Book Launch: The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics

We are delighted to invite you to this public event introducing and discussing the new Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics. The handbook will be introduced by Dr Elodie Douarin (UCL SSEES) – co-editor and contributor to the handbook, and Prof. Ron Smith (BBK) – contributor to the handbook, while Prof. Daniel Berkowitz (University of Pittsburgh) will provide some critical remarks.

Organiser: The Birkbeck Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies

Date and Time: 18th May at 2pm – 3pm (UK Time)

This event has been video recorded. Click here to watch the debate

The handbook aims to define comparative economics and to illustrate the breadth and depth of its contribution. It starts with an historiography of the field, arguing for a continued legacy of comparative economic systems, a field which some argued should have been replaced by institutional economics after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The process of transition to market capitalism is reviewed, and itself exemplifies a new combination of comparative analysis with a focus on institutional development. Going beyond, chapters broadening the application of comparative analysis and applying it to new issues and approaches are presented. Overall, comparative economics has evolved in the past 30 years, and remains a powerful approach for analysing important issues.


Dr Elodie Douarin:

Dr. Douarin joined UCL SSEES in June 2012. She previously worked for Imperial College (Wye College), SOAS, Kent University and the University of Sussex. Her research focuses on Comparative and Cultural Economics. She has co-edited the Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics with Prof. Oleh Havrylyshyn (Carleton University).

Prof Ron Smith:

Prof. Smith is Professor of Applied Economics in the department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck University. He received the 2011 Lewis Fry Richardson lifetime achievement award for contributions to the scientific study of militarised conflict, and among other work, has published “Military Economics: the interaction of power and money” with Palgrave in 2009.

Prof Daniel Berkowitz:

Prof. Berkowitz is Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and Executive Secretary of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies. His research focuses on Comparative Institutions, Development, Applied Microeconomics, Law and Finance. He has published extensively, including “The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American States”, a book published by Princeton University Press in 2011 with Karen Clay.

Chair: Dr Luca Andriani

Lecturer in Economics and Co-director of CPEIS – School of Business, Economics and Informatics. Birkbeck University of London

For registering to this event please click on the following link

For any query please do not hesitate to contact one of the following persons

Luca Andriani at

Elodie Douarin at

Patricia Gabalova at  

Call for Papers – Panel organised by Social Capital Working Group – 2021

THEME: Strength in unity:

Building alliances and networks for economic and social change

11th International Conference in Political Economy,

“The Pandemic and the Future of Capitalism:

On the Political Economy of our Societies and Economies”

September 12-19, 2021 / Online Conference


Asimina Christoforou, Panteion University, Greece. Luca Andriani, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

In mainstream economics we often use the Robinson Crusoe metaphor. It represents the idealised economic man, the independent, industrious and self-sufficient man, who absolutely knows his needs and his surroundings; who rationally assesses his possibilities and makes choices; who seeks for novel ways to expand his potential; who conquers nature and defies backward-looking social checks; and who ingeniously combines all the means virtually available to him in order to increase personal prosperity and gratification. However, economists seem to be telling half of the story. Robinson Crusoe actually relied on the camaraderie of his fellowman Friday to deal with the obstacles they faced together, and he was only able to survive and progress by joining forces and associating with others. 

 The self-serving aspects of economic man are far from reality and overlook the social and institutional dimensions of the economy. The current health crisis strongly demonstrates how much we rely on cooperation and unity, alliances and networks, in order to address the challenges of our times. In fact, economic man is a social construct itself, which places markets over and above social values. In this session we wish to explore the collectives and networks people create to promote material well-being and restore substantive values of social and environmental protection. Examples of collectives include, among others, trade unions; environmental associations; worker-recuperated firms; commons and commoning; local communities; research and policy networks; public-private synergies; and social movements. How do these collectives emerge? What is their purpose? How do they evolve? How are they affected by history and culture, especially by the economic and health crises? How can cooperation be achieved within and between collectives in view of conflicting interests and needs? These are questions we would like to address in the session.    

We also encourage contributions that generally address the topic of social capital. We welcome works that derive from various social science disciplines and use different units of analysis (individual, regional, country or cross-country level), methodologies and techniques (theoretical, empirical, qualitative and quantitative). Participants can submit individual papers or organise sessions.

Please submit your proposal by May 15, 2021.

To submit a proposal, please use the Electronic Proposal Form (EPF), and carefully follow the instructions. You will need to select “Social Capital” from the list to submit a proposal to our sessions. The EPF will be opened on the IIPPE website ( on April 15. As usual, submissions may be made as (a) proposals for individual papers (which IIPPE will group into panels), (b) proposals for panels, (c) proposals for streams of panels, or (d) proposals on activism. The EPF will be closed on May 15, and notification of acceptances will be sent out by May 31.

For queries and suggestions, you may contact Asimina Christoforou,Coordinator of the Social Capital Working Group: