BISA 2013 IPEG Panels

BISA 2013 Beyond the Ivory Tower: IR and the Real World

We ran five really amazing IPEG panels this year. Thanks IPEG for organising, chairing, discussing, presenting, and of course attending these fantastic IPEG panels!

IPEG PANEL Servicing the world economy: the cultural, sexual and political economy of precarious work
Convenors: Donna Lee (University of Birmingham) and Phoebe Moore (University of Middlesex)

This panel considers the cultural, sexual, and political economy of the world of precarious work. Offering case studies of precarity in digital and virtual work, the male sex industry in Europe, the tourism industry in small island developing states, and work in the contemporary US based hypermarket Walmart, the panel explores the precarious political, social, sexual, cultural, and economic contexts many workers find themselves in as they service growing (and sometimes hidden) sectors of the world economy in the late capitalist economies of Europe and North America, as well as developing economies of small Indian Ocean island states.  These papers provide a range of case studies that explore aspects of the service sector in the world economy which have largely been ignored in contemporary political and economic analysis. In considering these often hidden areas of the international political economy the panel brings new empirics to the study of work and the world economy, as well as contributing new ontological and epistemological insights to contemporary IPE. 

  • Donna Lee (University of Birmingham), Mark Hampton (Kent Business School), Julia Jeyacheya (Kent Business School): The political economy of precarious work in the tourist industry in small island developing states
  • Phoebe Moore (University of Middlesex): Corporeal work in cognitive industries: The Quantified Man
  • Nicola Smith (University of Birmingham):  Sexual political economy: precarious work in the male sex industry in Europe
  • Ritu Vij (Aberdeen University): Affective Fields of Precarity: Gendered Antinomies in Contemporary Japan

IPEG PANEL The changing configuration of governance ­ market building strategies in the global political economy

Convenor: Stuart Shields (University of Manchester)

Since the 1970s neoliberalism has experienced a number of potentially ‘life threatening’ crises. Yet seemingly paradoxically, each crisis has simply led to renewed impetus for ever-deeper neoliberalisation.  The latest iteration of this is encapsulated in the drive for austerity and the related surge of resistance and opposition following the unfolding of the so-called ‘global financial crisis’. The panel sets out to explore whether we are witnessing a window of opportunity for change in policy-making and socio-economic governance or simply another reinvigoration of neoliberalism in the global political economy. The panel sets out to interrogate the potential changing forms of governance from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In doing so it focuses on the most recent transformations of market building logics and seeks to problematise their nature and the forms they take. The contributions to the panel focus on the ways in which the promotion of market building restructures the political, economic and social realms across multiple scales: local, state, regional and transnational.

  • Hannah Cross (University of Manchester): The extending scale of accumulation in Africa-Europe migrant labour regimes: New frontiers in the remittance market
  • Jonathon Louth (University of Chester): Repositioning Asia: Taking Stock of the Cambodian Securities Exchange
  • Philip Mader (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies): Neoliberal crisis management through microfinance
  • Stuart Shields (University of Manchester): The time for reform is always now: The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and the renewal of neoliberalisation after the ‘financial crisis’
  • Adam Simpson (University of South Australia): Energy Markets and Activist Environmental Governance in Myanmar: Non-State Actors and Cross-Border Pipeline Politics

IPEG PANEL The Study of Ideas in Contemporary Themes of IPE

Convenor: Ben Jacoby (Copenhagen Business School)

The study of ideas in IPE has a long history, but has also been redefined in the last years through the attention given to the notions of ‘meaning’ and ‘identity’. Ideas can be seen as resources to be used as strategic devices, but also as taken-for-granted background upon which actors refer to justify their action. As such, the ideational nature of socio-economic phenomena needs to be supplemented with a discussion about what ideas are supposed to mean and when they matter. Some scholars have tried to integrate the study of ideas within institutional analyses, other prefer the notion of ‘identity’ to capture the ways in which ideas constitute interconnect with topics that current scholars are interested in. This panel invites theoretical as well as empirical confrontations with the study of ideas in IPE and attempts to offer further insights into a field of research that is broad, hence potentially extremely useful for making sense of economic phenomena.

