Location: KOCAELI, Turkey

Event Date/Time: Sep 27, 2012 End Date/Time: Sep 29, 2012
Registration Date: Aug 15, 2012
Early Registration Date: Jul 15, 2012
Abstract Submission Date: Jun 15, 2012
Paper Submission Date: Sep 01, 2012
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The fourth of the International Political Economy Conference series will be co-organized by Kocaeli University (Turkey), University of Westminster (England), Silesian University in Opava (Czech Republic), Institute for Economic & Social Research of Piedmont (IRES, Italy), VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic) and supported by Social Research Foundation, Petroleum Chemical Rubber Workers Union of Turkey (PETROL-IS), Turkish Social Sciences Association, The Journal of Industrial Relations and Human Resources (ISGUC.ORG), Work & Society Journal, International Journal of Politics & Economics (England), Academia Social Sciences Index (ASOS Index) and IJOPEC Publishing (England). The main theme of the conference has been determined as “flexibility.” The conference will be held in Kocaeli on 27-29 September 2012.
The main foundation of the globalization age has been the distribution of economic sources all over the globe in an unprecedented pace and efficiency. Re-organization of economical activities at global level, rapid increase in production, integration and disintegration have all been causing fast changes in all social institutions and relations. Circulation of goods and services, as well as capital has become more liberalized while production has passed to low wage economies. Both consumption and range of consumption have been on the rise. New consumption patterns have been emerging rapidly. Competition has been exhausting the high wage/secure job regime of Fordism. New demands of the markets have been imposing adjustments in the labor force composition. Standard manual labor is being replaced by intellectual/emotional labor. Life-long employment in the same company and attachment to the working place are vanishing. While nation-state is losing the control over national economy, dynamics of economic competition are shaping the regional economic-politic formations such as the European Union. Increasing space-time mobility in domestic politics has been generating new political forms and venues such as relatively autonomous spheres and the social media. National loyalty either has been weakened or took new forms. In sports, even national teams are transferring players from other countries. The definitions of faith, fidelity, and relationship are different than before. The combination of religious belief and modern ways of life has been producing hybrid forms in the geography of Islam. Ethnic identity claims are being accompanied with global cosmopolitism. Stable family structure is being replaced by new forms of cohabitation. High divorce rates and single parent families are becoming more common, while homosexual families are more visible. Postmodernism is widely influential; universal principals are being questioned on the ground of relativity.
While everything familiar has been changing or metamorphosing rapidly, this new order brings new predicaments and possibilities as well, such as the concept of flexibility which is put forward in order to accommodate these changes. Flexibility appears in various venues ranging from the ingredients of economic activities to the geographical space, from the process of production to the labor regime, from the nation state to various political institutions and ways of doing politics, from the basic social institutions such as family to ethnic and religious identities. On the other hand, flexibility bears the potential for social contradictions and struggles; it includes new forms of dependency and risk along with possibilities of progress and freedom. While flexibility eliminated the inertia that distilled from the history and traditions, it gave way to a process of frantic, unbounded and rapid change which introduced alienation to the masses.
This conference; intends to
locate flexibility into a historical-social framework,
study the different forms and meanings of flexibility within various interdisciplinary frameworks,
distinguish the stable forms from the temporary ones,
elaborate on the positive and negative meanings of flexibility for the future of the humankind,
especially study flexibility, but without limiting itself, under the light of security and justice.
The conference intends to create a venue for discussing not only the history but also the future of the concept as a whole, reaching beyond the limits of economics, politics and labor relations. In this context, presentation proposals for economic, social, political and cultural aspects of; opportunities and possibilities that it creates, outcomes at micro and macro levels, the ways in which it helps to comprehend nature, society, individual, and the relationships between these and various aspects related to time, space, belief, and othering are expected .
The presentations are expected to cover, but not limited to, the following aspects:
State; politics; power relations; political institutionalization. (New forms of politics and political power, obliteration of the idea of nation-state, the rise of the local, cosmopolitism, deterioration of the bureaucratic administration conception, transformation of modern law and pluralistic tendencies in law…)
Economics; labor relations; distribution.
Gender; race; ethnicity; identity (boundaries of politics; dissolution of public-private differentiation; struggles of equality/inequality, particularism and universalism discussions, “us,” “other” and “stranger” in the contemporary world…)
Religion; culture. (Inter-religious interaction, hybrid religiosities, the forms of secularism and the critics, the evolution of politics and political theory towards religion …)
Thinking; academia; discourse; language. (Postmodernism, relativity and pragmatism, the position and the responsibility of modern intellectual…)
Technology; communication. (Social media, centralization and fluidity of knowledge, division between “virtual” and “real,” the world of informatics and hegemony, the authenticity of communication…)
Urbanization and ecology. (Flexibility in planning…)
Other related topics and session proposals are welcomed as they would enrich the conference and expand the ground for further discussion. The language of the conference will be both Turkish and English. Abstracts and session proposals should be around 300 words, in Word format and 12 fonts, include paper title, the name(s) and full address (mail address, affiliated institution, e-mail, phone and fax) of the author(s), the purpose and the method of the work, expected results and suggestions, be submitted by June 15th, 2012, electronically to bilgi@icopec.org.

Detailed information regarding the conference can be reached at www.icopec.org