The Plan as a Global System of Power

  • Data: 06 DICEMBRE 2019  dalle 9:30 alle 18:00

  • Luogo: Complesso di Santa Cristina / Sala riunioni 2° piano (p.tta G. Morandi 2, Bologna)

History, Arts and Transformations of Plan-based Thought

a cura di
Roberta Ferrari e Maurizio Ricciardi

in collaborazione con
Scienza & politica
per una storia delle dottrine

Giovanni Cadioli
(Sciences Po - Le Havre Campus)
Niccolò Cuppini
(University of Southern Switzerland)
Roberta Ferrari
(University of Bologna)
Johnatan Levy
(University of Chicago)
Mario Piccinini
(University of Padua)
Anna Rosellini
(University of Bologna)


The aim of this international seminar is to discuss the historical and political relevance of planning from the 1920s until the end of the 1950s. The seminar will precede the publication of an issue of Scienza & Politica focused on the development on a global level of a “plan-based thought”. The seminar will be devoted to discuss the relevance of planning as a new conception of societal government and a global trend. Despite the ideological differences between the Plannwirtschaft, the Planned Economy and the Soviet Five Years Plan, they all expressed a new and similar way to react to the problem of the global society revealed by the crisis. For this reason the seminar will include scholars and experts on the topic able to analyse different historical context: Roosevelt’s New Deal, Stalin’s Russia, Great Britain and the origins of Welfare State, German discourses on planning from Weimar Republic to Nazi Germany. Also the seminar will address the problem of the topicality of planning and its importance in current neoliberalism and for the resurfaced populist discourse.
The project of this seminar aims at exploring how plan-based thought operates within 1920s liberalism, how it is used first by capitalism and then by socialism in order to investigate why and how it continues to hunt neoliberal thinking even after its failure and the end of the welfare state era. Planisme, Planologia, Planning are scientific patterns nowadays applied in a range of different fields (see for example integral planning as tool of management in big firms or development programs and Structural Adjustment Programs). The concept of planning was born in order to govern and program the future of societies, in time and space, through an interdisciplinary approach that connects sociology, economy and political theory.
Though planning policies and experiment of planned economy in the 1930s have been studied from both historic and political perspectives, there is not a thorough investigation of the transnational dimension and diffusion of the politics and of the concept of planning. The development of a plan-based thinking imposed a change that is simultaneously anthropological, theoretical and political. Inquiring plan-based thought is, therefore, crucial to retrace and understand the shift from welfare state to neoliberal society and thus to question current neoliberal thought and its interlocking with neoconservatism and populism.