Progressive Industrial Policy for Development

Call for Papers, JEP – Austrian Journal of Development Studies / Journal für Entwicklungspolitik. Special issue editors: Julia Eder, Roland Kulke, Claus-Dieter König

The spread of neoliberalism has increasingly delegitimised (open) state intervention in the economy in many countries around the world. This ‘retreat of the state’ becomes visible in many different fields, including industrial policy. In the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, there has been a revival in the debate on industrial policy among private and state actors as a potential way to cope with the crisis. They consider (limited) state intervention as a promising tool either to stabilise the capitalist system or to overcome it gradually. This already suggests that approaches to industrial policy as well as initiatives and concrete measures diverge greatly. It is a rather common assumption – stemming from theoretical discussions from the past two centuries of capitalist development – that a vital industrial base is a basic condition for economic welfare. Interestingly, the debate rejuvenated almost simultaneously in the USA and in the European Union (in the member countries, but also on the supranational level), as well as in the Global South, especially in emerging markets. However, opinions deviate on how to develop or sustain a vital industrial base and even question whether this is a feasible and desirable option for service-based economies in the developed world.

This special issue of the Austrian Journal of Development Studies aims at uniting different approaches to industrial policy with a progressive stance. We ask for contributions discussing the role of industry in economy, outlining what shape a genuinely progressive industrial policy could take today, which branches it needs to stimulate, what its components must be to foster development, and how it could be implemented in various regions of the world. Which possibilities currently exist for developing an industrial and economic policy that serves the interests of society, rather than those of inter- or transnational monopolies? Which different approaches can be identified in academia and in civil society, where do different actors see potential for intervention, and which coalitions are needed for this? In what matters should states intervene and how can the interests of different groups/class factions in society be mediated? What is the significance of global value chains? And how restrict processes of financialisation industrial policy making?

We appreciate contributions on:

  • the importance of manufacturing in economic development
  • country case studies
  • politics of scale (What is the appropriate scale for implementing progressive industrial policy measures? How are local, national and global levels entangled?)
  • the significance of industrial policy for socio-ecological transformation (How can a progressive industrial policy help to overcome a fossil-based or extractivist economic structure?)
  • the dimension of development (Which part can or should play industrial policy in national/regional development strategies, especially in the deindustrialised peripheries?)
  • participation and economic democracy (Which social forces should be integrated in the negotiation of peoples-centred, self-sustainable industrial policy? What are the experiences with participative or authoritarian industrial policy agendas?)
  • inter-/transnational solidarity (What should/could trade unions, progressive parties and governments, but also individuals in the core states do to support a sound industrial development of countries in the Global South?
  • the relation to other policy fields (How does industrial policy interact with infrastructure policy, education policy, monetary policy etc.?)

Deadline: Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to by 15 October 2017. Authors of selected abstracts will receive a notification at the end of October 2017.

The deadline for submitting the full paper (6.000 words/40.000 characters) is 12 January 2018.

The Austrian Journal of Development Studies is one of the leading journals in its field in the German speaking area. The journal provides a forum for a broad critical debate and reflection on different dimensions of societal transformation and on North-South relations. Specifically, the relationship between cutting edge theoretical advances in the field of development studies and contemporary development policies is addressed. Politically relevant knowledge about issues of development is provided in an accessible, interdisciplinary way. All articles are reviewed anonymously (double-blind, peer-reviewed), and published in German or English.