Events

Social Security Reform: Revisiting Henderson, Poverty and Basic Income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/12/2017 - 2:21pm in

2018 Henderson Conference

The 2018 Henderson conference will focus on how the social security system can more effectively respond to issues of poverty and inequality. Over the course of two days, a variety of speakers will cover what key changes have taken place since the 1970s and the Henderson Poverty Inquiry – to the labour market, families and to the position of vulnerable groups – and will assess the effectiveness of how social security has responded. It will also canvas different options for reform, including proposals for some kind of a basic income in Australia.Date:  Thursday 15 – Friday 16 February 2018
Venue: University of Melbourne, The Spot Building, 198 Berkeley Street, Carlton

A conference dinner will be held on the night of Thursday 15 February 2018 at Graduate House, 220 Leicester Street, Carlton. Tickets to this dinner are limited; purchase yours upon registering for the conference to secure your spot.

Speakers

More than 20 experts will gather to discuss Australia’s social security system, how it has changed over time, and its effectiveness in responding to the challenges of poverty and inequality in Australia today. Read about the Henderson Anniversary Project Publication authors and conference speakers here.

Registration Details

Registrations are now open – purchase your ticket(s) through the Melbourne Institute eCart.

Standard (two day) ticket $180
Concession (two day) ticket $30*

Standard dinner ticket $90
Concession dinner ticket $40*

*Please note that proof of concession is required to gain access to the conference and dinner.

For queries, please contact Caitlin Hindmarsh melb-conf@unimelb.edu.au (03) 9035 8135.

 

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Modern Colonial Geographies in Latin America

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 13/12/2017 - 7:23am in

Modern Colonial Geographies in Latin America: The Mirage of the Civilising City and the Archaic Countryside

“Wanting to be modern seems crazy:
we are condemned to be so,
given that the future and the past
are prohibited” — Octavio Paz (1966: 5)

Invitation to International Workshop

The production of colonial landscapes has affected the ways in which ‘modern’ space is imagined, narrated, and exploited. Moreover, the materiality of colonial and postcolonial practices has further contributed to shape hierarchical relationships across Latin American societies. As a result, urban and rural spaces, rather than being thought of as linear and dualistic forms, seem to constitute a contradictory and problematic relationship.

The workshop encourages to engage with social, political, and cultural aspects which are capable of reflecting upon the complexity of Latin America’s rural and urban geographies. On the one hand, the continent has been traditionally imagined as a rural space due to both its essential role as world exporter of primary resources and to its formidable peasantry struggles in the twentieth century. On the other hand, paradoxically, ever since the colonial period, cities have represented the core of the social and political organization, eventually becoming a strategic tool to ‘modernize’ and ‘civilize’ the postcolonial countries. This controversial urban/rural relationship was originally investigated in the 1960s and 1970s by the ‘Dependency Theory’ thinkers, who analyzed the dramatic growth experienced by Latin American cities from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards (Quijano 1967, 1977; Schteingart 1973; Cardoso 1975; Hardoy 1975). However, over the last decades, such systematic approach to the urban/rural question seems to have lost its centrality, even in those studies which critically investigated Latin America such as, but not only, ‘Postcolonial’ (Rodríguez 2001; Rivera Cusicanqui et al. 2010) and ‘Decolonial’ Studies (Dussel 1995; Lander 2000; Quijano 2000, Mignolo 2000; Escobar 2004).

As Mignolo suggests, the visibility of the ‘colonial difference’ emerges with the independence movements from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries (Mignolo 2000: 36). The myth of modernity appears when the Western hemisphere became something in itself – capitalism and modernity appear to emerge from Europe becoming the center of the world – and the colonized periphery re-emerges, in its redemptive sacrifice, as civilization (Dussel, 1993: 65). This intricate violent relation between the core and the periphery, between colonial violence and modern space, was foundational in articulating the new global geographies of power. The workshop invites to discuss these ‘colonial grounds’ (Machado Aráoz 2014) which characterize the modern experience of the entangled geographies of urban and rural Latin America. This approach aims to move beyond the binary division between rural and urban studies, exploring instead their connected emergence and dialectical transformation within colonial and postcolonial systems of power. Through discourses and material enactments the workshop attempts to recover the historical foundations of modernity and its contested contemporary forms and investigate how colonial relationships become spatialized in Latin American territories.

The event aims to gather early scholars and PhD students and discuss the proposed themes. The workshop’s objective is to organize a special issue to be published in a journal relevant to the field. The organization will provide grants (8 to 12, up to €500) to cover part of the expenses. To be considered for a grant, please write a few lines justifying your request when submitting an abstract. There is no registration fee.

