The Institute has hosted (and co-hosted) twelve international conferences, alternating between Montreal and a host country. These events provide a forum for debate, dialogue and reflection among academic, researchers, students, individuals working in NGO’s, government (all levels), policy research institutes, civil society organizations, and an engaged public on themes central to the work of Karl Polanyi.
The 12th International Karl Polanyi Conference “Karl Polanyi and Latin America” was held at the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 8-10, 2012. The event was organized by Professor José Luís Coraggio (Director, Graduate Program on Social Economy, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento) in collaboration with the Polanyi Institute.
The conference hosted three keynote addresses, four semi-plenary sessions, and eleven panels that addressed issues relating to new theoretical perspectives in the social sciences; neoliberalism, globalization and the current crisis; public policy and resistance; fictitious commodities and the social and solidarity economy in the South and in the North. While the relevance of Karl Polanyi for Latin America today was the overriding theme of the conference, scholars and students from sixteen countries representing several disciplines in the Social Sciences participated in this event. The conference was also the occasion for the launching of the volume Textos escogidos. Karl Polanyi, edited by José Luís Coraggio (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento / CLACSO, 2012), a collection of published and unpublished works by Karl Polanyi in the Spanish language. For Concordia's Polanyi Institute, the participation and discussions reaffirmed the importance of Polanyi's work internationally. For example, In Latin America, the concern with "extractavism" (extractavismo) throughout the region, drew on Polanyi's warning of the commodification of land (habitation vs. improvement). Of great interest at the conference was the reference to the work of Nobel Laureate, the late Elinor Ostrom and the commonalities of the work of Polanyi and Ostrom in today's context where "extractivism" is a concern throughout the world and is played out in the important debates on resource management in Canada and abroad.
The next international Karl Polanyi Conference will be held in Montreal in the fall of 2014.
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