Call for Papers
XXXIXth CLaSF Workshop on
Markets in Crisis: the stress test for competition law
Friday 21 April 2023
Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, Budapest, Hungary
“The golden age of competition” seems to be over as the limits of markets and the need for state action are increasingly underlined. People’s trust in free markets’ transformative power has radically declined and the idea of market mechanism as a solution to social, political and economic problems lost its force. The force of competition laws and their enforcement has been heavily criticised as governments’ firm commitment to market competition as a core element of their neoliberal economic agenda brought the decline of competition and the rise of corporate power in large swaths of the economy. State-coordinated models of the market economy have gained followers – for both economic and political reasons – in countries which before had embraced the idea of private ownership and competitive markets.
From the moment the Great Recession of 2008 hit the global economy, the neoliberal order began to crumble and the years that followed brought multiple crises related to our climate, growing corporate and political concentration, wealth and social inequalities, health, food and energy insecurity. A global food and fuel crisis is driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This chain of crises has not only undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal economic policies and the market-based social order, but also requires reflection on how the role of competition law and policy should be redefined and reoriented in times of consecutive crises. Increasing reliance on the state in markets and the emergence of new forms of state ownership and control presses to rethink the role and functions of the state and call for alternatives that seek to ‘bring the state back in’, notably by (re)structuring markets through new regulatory instruments and forms of industrial policy.
These developments raise the question of how competition law and its enforcement can respond to such multiple crises. How had the substantive and procedural rules of competition law been or should have been adapted in times of market crises? What is the role of competition authorities in enforcing and implementing competition law in a wider context of social and political challenges? How should they redefine their priorities against ongoing budget cuts and increasing pressure to respond to these crises’ situations? Has the idea of ‘political security’ gained the upper hand in national economies over ideals of the free market and competition?
Against this background the Competition Law Scholars Forum (CLaSF) XXXIXth workshop invites contributions (abstract paper proposals from researchers, scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers) in relation to any issue within this wide subject. We welcome theoretical, economics-driven, practice-based, or policy-focused papers, and we are interested in receiving abstracts for papers which may be focused on perspectives or experience at national, regional (e.g. EU), or international levels, or a combination. We are planning a live in-person event only.
The Workshop will consist of a mix of invited speakers and contributions chosen following this call for papers. Any person interested in being considered on the basis of the call for papers at the workshop is asked to contact Professor Barry Rodger at firstname.lastname@example.org. An abstract is required of approximately 500-1,000 words, to be submitted by no later than Monday 30th January 2023, and decisions on successful submissions will be taken by Friday 10th February 2023.
Submission of presentation/draft paper is also required a week prior to the workshop. Papers presented at the conference can be submitted to the Competition Law Review editorial board with a view to being published in the Review. Note that the Review is a fully refereed scholarly law journal: submission does not guarantee publication.