International Karl Polanyi Society

Please visit our new web: http://www.karlpolanyisociety.com/

In recent years, Karl Polanyi has become a key figure in research efforts to understand the contradictions inherent to the market economy – one that promises liberation and provokes counter-movements. In the age of the climate crisis, rising social polarisation and looming geopolitical confrontation, Karl Polanyi inspires us to engage with the contradictions of economic “improvements” and sociocultural “housing” in an emancipatory manner. Polanyi’s thoughts on “transformation”, “embedding”, “fictitious commodities” and “double movement” are the focus of intense debates. Criticism of his concepts and predictions have helped expand the subject area further, be it in transformation research, social economy or cultural political economy – new research fields all inspired by Polanyi.

Karl Polanyi promotes an integrated analysis of complex, conflict-laden phenomena that does not resort to dogma. He was a scholar who maintained a balance between disciplines and between research and society; a man who always focused on the subject at hand, who strove to understand phenomena with the aim of strengthening the scope for action – actions that are now more crucial than ever. Today, Karl Polanyi stands as a figure who inspires an engaged, intrusive form of research.

For this reason, we launched the International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) on May 8th, 2018 during a gala event held at the Vienna Chamber of Labour with the express objective of understanding and shaping the transformation of the 21st century.

The International Karl Polanyi Society

  1. Will contribute to the debate on the current transformation of the 21st century by using an approach influenced by Karl Polanyi to help shape an inter-disciplinary and international strategy.

  2. Will offer space for reflection with the aim of intensifying the dialogue between various international strands of discussion on a Polanyi-inspired social analysis.

  3. Will support the institutionalisation of Scientific Communities and research fields that carry out a cross-disciplinary investigation into politico-economic and socio-ecological processes. 

  4. Will promote transdisciplinary research that experiments with dialogue-based and democratic forms of cooperation between researchers and social actors in order to understand and shape the transformation of the 21st century.

To bring these aims to life, the International Karl Polanyi Society will

  1. Regularly arrange conferences and workshops in cooperation with existing research institutions in order to establish fixed dates and spaces for Polanyi-inspired dialogue. The first major event will be the International Karl Polanyi Conference on “Processes of Transformation in Europe”, which will take place in the beginning of May 2019 in Vienna.

  2. Set up a website and run social media pages that enable open access to recent, Polanyi-inspired research projects. The aim is to help foster understanding of the current transformation of the 21st century.

  3. Release publications on Polanyi-inspired analyses of the current transfor-mation processes.

  4. Award grants to provide financial support to research projects.

Kari Polanyi-Levitt, Brigitte Aulenbacher, Klaus Dörre, Maria Markantonatou, Andreas Novy, Claus Thomasberger (founders of the International Karl Polanyi Society)

Conference 2019 in Budapest and Vienna - 2-5 May 2019

Conference 2019 in Budapest and Vienna

co-organized by

  • International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS) &

  • Karl Polanyi Research Center for Global Social Studies

Karl Polanyi and the Future of Humankind

2 May 2019 in Budapest, Hungary

Conference day with invited speakers

Universal Capitalism in Decline?

3-5 May 2019 in Vienna, Austria

Conference with call for papers


http://science.orf.at/stories/2911780/ - Karl Polanyi nun in bester Gesellschaft

https://oe1.orf.at/player/20180509/513344 - Ö1 Wissen aktuell um 13:56 „Internationale Polanyi-Gesellschaft in Wien gegründet“

https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20180628/519136 - Ö1 - Renata Schmidtkunz im Gespräch mit Kari Polanyi Levitt

https://derstandard.at/2000079345696/Wiener-Oekonom-Karl-Polanyi-wird-mit-eigener-Gesellschaft-geehrt - Wiener Ökonom Karl Polanyi wird mit eigener Gesellschaft geehrt


https://www.falter.at/archiv/FALTER_201805093ECE192524/ein-osterreichischer-kopf-gegen-das-neoliberale-leiden - Armin Thurnher im Falter (Download)

About us:


  • President (Präsident): Andreas Novy

  • Vice-President & Secretary (Vizepräsidentin & Schriftführerin): Brigitte Aulenbacher

  • Honorary President (Ehrenpräsidentin): Kari Polanyi Levitt

  • Financial referent (Finanzreferentin): Veronika Heimerl

  • Additional members of the board (Sonstige Vorstandsmitglieder): Maria Markantonatou, Claus Thomasberger


International Karl Polanyi Society (IKPS)

WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Attn. ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Andreas Novy

Welthandelsplatz 1

A-1020 Vienna, Austria

Tel.: +43 1 31336 4777

E-Mail: ikps@wu.ac.at