Workshop/CfP - Cold War Economics: the Theory and Practice of Development in Historical Perspective, 14 - 15 December 2015, UK

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


October 04, 2015

Event Date:

December 14, 2015 - December 15, 2015

Opportunity Cover Image - Workshop/CfP - Cold War Economics: the Theory and Practice of Development in Historical Perspective, 14 - 15 December 2015, UK

LSE IDEAS invites paper proposals for the upcoming workshop entitled ‘Cold WarEconomics: the Theory and Practice of Development in Historical Perspective’. The conference proposes to bring together leading scholars of economic history and the political history of the Cold War to examine the ways in which internationalpolitics and economic theory influenced each other during the second half of thetwentieth century. The starting point for this workshop is the assertion that economicideas are inherently political, and they should be analysed in the specific historical contextin which they emerged. Indeed, far from ‘objective’ concepts derived from theobservation of human behaviour, basic economic ideas were at the forefront of therivalry between different political systems during the Cold War. Concepts such as capital,productivity, and growth were defined and understood in diametrically opposed waysacross political divides and over time. Nowhere was this more evident than in the theoryand practice of economic development. Both the ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ worlds claimedto have discovered the best possible way in which to organise society and production,promising progress and prosperity to states that adopted the same principles. Fromimport-substitution to endogenous growth models, from farm subsidies to microfinance,the theory and practice of economic development was deeply influenced by the Cold War. This workshop aims to explore the different ways and localities in which thisoccurred. In doing so, it will examine the extent to which economics was (and is) aprofoundly political discipline, rather than a quasi-natural science.

Suitable topics for discussion at the workshop range broadly both chronologicallyand geographically. They include: different theories of development and modernization(such as ‘modernization theory’, dependency theory, Marxism and neo-Marxism, amongothers) and their impact on economic practices in the Cold War; economic organizationsof the Cold War, including UNCTAD, the New International Economic Order, OPEC,and Comecon; the impact of economic theorists, such as John Maynard Keynes, Walt Whitman Rostow, Milton Friedman, Hans Singer, and Immanuel Wallerstein; and thetechniques and technologies of development, including industrialization, export-processing zones, and the Green Revolution. 
The workshop will be based on the presentation and discussion of pre-circulated papersby a relatively small group of participants, divided in panels of 2 or maximum 3presenters. Senior academics from the LSE as well as other institutions will act as chairsand commentators, including David Engerman (Brandeis University), Magorzata Mazurek (Columbia University), and Piers Ludlow (LSE). The best papers presented atthe conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of a journal (moredetails to follow in October).

The workshop will take place on 14 and 15 December 2015 at the LSE.Participants are expected to be present at all panels. Accommodation and meals will be provided free of charge for the duration of the workshop to presenters, chairs, andcommentators. Some bursaries will be available to cover travel expenses for participantsfrom outside of London, but these are unlikely to be enough to cover all expenses for allparticipants. We therefore ask participants to make their own travel arrangements andthen apply for funding. Priority will be given to PhD candidates and early career scholars who need to travel from afar. The workshop is funded by the British Academy, the Economic History Society, and theInstitute for New Economic Thinking (INET).In order to apply, please send your CV (max 2 pages) and a brief outline of yourproposed paper (max 300 words) by 4 October 2015.

Successful applicants will be notified by 16 October.For further information, do not hesitate to contact one of the organisers. Alessandro Iandolo, LSE (  ) Artemy Kalinovsky, University of Amsterdam ( )Chris Miller, Yale University ( )Simon Toner, Dartmouth College ( )


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September 24, 2015