University of Leeds Graduate Political Theory Conference 2024 - Digital Capitalism: Beyond the Neoliberal Paradigm?

The 2024 University of Leeds Graduate Political Theory Conference will be held on Monday 3rd June.

The Centre for Contemporary Political Theory is delighted to host the 2024 University of Leeds Graduate Political Theory Conference. This year’s theme is ‘Digital Capitalism: Beyond the Neoliberal Paradigm?’

Call for Papers

Digital capitalism is the defining system of the early 21st century. As evidenced by the rise in immaterial labour, digital markets, and widespread surveillance, collection and commodification of personal data, more and more of our daily interactions fall under digital capitalism’s totalising claws. Mainstream critiques of digital capitalism have tended to interpret digital capitalism as an exclusively neoliberal project. This conference challenges these mainstream critiques and asks what it would mean to think about digital capitalism beyond the neoliberal paradigm. In Capital is Dead, Mackenzie Wark famously proclaimed: “This is not capitalism anymore; it is something worse”. Building on this proclamation, we invite papers that explore how digital capitalism is developing into something new, something beyond neoliberalism. The purpose of the conference is to examine how new theories/ideas/approaches can help us to understand an emerging new formulation of digital capitalism that standard critiques of neoliberalism cannot adequately capture.

We welcome papers from various theoretical backgrounds, approaches, and perspectives in political theory. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Critiques of digital capitalism that move beyond a neoliberal understanding such as decolonial, postcolonial, feminist, queer, neo-feudal, and technocratic feudalism critiques of digital capitalism, are of keen interest; 
  • Novel interpretations of the commons and digital commons in digital capitalism; 
  • Structural and post-structural theories that elaborate on reproductive processes of digital capitalism that go beyond a neoliberal understanding; 
  • Specific critiques of types of digital media that reproduce structures, subjectivity, and ideologies that do not fit a neoliberal paradigm;
  • New democratic problems, solutions, or benefits associated with a developing non-neoliberal digital capitalism. 

The submission deadline is 1st March 2024. Please submit your 200-300 word abstract prepared for anonymous review to We ask you to include your information (full name, position/affiliation, contact details) in a separate document. Applicants will be informed of the decision regarding their proposal by 31st March 2024.


The keynote speaker will be Dr Kylie Jarrett (Maynooth University). Dr Jarrett is a renowned scholar whose expertise covers user experiences of social media, the politics of the commercial Web, online sexuality, and gender issues relating to work in digital media industries and the platform economy. Jarrett has (co)-authored four books: Digital Labor (Polity, 2022), #NSFW: Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media (MIT Press, 2019), Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife (Routledge, 2016), Google and the Culture of Search (Routledge, 2013). Jarrett, Susanna Paasonen and Ben Light's #NSFW: Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media (MIT Press, 2019) won the 2020 Association of Internet Researchers book award. Jarrett is editor-in-chief of a new SAGE journal, Dialogues in Digital Societies.

Graduate Political Theory Conference/BJPIR Collaboration

The conference participants will have the opportunity to self-nominate their papers for participation in this year’s Graduate Political Theory Conference/BJPIR Collaboration project. This project aims to develop up to two promising papers presented at the 2024 Graduate Political Theory Conference for submission to The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR). Authors of the two selected papers will receive mentorship from a member of the BJPIR editorial team. If you are interested in having your paper considered for this project, please let us know by 3rd June 2024, and submit your draft paper to by the same date.