Richard Bucaille & Jeanne Virieux (2017)
Revue du MAUSS, n° 50, p. 279-290.
Résumé. Pour nommer cette « force » étrange, incluse « dans la chose qu’on donne » et qui « fait que le présent reçu est obligatoirement rendu », Mauss propose la notion maorie de hau. Essayant de mieux nommer ce principe de tout échange sociétal (y compris celui, si délicat, avec la divinité), on propose et tente de justifier le terme, emprunté au droit et peut-être plus large et à la fois plus précis, de « quasi-contrat », implicite mais presque irrésiliable, dont on avance plusieurs exemples variés. On insiste sur l’importance de ces quasi-contrats dans toutes les situations de conflit – guerre au premier chef – où le droit se trouve outrepassé par la violence. Enfin, il faut noter la proximité de ce quasi-contrat avec la notion centrale de l’économie des conventions.
The Quasi-Contract, a Possible Anthropological Concept?
Abstract. To name this strange “power,” included “in the given thing” and that make “the received present is necessarily rendered,” Mauss proposes the Maori notion of Hau. Trying to better name that principle of all societal exchanges (including that one, so delicate, with the divinity), we propose and try to justify the term, borrowed form the law and maybe wider and at the same time more precise, of “quasi-contract,” implicite but almost irresiliable, of which we present several and varied examples. The importance of these quasi-contracts is stressed in all situations of conflict —war in the first place— where the law is overridden by violence. Finally, we must note the proximity of this quasi-contract to the central notion of the economy of conventions.
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Qamar Ali & Julia Brandl (2018)
European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 5:1-2, pp. 140-164
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.
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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 Bien–être 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
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.
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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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Marja Alastalo (2018)
In & 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
Patrick O’Keeffe (2018)
Agrarian and Human Values, 35(3), pp. 553–567
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.
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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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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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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)
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
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.
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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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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. […]
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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.
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