CFP- The New International Economic Order. Lessons and Legacies 50 Years Late

Conference: The New International Economic Order. Lessons and Legacies 50 Years Late 

May 10-11, 2024. Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy

Call for Papers

The New International Economic Order (NIEO) was a series of proposals promoted by Third World countries during the 1970s with the purpose of reshaping the global economy in favor of developing nations. By taking advantage of the consolidation of new voices and actors in the international arena, these initiatives represented a high point of Third World multilateralism and sought to propose innovative solutions for a supposedly better governance of the international economy and world’s affairs.

The economic crisis of the 1980s and the consolidation of the so-called Washington Consensus displaced the ideas and implementation of the NIEO. However, the theoretical and political importance of these initiatives remains relevant, even today. Initiatives such as the creation of new forms of global taxation for multinational corporations and new mechanisms of regulation of financial and commercial flows currently discussed in the United States or Europe draw, in many cases unconsciously, on proposals originally pertaining to the NIEO. Recently at the UN, countries from the Global South have explicitly returned to the proposals for a New International Economic Order, renewing interest in its goals. 

The problems of global interdependence in the current economic, global health, and climate crises have compelled scholars to return to the NIEO in recent years, but much work remains to be done—not least in the archives and from the perspectives of Third World countries themselves. New work published in the last ten years attests to the relevance of this multilateral effort, but there has not yet been a coordinated effort to recover the full diplomatic and intellectual history and significance of the NIEO. What initiatives constituted the NIEO, beyond the 1974 UN declaration? How were its legal and procedural tenets negotiated at the multilateral level? What was the intellectual framework behind the NIEO? What were the regional and national differences in the way countries approached and participated in this project? How did the two Cold-War blocs react to NIEO’s initiatives and diplomacy? And very importantly: what aspects, if any, of the NIEO are still relevant for today’s debate on global economic, financial, trade and political governance and the struggle against climate change?

To address such questions and generate an international historiographical and political conversation on the New International Economic Order’s history and afterlives, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, El Colegio de México, the History and Political Economy Project, Temple University and University College London, with the collaboration of the Berggruen Institute will convene a two day conference in Venice in May 2024. We encourage scholars to submit paper abstracts. We are particularly interested in projects drawing on original research from former Third World’s countries’ archives that address the historical but also the contemporary relevance of these ideas, on subjects such as (but not limited to):

  • The potentials and pitfalls of South-South cooperation
  • Multilateral Organizations and the NIEO
  • Counter hegemonic diplomatic strategies of Third World nations
  • Trade, finance and the NIEO’s governance of capitalism
  • The NIEO’s implications for natural resources and extractivism
  • Cultural diplomacy in the NIEO
  • The history of political thought around the NIEO
  • The reception of and reaction to the NIEO in the Global North
  • The afterlives, legacies, and current relevance of the NIEO’s proposals

To apply, please send an abstract of no more than 200/250 words and a short bio to the conference’s official email account: [email protected], by April 30, 2023. Submissions will be reviewed by the conference committee and successful applicants will be notified by July 2023. Full papers are due by March 30, 2024. Best papers will be considered for publication in a journal (still to be decided) special issue. Funding will be available to cover at least some travel and accommodation expenses.

Organizing Committee: Vanni Pettinà, Ana Sofía Rodríguez Everaert, Christy Thornton, Artemy Kalinovsky, Alessandro Iandolo, Duccio Basosi, Giuliano Garavini and Nils Gilman.

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