Archives de catégorie : Séminaires & conférences / Seminars & workshops

Toutes les valeurs sont des espèces d’un même genre

En raison du blocage des bâtiments de l’université Paris Nanterre ce mardi 21 mars, le séminaire RESPIR de cet après-midi est reporté à une date qui vous sera communiquée dès que possible.

All values are species of the same kind

André Orléan (2023)

Séminaire RESPIR (Recherches en Economie et Socioéconomie Politique, des Institutions et des Régulations) organisé par Sophie Harnay, Alexandre Chirat, Laurence Scialom & Fabrice Tricou

21/03/2023,13:30 – 15:15

Université Paris Nanterre (6ème étage, salle G614B) ou lien Zoom :

La discussion sera assurée par Baptiste Bridonneau (ENS Paris Saclay)

Les fondements théoriques de la co-détermination

Theoretical foundations of co-determination

Intervention d’Olivier Favereau au séminaire RESPIR (Recherches en Economie et Socioéconomie Politique, des Institutions et des Régulations) de l’université Paris Nanterre ‘EconomiX)

La discussion sera assurée par Riyad MANSERI (Université Paris Cité et LADYSS)

Mardi 22 novembre 2022, de 13h30 à 15h15, sur le campus de l’Université Paris Nanterre (6ème étage, salle G614B)

Lien Zoom :

Session on Education and Conventions held at the German Sociological Association’s 2022 conference in Bielefeld (Germany)

Christian Imdorf (Leibniz University Hannover) & Kenneth Horvath (University of Teacher Education Zurich)

At the occasion of the German Sociological Association’s (DGS) bi-annual conference, held in Bielefeld, Germany, 26-30 September 2022, a session on education and conventions has been organised. The session “Bildung und Konventionen: Aktuelle Schwerpunkte, Entwicklungslinien und Herausforderungen im Überblick [Education and Conventions: An overview of current focal points, lines of development and challenges]” was chaired by Christian Imdorf (Leibniz University Hannover) and Kenneth Horvath (University of Teacher Education Zurich). The multifaceted field of French pragmatic sociology offers innovative explanatory and analytical approaches for a number of current processes in education and challenges in the sociology of education such as standardization, quantification and datafication of education, conflicts and controversies over educational quality and equity, or the interplay of science, politics and practice in the establishment and transformation of educational arrangements. The session aimed at discussing the potentials and findings, but also the challenges and desiderata of a “pragmatic” sociology of education and its further development. The following set of questions framed the session: How can convention theory help approach current topics and questions in the sociology of education more convincingly and productively than with “traditional” theoretical offers? How can we employ concepts of pragmatic sociology (such as school worlds, educational regimes, justification orders, tests/examinations, etc.) in order to deal with current research problems? How can understandings of meritocracy and (increasingly ambiguous and uncertain) processes of assessment in educational contexts be analyzed? What methodological challenges and consequences arise for the empirical implementation of such a theory-driven research perspective? How can the relationship between scientific research and educational practice be rethought and reshaped?

In their introduction to the session, Kenneth Horvath and Christian Imdorf outlined the theoretical and methodological characteristics of a pragmatic sociology of education and presented a short overview of the current research landscape. They highlighted the significant already existing research output especially in the field of post-compulsory education sector, more precisely in vocational education and training and in higher education, which, however, has hardly been internationally comparative so far. Further, some first research on school education points to future opportunities for the sociology of conventions to examine questions of inequality and quality (and their transformations) in compulsory education. The session then included four presentations:

Walter Bartl (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg) in his paper “Räumliche Bildungsungleichheiten durch Zahlen regieren: Information über und Allokation von Schulinfrastruktur [Governing spatial educational inequalities through numbers: Information about and allocation of school infrastructure]” asked what role numbers play in the governance of spatial educational inequalities and why there is only few data in Germany about spatial educational inequalities. Referring to Alain Desrosières’ work on quantification as a process of standardising information he asked how spatial inequality is measured and how school infrastructure governed by indicators is allocated. Bartl pointed to the lack of standardised indicators of spatial educational inequality in research and its quantification by expert judgement. He identified two mechanisms of governing spatial inequality through numbers in Germany, the standardisation of information and the regulation of allocation decisions, as well as four ideal types of a (situational) use of numbers and their problems (discretionary, bureaucratic, epistemic and calculative quantification). The paper concluded that long-term data on spatial inequality is currently lacking because there has not yet been a standardisation of information, but that the “theorising” of spatial inequality and of spatial justice as a concept is developing, as are attempts to measure it in and for spatial planning.

