UPDATED Call for papers: ASE/ASSA 2018 meetings, "Democratic Crisis and the Responsibility of Economics"



Allied Social Science Association Annual Meeting
Philadelphia, PA: January 5-7 (Friday to Sunday), 2018 

THEME: “Democratic Crisis and the Responsibility of Economics”


Recent eruptions of populist reaction and aggressive nationalism in Europe, the US, and beyond have unsettled economists and other social scientists on the left, right, and in the political center. Many now worry about the continued viability of democratic ideals in what they view as a moment of “unreason,” and about their role in unfolding events. Not least, both the Brexit vote and the subsequent election of President Trump can be read in part as rejections of the authority and privileges of experts who advise democratic governments in pursuit of economic wellbeing and other valued goals. For the ASE sessions at the 2017 ASSA meetings, we welcome proposals for papers/sessions on all aspects of social economics, but preference will be given to papers related to the contemporary democratic crisis, and the responsibility of the economics profession—both its culpability (if any) in the crisis, and its obligations and duties in the new political conjuncture. Possible questions include but are not limited to:

-- What are the connections between predominant economic prescriptions and economists’ practice over the past two decades or so and unfolding political events? In what ways did the profession contribute to economic and political conditions under which political reaction and nationalism could flourish? Is inequality or “globalization” partly to blame, for instance, and if so, to what degree is the economics profession at fault for long emphasizing “efficiency” and growth over equitable distribution of income, wealth, or capabilities? 

-- What lessons for the economics profession are there in the new movements? What do they tell us about the centrality of political and economic inclusion/exclusion for the viability of the democratic ideals of mutual regard, tolerance, equality, and civic duties?

-- How should social and other economists respond to the rejection of expertise that marks these new political movements? To what degree and how should the economics profession evolve in light of these events—in the ends to which economists commit themselves, the means they employ to achieve good economic outcomes, and their positioning (as detached experts) vis-à-vis the communities they purport to serve?

-- To what degree does the new populism represent the renewed salience of “class” alongside or as opposed to “identity” politics? How might the return to class in politics affect ongoing campaigns for the rights and interests of racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ communities, and other groups that are demanding equal economic, political, and social opportunities? In short, does the return to class represent new opportunities, or new perils?

-- What opportunities arise in the current conjuncture for economists to press the case for economic justice, genuine respect and equality, tolerance, and other valued goods? Or is opposition to entrenchment the best that can be hoped for?

Proposals for papers as well as complete sessions are welcome.

The submission deadline is May 1, 2017.  The online form can be found here.

Individuals whose papers are accepted for presentation must either be or become members of the Association for Social Economics by July 1, 2017 in order for the paper to be included in the program.  Membership information can be found at www.socialeconomics.org. All papers presented at the ASSA meetings are eligible for the Warren Samuels Prize, awarded to the best paper that advances the goals of social economics and has widespread appeal. Papers can also be considered for a special issue of one of the association’s journals, or for edited volumes.

NB: Due to limited session slots, we cannot accept all submissions. Any paper that cannot be incorporated into the ASE program will be automatically considered for the ASE portion of the ICAPE conference, which will be held at Drexel University in downtown Philadelphia the day before the ASSA meetings (January 4, 2018). Drexel is a short cab or subway ride from the conference hotels. See icape.org for details.

Please email George DeMartino at George.DeMartino@du.edu with any questions.


Call for papers: 2017 Warren Samuels Prize (Deadline: December 18, 2016)

The Association for Social Economics (ASE), one of the founding member organizations of the Allied Social Science Associations, together with the Review of Social Economy, would like to invite submissions for the 2017 Warren Samuels Prize.

This prize is awarded to the paper, to be presented at the upcoming ASSA meetings in January, that best exemplifies scholarly work that:

  • Is of high quality,
  • Is important to the project of social economics,
  • Has broad appeal across disciplines.

It is preferable, but not required, that the paper is presented at one of the ASSA sessions sponsored by the Association for Social Economics. Papers will not normally exceed 6,500 words (inclusive of references, notes), and should follow the style guidelines for the Review of Social Economy.

The winner of the prize will be announced during the ASE presidential breakfast, to which the winner is invited. The winning paper may, subject to peer review, be published in a subsequent issue of the Review of Social Economy. The winner of the Warren Samuels Prize receives a $500 stipend.

The selection committee consists of:

The immediate Past-President of the ASE;
A Co-editor of the Review of Social Economy (Chair);
A member of the Editorial Board, Review of Social Economy.

Please send your paper electronically, as a word or pdf attachment, to ASE past-president Ellen Mutari (ellen.mutari@stockton.edu ) by December 18, 2016.


