Conference and Seminar Papers

Coming soon

‘Ethics and emancipation in action: concrete utopias’. Keynote talk at IACR Annual conference, online, Wednesday 22 September 2021. For details see


Dave presenting

[C85] ‘Gift and commodity in the digital economy and beyond’. Sheffield University Management School BRISTT research seminar, online, Wednesday 21 October 2020.

[C84] ‘Pragmatism, critical realism and the study of value’. SASE Annual Conference, online, Tuesday 21 July 2020, and IACR Annual Conference, online, Thursday 15 October 2020.

[C83] ‘No price without value’, Intersections of Finance and Society Conference, City University of London, Friday 13 December 2019.

[C82] ‘The nature of value and price’, Cambridge Realist Workshop, Newnham College, Cambridge, 8pm, Monday 18th November 2019.

[C81] [With Ito Jimenez] ‘Explanatory Generalisation in Critical Realist Research’, International Association for Critical Realism annual conference, Southampton, UK, 2 August, 2019.

[C80] ‘Valuing Unicorns’, SASE Annual Conference, New York, USA, 27 June 2019.

[C79] ‘Critical realism and the causal explanation of human action’, University of Plymouth, UK, 3 April 2019.

[C78] ‘Agency and structure in a critical realist ontology’, Workshop on ‘Foundations in Social Science – Mechanisms, Actions, Functions’, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, 24-25 January, 2019.

[C77] ‘Where Do Financial Trading Profits Come from?’, Futures of Finance and Society Conference, Edinburgh, UK, 7 December 2018.

[C76] ‘Critical realism, causal powers and social science’, Department of Infomatics seminar, University of Oslo, Norway, 13 September 2018.

[C75] ‘Where Do Financial Trading Profits Come from?’, SASE Annual Conference, Kyoto, Japan, 25 June 2018.

[C74] ‘Attributing Value to Cryptocurrencies’, SASE Annual Conference, Kyoto, Japan, 23 June 2018.

[C73] ‘From modes of production to complexes of appropriative practices’, The Dynamics of Capitalism: Inquiries to Marx on the Occasion of His 200th Birthday; Conference jointly organized by the MPIfG and the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Hamburg, Germany, 5 May, 2018 (video).

[C72] ‘Norm circles, discourse and politics’, Sociology department seminar, University of Bath, UK, 17 April, 2018.

[C71] ‘Realism, values and critique’, Beyond Positivism conference, Montreal, 8-10 August 2017.

[C70] ‘Realism and social science after assemblage theory’ (with Tim Rutzou), International Association for Critical Realism annual conference, Torino, Italy, 19-21 July 2017.

[C69] ‘Theories of financial value’, International Association for Critical Realism annual conference, Torino, Italy, 19-21 July 2017.

[C68] ‘Political economy for a diverse economy‘, Bausteine des Kapitalismus II, Hamburg Institute for Social Research, 4 July 2017.

[C67] Response to ‘Author meets critics’ discussion about my book Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy at the SASE Annual Conference in Lyon, France, on Friday 30th June 2017.

[C66] ‘Materialising social ontology’, Critical Issues in Social Ontology 2, Cambridge and Berkeley Social Ontology Groups, Cambridge, 15-17 May 2017.

[C65] ‘Political economy for the 21st century’, Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, Political and Social Theory Seminar, London, 2 May 2017.

[C64] ‘How – and why – to be both realist and constructionist about gender’, Gender and Realism Thinkspace, Loughborough University London, 28 April 2017.

[C63] ‘Towards a new political economy: A realist contribution’, London Realist Workshop, SOAS, 5.30pm, Friday 9th December 2016

[C62] ‘How to change economics: learning from the economy beyond the marketplace’, Cambridge Realist Workshop, Clare College, Cambridge, 8pm, Monday 31st October 2016.

[C61] ‘Causal powers, the social and the material’, International Association for Critical Realism annual conference, Cardiff, 20-22 July 2016 (video).

[C60] ‘Prospects for a humanised digital economy’, International Association for Critical Realism annual conference, Cardiff, 20-22 July 2016.

