CALL FOR PAPERS & PARTICIPATION ClassCrits VI Stuck in Forward? Debt, Austerity and the Possibilities of the Political 

Sponsored by
Southwestern Law School &
U.C. Davis School of Law
Los Angeles, CA * November 15-16, 2013

The theme of this year’s workshop--the sixth meeting of ClassCrits--is debt, austerity and the possibilities of the
political. The economic crisis of 2008 was a referendum on the failures of deregulation and neoliberal ideology all over the world. Far from being a sophisticated mechanism to absorb and diffuse systemic economic risk, the crisis exposed a fragile global financial system characterized by dysfunctional imbalances of increasingly precarious and largely unregulated risk societies. In the United States, the social contract of class mobility and
the “American Dream” financed with “easy” credit was exposed as an empty promise. In the European context, the sovereign debt crisis resulted in the imposition of draconian austerity measures in several nationstates,like Greece, undermining social safety nets and wage structures, rupturing traditional alliances, and
driving down individual standards of living. At the same time, the Occupy Movement—and similar movements across the globe—refocused attention on socio-economic inequality for the first time in decades. The old ways of seeing things proved inadequate for framing the changing realities of the new post-recession world. But
whatever the initial shock to the social order, political and financial elites everywhere have since doubled down on the failed neoliberal project with a mania for balancing budgets in the name of discredited austerity policies which have only accelerated neoliberalism’s upward transfer and concentration of wealth and
intensified the class stratification in contemporary global societies. Stuck in the grip of austerity groupthink and
faced with nation states captured by elite interests─a trend only made worse in the United States by Citizens United─any movement forward will require creatively leveraging national political and legal systems as instruments for progressive economic change and deleveraging social class divides.

Please submit your proposal by email to by May 15, 2013. Proposals should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation and contact information, the title of the paper to be presented, and an abstract of the paper to be presented of no more than 750 words. Junior scholar submissions for works in progress should be clearly marked as “JUNIOR SCHOLAR WORK IN PROGRESS PROPOSAL.”

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