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On behalf of the Organising Committee, the Institute of World Economics of the Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Central European University we invite you to join us in Budapest, for the 4th International Conference entitled The Role of State in Varieties of Capitalism.

The concept of uneven development emphasizes several principles among which the questions of efficiency and equity are crucial for economists and other social scientists. Changes in inequality mean redistribution of incomes and wealth between social groups and spaces, a process that ignites reactions also by the state. These aspects, however, are often analysed separately in the scientific community.

Social, spatial and economic inequalities are reproduced on multiple scales. The new economic geography offers a framework for modern economics to understand and explain these multi-scalar spatial and social developments, whereas other social sciences also developed research agendas to study these changes. All of these frameworks can provide a better understanding for how and why the differences occur below, above and on the level of the nation state.

On the global scale the asymmetric interdependent economic system is a key driver in cyclical trends of inequalities. In most recent times, these forces shaped the expansion and operation of global value chains, the development of various global and regional networks, and also forms of capitalist systems and the relationship between the states. In the age of globalization new forms of uneven development emerged that seem to provide little space for states to pursue modernization and catching-up strategies. Successful examples of catching up were very few and could be found in very different countries with different historical and social background from Ireland to Korea and Singapore or more recently India and China. On the other hand, negative examples of ongoing underdevelopment, growing poverty, social downgrading and ecological catastrophe, civil wars have been characterizing the growing international social, spatial and economic inequalities.

An important aim of the state is to limit social, spatial and economic inequalities in a given territory through various policies. This is not just an issue of maintaining social contract but also an important factor of social, spatial and economic cohesion which is a necessary precondition of good governance and economic performance based on efficient usage of endowments.

The main aim of the 4th "The Role of State in Varieties of Capitalism" conference is to contribute to the better understanding of uneven development in three aspects and their interrelations: social, spatial and economic inequalities, furthermore state policies aiming at reducing these inequalities and multi-scalarity.

Our Conference welcomes high quality contributions proposing advances in the field of theory, empirics or policy. Contributions to SVOC2018 should be related to the general theme of the conference "The Role of State in Varieties of Capitalism" with the aim of

  • understanding social, spatial and economic inequalities in the EU and in the world
  • analysing the political consequences of social polarization both on a global scale but in the national context as well
  • examining the potential of state intervention in counteracting social polarization

Our keynote speakers will be:

Professor Robert Wade (London School of Economics, Professor of Political Economy and Development)

Professor Henk Overbeek (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Emeritus Professor of International Relations)