The workshop welcomes contributions from any critical perspective and focuses on three main areas:

(a) Infrastructures and systems of circulation: between weaves and grids, movements and fixity. This section focuses on how materiality affects the production of space and social relations (Blomley 2007; Federici 2004; Katz 1998). We ask how these material devices are used for resistance under extractive capitalism? And historically what devices have managed to discipline population and how they have been transfigured?

(b) Extractive geographies: the docile city and the violent countryside. This section is interested in exploring the dilemmas of environmental degradation and development (Gudynas, 2009). We are interested in exploring the changing relation between urban and rural discourses under the expansion of extractive capitalism (Gago & Mezzadra 2015; Webber 2015; Svampa 2013).

(c) Citying failure: architecture as colonial violence and its resistance. This section considers a broad range of architecture topics, from subaltern modern forms of livelihoods to historical role of colonial and global city ports (Codebò 2015; Gordillo 2017; McGuirk 2014) in relation to urban/rural planning. We explore the narratives and strategies which have been shaping Latin American urban geographies

● For details on the call for papers go to https://moderncolonialgeographies.wordpress.com/

● The format of the workshop will consist of a paper presentation (20min) followed by a collective discussion (10min).

How to apply

● We welcome submissions of abstracts of no more than 500 words to be sent to Mara Duer and Simone Vegliò tomoderncolonialgeographies@gmail.com by 17st December 2017.

● If accepted, full papers must be submitted by 1st March 2018

● The workshop is funded by: The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory (http://aghct.org/), promoted by University of Bologna, Duke University, University of Virginia.

● Organizers: Mara Duer (University of Warwick), Simone Vegliò (King’s College London)

 

Cited bibliography

Blomley, N. (2007). Making Private Property: Enclosure, Common Right and the Work of Hedges. Rural History. 18(1): 1-21.

Cardoso, F. (1975). The City and Politics (pp.157-190). In Hardoy, J.E. (Ed.). (1975). Urbanization in Latin  America, Approaches and Issues. Garden City, New York, Anchor Books.

Codebò, A. (2015). La ciudad escenográfica: centro y margen en Buenos Aires. Amérique Latine Histoire et Mémoire. Les Cahiers ALHIM (29).

Dussel, E. (1993). Eurocentrism and modernity (Introduction to the Frankfurt Lectures). boundary 2, 20(3), 65-76.Dussel, E. (1995). The Invention of the Americas: Eclipse of “the other” and the myth of modernity. New York, Continuum.

Escobar, A. (2004). Más allá del Tercer Mundo: Globalidad imperial, colonialidad global y movimientos sociales anti-globalización. Nómadas (20): 86-100.

Federici, S. (2004). Caliban and the Witch. New York, Autonomedia.

Gago, V. & Mezzadra, S. (2015). Para una crítica de las operaciones extractivas del capital: patrón de acumulación y luchas sociales en el tiempo de la financiarización. Nueva sociedad, (255), 38-52.

Gordillo, G. (2017, Forthcoming). The Metropolis: The Infrastructure of Empire. In Hetherington, K. (Ed.), Infrastructures, Environment and Life in the Anthropocene. Durham: Duke University Press.

Gudynas, E. (2012). La Crisis Global y el Capitalismo Benévolo de la Nueva Izquierda Criolla (pp.85-102). In: Renunciar al Bien Común. Extractivismo y (pos)desarrollo en América Latina. Buenos Aires: Mardulce.

Hardoy, J. (Ed.). (1975). Urbanization in Latin America, Approaches and Issues. Anchor Press, New York.
Katz, C. (1998). Whose Nature, whose culture? (pp.45-62). In Braun, B. & Castree, N. (Eds.). Remaking reality. London, Routledge.

Lander, E. (Ed.). (2000). La colonialidad del saber: eurocentrismo y ciencias sociales. Perspectivas latinoamericanas. Caracas, IESALC.

Machado Aráoz, H. (2014). Potosi, el origen. Genealogía de la minería contemporánea. Buenos Aires, Mardulce.
McGuirk, J. (2014). Radical cities: Across Latin America in search of a new architecture. London: Verso.

Mignolo, W. (2000). Local histories and global designs: coloniality, border thinking and subaltern knowledges. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Paz, Octavio (1966) “Prólogo” in Poesía en movimiento, México 1915-1966, México, Siglo XXI.

