economic knowledge and practices, as well as reinforcing or exacerbating inequalities. Papers may take varying methods and approaches: conceptual, theory building, and empirical.

Session Organizer:

Dustin STOLTZ, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA, dstoltz@nd.edu

Real Utopias Past and Future? a Panel in Honor of the Work of Erik Olin Wright

Erik Olin Wright’s work spanned many areas of Marxist and Sociological thought, but among his chief preoccupations in his latter years was with Real Utopias - real world instantiations of socialist and radical democratic principles that brought us closer to social emancipation. Real Utopian examples were several, but one of the marquee cases was Participatory Budgeting, particularly as practiced in Porto Alegre during its Workers’ Party Administration. The progressive administration in Porto Alegre was voted out, and the center-left project of the Workers’ Party in Brazil has given way to a right-wing backlash. For this panel, we invite papers that critically consider and reassess the Real Utopias project in light of recent history and the current political conjuncture. We are especially interested in papers that consider the entire Real Utopias project, and/or that place Brazilian experiments in a comparative context.

Session Organizer:

Gianpaolo BAIOCCHI, New York University, USA, gp97@nyu.edu

The Administration of Jair Bolsonaro: Economics and Politics.

This session examines the institutional arrangements underpinning the government led by Jair Bolsonaro, and the economic policies being implemented by his administration. The session focuses, in particular, on the tensions and contradictions in and around Bolsonaro’s parliamentary base, and the ways in which those alliances have facilitated, modified, or constrained the implementation of the neoliberal programme to which the government is committed.

Session Organizer:

Alfredo SAAD-FILHO, SOAS University of London, United Kingdom, as59@soas.ac.uk

The Impacts of Labor Reforms in Latin America on Various Scopes of Human Sociability: An Interdisciplinary Approach

The main purpose of the table proposed here is to analyze the process of deconstruction of the public labor protection net and its impact in some Latin American. Understanding this reality as one of the expressions of contemporary capitalism, globalized and hegemonized by the interests of finance, where value chains and global production networks redefine labor relations, fragment the organization of the working class and impact the regulation of labor and public institutions on global and national levels, it seeks to assess the specificities of each analyzed country and the possible forms of resistance or affirmation to the reforms, implemented or underway. In part based on studies carried out within the scope of the Center for Labor Union Studies and Labor Economics of the UNICAMP, it seeks to address aspects of the Brazilian "labor reform”, effective as of November 2017, in a dialogue with other similar reforms introduced or underway in Latin America, as well as in some European countries. From an interdisciplinary perspective, its participants will discuss the possible impacts of these reforms on the intensification of social inequalities, the deterioration of the working conditions, the fragmentation of trade union organizations and the weakening of public institutions operating in the labor world, while also tackling the Social Security system. Thus, through the lens of jurists, economists, historians and with incursions in the field of labor sociology, the board proposes to debate elements that both allow the evaluation of the deepening of the inequalities in Latin America.

Session Organizers:

Marcia de Paulo LEITE, UNICAMP, Brazil, mpleite48@gmail.com,
Andrea DEL BONO, Universidade Nacional de La Plara, Argentina, delbonoandrea@gmail.com,
Ana Paula ALVARENGA, Tribunal Regional do Trabalho da 15ªRegião, Brazil, apalvarenga71@uol.com.br,
Bárbara Vallejos VASQUEZ, DIEESE, Brazil, barbaravvazquez@gmail.com,
Magda BIAVASCHI, UNICAMP, Brazil, magdabia@terra.com.br,
Marilane Oliveira TEIXEIRA, CESIT, Brazil, mari@uol.com.br
Alisson DROPPA, UNICAMP, Brazil, alissondroppa@gmail.com

The Role of Consumption in Linking Local Economies to Global Value Chains: The Case of Food Markets

Consumption is usually locally bound and an intrinsical part of local economies. At the same time, it plays a large role for expressing local identities and reinforcing local social inequality via distinguished consumption practices. At the same time, as e.g. Economics of Convention have shown, consumer-producer-interactions shape the form and structure of global value chains and thus link and integrate local economies into global value chains. Approaches such as World Systems Analysis have shown that the positioning within these global chains strongly influences global inequality. The session thus explores the role of consumption in linking local economies to global value chains and (re-)production of global inequalities. While the session focus will be on food markets, case studies on other markets are also welcome.

