Over the last quarter century, East Asia has moved to the centre of global capitalism. In the past, understanding of East Asian capitalism(s) has drawn on theoretical concepts such as developmental state, embedded autonomy, Asian labour system, state capitalism and others. Are such concepts still applicable and relevant? What other new theoretical approaches should we consider in analysing East Asian capitalism(s)? Moreover, how do we understand the multiplicity of crises in the region: labour, reproductive, ecological, social, political and economic? How have labour and social movements responded to these crises, and what are the alternatives? What theoretical and historical lessons and legacies can we reevaluate and engage from East Asia’s own past?

The Historical Materialism conference in East Asia in 2021 promotes theoretical and empirical assessments of labour and capital mobilities in East Asia in recent decades and their practical implications for workers and labour movement. Through the conference, we also hope to strengthen ties and engagements among researchers and organisers of labour movements from across East Asia. In this year’s conference, we will engage in the theoretical, historical and contemporary debates on:

  • East Asia Capitalism(s)
  • Gender and Social Reproduction
  • Labour and Precarity
  • Ecological Crisis
  • Radical History and Theory
  • Trade Unions

About the Journal

Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory is a Marxist journal based in London. Founded in 1997, it asserts that, notwithstanding the variety of its practical and theoretical articulations, Marxism constitutes the most fertile conceptual framework for analysing social phenomena, with an eye to their overhaul. Marx demanded the ‘merciless criticism of everything that exists’: for us that includes Marxism itself. The journal supports conferences across the globe, recognising the importance of coming together and engaging in discussion and debate over questions of theory and politics, and promoting links and the sharing of perspectives and expertise amongst Marxists and the Marxist influenced radical left.

About the Organisers

The conference is co-organized by the Centre of Social Innovations Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Department of Social Development the Pingtung University in Taiwan, and co-sponsored by the Sogang Global Korea Initiative at Sogang University in South Korea:

The Centre for Social Innovation Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong aims at promoting research, knowledge transfer and exchange between practitioners and academics in the field of social innovation and civil society, with a focus on fair work, digital labour and platform cooperative, social impact analysis, and reaction of civil society under COVID19. The Department of Social Development at the Pingtung University in Taiwan aims to educate professionals in the areas of social awareness and insight along with management skills through social science knowledge and methodology research. And, Sogang Global Korea Initiative at Sogang University in South Korea coordinates Sogang’s non-departmental Korean studies activities, such as the Korean Studies Summer School, research collaboratives, and outreach programmes.

For any inquiry, please contact us at: hmeastasia2021@gmail.com