URPE primarily organizes our own program at various economics conferences and leftst gatherings. Occasionally, we host our own conferences and encourage the organization of sessions from our membership.
The next URPE conference is:
URPE Brooklyn Conference
April 8, 2017
St. Francis College, Brooklyn NY
Left-Wing Economics in a Right- Wing Political Climate
The Conference will bring together the theoretical perspectives of radical political economics and the organizational experiences of those engaged in struggle on the many crucial issues confronting us today. It will, we hope, contribute to the development of an agenda that can guide all of us in the difficult years ahead.
Structure of Conference (estimated attendance: 100 – 150)
10 - 11 Plenary (Two or three speakers addressing overall theme of conference)
11 – 1 Workshops (see below)
1 – 2:15 Lunch
2:15 – 4:15 Workshops (see below)
4:30 – 5:30 Closing session: reports from all workshops, with focus on where we go from here)
5:30 – 7 Cocktail party
Suggested Registration Fee
Early registration: $30 per person; $15 for students.
Late registration (after March 18): $35 per person, $20 for students.
Note: All participants may choose to pay more or less depending on their individual circumstances. Registration fee includes cocktail party. (Alcohol will be served only to those aged 21 or over.)
Since space for workshops is limited, participants will be asked to sign up for specific workshops – those who register early will be given preference when attendance reaches rooms’ full capacity.
Each workshop will include presentations on both the contribution of radical political economics to an understanding of the issues, and the current political activity relating to these. Approximately half of the two-hour period will be available for contribution from workshop participants. Each workshop will conclude with a collective summary of areas of agreement and disagreement and the nomination of one or two people to present this summary at the closing session of the conference. (URPE plans to record this final session and make it available on the URPE web-site.)
The following is a preliminary listing of possible workshops topics:
Trump’s fiscal policy (tax policy and infrastructure spending)
Income distribution: wages vs. profits
The Fight for $15 and other labor issues
Workplace organization – unions today
Immigration and global capitalism
Community organization and cooperatives
Health care after Obamacare
Student debt and the state of higher education
Households and the care economy
Black Lives Matter
Climate change and the environment
It is assumed that all workshops will recognize the class, gender, and racial/ethnic dimensions of issues.
All URPE members, friends of URPE, and those whose work (not limited to that in educational institutions) involves the development and presentation of radical political economic theory, are invited to contribute to the presentation of radical political economic theory. The conference organizers also ask for help in soliciting input to the workshops from the activists whose work provides us with direction for our collective struggle.
Please register your interest in this conference, including nominations (or self-nominations) for workshop participants with: firstname.lastname@example.org. This will contribute to the organization of the conference and ensure that you will receive updates on conference plans as they develop.
Up-Date on URPE Brooklyn Conference – February 5, 2017
The URPE Brooklyn Conference has as its main goal the urgent need to confront the Trump administration. It is not, therefore, a “traditional” academic conference that provides URPE members with an opportunity to present their work to other economists, generally in the form of “academic” papers that are, necessarily, somewhat narrow in content. Instead it should be seen as a working day, to be used for discussion of what needs to be done. Specifically, it is structured to provide ways for those familiar with radical political economic theory to identify how this can contribute to the development of such policies and for those actively involved in political activity to identify the needs that they are facing in building our struggle.
People who register for the conference are therefore asked to name the workshops that they wish to participate in, and whether they would be willing to act as facilitators in these workshops. It is expected that there will be from 2-4 such facilitators for each workshop. The task of facilitators is three-fold:
- To provide an introduction to the topic of the workshop in the form of an overview either of relevant radical political economic theory (such as might be used at the start of a course) or of the work of those actively engaged in struggle on these issues and the challenges they face in confronting the misperceptions of the general public, and mobilizing them for action. (It is expected that each these presentations will take no more than 20 minutes.)
- To organize a discussion among those attending each workshop in which everyone is expected to share their ideas. It should not be assumed that the facilitators have more “expertise” than others. At least one person should be assigned to take notes on the discussion.
- To develop a comprehensive summary of the ideas presented at the workshop (including areas of both agreement and disagreement) that will be presented to the final plenary. While one person will generally be assigned the responsibility for this presentation, its content should be the result of a collective decision (probably in the last 15 minutes of the workshop), and as such be approved by the workshop as a whole.
The final plenary, at which these workshops will be presented will, of course, allow for discussion. It will be followed by an informal “cocktail hour” to allow people to meet together informally and identify ways in which they can work together.
In the last month, 20 people have agreed to act as facilitators, and we expect many more in the next two months.