[C59] ‘An economy of practices’, 40 Years of the Cambridge Journal of Economics Conference, St Catherine’s College, University of Cambridge, 13 July 2016.

[C58] ‘Lifeworld and systems in the digital economy’, SASE Annual Conference, University of California Berkeley, 24-26 June 2016.

[C57] ‘Causality, method and imagination’, Kings College London, 6 May 2016.

[C56] ‘Critical realism, causal powers and social science’, University of Essex, Critical Realism and Accounting Research Workshop, 6 April 2016.

[C55] ‘How can social structures have causal powers?’, Yale University, Causal Powers Conference, March 3-6, 2016.

[C54] ‘Norm Circles: a Realist Perspective on Culture, Categories and Classes’, University of Amsterdam, 27 January 2016.

[C53] ‘Norm Circles: a Realist Solution to the Problem of Social Structure and Agency?’, Wageningen University, 26 January 2016.

[C52] ‘Critical realism and the micro-macro relation’, Conference on the micro-macro link, Stockholm, Sweden, 10-11 September 2015.

[C51] ‘New digital economy? New political economy!’ ESA Annual Conference, (RN18), Prague, 25-28 August 2015.

[C50] ‘Instruments of the collective?’, Social Complexes 2 conference on social ontology, Gothenburg, Sweden, 8-10 June 2015.

[C49] ‘Beyond Prosumption’, BSA Annual Conference, Glasgow, 16 April 2015.

[C48] ‘Causal powers, norms and culture’, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 25 March 2015.

[C47] ‘Free web search: neither gift nor commodity?’, CulCom/CAMARG Seminar series, Loughborough University, 26 February 2015.

[C46] ‘Prosumption, appropriation and the ontology of economic form’, Centre for Social Ontology, Warwick, 27 January 2015 (podcast).

[C45] ‘Re-theorising the concept of mode of production in diverse economies’ ISA World Congress of Sociology (RC02), Yokohama, Japan, 13-19 July 2014.

[C44] ‘Defining the gift’ ISA World Congress of Sociology (RC35), Yokohama, Japan, 13-19 July 2014.

[C43] ‘Collective intentionality and causal powers’, Critical Issues in Social Ontology workshop, Cambridge and Berkeley Social Ontology Groups, Cambridge, 19 May 2014.

[C42] ‘Re-theorising the concept of mode of production in diverse economies’ BSA Annual Conference, Leeds, 23 April 2014.

[C41] ‘What is real and what is social in social construction?’. My contribution to an interdisciplinary debate in Helsinki, February 2014 (video).

[C40] ‘Beyond Collective Intentionality’, 3rd European Network on Social Ontology conference, University of Helsinki, 23-25 October 2013.

[C39] ‘Disassembling Actor-Network Theory’, BSA Realism Study Group seminar, London, 6 September 2013

[C38] ‘Giving and social transformation’, International Association for Critical Realism annual conference, Nottingham, 29-31 July 2013.

[C37] ‘The moral economy of digital gifts’, Department of Sociology seminar, University of York, 5 June 2013.

[C36] ‘Kinds of giving’, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, 3 April 2013.

[C35] ‘The concept of a cultural community’, CulCom seminar, Loughborough University, 6 March 2013 and 9 October 2013.

[C34] ‘The moral economy of digital gifts’, Seminar on Ethics and Social Theory: The Work of Andrew Sayer, Newport, Wales, 22 February 2013.

[C33] ‘Critical realism and the causal power of social structures’, Kritische Soziologie meets Critical Realism Conference, Jena, 3 February 2013.

[C32] ‘Social entities and the basis of their powers’, Workshop on Individualism, Holism, Explanation and Emergence, University of Copenhagen, November 2012.

[C31]’A Taxonomy of Gifting’, ISA/ESA/ASA economic sociology networks conference ‘Embeddedness & Beyond’, Moscow, October 2012.

[C30] ‘Towards a realist social constructionism’, International Doctoral Lectures Cycle, Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, Portugal, 11 May 2012.

