18-21 July 2020
Virtual Conference

2020 – Virtual Conference

Development Today: Accumulation, Surveillance, Redistribution

Conference Theme Overview

New political, technological, and economic forces are changing the ways development is designed, practiced, and experienced today, in poor and rich countries alike. Three interrelated elements, in particular, deserve our analytical attention: a geopolitically and economically unsettled global order, smart information and communication technologies, and extreme inter- and intra-country inequities. By transforming practices of accumulation, surveillance, and redistribution, these factors shape the experience of development in significant ways.

An unsettled global order—triggered in part by a threatened US hegemony and China’s rising power—defines the diplomatic initiatives and economic investments in poor countries. Some foreign investments are driven by private capital, others are state-led. Some initiatives are for profit, others are designated as development aid. New ambitious projects include the UN-led Sustainable Development Goals and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Other projects are driven and funded by local actors. On the ground, the effects on development are potentially dramatic—investments in basic health and education must have major redistributive effects; infrastructural projects are likely to transform social and economic practices in and across cities; the environment is necessarily affected—but we are yet to fully understand the origins and potential impact of such programs.

One competition informing global and local restlessness today is over technology. A smart global order is currently being created—an order in which information and communication technologies dominate public arenas and private lives. Much of the debates on new technologies have been concerned with the global North, yet in so many ways the impact on the global South may be even more significant. In the global South, new technologies are being effectively used to overcome extant infrastructural barriers to improve people’s lives. India famously uses biometric ID systems to distribute social benefits, for example, and other governments are currently collecting biometric data allegedly for similar purposes. New technologies are also used to monitor and control people. Governments exploit mass surveillance and smartphone technologies to compromise opposition figures; facial-recognition technology is used to scan for the presence of dissidents. The poor, refugees, and people trapped in the criminal justice system are particularly vulnerable. In the meantime, social media influence operations attempt to sway elections. In turn, technologies can be used by civil society actors to hold states more accountable. Local dynamics informing the development and use of technologies—and the impact of technologies on the future of work, the future of welfare, and the future of democracy—are essential to analyze.

Finally, the current global order is unapologetically unequal. Foreign interventions may strengthen current elites or empower rival fractions; mass automation is likely to bifurcate the global division of labor, but in unexpected ways; our submission to the gaze of corporations and governments make all of us vulnerable—but not equally so. And especially where social and political institutions are weak, the impact of current geopolitical dynamics and techno-political transformations is likely to both reproduce old dividing lines across classes, genders, and ethnic groups, and to add new divisions. Yet, we should also identify ways by which these geopolitical dynamics and techno-political transformations are used in the fight against injustices. 

The SASE conference held online from 18-21 July 2020 will feature papers on all issues of concern for socio-economics, but we especially welcome contributions that explore development today and how geopolitical interventions, technological forces, and inequalities shape and are in turn shaped by development, today as in the past, from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. SASE’s current members are uniquely positioned to tackle these new realities and offer valuable insights; we hope that this year’s theme would, in addition, bring first-time participants, novel approaches, and new inquiries to add to our conversations.

Established in 1989, SASE owes its remarkable success to the determination to provide a platform for creative research addressing important social problems. Throughout its three decades, SASE has encouraged and hosted rigorous work of any methodological or theoretical bent from around the world based on the principle that innovative research emerges from paying attention to wider context and connecting knowledge developed in different fields. SASE is committed to a diverse membership and lively intellectual debates and encourages panels that include or are likely to include a diverse group of participants.

President: Nitsan Chorev (nitsan_chorev@brown.edu)

Program Committee: Rina Agarwala, Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, Daniel Mügge

Local Organizing Committee: Daniel Mügge, Jonathan Zeitlin

Mini-Conference Themes

Each mini-conference will consist of 3 to 6 panels, which will be featured as a separate stream in the program. Each panel will have a discussant, meaning that selected participants must submit a completed paper in advance, by 2 June 2020. Submissions for panels will be open to all scholars on the basis of an extended abstract. If a paper proposal cannot be accommodated within a mini-conference, organizers will forward it to the most appropriate research network as a regular submission.

