Call for Papers

Ten years since the global financial crisis: Social movements, labour & the crisis last time

14th Apr 2017

Ten years since the global financial crisis: Social movements, labour & the crisis last time

Concurrently in Perth – Melbourne – Sydney Fri 1st December, 2017

Workshop for TASA members hosted jointly by TASA ‘Sociology of Economic Life’ and ‘Work, Employment and Social Movements’ Thematic Groups


2017 marks ten years since the onset of the United States subprime mortgage crisis, which catalysed a series of financial, economic and political crises across the world. The social and political consequences of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), as it became known, are immeasurable. It has been associated with a massive increase in inequality and homelessness in the United States and elsewhere; the emergence of the Great Recession of 2008-12; the introduction of austerity policies; the collapse of certain financial systems, such as that of Iceland; and the Eurozone debt crisis. These developments have been the background to the emergence of new political and social movements including Occupy, los Indignados, 15M and the rise of political parties such as Podemos and Syriza, not to mention the rise of authoritarian populism and the alternative-right in many places. The GFC has spawned popular and academic debate about a wide variety of subjects, not limited to finance and economics.

Some key areas of dispute include:

• the nature of effective financial regulation and who takes political responsibility for economic management

• the role of speculation and complex financial instruments

• financialisation and the role of contemporary finance in the global economy

• austerity, economic inequality and distribution of the costs of crisis

• the role of central banks

• the relationship between social movements and economic crisis

• the relationship between politics, populism and economic crisis

• the fate of neoliberalism as a political project / ideology / practice

• asset price inflation and the problem of affordable housing

• the transformation of work via crisis, structural economic change and technology

• the relevance and response of trade unions and the labour movement to the GFC

• calculation and management of various forms of risk

• households as a source of financial speculation and stability, and as a source of value

• relationship between the GFC and the emergence of authoritarian neoliberalism

In this context, this one-day workshop offers a chance for scholars, especially Early Career Researchers (ECRs), to present new research on this topic, including (but not limited to) the questions posed above. 2 We invite abstracts of 100-150 words relating broadly to the above issues and a brief (i.e., 50 words or less) biographical note. If you are an ECR (i.e., towards the end of your PhD candidature or within five years of PhD conferral), please mention this in your bio. ECRs will be favoured in the selection process although non-ECRs are also welcome to submit abstracts and will be considered for inclusion. Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to submit full papers of up to 7000 words (double-spaced) including tables, notes and references. We welcome research from within sociology as well as cognizant disciplines such as political science, political economy, geography, etc.

The workshop

The proposed workshop will take place for one day on 1 December, 2017, which is the day after the TASA 2017 conference in Perth. The workshop will be comprised of about 7-9 papers, with each author providing a short oral presentation followed by questions and discussion.

The workshop will also feature a keynote speech by Professor Emeritus Dick Bryan. Professor Bryan worked in the department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney between 1984 and 2016. He is a global expert in financial theory, heterodox economics and class analysis. In recent years, Professor Bryan’s work has focused on the role of derivatives in financial markets and how they have transformed capital accumulation. Along with others, such as Associate Professor Michael Rafferty (RMIT), Professor Bryan has published extensively on the origins and consequences of the GFC, the crucial function of labour / households within the crisis, and the on-going relevance of complex financial instruments in economic life today.

In order to maximise participation, the workshop will be held in three locations: Perth (to coincide with the TASA conference location), as well as at the University of Sydney and Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. The locations will be linked via webinar. Attendees from locations outside Sydney, Melbourne and Perth may be supported to attend with funding for flights and accommodation, for which we have limited funding.

Publication opportunity

We plan to submit selected papers as a special section. Possible targets include the Journal of Sociology, Economy and Society or Work Employment & Society or a similar journal in the field (where they would be subject to the normal refereeing process).

Application process

Please submit abstracts, following the specifications above, to BOTH AND no later than 1 June 2017. (Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to submit full papers for peer review within approx. 2-3 months of notified acceptance.) While non-TASA members are welcome to submit abstracts, participants must be TASA members at the time of the workshop. (Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to submit full papers for peer review within approx. 2-3 months of notified acceptance.) If you have questions, feel free to contact us.