Crises? What Crises?

Society for Socialist Studies (SSS)

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2016

University of Calgary

May 31 – June 3, 2016


Economists aren’t sure the world economy ever got over the 2008/9 crisis but already warn of new financial and sovereign debt crises. Secular stagnation has become common parlance in economic circles.

Only environmentalists, pointing at climate change, the decline of biodiversity, water shortages and concomitant desertification, paint an even gloomier picture of the state and future of the world.

Not surprisingly, political scientists register a crisis of legitimation but also various crises of representation making it difficult for the discontented to articulate their concerns and mount movements for social and ecological change.

For the most parts, the left with its tradition of seeing itself as socialist heir of capitalist crises can’t capitalize on the overabundance of such crises. The crisis of the left, one might think, is even deeper than the various crises of capitalism.

The session “Crises? What Crises?” invites papers discussing any of the following questions:

       Which kinds of crises is capitalism facing these days? Crises of the economy, ecology, legitimation, representation and/or hegemony?

       Do these crises affect only subsystems of capitalism or do they add up to an organic or general crisis of capitalism?

       Are these crises structural or conjunctural?

       What role can the left play in overcoming capitalist crises?

       Is the left in crisis, too? If so, what kind of crisis is that and how might it be overcome?


Session organizer:

Ingo Schmidt, [email protected]


Paper titles and abstracts (maximum of 100 words) should be submitted by Friday, January 29, 2016.

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