Welcome to the International PPE Conference!

Conference Call for Papers

Transformation: Knowledge, Power, Wealth

When: 20th – 22th April 2017

Where: Witten/Herdecke University, Germany

Deadline for Paper submissions: 1 January 2017


Structures of knowledge, power and wealth can determine the social dynamics of modern societies in many ways. They shape company goals, political space for manoeuvre and even our self-perception as individuals. During the 2nd International PPE Conference at the University Witten/Herdecke, we will bring together BA, MA and PhD students and scholars who are conducting empirical and normative research of the transformation from one to the other in terms of knowledge, power and wealth. Exploring these concepts scientifically and how they interrelate has an added dimension when done from an interdisciplinary point of view.

Knowledge may be regarded not as an absolute, but rather as a judgement that is contingent on power structures of a society. Within such a society, knowledge seems to be key to social mobility and – to an extent – wealth. Wealth, on the other hand, may be taken as key to assuming power. Consider elections and their consequences. Running for office, regardless of level, takes exuberant amounts of money, thus, the election process can be seen as a transformation of wealth into power. Undoubtedly, those in power then have privileged access to knowledge – about their own citizens for example – and have a say in what is considered the ‘received wisdom’. Or think of education systems. They determine to a large extent who has access to knowledge and thus may be able to enjoy the potential wealth associated with a good education.

Here are some more examples reflecting the permutation between wealth, power and knowledge from a PPE perspective.

How do we transform knowledge into wealth and power?

  • Data ethics: transparency and the right to privacy and informational self-determination
  • Political entrepreneurs: Right- and left-wing newcomers occupying vacant niches?

How do we transform power into wealth and knowledge?

  • Corruption and cronyism: unearned and discriminatory political privileges and the many faces of rent-extraction
  • Discourse and Critical Theory: How power holders determine what counts as ‘acceptable’ knowledge.

How do we transform wealth into power and knowledge?

  • Lobbying: benign consulting or corporate capture?
  • Intellectual property rights: Technology and knowhow transfers to developing countries

We welcome applications from students and scholars from all over the world who work in an interdisciplinary setting. By creating a vibrant, interactive environment we aim to explore these topics further. Selected papers will be reviewed by peers, providing comments and feedback in preparation for the paper sessions. All students and researchers who present their research will benefit from an innovative format that allows for open and interdisciplinary discussion.

Keynote speakers:

To be announced

Submission Deadline is 31. January 2017

The scientific committee will consider all topically relevant submitted papers, which fulfill our submission guidelines. Based on the presentations at the conference, the scientific committee will give out an award for best paper.

We particularly encourage you to develop your own thoughts on the theme, to connect your current seminar work with the conference topic … and to submit your own paper! We are looking forward to your ideas!

Your PPE Conference 2017 Team

Email papers to:

Anselm Houswitschka