MaxPo PhD Seminar


Call for Applications

States, Sectors, Firms, Growth: New Developments in the Political Economy and Economic Sociology of Capitalism
Joint PhD Seminar of MaxPo, Sciences Po, Paris, and the MPIfG, Cologne
21–23 May 2019 in Paris
 
Instructors
Faculty
Lucio Baccaro (MPIfG) and Olivier Godechot (MaxPo/Sciences Po)
 
Invited senior guest speakers
Silja Häusermann (University of Zurich), Jonas Pontusson (University of Geneva), and Nathan Wilmers (MIT Sloan School of Management)
 
Description
The Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo) and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) are welcoming proposals from PhD students to participate in a doctoral seminar to be held on 21–23 May 2019 at Sciences Po in Paris. Taught in English by Professors Lucio Baccaro (MPIfG) and Olivier Godechot (MaxPo/Sciences Po) with additional invited senior guest speakers, the seminar is open to current PhD students. Preference is given to students from Sciences Po, the IMPRS-SPCE, and their cooperation partners. Participating doctoral students must have prior knowledge in the fields of international and comparative political economy or economic sociology or adjacent fields. The primary goal of the doctoral seminar is to discuss new research directions regarding capitalism emerging from two disciplinary areas: economic sociology and political economy.
Although economic sociology and political economy are two disciplinary areas that have for long been engaged in a fruitful dialogue, this exchange has regularly stumbled over the disconnections of the levels that they were empirically addressing. To put it succinctly, economic sociology was mostly studying micro-actors such as persons and how persons engage in economic exchange. Political economy was mostly focusing on macro-actors such as states and the way they interact with their economies. Two intermediate objects, firms in economic sociology on the one hand (and their economic interactions) and sectors (in relation with social blocks) in political economy on the other hand, provide intermediary levels between micro-actors and macro-actors. They help to explore more in depth the contemporary structure of inequality, the variety of growth models tied to these inequalities, and the political outcomes. The seminar will thus be organized around the three following research fronts in economic sociology and political economy:
  1. In order to understand striking developments of capitalism and inequality, we need to rethink and no longer look only at relations between individuals within organizations and markets but above all at relations between organizations and between markets. Invited speaker Nathan Wilmers, Assistant Professor of Work and Organizations at the MIT Sloan School of Management, will show the distributional consequences of the relation between firms.
  2. At the aggregate level, relations between sectors and the state shape different growth models supported by different social blocs. Invited speaker Jonas Pontusson, Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Geneva, will develop this theme and explore the relationships between dominant sectors, patterns of growth and inequality, and key policy choices of states.
  3. These new unstable growth models are likely linked with the rise in populism. We need to understand the political economic determinants of the recent rise in support for populist political parties. Invited speaker Silja Häusermann, Professor of Swiss Politics and Comparative Political Economy at the University of Zurich, will focus on this theme, particularly on how shifts in the economy and in society provide favorable conditions for the emergence and electoral success of new parties.
Requirements
Students are expected to complete the required reading in advance (approx. 10 research articles or book chapters and 6 summaries of PhD theses in progress). The seminar includes lectures by the organizing professors and invited senior guest speakers, with a focus on classroom discussions. Students more advanced in their PhD projects will have an opportunity to present their research, which will be commented on by two discussants.
A maximum of 20 students will be admitted to the seminar. A detailed syllabus will be provided to accepted students. Students who successfully complete the course will receive 3 ECTS credits for the seminar.
The cost of accommodation, transportation in economy class, and lunches will be covered by the organizers, who will also make the hotel reservations for the participants upon confirmation of attendance.
No specific fees will be charged for the course.
Financial support for the seminar is provided by a grant from the Université franco-allemande/Deutsch-Französische Hochschule (UFA-DFH).
 
Application
If you would like to apply for the seminar, please
  • indicate your field of study/subject and the name(s) of your thesis supervisor(s);
  • submit a letter of motivation (max. 300 words), a short description of your PhD project (max. 300 words), and your CV.
Please send your application via email to Allison Rovny at MaxPo: allison.rovny@sciencespo.fr
Applications must be submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be given by the end of March.