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.
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) email@example.com by 4 October 2015.
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