Seminar archive



A crisis in or of neoliberalism? - Prof. Bob Jessop (Lancaster University) - 3rd October

Professor Jessop presented a ‘cultural political economy’ analysis of the continuing economic crisis (2007-present), focusing on the evolving struggle to interpret the crisis (including the attribution of causal power and agential responsibility) and the place of finance-led accumulation and neo-liberalism in these interpretations. Key issues include:
  • whether this is a crisis in finance-led accumulation (or financialisation), in neo-liberalism, or in the global geo-economic order; and
  • the recuperation of neo-liberal forces over the last two years and the attempt to use the crisis to reinforce neo-liberal tendencies.
About Professor Jessop
Bob Jessop is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre at Lancaster University. He is best known for his contributions to state theory, critical political economy, critical realism, and the restructuring of welfare regimes. His most recent work is in the field of cultural political economy.

He started a three-year ESRC Professorial Research Fellowship in January 2010 on the topic of the crisis of crisis-management. His books include: The Capitalist State (1982), Nicos Poulantzas (1985), Thatcherism: a Tale of Two Nations (1988), State Theory (1990), The Future of the Capitalist State (2002), Beyond the Regulation Approach (2006), and State Power (2007).

Electric Car Development as a Potential SD-PAM (Sustainable Development-Policies and Measures) Program in China? - Prof. Wang Jin (Department of Sociology, Sun Yat-Sen University Guangzhou, China)  24th February

SD-PAM (Sustainable Development-Policies and Measures) is a proposed mechanism meant to get the developing countries more actively involved in mitigation efforts. As part of a grand strategy to shift China away from the over reliance on fossil fuel, but also as a drive to gain competitive edge in the next round of global competition, China is keenly interested in developing alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars. What if China proposes to make its electric car program as a potential SD-PAM program? Will it make or break the mechanism and why? What does it say about the feasibility of SD-PAM or other similar proposals like NAMA which is widely used by many developing countries, including China, in recent climate talks?

About Professor Jin Wang
Prof Jin Wang, of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou (China) is a Chinese social scientist with an interest in the politics and discourse of climate change. He received his PhD in 2006 in Sociology from the University of Iowa. He has a strong interest and expertise in Political Sociology which makes him an ideal interlocutor to the social scientists in LSS and the university. His recent research is on ‘Sustainable Development-Policies and Measures (SD-PAM): From Side Effects to Co-benefits’. Sponsored by Swedish Energy Agency (STEM), 2009-2010 and ‘Sustainability for the 21st Century: Overcoming Limitations to Creative Adaptation in Addressing Climate Challenge’. CERES21 Project organized by University of Oslo, and sponsored by the Research Council of Norway, 2008-2012.

Iran’s Green Movement: Reform or Revolution? - Dr. Mahmood Delkhasteh - 3rd February

This public seminar on the current political situation in Iran began with a paper by Dr Mahmood Delkhasteh entitled ‘Iran’s Green Movement: Reform or Revolution?’ There is now intense debate about whether the ongoing uprising against the Iranian regime is another ill-fated attempt to reform the country’s political system, or the roots of a new revolution. Dr Delkhasteh, a political writer specialising in Iranian politics and social thought see below), argued that despite massive information (and disinformation) available in the media, these questions cannot be answered without a deeper understanding the origins of the uprising, the social forces that are sustaining it, the wider global context of the movement, the role of new media, and the popularisation of discourses of Islamic liberation.

About Dr Mahmood Delkhasteh
Dr Delkhasteh completed his PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2007. He is currently working on a new book based on his doctoral dissertation, Islamic Discourses of Power and Freedom in the Iranian Revolution, 1979-81. He has held lecturing positions at the American University—Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan) and Kingston University (UK) and presently works as an independent researcher, columnist and political activist.


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