Contested Law – Contested Social Orders? Technological and Transnational Challenges to the Rule and to the Making of Law
detailed info
Birgit Apitzsch
Britta Rehder
Katharina van Elten
Berthold Vogel
Crisis, Temporality, and Governance
detailed info
André Vereta-Nahoum
Simone Polillo
Critical Reflections on Socio-Economic Statistics for Development: Past, Present, and Future
detailed info
Roberto Aragão
Daniel DeRock
Joan van Heijster
Daniel Mügge
Decolonizing “Development”: Theories, Methods and Research
detailed info
Julian Go
Zophia Edwards
Diffusion of the Innovations on the New Algorithmic Contour
detailed info
Gil-Sung Park
Hang Young Lee
Eun Kyong Shin
Education Policies and Practices for Social Progress in Globalizing Worlds: Are New Socio-Economic Perspectives Needed?
detailed info
Lorenz Lassnigg
Aaron Benavot
Stephanie Matseleng Allais
Justin J.W. Powell
Gender and Wealth Accumulation
detailed info
Céline Bessière
Maude Pugliese
Global Populism and Business Elites
detailed info
Magnus Feldmann
Marcus Gomes
Daniel Kinderman
Glenn Morgan
Dorottya Sallai
Green Economy Contradictions
detailed info
Stéphanie Barral
Patrick Bigger
Ritwick Ghosh
Mind the Wealth Gap? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Accumulation, Justification and (Re)Distribution of Wealth
detailed info
Hanna Lierse
Patrick Sachweh
Nora Waitkus
Possible Worlds: Practice, Ethics, Hope and Distress
detailed info
Felipe González López
Gary Herrigel Gary Herrigel
Adriana Mica
Ann Mische
Regulation, Innovation, and Valuation in Markets for Health and Medicines
detailed info
Kathryn Ibata-Arens
Etienne Nouguez
State Capitalism and State-led Development in the 21st Century: China and Beyond
detailed info
Ilias Alami
Milan Babic
Adam Dixon
Nana de Graaff
The Political Economy of Financial Subordination
detailed info
Ilias Alami
Bruno Bonizzi
Annina Kaltenbrunner
Kai Koddenbrock
Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven
Jeff Powell
The Welfare State in Financial Times
detailed info
Jeanne Lazarus
Daniel Mertens
Natascha van der Zwan


Find out more about the exceptional scholars giving featured talks at our 32nd annual conference in Amsterdam.

Check out the latest books by this year’s Featured Speakers!

Ruha Benjamin
Read more
Jayati Ghosh
Read more
Xiao Qiang
Read more
Guy Standing
Read more
Stephanie Barrientos
Read more

Presidential Panels

Inequality in the Age of Pandemics: A Comparative Look

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Sunday, July 19

Chair: Diego Sánchez-Ancochea

Discussants: Margarita Estévez-Abe, Francisco Ferreira, Sofia Perez


Populism Today in the Global North and South

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Monday, July 20

Chair: Rina Agarwala

Discussants: Ruy Braga, Patrick Heller, Sarah de Lange, Dylan Riley


Capitalism and Development

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST – Saturday, July 18

Chair: Nitsan Chorev

Discussants: Zophia Edwards, Keun Lee, Aldo Madariaga, Yingyao Wang


Socio-Economics of COVID-19

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST – Tuesday, July 21

Chair: Nitsan Chorev

Discussants: Koray Caliskan, Natasha Iskander, Ken Shadlen, Alexandre White



Black Lives Matter

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST – Tuesday, July 21

Chair: Jose Itzigsohn

Discussants: Zophia Edwards, Fred Wherry, and Adia Wingfield


Author Meets Critics

A great selection of ‘Author meets Critics’ sessions are being organized for SASE/Amsterdam 2020, see the growing list of books and discussants below.


American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation – Sarah L. Quinn

Princeton University Press, 2019

Moderator: Alya Guseva

Discussants: Alex Preda / Benjamin Lemoine / Lena Lavinas

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Tuesday, July 21

Imperialism and the Developing World: How Britain and the United States Shaped the Global Periphery – Atul Kohli

Oxford University Press, 2020

Moderator: Patrick Heller

Discussants: Jason Jackson / Katrina Quisumbing King / Sarah Babb

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Saturday, July 18




Network E: Political Economy of Industrial Relations and Welfare States

Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies – Jonathan Hopkin

Oxford University Press, 2020

Discussants: Julia Lynch / Aidan Regan

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Monday, July 20


Network E: Political Economy of Industrial Relations and Welfare States

Regimes of Inequality: The Political Economy of Health and Wealth – Julia Lynch

Cambridge University Press, 2019

Discussants: John W. Cioffi / Jonathan Hopkin / Björn Bremer

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Tuesday, July 21


Network I: Alternatives to Capitalism

Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina: Contesting Neo-liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión – Marcelo Vieta

Brill, 2020

Discussants: Marina Sitrin

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Sunday, July 19


Network J: Digital Economy

The Digital Economy – Tim Jordan

Polity Press, 2020

Moderator: Elke Schuessler

Discussants: Dave Elder-Vass / Vili Lehdonvirta

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST – Tuesday, July 21


Network J: Digital Economy

The Social Meaning of Extra Money – Sidonie Naulin & Anne Jourdain (eds.)