The contribution of Raffaella Simona Esposito (FHNW University of Teacher Education) and her co-authors Sandra Hafner and Regula Julia Leemann titled “Steuerung von Bildungsübergängen im Schweizer Bildungssystem – Komplexe Handlungskoordination innerhalb des bildungspolitischen Zielkorsetts [Managing educational transitions in the Swiss education system — Complex coordination of action within the education policy target]” analysed how the supply and access to vocationally oriented secondary schools in Switzerland is being coordinated in an interplay of education policy, education administration, academia and practice. Despite the education policy goal in Switzerland that 95% of all 25-year-olds shall have a qualification at upper secondary level, little is known about how the necessary educational transitions are managed by the cantons in terms of education policy, i.e. how they are regulated, organised, reformed and legitimised. Referring to the sociology of conventions, the research group has investigated how the actors involved in these processes coordinate their actions, by means of which strategies and instruments they do so, how educational policy objectives with regard to vocationally field-oriented secondary schools are targeted and realised in practice, how justification logics are mobilised by the relevant actors and what tensions, frictions and conflicts arise in the coordination of action. Based on a case study of a German-speaking canton and the analysis of documents and expert interviews Esposito et al. were able to reconstruct a compromise of domestic (individual fitting solution, guidance of young people), inspired (motivation, interests, inclinations, vocation, passion) and industrial (efficient educational transitions, no unnecessary educational loops, few drop-outs) steering logics in the management of educational transitions. In practical terms, an inherently normative ICT-based guidance tool for youths was implemented which serves as an object of compromise (intermediary object) to stabilise, format and handle the steering of educational transitions.


The presenters of the session on education and conventions at the DGS congress 2022: Walter Bartl (top left), Raffaella Esposito (top right), Luisa Junghänel and Bettina Ülpenich (bottom left), and Arne Böker (bottom right)

Bettina Ülpenich and Luisa Junghänel Krause (Heinrich-Heine-Univ. Düsseldorf) in their study “Studienabbrüche prognostizieren. Zur Rechtfertigung von Leistungsvorhersagen im Studium [Predicting study dropouts – On the justification of performance predictions in higher education]” accompany a project to develop a local system of performance prediction in higher education studies with a focus on the requirements of a respective performance prediction system. Embedded in the sociology of conventions and based on 35 expert interviews with university staff in computer science and social sciences, the two authors reconstruct performance prediction in higher education as a multidimensional ordering process with two underlying perspectives of how to interpret academic success. From the institution-centred perspective of the university, success translates to the completion of studies in the standard period and followed by entry into a profession (efficient and cost-sensitive regulation of university studies). In contrast, from a student-centred interpretative perspective, academic success can be linked to concepts of self-efficacy and self-determination, the achievement of individual goals and the accomplishment of problem-solving skills in the context of lifelong learning (studying as inspiration and a project). The authors concluded with some thought on the dilemma of the sought-after “Responsible Academic Performance Prediction” tool, which needs to conceive of study drop-out as a hybrid object and integrate a project-shaped convention of studying in the economisation and rationalisation of study processes at universities.

Finally, Arne Böker (Institut für Hochschulforschung Halle-Wittenberg) gave a presentation titled “Bildungsorganisationen unter Druck – Zu Potentialen und Herausforderungen einer pragmatischen Bildungssoziologie der Kritik [Educational Organisations under Pressure – On the Potentials and Challenges of a Pragmatic Sociology of Education Critique]”. Embedded in the (educational) sociology of critique (orders of justification) and the sociology of knowledge, he presented findings of two research projects both focusing on the justification of the promotion of the gifted (Begabtenförderung): The first study reconstructed the change in the justification arrangement of the German Study Foundation (Studienstiftung) which was shifting from a more economic towards a civic justification. Thereby the Study Foundation used a creative approach to produce and interprete social statistics which allowed for telling a successful story of how it contributed to equal opportunities in the education system. The second, ongoing study focuses so-called state preparatory colleges (staatliche Studienkollegs), an institutional path in Germany which prepares international students for higher education (an example of diversification of university access routes and study preparation). As an empirical illustration, Böker presented the debate in North Rhine-Westphalia in the mid-2000s on closing the state-run study preparatory colleges after the educational institution had seen a year-long criticism and change of justification, moving from equal opportunities towards privatisation and educational excellence. Using the example of the justification order of equal opportunities the author showed how student representatives criticised the Studienkolleg, that is how an educational institution geared at promoting the gifted was problematised, criticised and what alternative solution were proposed. On the whole the two studies exemplified both the potentials (e.g. the strength to analyse situations of crisis and insecurity, the plurality of social orders, the interplay between criticism and justification, compromises and their tensions) as well as the challenges of an educational sociology of critique.