  • Philip G. Cerny (University of Manchester (UK) and Rutgers University (USA): The Paradox of Liberalism in a Globalising World
  • Kleoniki Kipourou (University of Wageningen): Corporations as public intellectuals: techno-economic necessities and the necessity for ideas in the global informational governance of pesticides
  • Gareth Price-Thomas (University of Manchester): A Green New Deal: Yes, but which one? Green ideas and economic crisis
  • Holly Snaith (The University of Sheffield): Constructivist institutionalism, governance, and the Euro crisis

IPEG PANEL The Political Economy of foreign aid and agencies in the 21st Century

Convenor: Jiesheng Li, University of Birmingham

The foreign aid arena has seen a plethora of new donors in recent years, with International Organisations and major donors facing new Non-Governmental Organisations, specialised groups and private donors. This panel covers major aid policies and IOs in the twenty first century using various theoretical frameworks and empirical research. The first paper by Jiesheng Li covers the politics of UK’s contributions to the World Bank’s International Development Association. It asserts that the principal-agent model needs to be augmented to accurately portray the process of aid delegation to IOs. The second paper by Georgios Tsopanakis turns towards Japan’s bilateral aid agency, arguing that there is continuity rather than change in Japan’s new aid realignment. A third paper by Robyn Klingler and Minh Vu examine donor-state relations in Vietnam, arguing that that Vietnam is locked into aid dependence and prevented from developing its own industrial policy. A further paper by Marieke Riethof looks at the trends in Brazil’s foreign aid programme and its changing priorities. Overall, the panel aims to address how international political economy theories may relate to contemporary themes and challenges regarding foreign aid and international development.

  • Jiesheng Li (University of Birmingham): The UK’s commitment to the IDA: Matching evaluation with funding?
  • Robyn Klingler London School of Economics and Political Science) and Khuong Minh Vu (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) The 3Cs: Framing Mutual Donor-Recipient Dependence in Vietnam
  • Georgios Tsopanakis(The University of Manchester, Medecins Sans Frontieres): Japan as a Foreign Aid Power: A Forgotten Giant or a (re-) emergent ‘Balancing’ Actor? The Case of new JICA

IPEG PANEL There is no place like home?! The international political economy of housing and finance

Convenor: Mirjam Buedenbender (KU Leuven)

Housing markets in liberalised political economies are at the interstice between international finance and the realm of domestic politics and life. They relate to and are constituted by both domestic, micro-level, and every day practices, and the international, epochal and geopolitical process of financialisation. This has become particularly visible with the global financial crisis of 2007. The crisis has highlighted the importance of the housing market in providing  growth, welfare, and underpinning the financial sector, ultimately bringing all three spheres in a close, interdependent and highly leveraged relationship. This position makes housing an especially instructive field of study, allowing to capture the multi-scalar and multi-dimensional nature of the financialisation process. Interrogating financialisation through the lenses of housing markets therefore represents a first step in  transcending the ivory tower of academic studies of finance, shedding light not only on the channels through which financialisation affects the social and material reality of every day actors but also investigating the latters’ constitutive role in shaping the phenomenon in question. The papers, which capture a diverse range of empirical and theoretical approaches, ranging from Comparative Political Economy, IPE to financial geography framings, share a common purpose in their attempts to analyse, both empirically and theoretically, the differential functions and relevance of housing markets vis-a-vis financial markets on the one hand, and domestic growth and welfare politics on the other. Other questions the panel seeks to explore are: how can the centrality of housing be strategically used by everyday agents to empower themselves in the face of the pressures of financialisation?  Can we discern existing trends towards de-financialised housing markets? And finally, can we propose alternative growth and welfare strategies for economies that are locked into financialised housing as a driver of growth?

  • Chris Clarke (University of Warwick): Owner-Occupy! The Everyday Politics of Homeownership
  • Johnna Montgomerie (University of Manchester): The good, the bad and the ugly of Anglo-American homeownership society
  • Mirjam Buedenbender (KU Leuven): Round the houses: homeownership and failures of asset-based welfare in the UK (co-authored with Johnna Montgomerie)