Palgrave, 2019

Moderator: Elke Schuessler

Discussants: Philip Balsiger /  Asaf Darr / Elke Schuessler

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST – Sunday, July 19


Network L: Regulation and Governance

Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone – Vivien Schmidt

Oxford University Press, 2020

Moderator: Eleni Tsingou

Discussants: Cornel Ban / John W. Cioffi / Amandine Crespy / Jonathan Zeitlin

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Saturday, July 18


Network O: Global Value Chains

Business, Power and Sustainability in a World of Global Value Chains – Stefano Ponte

University of Chicago Press, 2019

Discussants: Matthew Amengual / Valentina De Marchi / Luc Fransen / Gary Gereffi / Timothy Sturgeon

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST – Saturday, July 18


Network P: Accounting, Economics, and Law

The Oxford Handbook of the Corporation – Thomas Clarke, Justin O’Brien, and Charles O’Kelley (eds.)

Oxford University Press, 2019

Moderator: Thomas Clarke

Discussants: John W. Cioffi / Wafa Khlif / Shann Turnbull

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST – Sunday, July 19


Network Q: Asian Capitalisms

State-Permeated Capitalism in Large Emerging Economies – Andreas Nölke, Tobias ten Brink, Christian May, and Simone Claar

Routledge, 2020

Moderator: Boy Luethje

Discussants: Dorothee Bohle / Thomas Kalinowski / Gerhard Schnyder

4:00 AM – 5:30 AM EST – Monday, July 20


Women and Gender Forum

Established in November 2017 by a group of female social science scholars, the Women and Gender Forum (WAG) is an interest group of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). Membership is open to all female SASE members and those who identify as women in a way that is significant to them.

Our aims
WAG has three objectives: 1. to improve senior representation of women in academia, 2. to provide a networking space for female scholars, and 3. to stimulate discussions about important issues, such as “challenges of publishing,” “work-life balance,” “leadership roles,” or “career progression.” Every year we come together at the SASE Annual conference in a dedicated session to discuss research, share information, network with each other, and welcome our junior colleagues.

Last events/achievements
2018 Kyoto

  • The 2018 Kyoto kick-off event of the Women and Gender Forum was very successful. We had over 80 participants discussing issues related to publishing, career progression, and work-life balance, followed by a networking lunch.

SASE Diversity Committee and WAG Keynote speaker

  • As a result of the WAG Forum’s activities, in 2018 SASE set up a “Diversity Committee” within the Executive Council to monitor and support diversity within the organization and supported our initiative to allocate a special keynote speaker for the WAG Forum at the Annual Meetings.

2019 New York

  • In 2019 in New York, we organized a themed round-table discussion session, a networking lunch as well as a WAG Keynote lecture with Professor Nancy Fraser.

2020 Women and Gender Forum Meeting
This year’s event will take place online on Sunday, July 19th at 8am EST—a time slot that does not clash with any other sessions.

The pandemic disrupted our lives in an unprecedented way, and research shows that it affected women’s research productivity and work-life balance significantly. Reflecting on these changes, we decided to dedicate the WAG 2020 meeting to establish support networks for women to exchange ideas with people in similar situations and further develop their research topics and to initiate new co-operations, providing fruitful discussions in these demanding times. To help us understand the situation of our members we kindly ask you to participate in this survey.

This year’s WAG Keynote lecture will be delivered by Prof. Stephanie Barrientos at 2pm EST on 19 July. A link to the lecture will be provided shortly, as will a link to the 2020 WAG program.

If you would like to become a member, please fill out the form on this page.

If you would like to get in touch, please e-mail: D.Sallai@lse.ac.uk


WAG Committee
Founding Chair – Dorottya Sallai
Committee members –Sarah AshwinChiara BenassiVirginia L DoellgastJacqueline O’Reilly, and Caroline Ruiner.

At-A-Glance Calendar

Online and PDF Program

The online program is available to be consulted, here.

The PDF program is available below—all times indicated are in Eastern Daylight Time. 

Please note that only the online program is updated regularly with last-minute changes.

