Leslie Carnoye (2023)
In Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (eds.), Handbook of economics and sociology of conventions. Cham: Springer, Online first
Abstract. The economies of worth framework is designed to address issues of coordination and legitimacy processes by studying the languages of justification on which actors rely. It allows to understand how disputes and conflicts can be overcome without degenerating into violence. Two key features of the model are its pluralism and its evolving capacity. Indeed, several polities, also called or principles of justification or orders of worth, can be mobilized to assert legitimacy. But a precise number of criteria must be met for an order of worth to be established. In other words, all polities correspond to the same grammar and the model relies on specific axioms. Originally, six polities were theorized by Boltanski and Thévenot, but two more were later included in the literature. In this chapter, the six plus two additional worlds are presented, as well as the axioms of the model and its dynamic. By referring to some examples of the model’s application in agro-food and environmental studies, the variety of ways in which the model has been used in social sciences research is then illustrated. This allows to discuss some of the challenges that the model has faced and present its main evolutions since the beginning of the 1990s.