4894 Research Seminar: Karl Polanyi Visiting Professorship - Global Social Change and Non-Capitalist Mixed Economies
X N.N., ao.Univ.Prof. Dr. Andreas Novy
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/19/24 to 03/15/24
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 04/11/24 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM D3.0.237
Thursday 05/16/24 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.4.12
Wednesday 05/22/24 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM LC.2.400 Clubraum
Monday 05/27/24 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM Extern
Tuesday 05/28/24 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM D5.1.004
Tuesday 06/11/24 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit

This seminar, held by Prof. Attila Melegh and supported by Prof. Andreas Novy, concentrates on a historical sociological analysis of the migration turn that has been occurring since the 1980s until the present day. In this global historical analysis, the ultimate focus will be on Eastern Europe, but in a global and historical context, in order to show what historical interactions have been evolving, and what historical role has been taken by various actors in the process we call the migration turn. The term ‘migration turn’ means, on the one hand, that globally, and in many places locally, the intensity of emigration and immigration has substantially increased as a result of globalization and, very importantly, it means the further marketization of societies. On the other hand, the migration turn means that migration as a discursive theme and category has been reconfigured and has gained new meanings, and previous population discourses have been recomposed in the period concerned. The population discourses have not only changed, but certain discursive blocs have been created and the debate on migration has become increasingly polarized. Thus, migration has become not only a key public and scientific issue but also an engine of political change, dividing elites and public opinion throughout the world. In this multilayered and complex migration turn, Eastern Europe has played an active role, which historical contribution deserves special attention. This class ventures to undertake this task via analyzing some key historical, socio-material and discursive processes. Due to the heated and controversial debates presently ongoing, it was important to revisit some of the most basic data and their implications. This was an exercise not without its surprises.

Learning outcomes

Students will deal with answering questions such as:

  1. How do we perform dynamic historical sociological analysis?Scope of the analysis, methodology and the specification of an analytical plan
  2. Twists in the beginning: population discourses in the 1980s and the start of the globalization cycle
  3. Toward a global market? Migration, contradictions and material change in the last 40 years.
  4. Why are we in a trap? Migration as a political and discursive issue in the midst of contradictions with a special focus on Eastern Europe.
Attendance requirements

Regular attendance, one absence permitted

Teaching/learning method(s)

In each session, a lecture by Attila Melegh on the readings and their significance for the themes pursued in the seminar will be followed by a class discussion. Attendance is required and participation in seminar discussions is important.


1. Regular attendance (one absence permitted) and active participation in seminar discussions.

2. A short oral presentations on parts of the course literature (15 %).

3. A one-page written proposal submitted by May 15 (10 %).

3. A reflection paper on the public lecture (15 %)

4. A term paper on a subject related to the topics discussed in the seminar (60 %).

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists


The Research Seminar Global Social Change & the Migration Turn will be open for PhD-Students at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), University of Vienna and Central European University (CEU). Also, Master-Students at University of Vienna and CEU will be able to participate. Participation is limited.

Interested Students have to contact our Visiting Professorship Team under the following mail-addresse and pay attention to the end date of the application period. Students can apply with a letter of motivation (1 page max) and a CV.

Send your application to:, by February 21st 2024

More information on the Vienna Karl Polanyi Visiting Professorship by Professor Attila Melegh is found at the website of the International Karl Polanyi Society.


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Last edited: 2024-01-30