All in all, the presentations of this session at the DGS 2022 conference in Bielefeld showed convincingly, first, how a pragmatic sociology of education offers new perspectives on and insights in education and educational processes. Second, the contributions highlighted how educational values are materialised and implemented by different technologies and devices such as educational statistics, self-governance or academic performance prediction tools. The years and decade(s) to come will show whether the sociology of convention will have the power to become a game changer in the sociologies of education, a field which is still somewhat stuck between a ‘holistic’ sociology in the line of Durkheim and Bourdieu and an ‘individualistic’ model of actors and society in the aftermath of Boudon’s theory of rational decision making, at least in the German-speaking world.

Covid crisis, mainstream economics and economics of conventions

Online-Lecture (via Zoom) given by Philippe Batifoulier (via Zoom) at the Social Research Colloquium (University of Lucerne, Switzerland). 19 October from 16:15 -17:00 (afterwards discussion).

The institutional approach of economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) has developed a transdisciplinary movement in social sciences.  Health issues are one of the most active research topics in EC/SC’s approach in order to analysis health as social phenomenon and cover wide range of topics: professional ethics, doctor-patient interaction, health democracy, inequalities, industrialization, funding priorities, health insurance, hospital management, liberal medicine, digitization and quantification of health, health capitalism, etc.  Challenging mainstream health economics, EC/SC provides a theory of the plurality of values that are mobilized during the patient-doctor encounter but also in the making and elaboration of health policies. EC/SC in the field of healthcare has expanded conceptions of normativity to propose a finer mapping of coordination and regulation

The communication will seek to present some of the key lessons of EC/SC in the field of healthcare, taking into account the lessons of the health crisis. Then we propose a conventionalist way of thinking about neoliberal policy in health care and health capitalism.

The Substance of Conventions in Economics (of Convention)

Online-Lecture given by Guillemette de Larquier (via Zoom) at the Social Research Colloquium (University of Lucerne, Switzerland). 05 October from 16:15-17:00 (afterwards discussion).

Economics of convention (EC) became visible with the special issue of la Revue économique published in 1989, entitled “Économie des conventions.” It is remarkable that all the authors, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Olivier Favereau, André Orléan, Robert Salais, and Laurent Thévenot, except François Eymard-Duvernay, cited in their respective articles the notions of convention developed by the philosopher David Lewis in 1969 and the economist John Maynard Keynes in 1936. These are clearly the economic references of EC. They have in common to study situations characterized by an infinite specularity of individual reasoning, and confronting the two approaches lead to question the hypothesis of rationality that was best suited to the plurality of coordination studied by EC (Diaz-Bone and Larquier, 2022).

The communication will follow this economic entry of EC. Actually, the concept of conventions leads economists to ask themselves three questions: 1/ What type of uncertainty (of the coordination)? 2/ What type of rationality (of the individuals)? What type of normativity (of the conventions)? The answers to these three questions reveal what the substance of a convention is for David Lewis (and Robert Sugden), for John Maynard Keynes and for EC. Also, it will be of great interest to understand what each approach can say about the dynamics of conventions.

Seminar “Soziologie der Konventionen – Einführung in den neopragmatischen Institutionalismus”

Sociology of conventions – Introduction to neopragmatic institutionalism

(BA/MA level) at University of Lucerne, autumn semester 2022, (weekly) from Thursday 22.09.2022 on, at 10:15 – 12:00, Room 4.B54. Lucerne: University of Lucerne

Ankündigung. Die Soziologie der Konventionen steht im Zentrum der neuen pragmatischen Soziologie. Insbesondere durch die Arbeiten von Luc Boltanski, Laurent Thévenot, Eve Chiapello, Alain Desrosières oder Robert Salais ist diese Wissenschaftsbewegung heute international und transdisziplinär einflussreich geworden. Konventionen sind institutionelle Logiken, die Akteure handlungspraktisch heranziehen für die Interpretation, Evaluation und Valorisierung von Personen, Objekten und Praktiken in Situationen. Konventionen werden für die Produktion, Distribution und Konsumption von Gütern und Dienstleistungen genauso herangezogen wie für die Beurteilung kultureller Praktiken, politischer Engagements oder massenmedialer Inhalte. Im Zentrum der Soziologie der Konventionen steht die institutionentheoretische Analyse von Qualitäten, Bewertungen und Qualifikationen, welche in institutionellen Settings und basierend auf Konventionen generiert werden. Damit liegt mit der Soziologie der Konventionen auch eine Soziologie der Quantifizierung und Kategorisierung vor. Zugleich fokussiert diese die pragmatischen Bedingungen für Kritik und Rechtfertigung in Situationen, die durch eine Pluralität an Konventionen gekennzeichnet sind. Damit ist die Soziologie der Konventionen auch eine politische Soziologie der Konflikte und Kompromisse. Das Seminar bietet einmal eine Einführung in die Soziologie der Konventionen. Dann gibt es die Möglichkeit, die Anwendungen in Bereichen wie Wirtschaft, Politik, Kultur, Gesundheit, Recht sowie Sozialforschung im Seminar kennen zu lernen. Weiter werden methodologische Grundlagen dieser pragmatischen Soziologie vermittelt.

