UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SSEES 100: Socialism, Capitalism and the Alternatives: Lessons from Russia and Eastern Europe

14 December 2015–16 December 2015, 12:30 pm–5:00 pm

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This conference will explore how an analysis of the historical and political trajectories of both pre- and post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe may contribute to confronting challenges to the global imagination.

During the 100 years of the existence of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies the world has seen the creation, dominance and dissolution of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Neo-liberalism, Communism’s archenemy, which appeared dominant following the collapse of the European Socialist regimes, has recently suffered its own crisis of credibility. Yet articulating coherent alternatives to these entrenched conceptual categories remains stubbornly difficult.

Speakers include:

Thomas Piketty (opening keynote), the most influential writer on inequality in the world today. 

Naomi Klein, ‘one of the world’s most high-profile social activists’ (Rosie Scammell, The Observer).

Leszek Balcerowicz implemented in Poland the most far-reaching programme of economic reforms (‘shock therapy’) of any of the former Soviet bloc states.

Chantal Mouffe, seminal and prolific post-Marxist theorist, major contributor to the theory of culture.

Tomáš Sedláček, philosopher, historian of economic thought, economist and banker.

Evan Davis, economist, journalist and TV presenter.

Dorothee Bohle, expert on the varieties of capitalism in post-Communist Europe.

Béla Greskovits, expert on the political and economic institutions of Eastern Europe.

Jacek Żakowski, one of the most influential journalists in Poland.

Slavo Radošević, Professor of Industry and Innovation Studies at UCL SSEES with special emphasis on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Jan Kubik, cultural and political anthropologist, expert on the sociology of protest and post-Communism and director of UCL-SSEES.

Anatole Kaletsky, one of the most widely-read economic journalists in the world.

Paul Mason, Economics Editor, Channel 4 News, and expert on social transformations and influential public commentator.

Liam Halligan, economist, journalist and broadcaster.

Mary Dejevsky, a leading London-based political journalist.

László Bruszt, economic sociologist and activist.

Mayfair Yang, Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Language and Cultural Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara.

The opening keynote by Thomas Piketty and the keynote by Naomi Klein are co-hosted by the UCL European Institute.

Leszek Balcerowicz is sponsored by the Polish Embassy in London.