JSPE 53rd Annual Conference 2005

Call for Papers

JSPE 53rd Annual Conference, 2005

Neo-liberalism and the Crisis of Contemporary Society

15-16 October 2005 at Daito Bunka University :
1-9-1 Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, 175-8571, Japan

The 53rd annual conference of the the JAPAN SOCIETY OF POLITICAL ECONOMY (JSPE) will be held on October 15 (Saturday) and 16 (Sunday), 2005, at the Itabashi Campus of Daito-Bunka University, Tokyo. The topic for the plenary session in this conference will be Neo-liberalism and the Crisis of Contemporary Society, intended as a sequel to its 2004 counterpart, which was The Market Today ? What Economics Understands by That Term. It is hoped that the new theme will build on the critique of market fundamentalism debated with much heat last year at the JSPE 52nd annual conference at Osaka University of Economics, so that we may finally come to grips with the real nature of the neo-liberal ideology that underpins the crisis of present-day society, in both historical and theoretical light.

In the process of overcoming stagflation which had ravaged developed countries, there arose concomitantly political leaders of neo-liberal persuasion, such as Reagan, Thatcher and Nakasone, at the beginning of the 1980s, campaigning in concert for smaller government, freedom in the market and eventually globalization. Globalization is the pious hope of multinational firms which translates itself into the market-oriented policies, promoted vigorously with the neo-liberal ideology by the IMF and the World Bank. In consequence of these policies we have witnessed widening gulf between the rich and the poor, increasing degradation of the environment and the undermining of acquired rights of the working classes, all in the name of the structural change of the economy and the protection of the right and responsibility of the individual. While the solidarity of the community and the power of trade unions are systematically encroached upon, civil movements of all sorts, represented by NPOs and NGOs, are spreading quickly throughout the world. It appears as though the old "safety nets" are being replaced by new forms of people's intervention and surveillance. It is, however, not yet clear in which direction the aggregate of these varied trends might eventually lead.

If neo-liberalism is an ideology in support of the "globalizing" imperialism which has entailed the current crisis of human society, we must first relate it with the present phase of development of capitalism so as to comprehend its historical significance. Globalization has indeed had the effect of weakening the nation-state, as national borders have become relative. But, while the traditional state shows signs of decline, the regional and ideological coalitions of the states are today more easily formed for the purpose of collective defense and/or wars of aggression. None of the specific issues that face Japan at present, be it budgetary reforms, reforms of the welfare and pension system, restructuring of firms and industry or deregulation of the labor market, can be adequately understood out of the context, that is to say, in isolation from the broader trends of the world economy dictated by new imperialism which embodies the message of neo-liberalism. It is up to political economy to throw theoretical light on the hidden force working behind the scene.

Sessions :
The JSPE invites proposals for sessions in English in the following two categories. (The main language of the conference is Japanese. There will be several English sessions on October 15.)
English Sessions 1: Neo-liberalism and the Crisis of Contemporary Society

The JSPE welcomes the papers in reference to neo-liberalism with key words such as (1) labor, poverty, classes and the polarization of winners and losers in the world economy; (2) globalization, new imperialism, etc., (3) The question of "Where to find the agent of required social reforms", and (4) other problematic.

English Sessions 2: Other General topics

The JSPE also hopes to organize sessions focused on such popular themes as gender, the environment, economic regions and the Chinese economy, while remaining completely open to suggestions and proposals of presentations on other topics.

Submission Procedures and the Deadline

Proposals should be reached the JSPE International Communication and Exchange Committee by 14 June 2005 at the latest.
Notification of acceptance will be sent by 21 June.
When submitting your proposal, please include:
1. The title of proposed paper and the category of the session;
2. The name(s) of the author(s) and affiliation;
3. E-mail and mailing address;
4. An abstract (up to 200 words).
Postal address is given below. Preference will be given to e-mail submissions.


Attendants will pay their conference fee (5000 yen including the conference buffet), own transportation, accommodation and other personal expenses.

Shinjiro HAGIWARA or Tomohiko SEKINE
e-mail address : jspe53@mml.gssm.musashi.ac.jp
Postal Mailing address:
To :Prof. Shinjiro HAGIWARA
Faculty of Economics, Yokohama National University
Tokiwadai 79-3, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 240-8501, Japan
TEL:+ 81-45-339-3575 (Prof. HAGIWARA's Office), Fax:+ 81-45-339-3504

Please Forward Widely. [Call for Papers.pdf]

Tetsuji Kawamura
Chairman of the JSPE International Committee for Communication and Exchange