Quijano, A. (1967). Urbanización, cambio social y dependencia. América Latina. Ensayos de interpretación sociológica. Santiago do Chile, Editorial Universitaria.Quijano, A. (1977). Dependencia, urbanización y cambio social en Latinoamérica. Lima, Mosca Azul Editores.

Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America. Nepantla, 1(3): 533-580.

Rivera Cusicanqui, S., Hinderer, M., Creischer, A., and Siekmann, A. (2010) Principio Potosí. ¿Cómo podemos cantar el canto del señor en tierra ajena? (Guide Exhibition) Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.

Rodríguez, I. (Ed.) (2001). The Latin American Subaltern Studies Reader. Durham, Duke University Press.

Schteingart, M. (Ed.). (1973). Urbanización y dependencia en América Latina. Buenos Aires, Ediciones Siap.

Svampa, M. (2013). «Consenso de los Commodities» y lenguajes de valoración en América Latina. Nueva sociedad, 244: 30-46.

Webber, J. (2015). The indigenous community as “living organism”: José Carlos Mariátegui, Romantic Marxism, and extractive capitalism in the Andes. Theory and Society, 44(6): 575–598.

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Jason W. Moore, The Biosphere Question

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/11/2017 - 2:50pm in

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Jason W. Moore, The Biosphere Question: Nature, Class, and Re/Production at the End of the Holocene – and the Capitalocene

Co-presented by Sydney Ideas and the Historical Materialism Sydney conference.

Date: Thursday 7 December

Time: 6 – 7.30pm

Venue: Law School LT 101, Level 1, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney. Venue location

Cost: Free and open to all with online registrations required

Register: Here

About the talk

The Earth has reached a tipping point. Runaway climate change, the sixth great extinction of planetary life, the acidification of the oceans–all point toward an era of unprecedented turbulence in humanity’s relationship within the web of life.

But just what is that relationship, and how do we make sense of this extraordinary transition?

Jason W Moore will challenge the theory and history offered by the most significant environmental concept of our times: the Anthropocene.

Are we living in the Anthropocene, literally the ‘Age of Man’? Is a different response more compelling, and better suited to the strange–and often terrifying–times in which we live?

Moore will diagnose the problems of Anthropocene thinking and propose an alternative: the global crises of the twenty-first century are rooted in the Capitalocene, the Age of Capital.

About the speaker

Jason W Moore is an environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University, where he is associate professor of sociology. He is author or editor, most recently, of Capitalism in the Web of Life (2015), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? (2016), and, with Raj Patel, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (2017).

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Report from Festival for New Economic Thinking

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/11/2017 - 2:09am in
On 19th-20th of October 2017, New School Economics (NSE) Goldsmiths members attended the first ‘Festival for New Economic Thinking’ in Edinburgh. This occasion brought together a range of ‘post-crash’ organizations that seek to rethink and embrace different perspectives in how economics is taught, studied and practiced. The festival offered lectures, workshops and film screenings, led by organizations such as Rethinking Economics and the Young Scholars Initiative. The focus was to provide an historical perspective on economic thinking and embed the economy on a more critical and deliberative ground.

NSE members predominantly draw from the Goldsmiths BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree which is itself a product of the post-crash movement, established in 2014 to broaden perspectives on what the economy is and who it serves. To this end, this course aims to study heterodox economic thinking by reflecting on the tradition of Marx, Schumpeter, Keynes, and Polanyi among others, who emphasize that capitalism is a dynamic and uncertain political-economic system. Within this framework, the study of the economy cannot be detached from the study of politics, ideas, and history. Thus the urgent need for a new interdisciplinary approach which includes anthropological, cultural, and sociological perspectives is paramount.

Indeed at the festival, Sheila Dow, Professor of Economics at Stirling University, reiterated to us the importance of other disciplines such as history and ethics in understanding the economy. In her remarks, she explained how the 18th century education of Adam Smith and his generation presumed a familiarity with ethics, and the study of economics was in fact treated as a practical way to discuss moral philosophy, rather than studying mathematical theory in isolation from its historical and ethical context.

This festival was particularly significant as it followed a number of political shocks including the outcome of the Brexit referendum, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, and a pervasive feeling of economic injustice across the world. There was a sense of urgency to rethink how we understand and conceptualize the economy in order to confront this growing political discontent and to devise a strategy for a new paradigm shift. In conjunction with this, at the festival we talked to Professor Michael Jacobs (left) and Laurie Laybourn-Langton who highlighted the failure of post-crash economic policy to adequately address the major issues facing developed economies. These failures range from missing anticipated rates of growth in the British economy, to the use of fiscal austerity measures to reduce the public deficit, and the stalling productivity and stagnation of wages despite the low rate of unemployment.

