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

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