The 32nd Annual EAEPE Conference 2020 will be held online


Call for papers for a joint special session on

"Heterodox Development Policies: Myth or Reality?"

Organized by
Research Area C (Institutional Change) and Research Area W (Global Political Economy)
together with
Lotta Takala-Greenish (University of the West of England) and
Alice Nicole Sindzingre (Paris-North Economics Centre/CEPN, and SOAS University of London)

The session is co-sponsored by the Forum for Social Economics.
The special session proposes a critical review of the evolution and current form of economic development discourses. A closer investigation of the nature of the debates reveals that heterodox development discourses present some alarming signs of ‘stagnation’. It is argued that heterodox development debates are increasingly reactive and positioned in contrast to the mainstream rather than generating original (and context-specific or inter-connected) insights. As a result, the space and form of debate remains shaped by the mainstream, reproducing some of the constraints such as the mainstream divide between macro and microeconomic analyses, the search for universal and measurable approaches (e.g. Randomized Control Trials), the dominant circulation of ideas from the global north to the global south (as noted by decolonising economics) and of scholars from the global south to the global north. There is substantial heterogeneity across new areas of heterodox development research, e.g. global value chains, systems of innovation, financialisation, agro-industrialisation, feminist and gender discourses etc. These diverse heterodox specialisations have produced novel empirical, theoretical and policy insights, which nevertheless often remain disconnected from each other or from exploring the merits and limitations of the heterodox theoretical heritage (e.g. Marx, Kaldor, Keynes, etc.). In some instances, too much weight may be placed on frameworks and debates that are difficult to distinguish from mainstream economics and in particular from mainstream development theories, methodologies and policies.

Whilst mainstream concepts of economic development remain worth questioning, heterodox development approaches could benefit from critically investigating their own evolution and present state independent of, as well as in contrast with, the mainstream. These observations point to important questions about the nature and future of heterodox development economics.

  • What are heterodox development theories, methodologies and policies?
  • What are the similarities and differences in heterodox development policy (within heterodox specialisations and in contrast with mainstream?
  • Is heterodox development economics focused on describing rather than developing the world?
  • What are the interactions or overlaps between heterodox conceptual frameworks? (e.g. GVCs, innovation, financialisation, feminist and gender) and relevant methodologies (case studies, surveys, models, discourse analysis etc.)
  • What are the commonalities between the heterodox conceptual frameworks and those inspired by Marxism, structuralism, post-Keynesian etc.? (e.g. exploitation, centre-periphery, unequal exchange, structuralism, 'developmental states')
  • How are heterodox development ideas transmitted and transformed across the global south?
  • What do the determinants of the 2020 pandemic and the policies that have addressed it highlight regarding the process of development and development policies conducted so far?

This list of questions is not exhaustive. The organizers will consider any proposal that raises original and relevant issues on the general topic of this call for papers.

You are invited to submit an extended abstract no later than April 30 on the conference website:
It is also convenient to send a copy of the abstract to Paolo Ramazzotti (
[log in to unmask]). The abstract (300-750 words) should include the following information: authors’ names, email addresses and, affiliations, and title of the special session. Following notification of acceptance, you will be invited to submit the full paper.