Call for applications: William R. Waters Research Grant, 2016-17 [Deadline November 16, 2016]

The Association for Social Economics announces that applications are now being taken for the William R. Waters Research Grant. The research grant is for promising graduate students in Ph.D. programs who have not yet completed their dissertation, those holding post-doctoral positions, and for new faculty members who have not yet been granted tenure or who are tenured but have not yet achieved the rank of Associate Professor. The current amount of the annual grant is up to $5000.

The deadline for submitting applications for the Research Grant is November 16th, 2016. The grant will be disbursed in January and is intended to support research pursued in 2017.

Please find the Waters Grant Announcement and application instructions here.

The purpose of the William R. Waters Research Grant Program is to inspire scholars to organize their research in social economics and social economy along the lines suggested by William Waters in his 1988 presidential address to the Association for Social Economics.

The major concern of social economics is explaining the economy in its broadest aspects; that is, showing how human beings deal with the ordinary business of using human and physical resources to achieve a level of material comfort. Explanation includes cultural, political, and ethical details as they are needed for a full understanding. As in any economics, there are three parts to social economics. First is the philosophical base of the social economist, which may or may not be a reflection of the philosophical base or ethos of the society he/she is studying. Social economics (or any economics) builds upon it. It is the hard core as in the recent popular literature of the philosophy of science. The second part of the discipline is a description of the significant characteristics of the economy. The economist must observe the multiplicity of economic reality and abstract those characteristics that are substantive. The two together, the philosophical premises and the empirical observations, will determine the third part of the discipline, social economic policy. Policy formulation is thus a mix of the first two. (William R. Waters, “Social Economics: A Solidarist Perspective,” Review of Social Economy, 1988, p. 113 ff.)

Please direct any inquiries about eligibility or other matters to Professor George DeMartino, University of Denver, at George.DeMartino@du.edu.


Call for abstracts: ASE sessions at the Eastern Economic Association, February 23-26, 2017

Association for Social Economics at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Meeting

New York City, February 23-26, 2017

Deadline: November 19, 2016


Submissions are now open for the Association for Social Economics sessions at the 2017 Eastern Economic Association meetings, being held in New York City from February 23-26, 2017. Please visit the link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/eea/43rd-annual-conference for more details regarding the meetings.

Submissions and session proposals that combine economics and other social sciences, including sociology, philosophy, geography, political science, and anthropology, are particularly encouraged. Potential topics for papers and organized sessions can include: 

income distribution

justice and equity

economics and ethics



human dignity


workplace organization




economic institutions

economic methodology


All whose proposals are accepted must register for the conference but do not have to pay the paper submission fee.

Please email your paper proposal or complete session to Michael J. Murray (mmurray@bemidjistate.edu) by Saturday, November 19, 2016.


Call for abstracts: ASE sessions at the Midwest Economics Association, March 31-April 2, 2017

Association for Social Economics at the Midwest Economics Association Annual Meeting

Cincinnati, OH, March 31 - April 2, 2017

Deadline: October 6, 2016


Theme: The Economy as Social - Studies in Social Economics

Recently there has been a revival of research that takes as its starting point the idea that economies are constituted through relationships and networks of social solidarity, communitarian ethics, and other-regarding behaviors.  This has implications for re-interpreting, re-imagining and reconstituting economic concepts and theories such as human/social capital, community/social enterprise, technological innovation, human capabilities and solidarity economies.  We invite papers from researchers and teachers that present case studies, empirical analyses, theoretical essays or pedagogical explorations that address these and other topics in social economics. 

Please submit a copy of the paper title and abstract (up to 250 words) to Bruce Pietrykowski, Association for Social Economics Midwest Regional Director, at bpie@umich.edu no later than October 6, 2016.

Please refer to the Midwest Economic Association web site for further information regarding the 2017 MEA Conference: http://mea.grinnell.edu/


ASE position announcement: Program Secretary (3-year term)

Deadline for applications: November 1, 2016

The Association for Social Economics (ASE) seeks a new Program Secretary. The Program Secretary is responsible for coordinating efforts in order to ensure smooth running of the ASE sessions at the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) meetings. This is a three-year term from January 2017 through December 2019. The Program Secretary is appointed by the Executive Council of the Association.

The Program Secretary:

  • Coordinates with the ASSA for the annual meeting; works to plan the annual membership meeting, plenary session, breakfast, and sessions, ensuring that all are included in the general program.
  • Works with the ASSA and the ASE President-Elect on the program for the annual meetings; proofs galleys for ASSA program book, especially those pages relating directly to ASE sessions.
  • Arranges for and sets menus and prices for the Association Presidential breakfast and the plenary session and makes certain that the breakfast is included in the ASSA pre-registration materials as a fee event.
  • Notifies members of the availability of the ASSA-provided pre-registration.
  • Receives a reimbursement not to exceed $500 annually to partially cover the cost of attending the annual meetings of ASE in association with the ASSA meetings if full funding is not provided by the individual’s host institution.
  • Receives one of the two complimentary rooms allocated to the Association at the annual meetings with ASSA.

