Political Economy Seminar

pol econ-web

The UCR Political Economy Seminar provides a venue for graduate students and faculty from UCR and elsewhere to engage actively in interdisciplinary and state of the art research in political economy.

For more information, or if you would like to present your work at the seminar, please contact the organizers, Jana Grittersova (jana.grittersova@ucr.edu) and Matthew C Mahutga (matthew.mahutga@ucr.edu).

More details at the UCR Political Economy Seminar website.

Project Description:

Born of the economic crises of the 1970s, three trends have combined to redefine the political economic order and social contract at the national and international levels: the re-ascendance of liberal economic thought as the ideational foundation of economic governance and the justification for curbing state intervention in markets and other economic relations; a transformation in the spatial distribution and organizational character of the information, manufacturing, and service sectors; and the rise of finance as a dominant driver of economic activity, public policy, and rising inequality. The dilemmas of and struggles over the governance and reform of what has proven to be an increasingly fragile crisis-ridden order will define the social, economic and political terrain of the twenty first century.

With that prognosis in mind, the 2015-16, Political Economy Seminar goal brought UCR’s collective expertise together with the expertise of invited outside speakers to bear on a series of specific issues: currency politics; the evolution of the concept of capitalism after the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Institutionalist understandings of economic organization in the post-war period; emergent contradictions in the  Chinese economy that threaten its decades long ascendancy; and a fresh comparison of patterns of the organization of economic-regulatory bodies between the United States and other countries.

For both UCR and non-UCR participants the 2015-16 seminar provided valuable insights and ideas for future work and collaborations. Indeed, it became increasingly clear to all involved that the seminar is helping to put UCR “on the map” the interdisciplinary field of Political Economy.

Past Events:

2/11/16 – Does Capitalism Have Its Own DNA?
Fred Block (University of California, Davis)

3/03/16 – The China boom: Where did it come from? How is it ending?
Ho-Fung Hung (Johns Hopkins University)

3/10/16 – Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy
Jeffry Frieden (Harvard University)

5/19/16 – A Second Regulatory Divide? Workplace Regulation in Europe and the Americas
Andrew Schrank (Brown University)


Marissa Brookes, Political Science
John Cioffi, Political Science
Jana Grittersova, Political Science
Matthew C Mahutga, Sociology

This project is funded by a Humanities Interdisciplinary Projects (HIP) Award. The Center’s annual HIP Awards support projects of varying format and focus in the humanities fields or cross-college collaborations with a humanities emphasis. The Center’s Advisory Committee seeks to fund interdisciplinary work across the academic community with potential appeal to a wider public audience. Examples of projects HIP awards may support include, but are not limited to, seed funding for larger grant proposals, cross-college and cross-school collaborations and workshops, conferences, symposia, and public lectures.