SASE’s 28th Annual Meeting, University of California, Berkeley, June 24-26, 2016

Call for papers
SASE – Network Q: Asian Capitalisms
“Moral Economies, Economic Moralities”

Organizers: Sebastien Lechevalier (EHESS), Boy Lüthje (Frankfurt Institute of Social Research/East West Center), Cornelia Storz (Frankfurt University), Tobias ten Brink (Frankfurt University and Institute of Social Research)

In discussions among economists, sociologists and political scientists on the diversity of capitalism, Asian capitalisms have remained on the side lines for many years. Theories and concepts of comparative and international political economy have only recently been applied in systematic ways to Asia and the specific institutional configurations of its key economies. At the same time, the rapid transformation of Asia’s older and newer capitalisms (including those developing from planned economies, China in particular) are posing new theoretical challenges. Existing literature on Asia’s rise has emphasized the role of the developmental state as a coordinator of economic development, but often has neglected the creation of new inequalities and segmentations under state-led models of socio-economic development. Studies of global production networks and value chains have amply demonstrated the importance of business networks and activist local states, but have largely omitted questions of social upgrading. Literature on work and labor relations has produced important insights into the formation of new workforces under rapid economic development and their social, racial, and ethnic segmentations, but links to the broader political economy of emerging capitalisms often remain weak.
On this background, our network promotes conceptual perspectives that cross established borders between economics, political sciences, and sociology. We hope to present integrated approaches to the transformations of contemporary capitalisms in Asia and explore the links between the changes of capitalism at global, national and local levels on the one hand and technological, social, and political transformation on the other. Our focus will be on recent developments in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis 2008-09. The guiding question is whether, how, and too which extent strategic change has emerged in the models and practices of socio-economic regulation of Asian Capitalisms, that might enable socially and ecologically sustainable pathways of development instead of further sharpening inequality.

The network will focus on six areas (non exhaustive): (a) Moral economies and economic history of capitalism (b) De- or Re-industrialisation? (c) Innovation, Human Resource Management and Knowledge Creation, (d) Beyond Market or State? (e) The future of Asian Capitalisms and global implications of Asia’s Resurgence, and (f) Welfare, Inequalities, and Institutional Change. The submission of panels is welcome. The basic idea of this first area network within SASE is to make Asia a central field of investigation for theories of institutional change and the diversity of capitalism, as well as for multidisciplinary approach including business history and economic history. In doing so, we expect to promote a fruitful dialogue between specialists on Asia on the one hand, and specialists on comparative capitalism on the other.

  • How to apply: (Please note that you do not have to be a member to submit a proposal. However, you do need to create a login)
  • Deadline for applications:
    • January 18th, 2016 for abstracts
    • June 1st, 2016 for completed papers

For further information, please contact Sébastien Lechevalier at

This network is supported by Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS (, which will fund the award for the best paper and the travel grants. The network will award a prize for the best paper on Asian capitalist societies (amount: Euro 1000). To have your paper considered for the prize, please send it by May 15th 2016 to sebastien.lechevalier@ehess. Information regarding the prize committee and the rules of the prize will be available on the FFJ and SASE websites.

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