Archives de catégorie : Publications

How complex domination enables selection: Academic hiring conventions in a Pakistani university

Qamar Ali & Julia Brandl (2018)

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Online first

Abstract. The heterogeneity of criteria and of the faculty members involved in assessing candidates for academic positions raises the question how colleagues can find a common operational mode that enables them to select candidates. In this paper, we draw on convention theory (CT) to examine how powerful actors foster quietude and confidence in prevailing conventions which perpetuate their privileges. Findings from a study of a university in Pakistan show how actors use coordinative power to amend regulations, but also highlight how participating colleagues may resist this. The findings help to explicate the notion of complex domination and enrich CT scholars’ understanding of factors that can exacerbate inequalities in hiring.

Link to the review

Time in the Development of Indicators on Sustainable Wellbeing: A Local Experiment in Developing Alternative Indicators

Fiona Ottaviani (2018)

Social Indicators Research, 135: 53.

Abstract. This paper is a theoretical and methodological study on the topics of distribution of and competition between time spans dedicated to social activities in the development of sustainable well-being indicators. This article seeks to answer the following question: why and how should we take into account social time in the development of alternative indicators? To bring to light the complex relationship between well-being, sustainability and people’s relationship to time, this article draws on an experiment aimed at developing Regional Sustainable Well-being Indicators (Indicateurs de Bienêtre Soutenable Territorialisés—IBEST), which took place in the Grenoble urban area. This experiment was based on two methodologies; the first one being a quantitative survey, and the second one being a series of qualitative interviews coupled with a participatory approach. One of the datasheet indicators developed following this methodological crossover is the activity times balancing indicator, which allows us to take into consideration the pressure affecting time spent on social activities (work, leisure, families and civic engagement).

Link to the review


Logistic Issues and Impacts of Short Food Supply Chains: Case Studies in Nord – Pas de Calais, France

Amélie Gonçalves & Thomas Zeroual (2017)

In: Soulard CT., Perrin C., Valette E. (eds) Toward Sustainable Relations Between Agriculture and the City. Urban Agriculture. Springer, Cham

Abstract. Short food supply chains (SFSCs) are often seen as being capable of making a valuable contribution to the provisioning of cities from an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable perspective. However, there are doubts as to whether these supply chains deserve this reputation. They involve varied needs and logistical challenges for both farmers and cities, and can have equally varied, and sometimes adverse, economic, environmental and social impacts. These challenges and impacts seem also different from one chain to another. This chapter presents a theoretical framework to help understand these diverse challenges and impacts among SFSCs. Using the economics of conventions, we highlight the importance of coordination between production and demand. This framework is applied to SFSCs operating with one intermediary in the French region of Nord – Pas-de–Calais. Our observations show that the need for rapid and frequent deliveries remains important in SFSCs, making them vulnerable to the negative impacts associated with transport intensive flows of products. The management of information flows varies from one chain to another, and some require more complexity and exchanges between actors. The relationships created by these exchanges can have positive social impacts, creating ties between producers and customers. One type of chain appears particularly suited to the creation of sustainable logistic schemes.

Link to the chapter

Quand les mondes de données sont redistribués : Open Data, infrastructures de données et démocratie

Jonathan Gray (2017)

Statistique et société 5(3), pp. 29-34.

Résumé. L’open data, défini comme un ensemble d’idées et de conventions qui transforment l’information en une ressource publique réutilisable, est promu pour des objectifs variés : améliorer la transparence des institutions publiques, créer des projets qui renforcent la démocratie, stimuler la croissance économique. Les infrastructures sociales et techniques qui soutiennent l’open data recomposent les « mondes de données » : de nouveaux collectifs sociaux se forment, de nouvelles pratiques créatrices de sens apparaissent. Des initiatives politiques transnationales voient le jour. Loin d’être une simple « libération » des données, cela ne va pas sans traduction, médiation, et de nouvelles pratiques sociales. Mais ce mouvement peut-il servir de base d’une délibération démocratique plus riche, ou est-il voué à institutionnaliser socialement diverses formes de bureaucratisation et de marchandisation ?

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Eurostat: Making Europe Commensurate and Comparable

Marja Alastalo (2018)

In: Risto HeiskalaIn & Jari Aro (eds.): Policy Design in the European Union. An Empire of Shopkeepers in the Making? London: Palgrave Macmilla, pp 87-110.

Abstract. Numbers are crucial to the modern systems of government, because they make objects of government commensurate and comparable and reduce complexity. In this chapter, I outline the making of a European statistical apparatus and a Europe-wide space of equivalence. I argue that the present situation, where all member states and even applicant states can be represented by rows, bars and lines in statistical releases, is not self-evident but has taken decades of costly investment in the statistical regime before it became commensurable and comparable.

Link to the book

Creating a governable reality: analysing the use of quantification in shaping Australian wheat marketing policy

Patrick O’Keeffe (2018)

Agrarian and Human Values. Online first, pp. 1-15.

