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Call for Papers (1st round)
Growth, Development and Social Justice
The Ninth Forum of the World Association for Political Economy
May 23-25, 2014, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences
Hanoi, Vietnam

The 8th forum of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE) was successfully held in Florianopolis, Brazil on May 24-26, 2013. About 100 participants from 18 countries attended this forum. Ninety three papers or abstracts were submitted. Theotonio dos Santos (Brazil) and Wei Xinhua (China) were granted the Marxian Economics Award, and nine professors from USA, UK, France, China, Japan, Brazil, and Vietnam were granted the Distinguished Achievement Award of World Political Economy of the 21st Century. A Statement on “Inequalities and World Capitalism: Analysis, Policy and Action” was released at the closing ceremony of the forum.

The 9th WAPE Forum “Growth, Development and Social Justice” will be held at Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi, Vietnam on May 23-25, 2014.

Topics to propose
You are welcome to propose topics on the theme “Growth, Development and Social Justice” and all other topics related to Marxist political economy before June 30, 2013. Please email your proposals to wapemember@gmail.com.

How to apply to attend the 9th WAPE Forum
Please register at http://www.wapeweb.org with your personal information, upload one of your photos, and submit your full curriculum vitae and a paper abstract of 500 words in English. Once your abstract is accepted, please pay your registration fee online. When your payment is confirmed, please submit your full paper. You will then receive an official invitation. You also have the option to apply to attend the forum without a paper.

Both individual papers and complete panels on the theme and proposed topics are welcome.

• Important dates
Deadline for abstract: October 31, 2013;
Notice of acceptance: November 30, 2013;
Deadline for full paper: March 31, 2014.
Full papers submitted after March 31, 2014 will not be included in the conference proceedings.

All accepted papers will be considered for publication in World Review of Political Economy.

• Registration fee
US$160 for online payment before March 31, 2014;
US$220 for online payment after March 31, 2014 or onsite payment on May 23-25, 2014.

• Official Language: English

• Schedule
1. On site registration on May 22 through May 23, 2014.
2. WAPE Council meeting/WRPE Editorial meeting on May 23, 2014.
3. Official program on May 24 through May 25, 2014.

What is the benefit of joining WAPE?
While applying to attend the 9th WAPE forum, you have the option to join WAPE. It is highly recommended that you choose to join WAPE. Please find below the details on WAPE membership.

• General Membership
WAPE has decided to develop itself as a membership organization in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, new thought and research across the divide of language and geography, and offer its members access to certain benefits. These include:
• Free digital copies of the organization’s peer reviewed academic journal, World Review of Political Economy (WRPE), which is published four times a year.
• Publishing of members’ selected articles on our websites.
• Translation of selected books and articles into Chinese and publishing them in China.
• Invitations to attend a variety of conferences in China.
• Scholars who are members may be invited to China on a lecture tour.
• Members will be invited to join panels, which WAPE will organize for various international conferences held in different countries.
The general membership fee of WAPE is only US$30 per year, and the membership fee including a hard copy of WRPE is US$100 per year. Membership taken out in 2013 has the added benefit of members receiving eight digital issues of WRPE Volumes 3 and 4.

Marxian economists from all over the world are welcome to attend the forum whether or not they will present a paper. The WAPE Forums aim to encourage cooperation among Marxian economists and to enlarge and strengthen the influence of Marxian economics in the world.

• WAPE. The World Association for Political Economy, registered in Hong Kong, China, is an international academic organization founded in 2006 by Marxian economists and related groups around the world. The mission of WAPE is to utilize modern Marxian economics to analyze and study the world economy, reveal its laws of development, and offer policies to promote economic and social progress on the national and global level. The last six WAPE forums were successively held in Shanghai, Shimane(Japan), Beijing, Paris, Suzhou(China), Amherst(USA), and Mexico City (Mexico), Florianopolis (Brazil) during 2006-2013. Participants in past WAPE forums have come from over 50 countries in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America.

• WRPE. The World Review of Political Economy is a peer-reviewed quarterly journal of Marxian Political Economy sponsored by WAPE and published by Pluto Journals. For more information including types of submissions that will be considered, please go to http://www.wapeweb.org.