How to Participate

The SASE virtual conference will be powered by Zoom and navigable through our long-standing online conference portal, Confex: https://sase.confex.com/sase/2020/meetingapp.cgi

Each session/panel is attributed a Zoom link, which you will be able to join by accessing the session information in the portal and clicking on a green “Join Live” button (which should appear approximately 20 minutes before the session begins).
For comprehensive instructions on how to use Zoom as a participant, presenter, or moderator, visit: http://sase.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ZOOM-Instructions.pdf

You must create an account in the meeting system in order to access the virtual conference. To do so, visit https://sase.confex.com/sase/2020/meetingapp.cgi/ModuleMeetingInfo/LogIn?. Once you have logged in, you will find a toolbar on the left side of the screen (see image below). We suggest that you make use of the following options to facilitate navigation of the online program:

  • If you are having any technical difficulties, submit your issue by clicking the “Technical Support” link and a representative from Confex will get in touch with you shortly thereafter.
  • The default meeting time is set to Eastern Daylight Time.  If you are not on the east coast of the USA, or elsewhere in that time zone, you may find it easier to navigate the schedule by clicking “My Time” in the light grey box within the toolbar on the web program, which will make all event times display in your local time.
  • We highly recommend creating a personalized schedule by clicking the plus icon next to the sessions you are interested in.

Social Sciences for the Real World

SS4RW – 2020 – Repurposing the Corporation to Save Capitalism from Itself?

11am-12pm EST (5pm-6pm CET)
Monday, July 20th

The current pandemic is expected to have a major impact on economies around the world for years to come. In times of crises, economic growth, employment levels, and firm survival tend to become the top priority for politicians and business leaders alike. Other objectives – such as social and environmental sustainability – fall into the background. Indeed, corporate expenditures related to social and environmental initiatives are often considered the first costs that can be cut.


At the same time, the current crisis comes at a moment when companies face increasing societal pressures to become more socially and environmentally responsible. From the Black Lives Matter and ‘Climate Strike’ movements, to the Extinction Rebellion protests, to high-profile academic and civil society projects seeking to develop new theoretical foundations which redefine corporate purpose beyond shareholder value maximisation (see here, here, and here), societal pressures on companies are arguably stronger now than ever before.

Many of these movements see Covid-19 not just as another crisis, but rather a direct result of an unsustainable economic model, and debate has raged over the question whether the processes of global capitalism can be blamed for the quick spread of the virus and the inability of countries to react to it. In this context, various societal actors are seeking to make sure that the post-Covid-19 rebound will be used as an opportunity for a ‘green recovery’ and a ‘Green New Deal’ that will fundamentally change the dominant economic model.

Companies adopting ‘low road strategies’ that focus on producing at low cost to be able to sell at prices that are affordable for financially squeezed customers may certainly benefit from the crisis. Nevertheless, there are signs that many other companies are willing to use the crisis as an impetus to undertake ambitious reforms towards more sustainable business models. Thus, Danone’s shareholders recently voted to turn the company into an ‘Entreprise à Mission,’ thus enshrining in its articles of incorporation a corporate purpose that goes beyond shareholder value. According to its CEO Danone’s shareholders have thus ‘toppled a statue of Milton Friedman.’

The tensions between economic necessities in the context of the post-crisis recovery and public pressures on companies to do more to reconcile them with a broader range of stakeholder interests and goals can be expected to become more prominent still in the years to come. Indeed, given the corrosive impact that the post-2008 Global Financial Crisis phase of austerity has had on public support for the current economic and political order, it may not be an exaggeration to suggest that repurposing the corporation and moving away from a singular focus on shareholder wealth may become a vital question for the future of modern capitalism and democracy.

This year’s Social Sciences for the Real World (SS4RW) session brings together academics and practitioners who deal with the question of the purpose of the corporation in their daily work and will discuss the crucial question whether “repurposing the corporation to save capitalism from itself?” is feasible and desirable.

We seek to bring together – albeit virtually – a panel of academics and interested members of the public to engage in a constructive debate about this crucial issue, and about how social scientists and people in the “real world” perceive them and what they can learn from each other.

Repurposing the Corporation to Save Capitalism from Itself?

SpeakersErik Breen (Managing Director and Owner Infinsus), Isabelle Ferreras (Université Catholique de Louvain), Rosl Veltmeijer-Smits (Triodos Bank NV), Jeroen Veldman (Nyenrode)
ChairsImran Chowdhury (Wheaton College), Anna Skarpelis (Harvard University)

We would like to encourage participants to send us ahead of the session their general questions on the topic or specific points they would like to see speakers address. This will allow us to get a sense of what may be of most interest to the audience. Please e-mail them to G.Schnyder@lboro.ac.uk with SS4RW question in the subject header.