Abstract. This paper analyses Australian policy makers’ use of quantification and technologies of government to implement the project of Australian wheat export market liberalisation. I draw upon policy documents to analyse how quantification has been used to construct a simplified, governable conception of the wheat industry. Policy makers, I suggest, acted upon this constructed reality through assemblages of technologies such as performance objectives, audit, cost-benefit analysis and econometric modelling to facilitate wheat export market deregulation. In addition, this paper shows how quantification was used to delegitimise the social consequences of deregulation and marginalise farmers’ opposition to this shift. Thus, the erasure of the social world enabled policy makers to construct economic objectives such as efficiency and productivity as serving the national interest.

Link to the review

Entre ingénierie de la participation et ingénierie de la quantification. Quand les conventions de richesse sont mises en débat

Florence Jany-Catrice & Samuel Pinaud (2017)

Participations, N° 18, p. 39-67.

Résumé. À partir à la fois d’une réflexion sur les nouveaux indicateurs de richesse et d’une expérimentation réalisée dans le cadre d’une recherche-action, nous analysons les formes d’expression de la participation au sein de différents processus de quantification liés à un objectif de pilotage de l’action publique. Plutôt que de porter le regard sur les usages des chiffres dans l’action publique, l’article analyse les formes de la participation en amont, au cœur du processus d’élaboration des indicateurs sur lesquels s’appuie la décision publique. Nous revenons sur les conceptions de la démocratie sous-jacentes aux processus de mise en chiffre des opinions analysées, et proposons une réflexion sur le lien entre techniques de quantification et formes possibles de la « participation ».

Techniques of participation and techniques of quantification. When “wealth” conventions are debated
Abstract. We start with a discussion about new indicators of wealth, and with an Action Research experiment. We analyze the forms of participatory expressions that are possible in different processes of quantification in relation to public action management. Instead of directly analyzing the uses of numbers in public action, we study the forms of participation that take place upstream and all along the process of construction of indicators, on which public action relies. We bring to light different conceptions of democracy underlying the process of production of numbers and we analyze the link between techniques of quantification and possible forms of “participation.”

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Quand la participation bouscule les fondamentaux de l’économie. La construction participative d’indicateurs alternatifs locaux

Anne Le Roy & Fiona Ottaviani (2017)

Participations, N° 18, p. 69-92.

Résumé. La fréquence du recours aux démarches participatives pour construire localement des indicateurs alternatifs interroge les économistes que nous sommes : pourquoi et comment tant de personnes porteuses de projets ont-elles recours au participatif ? Quelle lecture pouvons-nous faire du développement de ces expérimentations participatives susceptibles de bousculer les fondamentaux de la « science économique » ?
Cet article est consacré à l’analyse d’expérimentations ayant recours au participatif pour construire des indicateurs locaux alternatifs, afin de montrer comment et en quoi le participatif questionne la pertinence des choix méthodologiques, des catégories d’analyse et de pensée de l’économie dominante. Il complète ainsi les travaux menés, majoritairement, par des politologues pour mettre au jour les transformations apportées par la construction participative d’indicateurs au regard du positionnement épistémologique et du contenu épistémique de l’observation économique et sociale traditionnellement conduite par des expert·e·s.

When participation challenges the basic principles of the economy. The participatory construction of local alternative indicators
Abstract. As economists, we are intrigued by the multiplication of participatory approaches to developing local alternative indicators. Why and how do many project managers resort to participatory methods and approaches? How best might we interpret such experiments, which could challenge many of the basic principles of economic science?
This article elaborates on an analytical framework that aims to fulfil two purposes: firstly, it allows one to characterize the experiments in all their diversity; and secondly, it complements existing work, conducted primarily by political scientists. Indeed, our analysis highlights the changes in the epistemological posture and in the epistemic content of socio-economic observation brought about by the mobilization of the participatory approach.

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Hanna Helena Sonkajärvi (2017)

Revista de História (São Paulo), n°176

Abstract. The Brazilian Commercial Code entered in vigour in 1850, but this did not radically alter the manner how bankruptcy cases were handled by the law courts. Legal procedure continued heavily conditioned by local agents and by the actions taken early in the bankruptcy proceedings (conciliation and arbitration). In this situation, the task of determining the value of debt of insolvent merchants and establishing evidence against these individuals to be able to prove the existence of a fraudulent bankruptcy turned extremely complicated. Based on cases of insolvency in the second half of the nineteenth century we will identify factors that might explain why the tribunals struggled to establish evidence in merchants’ records and how they would, faced with this situation, try to reach a decision.

