Call For Papers for The 66th Annual Conference of the Japan Society of Political Economy
Transforming Capitalism and the Perspective of Political Economy
2018 is the 10 year anniversary of the United States (US) originated global financial crisis which devastated the world economy, causing the large scale unemployment of non-regular workers in Japan. 2018 is also the 20th year of the deflationary recession which aggravated the Japanese economic difficulties. Following from these incidents more than 3 million workers in Japan are unemployed, and more than 30 thousand people commit suicide every year. Many university graduates cannot find decent work and find themselves in the ranks of the vulnerable, non-regular workforce. Poverty has been more and more endemic over these 20 years which may be characterized as “the Dark Age” in Japan.
Increasing precarious work and the demise of the middle classes are common across all advanced countries. Neoliberals criticized the welfare state with its liberal social policies and social wages and claimed that its elimination would resurrect prosperity. However, neoliberal policies did not deliver what they promised and instead plunged economies into greater despair and austerity. Neoliberalism has also fomented increased cut-throat international competition and fostered mass migrations even as it enforces viscous, xenophobic policies on immigrants.
Brexit in the European Union, Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, and Marine Le Pen’s ascendancy in the French presidential election all point to the renewal and spread of right-wing tendencies within existing democracies. Right-wing governments in turn are mounting isolationist campaigns against globalization and immigration which tend to be supported by more people in their respective countries. The Abe government in Japan may be also characterized as reflecting this trend.
Marxian economics and other schools of political economy have tried to analyze the transformations of capitalism which underpin these political-economic trends. In the current situation what alternative policy directions and modes of implementation can political economy propose to save the many people who have been victimized by the neoliberal transformations of contemporary capitalism? In the JSPE Annual Conference, we seek answers to questions posed by the neoliberal political-economic transformations from the perspective of theory, empirical analysis and policy proposals in political economy.
Prof. Tadasu Matsuo
President of Organizing Committee
66th JSPE Annual Conference
Faculty of Economics, Ritsumeikan University