• WAPE Awards. The Distinguished Achievement Award of World Political Economy of the 21st Century, established by WAPE, has been granted annually since 2009 to recognize an outstanding book or article in political economy. It is intended to promote research in modern political economy around the world by granting the award to economists who have made important innovations in the theory or methodology of political economy since the year of 2001. The Marxian Economics Award, established by WAPE in 2011, is given to recognize an outstanding lifetime record of achievement in political economy. Its purpose is to promote the development of the research of Marxist economics around the world by granting the award to economists of different countries in the world who have made important innovations in the research of theories, methodology and application of Marxian economics. The 2014 WAPE Awards will be granted at the opening ceremony of the Ninth WAPE Forum. Nominations and applications can be sent to wapemember@gmail.com.

The WAPE Secretariat
June 10, 2013

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LECTURER IN POLITICAL ECONOMY (2 vacancies)

FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCES

REFERENCE NO. 628/0412

  • Join a leading arts faculty
  • Work in a collaborative and supportive interdisciplinary environment
  • Full-time, continuing: $104.6K – $124.2K p.a. (including salary, leave loading and up to 17% super)

The University of Sydney is Australia’s first university and has an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. It employs over 7500 permanent staff supporting over 49,000 students.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers one of the most comprehensive and diverse range of humanities and social science studies in the Asia Pacific region and is regularly ranked in the top 20 faculties of its kind.

The School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS) is composed of the departments of Anthropology, Government and International Relations, Political Economy, Sociology and Social Policy, and Peace and Conflict Studies. SSPS is the focus for the strategic development of the social sciences at Sydney with a view to our becoming Australia’s leading centre for research and teaching in the area.

Our Department of Political Economy is the largest of its kind in Australia and is internationally recognized as a leading centre of political economic analysis and teaching. Research and teaching in the department are founded on heterodox traditions of economics (including Marxian, Post-Keynesian, Classical, Institutional and Feminist economics).

We are also a major stakeholder in several interdisciplinary programs within SSPS, including the Bachelor of International and Global Studies and the Masters in Development Studies. In addition we play a leading role in interdisciplinary initiatives around the themes of markets and society, financialisation, the environment and climate change.

We are currently seeking to appoint two lecturers and as a successful appointee you will:

  • teach into the department’s core curriculum which focuses upon analysis and application of heterodox economic traditions
  • make a contribution to the research strengths of the school, including the pursuit of research grants and regular publication in journals of high standing . supervise research higher degree students
  • be a source/centre for interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and with external stakeholders
  • contribute to academic administration.
  • To be successful in this role you will possess:
    a PhD in political economy, economics or closely related field expertise in the department’s core curriculum which focuses upon analysis and application of heterodox economic traditions
  • evidence of teaching ability and experience, including potential to supervise honours and higher degree research students and contribute to curriculum development
  • an active research agenda in the field of political economy and a strong publication record, relative to opportunity, in this field.
  • Desirable for appointment is your:
    administrative experience
  • course co-ordination experience
  • experience supervising postgraduate research students
  • ability to contribute to one or more of the interdisciplinary programs and/or initiatives with which the department is involved (e.g. Masters in Development Studies).

This role presents an excellent opportunity to grow and develop your academic career in a school that offers innovative degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, that attract the very best students from Australia and overseas.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit sydney.edu.au/positions and search by the reference number for more information and to apply. CLOSING DATE: 7 June 2012 (11.30pm, Sydney time) 

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

The University is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to equity, diversity and social inclusion. Applications from equity target groups and women are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney

NZIER (where I work) has just published a new Insight on the next steps for water policy. The Royal Society recently published an issues paper on ecosystem services. Natural capital and the value it creates for the economy is clearly topical.

It isn’t just a neat research area, either. I had an interesting conversation today with some District/Regional Council people, and they are grappling with ecosystem degradation. In their case, the amount of water available is declining, and the quality of drinking water is falling below international standards. If their ecosystem weren’t overloaded, then the aquifers would be recharging and the natural water-cleaning processes would be adequate. That’s not happening.

I’ve spent a little time on environmental/ecological issues. I keep coming back to the saying, ‘what gets measured, gets managed.’ If we want to manage our ecosystems, we have to measure the aspects of it that we think are important.

At the NZAE conference, Tim Harford had some interesting things to say about measurement. He pointed out that when we enact policies, we are in effect conducting experiments. We should take measurements just like we would in a laboratory. Often, though, the funding isn’t available to take measurements. We conduct experiments but let them go to waste. Sometimes, measurement is even actively avoided.

