Cultural Political Economy Research Centre Cultural Political Economy Research Centre , Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University
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The idea of a post-disciplinary Cultural Political Economy Research Centre (CPERC) was inspired by Lancaster's unique learning and researching environment, with its tradition of interdepartmental research collaborations. The objective of CPERC is to enhance such trans- and post-disciplinary work in the fields of critical semiotic analysis, critical political economy and critical governance studies. Its aim is to provide a hub for studying and applying cultural political economy (hereafter CPE) as a cutting-edge approach to a wide range of theoretical, substantive, and policy issues for the 21st century. To this end, CPERC brings together researchers who work in and beyond Lancaster on themes such as competitiveness, moral economy, political and economic imaginaries and crisis management. CPERC has held various seminars on these issues and provides for regular meetings in a reading group and an annual workshop. CPERC directors disseminate the generated insights widely in keynotes and publications. They have been successful in raising funds for CPERC activities and for launching a range of research projects that draw on CPE as research paradigm.

CPERC was set up with the support of the Instituted for Advanced Studies (IAS) at Lancaster University. In 2004, the IAS incubation programme granted £2000 to a CPE research cluster organized by Ngai-Ling Sum. This grant supported a Lancaster University reading group over three years, three annual international workshops, and a working paper series hosted on the IAS website. With Lancaster as the lead university, a successful bid (£14596) was submitted to the ESRC in 2007, supported by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). The ESRC seminar series explored six themes on Changing Cultures of Competitiveness. Concurrent with this development was the participation of Jessop and Sum in a three-year EU Framework 6 DEMOLOGOS research programme between 2004 and 2007. Together with one Asian and six other European universities, the project used CPE as one of the key research paradigms. Visit the Demologos website for more information. This work, which was based on CPE as a major research paradigm, has been continued by Dr Ngai-Ling Sum in a project on Changing Cultures of Competitiveness in India and China funded by the British Academy (£75000, 2008-2010) and by Prof Robert Jessop in a ESRC Professorial Fellowship which deals with a cultural political economy of the current financial and economic crisis (£455,445.76, 2010-2013).

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