Conference "Economic Collectivism: Old and New"

International conference

Vienna, November 4-6, 2021

Observing a considerable continuity of collectivist economic thought in Eastern Europe and China, the conference participants will ask whether remarkable new collectivist ideas have managed to strike roots in these societies during the past few decades. If they have, then do they already offer a new non-capitalist “grand design,” and a transition program for implementing it? To what extent do new-collectivist theorists combine part of their own legacy with the emulation of Western patterns and with conceptual innovation? Does the “new New Left” in the West offer useful ideas to include in such a combination? How resistant are the new-collectivist ideas to old-style state collectivism? Finally, we will examine whether any rapprochement between collectivist and liberal thinking is possible beyond jointly condemning authoritarianism.

A detailed program can be found here. A full list of speakers is available here


Thursday, November 4

18:00 – 20:00 CET          

Keynote Address

Philippe Van Parijs (UC Louvain): Basic Income: A Capitalist Road to Communism?


Friday, November 5

9:00 – 12:30

Session 1: Old Collectivism: Chapters from the History of Communist Economic Thought


14:00 – 17:30 pm

Session 2: On the Political Economy of the "New New-Left" in the West


18:00 – 20:00

Roundtable Talk: Bringing the State Back in Again? Views from Eastern Europe

Marta Bucholc (University of Warsaw)

G. M. Tamás (Central European University, Vienna/Budapest)

Philipp Ther (RECET/ University of Vienna)


Saturday, November 6

9:00 – 13:00

Session 3: On the Political Economy of New Collectivism in the East


The conference is held under the Covid-19 rules applicable at the University of Vienna. The number of on-site participants is limited. Participants have to register and present a valid certificate of vaccination, recovery or a negative PCR-test result ("2,5 G-rule").

The conference can be accessed online via Zoom.

The conference is held in the framework of the RECET research project "Economic Collectivism: Old and New. Lessons from the Communist Experience". This project is part of the long-term research program "Between Bukharin and Balcerowicz: A Comparative History of Economic Thought under Communism" ( The program focuses on the evolution of economic ideas in nine countries: Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

For further information please contact: lukas.becht(at)

The conference "Collectivism: Old and New" is co-funded by the FWF.