Underlying their report entitled ‘Moving Beyond Neoliberalism [pdf]’ is the idea that the neoliberal doctrine cannot be dislodged in the same manner that it was established. There is no single Keynesian or Hayekian figure to articulate a comprehensive alternative approach to understand the economy and public policy making, but instead multiple critiques of orthodox economic theories are needed. In the concluding recommendations of their report, Professor Jacobs and Laybourne-Langton argue for a new platform which aims to coordinate and accelerate efforts to move away from the neoliberal paradigm to an alternative, with a focus on communication and the development of an understanding to how new economic thinking groups can influence policy makers.

Another prominent critique of mainstream economic methods was delivered by Professor Steve Keen from Kingston University in his lecture entitled “Can we avoid another financial crisis?”. This provided a thought-provoking analysis of orthodox economics while warning of the inevitability of another crash. He argued that the mainstream’s derivation of macroeconomics from microeconomic foundations was key to understanding why crises were not predicted, as it led to a belief that financial markets tend towards a stable equilibrium, therefore crises could only emerge as a result of exogenous shocks. In his view, informed by Hyman Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis, financial crises are endogenous, and you can derive macro from macro; that is to say, empirical relationships found in the macroeconomy can form the basis for macroeconomic theory. Crucially, he asserted that private debt is the primary factor in sparking crises, and that when an economy with high private debt encounters a sudden cut in credit, a crisis will occur.

We conducted a brief interview with Professor Keen which you can view here:

One perspective of the crisis was shown in the 2012 documentary ‘When Bubbles Burst’, directed by Han Petter Moland, which was screened at the festival and introduced by economist Eric Reinert. It focused on the small Norwegian town of Vik, and how the crisis had devastating effects on their local economy, contextualising it within the history of technological revolutions and crises, differentiating 20th century financial innovations from previous cycles. The film manages to make the link between the abstract financial phenomenon of the crash, and the impact it had on communities in places like Vik. Scattered throughout the film are interviews with experts such as Joseph Stiglitz, former Goldman Sachs bankers, and venture capitalists, as well as the ordinary people who underwent terrible suffering due to the crisis. The film brought into sharp focus just how little has changed since the crash, with private debt on the rise, austerity pushing inequality towards dizzying new heights, and an emerging national discussion on the crisis of mental health.

Joe Earle, who co-authored the book ‘The Econocracy’, held a discussion entitled ‘Mental Health and Economics’, based upon the claim that these domains are inextricable, and that economics and psychology must communicate much more effectively. The discussion centred upon the aftermath of the 2007/08 financial crisis and the austerity policies which followed, citing how the slashing of expenditure on public services and increase in private debt has been met with questions around whether these factors are actually exacerbating mental health problems within the population. Contributing to the forum was Samiah Anderson, NSE Founder and PPE Graduate, outlining that research undertaken by Rethinking Economics should confront the neoclassical approach’s failure to consider the structural drivers of mental health, highlighted in books like Body Economic, the Happiness Industry by Will Davies and the Political Self. Economics can measure the effectiveness of different kinds of treatments, without tackling root economic causes e.g. unemployment, recessions, technology, inequality and poverty and the implications on social care.

Also participating in the discussion was Dr Ruth Cain, a senior lecturer in law at the University of Kent. Her research focuses on the impact of neoliberalism on mental health and well being. Cain’s concern is with current approaches to the measurement and treatment of mental health through happiness indices and mobile phone applications, how these are used in health care, and the way in which profit is extracted from this process. One part of Cain’s research examines the introduction of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) by past governments, how it persists as something that is meant to preserve well-being in the population, and why it retained funding when other mental health funding was cut. She questioned the value attributed to this particular form of therapy, where it is thought that changes in the individual’s behaviour can improve and ‘fix’ their mental health, despite exogenous political and societal pressures.

Philip Mirowski, historian and philosopher of economic thought at the University of Notre Dame, delivered a comprehensive set of three lectures entitled Epistemological Breakdowns: Information Economics and Fake News. Mirowski posits several hypotheses about neoliberal epistemology, and why it has ultimately led to a post-truth world. He states that in this epistemology: individuals are always undependable agents; the market is the greatest information processor we have, and is thus the sole validator of truth; the problem is to get people to use their ‘freedom’ to subordinate themselves to the market; and that this doctrine hives liberty from autonomy. Ultimately, he states that people cannot be told these truths – so truth becomes unmoored from argumentation. With the shift from physical production, digital platforms have led data to become today’s ‘Big Business’ model through its monitoring, expropriation, storage, and retailing.

