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Dr. Irene Sotiropoulou

Research Fellow

My Research Vision

My research focuses on economic structures, both contemporary and historical, which are harmonious with nature and socially egalitarian and just. I am doing feminist, ecological, social and solidarity economics, and I use critical and de-/post-colonial approaches in order to understand the economics we have so far and the economy we would like to have from now on. Therefore, I am particularly interested in sharing and collective production modes, and in heterodox theories about money and finance. A major part of my research is dedicated to grassroots economic ideas and practices, i.e. economic knowledge produced by people and communities.

BIOGRAPHY

Irene is an economist who decided to pass to the heterodox side, researching and writing on economics which supports social justice and ecological balance. She has studied Law as an undergraduate student, and International & European Affairs and Development Economics as a postgraduate student before turning initially to heterodox theories of money and finance as a PhD student. After her PhD thesis, she researched solidarity structures for the Institute of Labour (Athens, Greece). She is currently working on several projects ranging from the analysis of contemporary monetary and non-monetary phenomena - with a special focus on parallel currencies, sharing modes and collective production - to value theories, perceptions and practices about nature and sustainable production modes. Part of her research is dedicated to grassroots economics that evolve parallel to or outside the academic economic literature and theory. At the same time, she explores methodological issues of economic research, and she investigates the monetary history of Venice from the point of view of its colonies. She is a Fellow of the International Working Group on Gender, Macroeconomics and International Economics (GEM-IWG/GEM-Europe) and World Social Science Fellowship programs, and a Fellow of the Monetary Research Center (UNWE) at Sofia.

SELECTED OUTPUTS

Publications:

Conference papers:

  • Sotiropoulou, I. (2016) ‘Nature, gold and the struggles for value(s)’. 13th Annual Historical Materialism Conference. Held 10-13 November 2016 in London, UK.
  • Sotiropoulou, I. (2016) ‘To print or not to print: Digital parallel currencies as commons and the materiality of social sustainability’. Intersections of Finance and Society Conference. Held 3-4 November 2016 in London, UK.
  • Sotiropoulou, I. (2016) ‘Black money, white money and the circulation of parallel currencies in Venetian Crete’. 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies. Held 21-25 September 2016 in Herakleion, Greece.
  • Sotiropoulou, I. (2016) ‘Cooking struggles in Cretan folktales: Undermining patriarchy and forging solidarity among women’. 3rd Greek Gastronomy Symposium; Over a Hot Stove: Women in the Kitchen. Held 25-26 July 2015 in Karanou of Chania, Greece.

SELECTED PROJECTS

  • Researching & teaching grassroots economics: A pilot project A mobility, teaching & course design project starting in March 2017. It comprises theoretical enquiry on the economic knowledge which is created and disseminated outside academic spaces by people who might not necessarily have formal economic training.
  • Untamed Urbanisms A collective volume, i.e. a book edited by A.Allen, A.Lampis & M.Swilling, which emerged through the World Social Science Fellowship programme of the International Social Science Council of UNESCO.
  • Covering immediate needs with solidarity economy and redefining the role of trade unions. Theoretical and field research concerning the contemporary solidarity structures in Greece and the possible synergies between them and the trade unions. The project was assigned within the Institute section themed “Observatory of Social & Economic Developments – Unit of Macroeconomic Analysis & Economic Transformation” and it has been part of a major research project undertaken by the Institute of Labour titled “Regional development, wage evolution, public economics & public entreprises in Greece & in EU”.
  • Exchange networks & parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches & the case of Greece PhD project comprising both theoretical and field research related to contemporary parallel currency and non-monetary schemes in Greece.