In this AISSR Great Thinkers edition, Brian Burgoon will introduce and critique the contributions of the Austro-Hungarian Karl Polanyi. Polanyi focused on large-scale social and economic development in deep history, spanning ancient societies and his contemporary Europe.
|Date||26 March 2018|
|Time||15:00 - 16:30|
Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) was part sociologist, part social theorist, part historian, and part economist.
His work is most remembered for its sweeping histories of market industrialisation and global economic liberalism. Polanyi saw these economic transformations not as natural unfolding of individual exchange but as deeply political creations that damaged their societies, and as unleashing political backlashes in these societies. For Polanyi, such backlashes gave us welfare states and social democracy, but also nationalist xenophobia, fascism and world war.
His work has been a major inspiration throughout the social sciences for its trenchant mix of grand-theoretical explanation and historical contingency, and for its social democratic humanism. And as much as any social scientist, Polanyi’s insights are essential to understanding our contemporary predicament in this age of populist backlash.
Brian Burgoon is Professor of International and Comparative Political Economy at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He is also Academic Director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) at the UvA. He received his PhD from MIT in 1998 and has been on the UvA faculty since 2001. His research focuses on the politics of economic globalization; of welfare and labor-market policies and standards; and of how economic conditions influence political conflict.
The lecture is open to all. Please register at: email@example.com
AISSR members present the work of a great thinker in the field of social sciences immersing us in key features of the social science canon and ‘Great Thinkers’ and exploring contributions across disciplinary lines. Staff members, PhD students and others interested can attend the public lecture. For AISSR PhD students the lecture can be followed by a PhD seminar with a second discussion of key readings of the respective thinker. How can you use these readings in your own research project?