We would like to thank everyone who attended and especially the speakers who made our event what it was.
Over the next few weeks we will be uploading some recording of the event, our recording of the first day failed, so we are sorry we cannot bring you that. but we do have the rest.
A month later and the UK still seems to be in Limbo, there has been a seismic shift in UK Politics, and most of the nation are attempting to find their feet.
This workshop aimed to test two strands of political economy theory against the turbulence of the background to and sequel to the referendum. Speakers agreed that the referendum and its outcome provided no solution to the Economic and political crisis of British capital and the broader problems of the world economy.
Bob Jessop’s strategic relational approach to understanding the state was contrasted with conventional approaches which saw the state as a machine or a subject. Instead the SRA sees the state as an ensemble of social relations between contending factions of the ruling class and opponents. This fitted well with the current conjuncture.
Ngai-Ling Sum’s Cultural Political Economy tied in with this approach by analysing how different economic discourses are developed and how some are selected over others to govern political practice depending on the balance of social forces.
George Kerevan traced the history of the British political elite’s frequently ambivalent relationship with the EU and forerunner, EEC. He placed this in the context of struggles around how best to solve the problems of British capitalism – the need for markets and economies of scale but low investment, poor productivity and profitability.
Brian Parkin focused on the political economy of possibility, showing how innovations around alternative energy and new uses of hydrocarbons with low emissions offered the basis of an alternative economic strategy.
Neil Davidson showed how ideas of nation and nationalism develop in tandem with the evolution of the capitalist state. Nationalism becomes the ideology of choice of the capitalist state but is contested by the political left.
Neoliberal economic discourse was examined in detail. Any legitimacy of ideas it had were being replaced by increasingly coercive social policies. However there were opportunities for progressive politics in the uncertain turbulence brought about by the referendum outcome and the ongoing problems of British capitalism and fractures in the social relations of the state.