[C29] ‘The social structure of money’, BSA Annual Conference, Leeds, 12 April 2012.

[C28] ‘Seven ways to be a realist about language’, International Association of Critical Realism (IACR) Annual Conference, Oslo, Norway, September 2011.

[C27] ‘How are (social) structural dynamics produced by constellations?’ Workshop on ‘Aggregation Dynamics in Multi-Level Actor Constellations’ at Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst, Germany, 2-3 June 2011.

[C26] ‘Beyond the Practice Turn’, Theory stream plenary at the BSA Annual Conference, London School of Economics, 7 April 2011.

[C25] ‘Realism, emergence, and culture’, Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research seminar, University of Bath, 1 December 2010.

[C24] ‘Norm Circles and the Myth of Cultural Integration’, Symposium in honour of Margaret Archer, University of Warwick, 16 November 2010.

[C23] ‘Realism, emergence, and normative social institutions’, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research seminar series, University of Kent, 4 November 2010; also Department of Social Sciences seminar series, Loughborough University, 24 November 2010; and Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany, 26 April 2011.

[C21] ‘An emergentist theory of action’, Emergence in Sociology, Santiago, Chile, September 2010.

[C21] ‘The social construction of cultural boundaries’, IACR Annual Conference, Padua, Italy, July 2010.

[C20] ‘Can constructed subjects be reflexive?’, ISA World Congress of Sociology (RC16). Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010.

[C19] ‘Rules and the construction of social reality’, BSA Annual Conference. Glasgow, April 2010.

[C18] ‘Towards a social ontology of market systems’, CRESI seminar series, University of Essex, November 2009; also Cambridge Realist Workshop, 30 January 2012.

[C17] ‘Towards a social ontology of knowledge’, BSA Theory Study Group Conference. Warwick, September 2009.

[C16] ‘The causal power of discourse?’, BSA Annual Conference. Cardiff, April 2009; also School of Applied Social Sciences Workshop on ‘Theoretical Dialogue’, Durham University, 8 September 2011.

[C15] ‘Emergence, normativity and the social ontology of organizations’, Cambridge Realist Workshop, November 2008. Also presented to Critical Realism in Action Group, Nottingham, June 2009.

[C14] ‘Realist critique without ethical naturalism and moral realism’, IACR Annual Conference, London, July 2008.

[C13] ‘From speech community to intersecting linguistic circles’, SocioLinguist Essex, Colchester, June 2008.

[C12] ‘From ‘society’ to intersecting normative circles’, BSA Annual Conference, Warwick, March 2008.

[C11] ‘Searching for structure in actor network theory’, ESA Conference, Glasgow, September 2007.

[C10] Emergence panel, IACR Annual Conference, Philadelphia, August 2007.

[C9] ‘Process, emergence and social structure’, BSA Annual Conference. London, April 2007.

[C8] ‘Searching for realism, structure and agency in actor network theory’, BSA Realism Study Group. London, January 2007.

[C7] ‘A Method for Social Ontology’, IACR Annual Conference. Tromso, August 2006. Also presented to Cambridge Realist Workshop, November 2006 and Centre for Critical Realism Seminar, London, March 2007 .

[C6] ‘Emergence and functionalism: friends or foes?’ ISA World Congress of Sociology (RC51). Durban, July 2006.

[C5] ‘Reconciling Archer and Bourdieu in an emergentist theory of action’, ISA World Congress of Sociology (RC16). Durban, July 2006.

[C4]’Integrating institutional, relational, and embodied structure: an emergentist perspective’, BSA Annual Conference. Harrogate, April 2006.

[C3] ‘Towards an inter-disciplinary theory of emergence’, Complexity Science and Society. Liverpool, September 2005.

[C2] ‘The emergence of social structure and the question of naturalism’, BSA Annual Conference. York, March 2005.

[C1] ‘Re-examining Bhaskar’s three ontological domains: the lessons from emergence’, IACR Annual Conference. Cambridge, August 2004.