'PROFESSIONS IN CRISIS' MINI-CONFERENCE

SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SOCIO-ECONOMICS, MILAN, JUNE 27-29 2013.

Torsdag, 27 juni, 2013 - 09:00 to Lørdag, 29 juni, 2013 - 18:00
States seek to avoid and manage social and economic crises by delegating control over services and oversight to professions and professionals. This happens over a wide range of issue-areas, from health care to law, and professional groups, from educators to financial regulators and economists. At the national level, states legitimate and protect many professions by guarding standards and access. At the international level, we find an extension of national dynamics, including how professionals staff international organizations. By contrast, at the transnational level we see the rise of professional groups that operate under the radar, or beyond the control, of the state. Transnational professionals have been active in transforming much of the wiring of capitalist enterprises that make crises more likely, as well as mounting campaigns to point out unprofitable and unpopular potential crises.
 
This mini-conference talks to the theme of ‘professions in crisis’ in two senses. The first crisis is an immediate, ‘fast-burning’, crisis that induces a period of high uncertainty, leading professionals to battle over solutions against a background of increased political salience of the issues at hand. The recent financial crisis, for example, highlighted professional conflicts among groups seeking regulatory solutions, and also brought to surface brewing tensions between increased market-based pressure on professional groups and what the state (and taxpayer) is willing to pay for. Professionals can use professions as a resource and source of mobilization during periods of high uncertainty, with important consequences for the scope and depth of regulation across a range of issue-areas.
 
The second crisis is a prolonged one, a ‘slow-burning’ crisis that professionals work to highlight but are unable to gain the political attention. For example, transnational groups of demographers and health professionals point to intensifying long-term socio-economic pressures on societies and the fiscal purse. At the same time, other transnational professional groups are devising ways of hiding money away from that same purse. Many professionals are ‘scaling up’ to the transnational level, involving new forms of organizing and institutionalizing.
 
This mini-conference explores professions in crisis and brings together a number of leading scholars in economic sociology, political economy, organization studies, and international relations. Themes to be addressed by the proposed papers include:
1. Professional competition and coordination to address short and long-term socio-economic problems;
2. The rise of transnational professions and hybrid and quasi- professions;
3. The relationship between change in professions, professionals, and professionalisation and change in organizational and institutional forms associated with the state and modern capitalism.
Organizer: Leonard Seabrooke, ls.dbp@cbs.dk
Sidst opdateret: Department of Business and Politics // 08/10/2019