Pre-conference Welcome

This conference has been published as:
“Capital and Justice”

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Welcome to the conference
“Capital Accumulation, Production and Employment:
Can We Bend the Arc of Global Capital Toward Justice?

Leaders: Gerson Lima and Jack Reardon

Discussion Forum: 15th May – 15th July, 2016

This conference will focus on various aspects of global accumulation, production and employment from a broader perspective of examining their interlinkages with other economic, social, and political processes. Concerns with social inclusion extend well beyond purely economic account of justice and fairness, since the degree of economic inequality also affects social cohesion and political stability, and can also have negative implications for economic growth and democratic institutions. Considering the current social and economic challenges, Peter Radford has suggested the need to constrain capital and make it work for all people. In his own words: ‘We can bend the arc of capitalism to our will if we wish”.

In truth, this conference calls for a deep examination of current power, politics and economics in a social context where democratic institutions are being threatened. This attempt also involves critical thinking of theories of justice in light of applied challenges: What kind of justice should we bend the arc of global capital to? What are justice conditions and criteria, given the concern about capital accumulation, employment, and production?

The broad themes to be covered are noted below; in addition, specific issues that could be taken up in both theoretical and empirical papers are mentioned, but these should be seen only as indicative suggestions. Papers falling within the broad topic of the conference, but on issues not specifically mentioned, are most welcome. We welcome contributions from social science and humanities researchers, policy makers, and students.

The themes and topics include, but are not limited to:

1.  Finance, investment and production

  • Growth models and investment patterns
  • Finance and changes in the pattern of production and employment
  • The role of central banks and treasury  policies in the current  investment scenario
  • The debate on secular stagnation

2. Investment trends and the competition among countries for business

  • Investment flows in the context of global value chains
  • The role of global trade competition in investment and innovation strategies
  • Trends in  investment strategies and labor-saving technologies
  • The new mercantilism: nation states and competition for business
  • Multinational corporations and the uneven distribution of social and environmental inequalities
  • The debate on the fourth industrial revolution
  • The question of ecological debate

3. Challenges to working conditions

  • The global labor marketplace: offshoring, outsourcing, crowdsourcing.
  • Working conditions and unequal  income distribution
  • Automation and technological unemployment
  • Policies to fix the problem of technological unemployment
  • Employment and income policies
  • Social and environmental rights

4. Economics and democracy

  • The failure of the mainstream economics’ policy framework in coping with job creation and welfare
  • Fundamentals of an economic theory that could democratically assure full employment
  • Capitalism, financial power and democracy
  • Theories of justice
  • Economics and democracy in the economics curriculum