In order to apply, please send a letter of interest and a CV to Prof. Giuseppe Fontana (G.Fontana@leeds.ac.uk), President of the Association for Social Economics, Economics, Univ. of Leeds (UK) and Univ. of Sannio (Italy), by November 1, 2016. Phone interviews will be held in mid-November 2016.


Learn from Inspiring Women of Action on International Women’s Day

Quentin Wodon

QW picMarch 8 is International Women’s Day. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. The focus this year is on urgent action needed to accelerate gender parity.

On that day, the World Bank Group Staff Association will host a discussion with inspiring Rotarian women who have made a difference in the world. The event will illustrate the power of women to change the world and improve the lives of the less fortunate through innovative and impactful projects in the areas of education and health. The event will take place from 2 PM to 3 PM and will be streamed online through World Bank Live, so you can watch it from wherever you are.

Three great speakers will be featured. Marion Bunch is the head of Rotarians for Family Health & AIDS Prevention. Her signature program has been the organization of Family Health Days in developing countries where families receive free consultations and health care. Jennifer Jones a Director on Rotary International’s global board. A media professional, she led Rotary missions to create documentaries and teach journalism and ethics classes in Brazil, Tanzania and Haiti. Deepa Willingham, also a Rotarian, founded Promise of Assurance to Children Everywhere, a program for impoverished girls in India. The panelists will be introduced by Daniel Sellen, Chair of the World Bank Group Staff Association.

In order to connect online, simply click here. For those living in the Washington, DC, area, limited seating is available to attend in person provided you register here. More details on the event are available on the Rotarian Economist blog where I will also feature stories about Deepa’s and Marion’s work. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email through the Contact Me page of my blog if you have any question. And please don’t hesitate to share this information with friends.


Call for participation: ASE Summer School in Social Economics, June 21-22, 2016, Bilbao, Spain

Summer School in Social Economics, June 21-22, 2016

Economics Department, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain


The Association of Social Economics (ASE) will organize a two-day summer school in social economics in Spain. The summer school will be free, and ASE is able to provide some support (up to 500 USD) for travel cost. The summer school will be followed by the annual conference of the economics department of the University of the Basque Country (23-24 June), which presents a wide variety of economic perspectives and includes ASE summer school coordinator Irene van Staveren as keynote speaker.

Summer school
The summer school provides an overview of recent social economic research by prominent ASE scholars, major social economics concepts and themes, and information about both ASE scholarly journals Review of Social Economy and Forum for Social Economics. There will be two days of lectures with Q&A, informal meetings between participants and lecturers, and a set of reading materials for preparation.

The conference provides an opportunity for summer school participants to present their work in special PhD student sessions, giving participants the opportunity to network with PhD students from all over the world, working in different schools of thought, and to receive feedback on their papers.

How to apply for the summer school: please fill in the application form and send it to Irene van Staveren (staveren@iss.nl) before 15 th of April 2016. You will be notified of your participation (and of possible travel support if you have requested this) before 1st May 2016.

ASE Summer School Application Form

How to apply for the conference: please check out the conference website and indicate that you are an ASE summer school participant (to obtain the discount for the conference fee):


or contact the local organizer: jesus.ferreiro@ehu.eus

Summer school fee: free (including two lunches and refreshments)

Reduced conference fee: 75 euro

University residence rooms: 42 euro single room or 76 euro double room per night, including breakfast (dinner optional 7,30 euro per meal)

More information
Irene van Staveren, email: staveren@iss.nl


Call for papers: 2017 ASE/ASSA sessions on "Human Development and Poverty Reduction"

UPDATE: The submission site is now open. The deadline is May 1.

From Quentin Wodon, ASE president-elect:

BasuThe Association for Social Economics (ASE) is one of the founding members of the Allied Social Sciences Associations that holds its annual meetings together with the American Economic Association (AEA) in January each year. In January 2017, the AEA-ASSA meetings will be held in Chicago. ASE will organize seven sessions, plus a Presidential breakfast during the conference and an opening plenary address the night before the start of the conference. The plenary will be given by Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President for Development Economics at the World Bank.

