CfP: Peripheral Liberalism. Market economists and the liberal script outside the West, 1970-2020
Workshop organised by the research group ‘Peripheral Liberalism’ (Dr Tobias Rupprecht; Alice Trinkle; Kevin Axe; Maximiliano Jara; George Payne) to be held in-person at the Berlin Cluster of Excellence ‘Contestations of the Liberal Script’.
Keynote: Prof Wang Hui, Tsinghua University
6-7 October 2022
CLUSTER OF EXCELLENCE “CONTESTATIONS OF THE LIBERAL SCRIPT ‒ SCRIPTS”
SCRIPTS analyses the contemporary controversies about liberal order from a historical, global, and comparative perspective. It connects academic expertise in the social sciences and area studies, collaborates with research institutions in all world regions, and maintains cooperative ties with major political, cultural, and social institutions. Operating since 2019 and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence unites eight major Berlin-based research institutions: Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), as well as the Hertie School, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the Berlin branch of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO).
JUNIOR RESEARCH GROUP: PERIPHERAL LIBERALISM
‘Peripheral Liberalism’ assesses the emergence of a liberal script in socialist countries and questions a Western-imposition narrative that permeates much of the literature on the ‘transition’ of Eastern Europe, and contemporary political commentary. We revisit the debates on economic and political reform in Soviet Russia, Soviet Estonia, Communist China, and post-socialist Chile from the 1970s, focussing on historiographical evidence produced by individual economists and social scientists. We assess how local varieties of neoliberalism emerged from the late 1970s, not as a passive import from the West, but in engagement with local intellectual traditions, domestic economic and political challenges, and interpretations of reforms abroad – including in the West, but more crucially in other countries of the socialist world. Our assumption is that a liberal script was laid out long before the arrival of Western advisors; it was only partially implemented around 1990, and while some of their ideas still informed economic and financial policy, the neoliberals themselves, in most cases, were soon politically sidelined.
Dr. Tobias Rupprecht, Freie Universität Berlin, Cluster of Excellence ‘Contestations of the Liberal Script’