Cultural Political Economy Research Centre Cultural Political Economy Research Centre , Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University
Home > Events > CPERC Reading Group

CPE Reading Group

During term times, CPERC holds a fortnightly reading group on CPE-related topics. On this page, you will find information on the currently running group and texts for download. All welcome!

If you would like to participate in CPERC events and to subscribe to the CPERC mailing list, please send an e-mail to stating "subscribe cperc" in the body of the e-mail (no header necessary).

Note that we do not currently run the reading group. If you would like to meet for some collaborative reading please subscribe to the list and let us know.


Summer term 2012: Miscellany

During summer term, we will be discussing texts that one of us has to read in relation to her or his current work and that are instructive for a CPE perspective. The following texts have been proposed:

The time: every other Wednesday, 1:30 - 3:00 pm (starting on 2 May 2012)

The venue: Bowland North, Meeting Room B135


02/05/: Reorganized Capitalism (Luigi)

NOTE the first session will start at 4pm.

Azmanova, Albena (2010): Capitalism Reorganized. Social justice after neo-liberalism. In: Constellations, Vol. 17, No. 2, 390-406.

16/05/: Discourse of Competitiveness (Sarah)

Fougner, Tore (2006): The state, international competitiveness and neoliberal globalisation:is there a future beyond ‘the competition state? In: Review of International Studies, 32, 165–185.

Sum, Ngai-Ling (2009) “The production of hegemonic policy discourses: ‘competitiveness’ as a knowledge brand and its (re-)contextualizations, Critical Policy Studies, 3(2): 184-203.

30/05/: Linkages between economic and political crisis (I) (Amelie / Mathis)

scans of the Prison Notebook pages will be provided to participants via email

Gramsci, Antonio (1971): Selections from the Prison Notebooks, edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Norwell Smith, London: Lawrence and Wishart; pp. 275-276;201-218; 167-168.

Martin, J. (1997): Hegemony and the crisis of legitimacy in Gramsci, History of the Human Sciences, 10(1), 37-56.

Gill, Stephen:

13/06/: Linkages between economic and political crisis (II) (Amelie)

scans of the Legitimation crisis pages will be provided to participants via email

Jürgen Habermas (1976): Legitimation crisis [Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus,1973], London: Heinemann, translated by Thomas McCarthy; part I, chapt. 1 and part II, chapt. 1-3

Habbu, Aditya (2011): The Neoliberal Legitimation Crisis of 2008, Carceral Notebooks Work-in-Progress Paper Series, No. 2

27/06/: Domination (Dermot)

Burawoy, Michael (2012): The Roots of Domination: Beyond Bourdieu and Gramsci. In: Sociology 46(2), 185-206.



Lent term 2012: The critique of ideology and CPE

This term, we will be dealing with approaches to the critique of ideology. We were thinking of starting out with a session on Thompson's general overview over conceptions of ideology to move then on with texts on wooden language and spin (polito-linguistics), ideology and culture (Raymond Williams), critical theory, and Gramscian perspectives (Peter Ives and critics). However, as usually, this is open for discussion and alternative suggestions (to be sent to m.heinrich[at] are more than welcome.

The time: every other Wednesday, 1:30 - 3:00 pm (starting on 18 Jan 2012)

The venue: Bowland North, Seminar Room 22

29/02/2012: "Critical Theory" (Frankfurt school) inspired by a Gramscian approach towards culture.
The basic reading for a that session is Alex Demirovic (1992): Regulation and Hegemony: Intellectuals, Knowledge, and Accumulation. Please contact Mathis m.heinrich[at] for a scan. If you are interested in briefly introducing the text please let Mathis know.

15/02/2012: Gramsci and Language.
As a basic reading for everyone, we would like to propose Chapter 3 out of Peter Ives (2004): Language and hegemony in Gramsci. London: Pluto Press, 63-113.
Please contact Mathis m.heinrich[at] for a scan.

In addition Ngai-Ling volunteered to introduce another text by Ives:
Peter Ives (2005): Language, Agency and Hegemony: A Gramscian Response to Post‐Marxism. In: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8(4) 455-468.
...and a critique of his concept of vernacular materialism by Stefano Selenu:
Selenu, Stefano(2009) 'Ives and Gramsci in Dialogue: Vernacular Subalternity, Cultural Interferences,
and the Word-Thing Interdependence', Rethinking Marxism, 21: 3, 344 — 354
...while Bob will give some background information about where the concept of vernacular materialism is actually coming from.