When it comes to ecosystem services, I don’t think we have that luxury. These are big, complex systems that we don’t fully understand. We need as much data as we can get so we can continue to enjoy New Zealand’s relatively clean environment and profit from it (depending on our preferences).

But we also need the right data, so there is an important role for economists. As the Royal Society paper points out, the value of ecosystem services is bound up in human activity. It is about the services provided to people, and how they value them. It isn’t just about water chemistry, or about how the chemistry leads to clean water, but also about what value people put on the clean water. So economists are integral to this work.

The NZIER and Royal Society publications are helpful additions to the discussion. I hope we can build on them.

Putting together my first post made me think about the economics of blogging. Blogging is a tournament game: low barriers to entry, with a very few earning fame and fortune. In that respect, it is similar to dealing drugs (see Freakonomics).

For most bloggers, the return is low. If someone is blogging about economics, and doing a credible job of it, s/he presumably has marketable skills. Banks, universities, ministries, think-tanks — there’s a long list of potential employers. Why bother producing a blog?

Three reasons came to mind:

  • Weak altruism. Working on the NZAE Council, I see how much other people have contributed over the years. Now, through blogging, I can help improve the visibility and relevance of the Association. If economics looks relevant, then I look relevant, too.
  • Consumption good. Although I’m producing something, the real reason for writing a blog is the enjoyment of production. That makes blogging like playing music, knitting, and baking biscuits. Sure, we can argue about the relative quality of home-made versus store-bought, but in the end it’s about the pleasure of producing it yourself. It just so happens that I enjoy producing economic arguments.
  • Signalling. Well-known economics blogs tend to be side-lines. Why are otherwise successful people blogging, and why aren’t more economics bloggers famous in their own right? This looks like signalling in two parts. First, I’m not going to trust Billy Bob’s Forum of Economics and Used Hardware (no link). The fact that someone has a day job (in economics) signals trustworthiness. Secondly, getting involved with blogging signals with-it-ness. I can grok the new media, man. That makes me more in demand for my day job.

So blogging is like the rest of the economy: I am sending signals in order to improve my individual outcome, while contributing to my own tribe (but not too much) and taking pleasure from it.

Here’s to a new and strong signal from NZAE. We’ll enjoy the DIY, and we’ll try to keep the noise down.

The intention of this blog is to highlight economists’ work and provide material to support education and general understanding, especially as it relates to economics in New Zealand. It is not a forum for advocacy (other than better use of economics). Posts are categorised using the JEL Classification System and tagged as considered appropriate. Authors are generally Councillors of the NZAE. Anyone can provide comments. Any views expressed are not necessarily those of the NZAE.

We all like success. But do we really understand why some succeed and others do not? Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a superb book offering some insights. Just as importantly, it is readable. Gladwell is a story-teller. He has purposely pitched the book at the ‘popular audience’. He is doing something right judging by the book topping overseas best-seller lists recently.

Not surprisingly success is a combination of ability, effort and timing. It is the last two factors on which Gladwell focuses, suggesting for example that 10,000 hours of ‘practice’ was a huge part of the success of Bill Gates and the Beatles, as well as fortunate timing. Another interesting statistic is the prevalence of March quarter birthdays amongst top Canadian ice hockey players, suggestive that a 1 January cut-off for children’s sports teams has biased the chances of sporting success later in life.

The New Zealand Listener recently ran an extensive review of these themes, including a check on the birthdates of the All Blacks. And, yes, the same bias appears to be present.

Gladwell also explores the role of communication. Communication matters, especially in the cockpit of a commercial plane. You will be pleased to know that New Zealand pilots score well in terms of a “power distance index”. In plain terms, we are willing to speak up, even if the message will upset our supposed superiors. But don’t get too complacent: we don’t score so well when it comes to numbers – for a very logical reason, it turns out.

The stories and insights just keep on flowing, building a fascinating picture of success as a legacy. The popular myth is that of overnight success but more likely success builds gradually. So you are right, in part: it was your parents’ fault all along. But think again. Buried in your past are the seeds of your own success, be it a work ethic or an attitude or a stubbornness or merely some chance acquaintance.

The major criticism of the book appears to be ‘so what?’ The stories are entertaining but the key message is hardly new. That may be the case. But that does not disempower the book. To me, reconsidering what determines my likely success, and considering under what conditions I might succeed, is well worth the time.

You will probably enjoy this book if you liked: Black Swan, another recent top-seller jammed with wonderful stories by Nassim Taleb.

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