Fake news, for Mirowski, entails undermining people’s perception of the world so that they never really know what is happening, and that this befuddlement is used as a political strategy. Additionally, with the huge shift in how people gain their news and knowledge – for example through Facebook – news can be fabricated, making huge and sustainable profits for the platform capitalists who benefit from both the advertisements and the data-creating clicks of users. When, as well as this, both the creation of news and advertisements, and even the agents, can be automated through bots, the whole ecology of fake news becomes an automated system through which the platforms can endlessly harvest profit. Mirowski believes that this is the apotheosis of the neoliberal epistemology centering on the market as the ultimate information processor, and that this nexus of incoherence is destroying democracy, and that the only way to stop this process would be to halt the money-making mechanisms of platforms capitalists. He emphasised that the left must build a rival logic of markets, and of people within them, to put up any kind of fight to neoliberalism, and that those engaged in rethinking economics must put this at the centre of their project.

The festival provided NSE members with the chance not only to hear from leading academics, but to associate with other like-minded students engaged with the movement to broaden economic thinking. Communication is therefore a vital element, as economics has been perceived and portrayed as an isolated field dominated by experts, resulting in a public attitude demonstrated in a poll conducted by YouGov in 2016, which states how only 12% of respondents agreed that “politicians and the media talk about economics in a way that is accessible and easy to understand”. Rethinking Economics’ sister organisation Ecnmy.org campaign to demystify the complex phrases and concepts to engage a wider audience, thus attempting to encourage more informed democratic participation in reforming the economy. Therefore an important component of promoting new economic thinking is to train rethinkers to present ideas in a more concise, accessible and engaging manner. At the festival Laurie Laybourn-Langton, in his spokesperson training workshop, provided a set of effective tools that enable rethinkers to get their key points across while communicating on various media platforms. Such workshops are an important step for the Rethinking movement in promoting new economic thinking and wider participation to consult on, and criticise economic decision making.

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SPAIN: XVII Simposium of Red Renta Básica

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/11/2017 - 5:00pm in

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Íñigo Errejón, at the 7th Basic Income Simposium.   On the 2nd of November 2017, the city of Zaragoza (Spain) welcomed the 17th Basic Income Simposium, organized by Red Renta Básica (the Basic Income Network affiliate in Spain), which lasted for three days. In the first day, during the afternoon, the documentary “In the same boat” (trailer here) was screened, followed

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UK: European Social Survey (ESS) teaming up with Ronnie Cowan MP in event revealing the UK’s attitude to UBI

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/11/2017 - 9:00pm in

As part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2017, the European Social Survey (ESS) is teaming up with Ronnie Cowan MP in a free event that will be held in Portcullis House, Westminster, from 9am on Thursday 16th of November to discuss the UK’s attitude to Universal Basic Income (UBI).   For the first time in

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IRELAND: Annual Social Policy Conference 2017

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/11/2017 - 5:00pm in

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Dr. Sean Healy and Michelle Murphy of Social Justice Ireland.   Promoted and organized by the Social Justice Ireland Team, the Annual Social Policy Conference will take place on Tuesday, the 21st of November 2017. The venue will be located at Croke Park, in Dublin, and will last from 9:30 am up to 5:00 pm on that day. Registration can

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#BasicIncomeChallenge at the Web Summit in Lisbon

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/11/2017 - 7:17am in

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Mein Grundeinkommen has launched the #BasicIncomeChallenge in partnership with the Portuguese Basic Income Association. Mein Grundeinkommen is a crowdfunded Basic Income experiment based in Berlin, Germany. They have raised more than 120 Basic Incomes and 1.5 million Euros. Now, for the first time, they are taking their experiment to an international level, and crowdfunding a Basic Income to be raffled

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Report from the Cash Conference

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/11/2017 - 9:00pm in

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On Thursday, October 19th, activists, social justice advocates, economists, futurists, venture capitalists, writers, community organizers and politicians gathered at the Old Mint in San Francisco – a symbolically poetic building – to talk about Cash. Organized by the Economic Security Project, the goal of the conference was to “reimagine what an economy built on the well-being of everyone could look

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SWEDEN: Developer Conference in Malmö gets session by Scott Santens on basic income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 31/10/2017 - 5:00pm in

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Scott Santens. Credit to: Enno Schmidt Scott Santens will present a keynote session in the Developer Conference in Malmö, Sweden, on the 9th of November. His key points will be: Technological unemployment is real; Technological unemployment is not something we should fear; In order to not fear technological unemployment; The best way to decouple income from work is with unconditional

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