So, if you have some spare time, you could also have a look into one of those additional texts - however, the core reading is just Chapt

01/02/2012: This session will be dealing with ideology and culture and the text we are going to discuss is Raymond Williams (1973): Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory. In: New Left Review I/82, November-December 197, which can be found here:

18/01/2012: The first session provides an introduction into the different conceptions of ideology. For this, we would like to discuss chapter 1 (The concept of Ideology) out of J. B. Thompson's book (1990): Ideology and modern culture: critical social theory in the era of mass communication, pp. 28-67. A scan and paper copy is available through Mathis m.heinrich[at]



Michaelmas term 2011

In the first meeting we agreed that the first two meetings will be dedicated to two angles from which one can approach disciplinary debates on Cultural Political Economy: the debate on the cultural turn and the debate on neogramscianism. Session three and five will be on the phenomenon of "debt", and in the concluding session will return to CPE as an approach.

The time: Wednesday, 1:30 - 3:00 pm (starting 12/10)

The venue: Bowland North, Meeting Room B135


CPE reading suggestions:

12/10/2011:     The cultural in political economy

There was no further comment on our text suggestions, so that we will start with discussing Andrew Sayer's text on cultural turns: Sayer, Andrew (2000) Critical and Uncritical Cultural Turns. In:
Cultural turns/geographical turns: perspectives on cultural geography. Prentice Hall, Hrlow ; New York, pp. 166-181.

However, if anybody wants to discuss/and or give a short comment on one of the other suggested readings in addition, we would be more than happy about that.

Grossberg, Lawrence (2010) Standing on a Bridge: Rescuing Economies From Economists. In: Journal of Communication Inquiry 34 (4), 316-336.

Jessop, B. and Oosterlynck, S. (2008) Cultural political economy: on making the cultural turn without falling into soft economic sociology. Geoforum, 39 (3), 1155-1169.

Krippner, Greta (2002) The elusive market: Embeddedness and the paradigm of economic sociology. In: Theory and Society, 2002, 30(6), 775-810.

Langenohl, Andreas (2008) In the long run we are all dead: imaginary time in financial market narratives. In: Cultural Critique, Fall, 70, 3-29.

Somers, Margaret R. (1994) The narrative constitution of identity: A relational and network approach. In: Theory and Society 23, 605-649.


26/10/2011:     Debates on neo-gramscian political economy

Mathis volunteered to introduce Christoph Scherrer's text which summarises criticisms of neo-gramscianism. Is there anybody who would volunteer to present a text advocating neo-gramscianism? Let Mathis (m.heinrich[at] know.

Apeldoorn, Bastiaan van (2002): Transnational Capitalism and the Struggle over European Integration. London/New York: Routledge, 17-34.   (via e-library: if you prefer a pdf-file please email Mathis)

Overbeek, Henk (2000): Transnational historical materialism: theories of transnational class formation and world order. In: Palan, Ronen (Hrsg.): Global Political Economy. Contemporary theories. London/New York: Routledge, S. 168-183.

Cox, Robert W. (1983): Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in  Method. In: Millennium: Journal of International Studies12 (2), S. 162-175.

Gill, Stephen (1995): Globalisation, Market Civilisation & Disciplinary Neoliberalism. In: Millennium. Vol. 24: 3, 399-423.

Burnham, Peter (1991) Neo-Gramscian hegemony and the international order. In: Capital & Class. 45, 73-93.

Drainville, André C. (1992): International Political Economy in the age of open Marxism. Working paper Nr. 27. Amsterdam.

Hobson, John M./ Seabrooke, Leonard (2006): The Case for an Everyday International Political Economy. Working Paper Nr. 26; International Center for Business und Politics, Frederiksberg.

Scherrer, Christoph (1998): Neo-gramscianische Interpretationen internationaler Beziehungen. Eine Kritik, In: Uwe Hirschfeld (Hrsg.): Gramsci-Perspektiven. Hamburg: Argument, 160-174.


09/11/2011:    Debt I: Anthropology of (modern) credit systems

Graber, David (2011) ‘Debt: the first 5,000 years’. New York: Melville House.

Andrew Sayer will suggest further readings.


16/11/2011:    Debt II

The basic reading for that session is:

David Graeber (2011) What is debt? An interview with economic anthropologist David Graeber:
(also attached)

And if people have some additional time, please also read this piece:
ANN E. DAVIS (2010) Marx and the Mixed Economy: Money, Accumulation, and the Role of the State. In: Science and Society 74 (3), 409-428.

Further readings:

Langley, Paul (2009) ‘Debt, Discipline and Government: foreclosure and forbearance in the sub-prime mortgage crisis’, Environment and Planning A, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 1404-1419.

Montgomerie, Johnna (2010): Neoliberalism and the Making of Subprime Burrowers. In: Konings, Martjin (eds.): The great credit crash. London: Verso.

