The Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy was established in the spring of 1987 with the help of a seed grant from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation (Toronto), and is located at The School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University, Montreal. The initiative for the creation of the institute arose in response to both a growing interest in the life and work of Karl Polanyi and in the hope that such an Institute would provide a link between scholars who increasingly recognize the significant contribution of Polanyi to problems of contemporary society - East and West - industrialized and non-industrialized.
There is a growing appreciation of the relevance of Karl Polanyi's world of thought to a variety of contemporary issues. The Great Transformation (1944) continues to attract the interest of scholars from diverse disciplines in various countries; it is now translated into eight languages and has been recognized as a twentieth century classic. Polanyi's far-reaching critique of the philosophical and historical foundations of liberalism and economic determinism opens important avenues of academic research based on a cross disciplinary approach. The proposal for an Institute dedicated to the memory of Karl Polanyi is made in the spirit of continuing his search for economic and political institutions which reconcile the need for freedom to develop one's own moral sense with the requirements of our complex technological civilization. The principal mission of the Institute is to sponsor academic research in areas stated in the Institute's statement of purpose.
Statement of purpose
I. Methodological contributions to the study of the place of the economy in society, embracing the philosophical ethical and scientific aspects of the search for a purposeful existence in modern society.
II. The extension of economics beyond the narrowly defined study of the laws of market exchange to embrace the study of redistribution (i.e. the role of the state) and reciprocity (i.e. the role of the community) as organizing mechanisms of economic activity, with special emphasis on the relevance of Polanyi's approach to modern mixed economies, including socialist and third world variants; the exploration of the relevance of Polanyi's work in economic anthropology to the contemporary world.
III. In recognition of Polanyi's concern for the peaceful coexistence of differing social, political and economic formations, to develop a political economy approach to the study of international economics relations; to encourage the search for international institutions which can reconcile the growing interdependence of the world with its cultural diversity and the need of societies to maintain and protect control over their economic and social priorities.
IV. In recognition of a life spent as an educator - in adult education, in journalistic analysis of economic, political, and financial affairs, and in the university - to develop his concern for working class and citizen education as an essential condition of participatory democracy.
V. In recognition of the Central European origins of his world of thought, his explicit wish to contribute to "East-West" coexistence, and his ultimate place to rest in Hungary, to maintain a special relationship with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (which organized the Centenary Memorial Conference in Budapest in 1986); to sponsor research into the particular contribution of intellectuals of Central European origin; and to explore the trends towards convergence of approaches to economic and social policy in the "Eastern" and "Western" countries of Central Europe.
The Karl Polanyi archive
The Institute houses the Karl Polanyi Archive. These papers contain material on Karl Polanyi's life. Included are unpublished papers, drafts on maouscripts, some of which were later published, extensive lecture notes and outlines, published articles, letters, outlines of projected books and notes by Karl Polanyi, papers by others (many of Karl Polanyi's students), and memorabilia. The Karl Polanyi Archive Catalogue is available upon request.
Friends of the Institute
Friends of the Institute (annual tex deductible donations of $40.00 US or $50.00 CAN) receive Institute newsletters and enjoy discounts on institute publications.
Executive board of directors
Kari Polanyi-Levitt, McGill University, Canada - Director.
Marguerite Mendell, Concordia University, Canada - Honorary President.
Daniel Salée, Concordia University, Canada ; John Drysdale, Concordia University, Canada ; Jacques T. Godbout, Université du Québec, Canada ; Walter Neale, University of Tennessee, United States ; Abraham Rotstein, University of Toronto, Canada ; Björn Hettne, University of Göthenburg, Sweden ; György Litván, Hungarian Academy of Science, Hungary ; Fred Block, University of California at Davis, United States ; Mihály Simai, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary ; Alfredo Salsano, Editore Bollati Boringhieri, Italy ; Alain Caillé, Editor, M.A.U.S.S, France ; Jean-Louis Laville, CRIDA, France ; Jean-Michel Servet, Université Lumière Lyon 2, France ; Tadeusz Kowalik, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland ; Osvaldo Sunkel, C.I.N.D.E. Santiago, Chile.
Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy, Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve West Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1 M8
Telephone: 514?848?2581; Fax: 514?848?2577
e-mail : [email protected]
CRIDA, 33 rue Navier, 75017 Paris.