We encourage you to submit proposals for individual papers or sessions. Apart from presenting your paper at the AEA-ASSA meetings, you will also have the opportunity to submit your paper (or a shortened, policy-oriented version thereof) for publication in a special issue of Forum for Social Economics devoted to some of the best papers presented in Chicago. In addition, papers presented at the ASSA meetings are eligible for the Warren Samuels Prize awarded to the best paper that advances the goals of social economics and has widespread appeal.

You may submit a paper or session proposal related to social economics broadly defined. We also encourage you to consider proposals for papers/sessions related to human development and poverty reduction, the theme of our ASE sessions this year. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Poverty: How should poverty be measured? How should the impact on poverty of programs and policies be assessed? Is the nature of extreme poverty different from poverty? Which types of new and innovative programs appear especially promising to help reduce poverty and multiple forms of deprivation? To what extent is the persistence of extreme poverty an ethical issue? What does social justice have to say about the persistence of extreme poverty?
  • Education: How should education attainment and achievement be measured? How much progress has been achieved and what remains to be done to improve outcomes, especially for disadvantaged students? Which interventions should be prioritized to improve equity and inclusion in education? What have been the results of recent program and policy experiments in the area of education? What have we learned about specific vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities, orphans, ethnic minorities, rural girls, etc.? What needs to be done in contexts of conflict and adversity?
  • Health and nutrition: What are the challenges faced by the poor to access health care? How can universal health care be promoted in developing countries? What are the consequences of catastrophic health events for the poor? Which types of interventions can help to improve health outcomes, especially for young children? What can be done to improve nutrition for children?
  • Social protection and labor: Do the poor benefit from social protection programs? What should be done about youth unemployment and underemployment? What are the results of recent experiments in these areas? Which social protection and employment programs appear to be most promising? How do threats such as climate change affect the resilience of communities?
  • Cross-cutting themes: How should we think about human development and poverty reduction in a cross-sectoral way? What can we learn from empirical research on cross-sectoral topics such as early childhood development or child marriage? What is the role of nonprofits, whether secular or faith-based, in improving human development outcomes, whether for education, health?

The submission deadline is May 1, 2016. Please go to the call for papers for ASSA on the ASE website for submissions at www.socialeconomics.org(The submission site is now open.) Individuals whose papers are accepted for presentation must either be or become members of the Association for Social Economics by July 1, 2016, in order for the paper to be included in the program. Although this is not required, you are encouraged to share your (draft) paper at the time of submission, as this will increase the likelihood of acceptance in the program and publication in the special issue of Forum for Social Economics.


Irene van Staveren on Anthony Atkinson’s Inequality: What Can Be Done?

AtkinsonVarious important books have been published recently about economic inequality, from Piketty on wealth to Wilkinson and Pickett on social impacts. Tony Atkinson's book Inequality: What Can Be Done? focuses on the characteristics of income inequality and what can be done about it.

First, Atkinson presents data on household income inequality from the Luxembourg Income Studies data (LIS). A country comparison shows that the Gini coefficients of both the US and the UK are relatively high, above 35, with many continental European countries showing figures between 25 and 30. He also points out that the Gini coefficients have been on the rise since the 1980s in most Western countries.

Second, he presents a long list of policy proposals. Let me share a few with you, which are of particular interest for social economics. On taxation, he proposes to raise the marginal income tax rate to 65 percent and to introduce a substantive earned income discount. Furthermore, he comes with an innovative proposal on inheritance taxation: no longer on the giver but on the receiver, with a lifetime progressive capital taxation. This is an incentive to leave one’s wealth behind for the poorest relatives, charities or other goals, rather than for the richest relatives. Next, he proposes a substantial child benefit, to be taxed as income, so that the rich benefit much less than the poor. Moreover, he pleas for a basic children’s income and a basic capital endowment for all at adulthood. And he insists on a one percent development aid of GNP.

On employment, he argues for a target for unemployment reduction in the UK, as in the US, as well as a minimum wage as a living wage, as in the Netherlands, and a public employment guarantee, as in India.

Atkinson's argumentation is smart. He demonstrates the history of his proposals, with old and new claims by politicians, activists, and even business leaders (UK premier league football clubs, such as Chelsea). And he argues that “there is not just one economics” (p. 5), showing a variety of economic arguments, including Kenneth Arrow’s argument that ethical codes should be part of businesses behavior. Of course, Atkinson criticizes the break-down of the welfare state in many Western countries, with a reduction in benefits and coverage for disadvantaged groups. But he does not fall into the trap of proposing increasing public expenditures in times where many governments seek to reduce public debt and budget deficits. Instead, his fiscal proposals are all revenue-neutral. Hence, the political feasibility should not be a constraint. I find this part of his policy proposals the smartest one of all.

* * * * *

IreneIrene van Staveren is professor of Pluralist Development Economics at the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Thomas Divine award by the Association of Social Economics.