Bob Jessop will suggest further readings.


07/12/2011: Ideology?

The core text is: Eve Chiapello (2003): Reconciling the Two Principal Meanings of the Notion of Ideology: The Example of the Concept of the `Spirit of Capitalism'. In: European Journal of Social Theory 6, availale here:

Thank you Dermot for suggesting it! However, we are still missing somebody who can shortly introduce this text - please let Mathis know, if someone is willing to do so.Thanks!

Bob will also give a short comment on an additional text, namely Chapter 1 in Susan Marks' book The Riddle of the Constitution (2000). Unfortunately this chapter is not available online, but you can step by at Bob's office on monday if you want to have a look at it

Summer term 2011

May 4th, 2011, 1pm, Bowland North, Seminar Room 3 (further details below)

May 16th, 2011, 1-2pm, Bowland North, Seminar Room 3 (further details below)

May 31st, 2011, 1-2:30pm, Bowland North, B135 (new venue!)

June 14th, 2011, 1-2:30pm, Bowland North, B135

June 28th, 2011, 1-2:30, Bowland North, B135


June 28th, 2011, 1-2:30, Bowland North, Meeting Room B135: Financialization Revisited II

We will discuss a text on geographies of money and financial subjects which is available for download for all members of Lancaster University via the link given below.

Hall, Sarah (2011) Geographies of money and finance II: Financialization and financial subjects, Pogress Report published online in Progress in Human Geography,

Abstract: In this report, I examine the growing interest in financial subjects within economic geography and the wider social sciences. I begin by locating this literature within work on financialization and earlier geographical research on money and finance. I then review the contribution made by research into everyday and elite financial subjects to understandings of the geographies of money and finance. I argue that recent work examining the role of space and place in constituting financial subjectivities is particularly important in allowing geographers to engage with emerging academic and policy debates about the changing nature of financial subjectivities within neoliberal economies.

All welcome!

June 14th, 2011, 1-2:30pm, Bowland North, Meeting Room B135: Financialization Revisited I

We will discuss more recent approaches to the exploration of financialization.

For members of Lancaster University Library, the proposed texts are all available for download via the links given below.

The text selected for discussion is:

Engelen et al. (2010) 'Reconceptualizing financial innovation', Economy and Society 39 (1), 33-63;


Recommended background reading:

Boyer, Robert (2000) 'Is a Finance-led growth regime a viable alternative to Fordism? A preliminary analysis', Economy and Society, 29 (1) 111-145; ; pages 111-121, 142-143

Martin, Randy (2002) 'Financialization of Daily Life', Philadelphia: Temple University Press; chapter 1 and 2, see also

Montgomerie, Johnna (2008) 'Bridging the critical divide: global finance, financialisation and contemporary capitalism', Contemporary Politics 14 (3) 233-252;


May 31st, 2011, 1-2:30pm, Bowland North, Meeting Room B135: Applying Lancaster CPE

We will continue the discussion on Lancaster CPE that we started last time and focus on an example of emprical application:

Sum, Ngai-Ling (2009): The production of hegemonic policy discourses: 'competitiveness' as a knowledge brand and its (re-)contextualizations, Critical Policy Studies, 3 (2), 184-203

Ngai-Ling Sum will be present.

All welcome!


May 16th, 2011, 1pm, Bowland North, Seminar Room 3: Lancaster Approaches to CPE Revisited

Anybody interested in participating is expected to have read:

Norman Fairclough, Bob Jessop and Andrew Sayer (2003) ‘Critical Realism and Semiosis’, published by the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University;

Recommended further readings:
Jessop, Bob (2009): ‘Cultural political economy and critical policy studies’, Critical Policy Studies, 3 (3&4), 336-356

Sum, Ngai-Ling (2009): The production of hegemonic policy discourses: 'competitiveness' as a knowledge brand and its (re-)contextualizations, Critical Policy Studies, 3 (2), 184-203

Ngai-Ling Sum, Andrew Sayer, and Bob Jessop will be present.

We will also discuss which of the following topics should be studied next:

  • Re-scaling – how to combine Cultural Political Economy and Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Governing risk during crisis - the case of the International Monetary Fund
  • Financialization revisited after crisis
  • Political crisis in the Arab world – an example of legitimacy crisis

May 4th, 2011, 1pm, Bowland North, Seminar Room 3

Please bring your suggestions for topics and texs you would like to work on this term.


| Home | About | People | Research | Events | Publications | Grants and Awards | Contact Us |
Bowland North, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1524 510812 Fax: +44 (0) 1524 510857

Lancaster University home page Institute for Advanced Studies home page