Session Organizers:

Nina BAUR, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, nina.baur@tu-berlin.de,
Linda HERING, Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany, linda.hering@tu-berlin.de
Julia FÜLLING, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Germany, julia.fuelling@geo.hu-berlin.de

The Social Economy of Migrant Labour -- Improving Social Protections to End Exploitation

Over the past decades, with the expansion of global production networks, partial liberalization of cross-border mobility, the rise of new sending states promoting migrant exports and the migration industry with recruitment networks at the lead, the social economy of migration has undergone tremendous changes. The panel addresses transformations of labour migration, with an explicit focus on solutions to the poor protections, trafficking and extreme exploitation of migrant labour. As the ILO enters its second century in 2020, research which evaluates the contributions for migrant labour of conventions, such as ILO 184 on Domestic Labour, the ILO Declaration of Fundamental Rights of Labour, and the ILO program promoting Decent Work are especially welcome, as well as evidence about efforts to fight trafficking, labour and sexual exploitation. 

Session Organizer:

Karen SHIRE, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany, karen.shire@uni-due.de

Towards an Economic Sociology of the Environment

Despite increased scholarly attention to local and planetary environmental crises, economic sociologists have focused little attention on the relations between society, economy and nature. While economic sociologists often concur with Karl Polanyi's foundational insight that the economy is embedded in society, they tend to neglect his related claim that the separation of society from nature is a key aspect of market fundamentalism. Polanyi's assertion that there exists a dialectical relation between the material aspects of nature and its social representation presents promising research avenues for economic sociologists. Researchers can interrogate not only how nature is a contested terrain that shapes the institutional foundations of markets, but also how to build more sustainable markets that balance the interests of society and nature. In addressing the social and environmental embeddedness of markets, economic sociologists can utilize a rich set of frameworks including, but not limited to, path dependence, institutional inter-locks, network analysis, actor-networks and cultural-political approaches, varieties of
capitalism, and financialization. In seeking to develop an Economic Sociology of the Environment, and thus cross-fertilizing two vibrant areas of the discipline, we welcome theoretical and empirical papers that use a wide range of conceptual and methodological approaches.

Session Organizers:

Silvio Eduardo CANDIDO, Federal University of São Carlos - UFSCar, Brazil, seacandido@ufscar.br
Ian CARRILLO, University of California Santa Barbara, USA, icarrillo@ucsb.edu

Transformations of Care Work: Convergences and Diversities

Care work, a form of unpaid and paid labor performed primarily by women, is a major site of job growth across both the developing and developed world. The study of care has moved to the center of contemporary debates about the stakes of social, political, and economic transformations taking place in the world today. New research on care work reveals the centrality of the phenomenon and the international diversity of its forms. This session explores convergences and diversities observed between countries in the global North and South, to highlight the dynamic processes that influence the social organization of care and new forms of care work. Delineating different types of care and its institutional and geographic location matters in explaining the current complexities of care.

The session invites papers on recent developments in this field, focusing on the diversity of forms of care work, the landscapes of regulatory reform, discussing current debates and new frameworks for analyzing the social (re)organization of care, and identifying the means and modalities of care workers’ negotiating and contesting new relations of inequality and subordination. We seek papers drawing on experiences in different parts of the world, and encourage studies examining the social relations of care work in Latin America.

Session Organizers:

Heidi GOTTFRIED, Wayne State University, USA, heidi.gottfried@wayne.edu
Nadya GUIMARAES, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, nadya@usp.br

Trends and Counter-trends in the Fight for a More Egalitarian Society in Latin America

Poverty and inequality declined substantially in Latin America between 2000 and 2015, particularly under certain left-wing governments. Although neoliberal strategies were not completely abandoned, social and economic policies were introduced to reconstruct welfare and developmental institutions. Foreign relations were diversified away from the United States and organizations were created to advance cooperation among South American countries, leading to broadly acknowledged democratic achievements. Recently, however, Latin American transnational elites have organized a counter-movement, often with certain popular support. Strategies were implemented to undercut the legitimacy of left-wing regimes, including an ideological attack on the so-called populist and charismatic political elites. As a result, they have been brought down by right-wing forces entrenched not only in political parties, but also in organizations encompassing key sectors of the population and civil society. Poverty and inequality trends have thus stagnated or reversed, retrenching racialised, gendered, and class-inflected patterns of privilege and exclusion.

The present session aims at understanding the origins and scope of the democratic accomplishments progressive forces in South America achieved, the limitations and failures they could not overcome, and the reaction they elicited from right-wing forces, both inside and outside the countries. We particularly invite contributions that explore the fall and the recent rise in Latin America’s social and economic inequalities, in which race, class, and gender emerge as mutually-enforcing, structuring factors. While we encourage the use of intersectionality as an analytical tool, we are open to other approaches to these problems.

Session Organizers:

Alejandra SALAS-PORRAS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, FCPyS, Mexico, asalasporras@gmail.com,
Guillermo FARFAN, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,, Mexico, farmendo@hotmail.com,
Aiko IKEMURA AMARAL, UFMG, Brazil, aiko.iamaral@gmail.com
Pedro MENDES LOUREIRO, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, PML47@cam.ac.uk

Funding Call for Professorships in the UK, deadline: 19 February 2020