Version online (in Spanish)

Costs, risks and responsibility. Negotiating the value of disabled workers between disability insurance and employers

Eva Nadai, Anna Gonon & Fabienne Rotzetter (2018)

Swiss Journal of Sociology, 44(3), in press

Abstract: Drawing on the theoretical framework of the Economics of Convention this paper analyses the employment of people with disabilities as a valuation process. Based on case studies and interviews in business companies and disability insurance offices it explores how employers and disability insurance determine the value of disabled workers. Since employers are not willing to alter performance standards, job design and work organisation disability insurance attains individual exceptions for its clients at best, while disabling standards remain intact.
Keywords: occupational integration, disability insurance, disability policy, sociology of conventions, valuation

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From accuracy to accountability: subjecting global indicators to the rule of law

Benoit Frydman (2017)

International Journal of Law in Context, Volume 13, Special Issue 4 (Global Social Indicators: Constructing Transnational Legitimacy), December, pp. 450-464

Abstract. This paper presents a double genealogy of indicators as instruments of governance. These have their roots both in the use of statistical tools for normative purposes by states and in the development of indicators within firms as preferred instruments of ‘new management’. The paper argues that social indicators not only convey information, but are genuine tools of global governance and that, for this reason, their legitimacy depends not only on their accuracy, but also on their accountability. If indicators are intended to produce or effectively produce regulatory effects, they should be subjected to the rule of law and to judicial review. The essay ends by formulating four main principles that these indicators should comply with.

Link to the review


Towards an Epistemic Approach to Evaluation in SSH

Andrea Bonaccorsi (2018)

In: Bonaccorsi A. (eds) The Evaluation of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities. Springer, Cham

Abstract. Controversies about research evaluation in SSH do not depend mainly on technical issues, such as coverage and reliability of indicators, but on deeper epistemic reasons. This chapter argues that entering into the way in which scientific communities produce valid knowledge is a promising avenue to make research evaluation legitimate and productive. The chapters, expanding a work initiated in a book, combine two levels of analysis: a historical reconstruction of the academic institutionalisation of disciplines, and a discussion of epistemic issues, such as the explanatory orientation, the methodology, and the overall position with respect to two epistemological challenges.

Link to the chapter

Justification and Critique of Educational Reforms in Austria: How Teachers and Head Teachers (Re-)Frame New Governance

Doris Graß (2017)

Journal of Social Science Education, Volume 16, Number 4, p. 60-74.

Abstract. – The article explores how teachers and head teachers make sense of a new education governance. – It presents a pragmatic conventionalist approach to analysing actors’ judgements of educational reforms. – Results of a study, researching teachers and head teachers at three Austrian new middle schools, are discussed. – A repertoire of seven conventions was empirically reconstructed, following the work of Boltanski and Thévenot, however, arriving at a differing typology. – Results indicate a pervasion of the market-based convention; a dominance and subsequent economisation cannot be deducted.

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The Transformation of Civic and Citizenship Education: Challenges to Educational Governance, Agency and Research – An Introduction

Reinhold Hedtke, Claude Proeschel, Andrea Szukala (2017)

Journal of Social Science Education, Volume 16, Number 4, p. 2-15

Introduction. The current issue of the Journal of Social Science Education wants to start a conceptual debate about the impact of recent challenges for the making, regulating and the practical performing of civic education in differ-rent educational contexts and settings. As is well known, educational politics today comprise almost always multi-level settings from local to international or from micro to macro levels. This suggests, in the first place, to make use of a broad basic concept, the approach of educational governance. We want, however, to go beyond and ad-vocate a widening of empirical and theoretical perspec-tives on civic and citizenship education. Therefore, we propose neo-pragmatistic approaches from sociology for an elaborate and productive analysis of multi-level dynamics in civic education. By doing so, alternative the-oretical foci can be set on domains of critical trans-formative impact and significance, without, however, losing sight of the broader context of civic education in the political field. […]

Link to the issue (PDF files are downloadable)

Une arme à double tranchant ? Le recours aux partenariats public-privé et la maîtrise des risques budgétaires

Frédéric Marty (2017)

Revue française d’administration publique, n° 163, pp. 613-630.

Résumé. Les contrats administratifs complexes de long terme, tels les partenariats public-privé, peuvent participer d’une stratégie de maîtrise des risques pour les autorités publiques. Ils ne sauraient pour autant couvrir celles-ci contre tout aléa budgétaire. Non seulement certains risques attachés aux projets ne peuvent être effectivement transférés au contractant privé mais les montages eux-mêmes sont susceptibles de susciter de nouveaux risques budgétaires dont la reconnaissance dans les comptes publics est imparfaite.

A double edged sword? Use of PPP and fiscal risks control

Abstract. Long term public-procurement contracts, as for instance public-private partnerships, can make sense from the economic point of view, through their capacity to limit the fiscal risks associated to public projects. However, this risk mitigation cannot be an absolute one. Not only some of the risks cannot be fully transferred to the private partner but also the contractual and financial architecture implemented may generate new fiscal risks which are imperfectly taken into consideration in public accounts.

Lien vers Cairn / Link to the article