Scientific Aims and Issues of the Conference

The world is experiencing a time of multiple crises as well as a time full of attempts to restructure international relations, especially in terms of international finance, world trade, sustainability but also global power politics. Old certainties and habits are being shaken. This reveals a variety of dependencies and inequalities, but also a lot of opportunities to transform the world into a more democratic, social and ecological place to live in.

Few issues seem more relevant in today’s world than the discussion on democratic, social and ecological ways of transformation to create a good, sustainable and just world for all people on this unique planet and to save the ecological foundations of our lives.

These are reasons enough to meet for an international conference on “International Finance & World Trade: On the Way to a Democratic and Social-Ecological Transformation?” The conference will be an online event, hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna in the cosmopolitan city of Vienna on 28 and 29 September 2021.

By offering an inter- and transdiciplinary platform, the conference is aimed at researchers from all social and economic sciences and the humanities. In particular, we explicitly encourage doctoral and junior researchers as well as researchers outside the scientific communities of the so called Western part of the Global North to participate and discuss their ideas. It is also important for us that each contributor gets enough discussion time to receive valuable feedback and avoid presentation hectic. The conference also provides various opportunities for further collaboration and encourages you to bring such forums or special sessions to life.

The range of topics includes, but is not limited to, conceptual works on democracy, diversity and transformation, development policy, the political economy of energy and financial markets, interdependency theories, financial governance, monetary theories, geoeconomics, geopolitics, core-periphery relations, monetary and economic sovereignty, post-colonial studies, global trade relations, social movements and sustainable finance.

Therefore, the Conference is particularly devoted to the following and related questions:

  • Which changes are being discussed, promoted, implemented or blocked with regard to the international financial markets and world trade, for example changes in terms of value and supply chains, payment systems, production and labour standards, trade, transportation and governance? Who are the main actors and what are their motives?
  • How do these technological innovations, political practices and rules affect, for example, democratic participation, political institutions, climate, welfare and economic, political or social interdependencies? How do they affect distributive justice and (in-)equality?
  • To what extent can these developments be described as social, ecological, sustainable, democratic, (anti-)imperial and/or (anti-)hegemonic? What is meant by those terms?
  • How can such transformative or political developments be conceptualised theoretically? Within which larger contexts and debates should they be analysed?
  • How do colonial legacies and logics continue to shape the global political economy? How can political economy analysis and postcolonial studies complement one another?
  • To what extent has the global Corona pandemic led to changes?
  • Which strategies, social alliances and policy options for a fair and sustainable design of the global trade and financial systems can be derived?

The Conference Agenda in a Nutshell

The latest version of the programme can be found and downloaded on its webpage.

Keynote Talks

We are happy to announce as keynote speakers two internationally highly regarded and thought-provoking scientists in their respective fields:

Supriya Singh, Professor for Sociology of Communications at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and author of Globalization and Money: A Global South Perspective (2013).

Ulrich Brand, Professor for International Politics at the University of Vienna, and co-author of the bestseller Imperiale Lebensweise (2017) – The Imperial Mode of Living (2021).

Contributed Talks in Paper Sessions

After peer-reviewing the submissions the organising team has selected the papers for discussion and has distributed them among 8 paper sessions. Each session consists of 3 to 5 contributions and each one will receive a short co-presentation by another participant and an intensive discussion.

For more information, please visit the respective and linked pages in the conference programme.

Special Sessions

There is still the option to organise a special conference session such as a book discussion or a thematic workshop. If you have recently written a book corresponding with the conference topics and especially the debates on democratic or social-ecological transformation, you can apply for a special session. In that case, please write an email.

Political Discussion on Global Green New Deals

In the evening of 29 September, the conference will conclude with a political debate on Global (Green) New Deal Concepts with prominent panellists from the UN or WTO, a government, science and political activism.

For more information, please visit the corresponding page.

No Conference Fee

Thanks to our sponsors, we were able to create this unique international conference for you. But their financial contribution does not cover all costs of this conference project.

As we do not want anyone to feel excluded from attending the conference for financial reasons, you can attend free of charge. Nevertheless, we would greatly appreciate it if you could pay a conference fee at your own discretion. That helps us to refinance the necessary costs per participant, especially the production process of a conference proceedings/anthology.

Important Dates

26 May 2021Abstract Submission Deadline
June 2021Notification of Acceptance and Feedback
07 September 2021Submission of Papers Deadline;
Deadline for Contributors to Register
14 September 2021Publication of Scientific Programme
21 September 2021Submission of PDF Slides for your Talk;
Deadline for Registration