Conference organised by University of Westminster (Centre of the Study of Democracy, Dept of Politics & International Relations) in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London.

This one-day inter-disciplinary conference included several thematic panel sessions exploring key research questions about politics and markets and addressing a range of governance and policy contexts. The keynote lecture for the event was given by Professor Andrew Gamble, University of Cambridge. Veiw the video of this lecture.

Critiques abound of current national and international political-economic systems, often characterised as ‘neoliberal,’ with the role of markets in society being the subject of widespread debate and concern. At the same time, it is often said that ‘governance’ has shifted from hierarchical to networked-based arrangements, which has implications for the debate on markets and the state. Yet in political science and related disciplines there remains a need for engagement with evaluative questions related to the scope of markets and specific modes of ‘governance’, particularly the following:

  • What should be the relative scope and inter-relationship between politics and markets?
  • How can coordination be achieved across different tiers of governance in steering and shaping markets?
  • How can policy processes more effectively address the different forms of complexity involved in steering markets?
  • What are the methodological challenges for research addressing these evaluative questions concerning governance and markets and how can these questions be effectively addressed?
  • How far and adequately does current academic research engage with these questions?

These questions about markets are clearly of fundamental importance to the study and practice of politics and inevitably emerge in research analysing various areas of national and international policy, being undertaken within various, quite separate, disciplines and sub-disciplines of the social sciences. This conference brings together and compares research intersecting with these questions across policy sectors, mapping their findings and identifying emerging research agendas. The contributions cover a combination of theoretical and empirical areas of research, including the following areas:

  • International development
  • Health, education and social policy
  • Fiscal and monetary policy
  • Labour markets
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Quasi-markets in public policy
  • Tools for analysing and evaluating policy (eg cost/benefit analysis)

Organisers: Dan Greenwood and Tom Mills (Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster); Simon Griffiths (Goldsmiths College, University of London).

View the conference programme and panel summaries.