Announcement. The sociology of conventions is at the center of the new pragmatic sociology. Especially through the work of Luc Boltanski, Laurent Thévenot, Eve Chiapello, Alain Desrosières or Robert Salais, this scientific movement has become internationally and transdisciplinarily influential today. Conventions are institutional logics that acteurs invoke for the interpretation, evaluation and valorization of persons, objects and practices in situations. Conventions are used for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services as well as for the evaluation of cultural practices, political engagements, or mass media content. At the center of the sociology of conventions is the institution-theoretical analysis of qualities, evaluations, and qualifications that are generated in institutional settings and based on conventions. Thus, the sociology of conventions is also a sociology of quantification and categorization. At the same time, it focuses on the pragmatic conditions for critique and justification in situations characterized by a plurality of conventions. The sociology of conventions is also a political sociology of conflicts and compromises. The seminar offers an introduction to the sociology of conventions. Then there is the possibility to get to know the applications in areas like economy, politics, culture, health, law as well as social research in the seminar. Furthermore, methodological basics of this pragmatic sociology will be taught.

Lien / Link

Journée “Valeur, valeurs”

Lundi 19 septembre 2022, 13h45 / 18h, Amphi Max Weber (bâtiment Max Weber), Université Paris Nanterre
Journée organisée par l’équipe du séminaire RESPIR (EconomiX / Université Paris Nanterre).

Workshop “Valeur, valeurs”. 19 Septembre 13:45 – 18:00. Building Bâtiment Max Weber (amphitéâtre) University Paris Nanterre
Organisers: Fabrice Tricou, Sophie Harnay and Laurence Scialom


Accueil des participants (13h45 / 14h).
Introduction : Fabrice Tricou (14h / 14h10).

A) Contributions sur le thème : « Valeurs et Prix »
Présidence : Sophie Harnay
– Jean Cartelier (14h10 / 14h30) : Contre la théorie de la valeur
– Sylvain Piron (14h30 / 14h50) : La normativité de la valeur
– Luc Boltanski et Arnaud Esquerre (14h50 / 15h10) : De la valeur comme justification du prix
Discussion générale (15h10 / 15h50) introduite par Jérôme Deyris et Maxime Duval

B) Table ronde : « De quoi la valeur est-elle le nom ? »
Présidence : Nathalie Berta
– Claire Pignol (16h10 / 16h30) : « L’omnipotence, l’omniscience, l’omniconvenance de l’argent »
– André Orléan (16h30 / 16h50) : « Toutes les valeurs sont des espèces d’un même genre »
– Pierre Zaoui (16h50 / 17h10) : Les trois grandes conceptions philosophiques de la valeur : poids d’être (platonisme), relation (de l’empirisme à Marx) et nouveauté (cynisme et nihilisme)
Discussion générale (17h10 / 17h50) introduite par Baptiste Bridonneau et Thibault Mirabel

Synthèse finale : Gaëtan Le Quang (17h50 / 18h)

Lien / Link

Sociology/Economy of Conventions: An Interdisciplinary Conference for Methods and Theory Development (with Special Focus on Education)

International workshop, 15th/16th September 2022 at Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Organisers: Christian Imdorf, Arne Böker and Christian Schneijderberg.

The aims of the workshop are to promote networking between convention scholars, to facilitate dialogue across disciplines, to support and network young researchers, and to advance the further development of the research program of the sociology of conventions. If you are interested in taking part in the in-person workshop at short notice, please contact Charlotte Hattenbach (

Bildung und Konventionen: Herausforderungen, Befunde, Desiderate

Education and conventions: Challenges, findings, desiderata

Panel at the upcoming congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS, German Sociological Association)
University of Bielefeld, Germany, 28 September 2022, 9:00 – 11:45.
Organizers: Christian Imdorf and Kenneth Horvath

Präsentation. Der Beitrag bietet in einem ersten Teil einen Forschungsüberblick über Schwerpunkte und Entwicklungslinien in aktuellen Anwendungen der Ökonomie und Soziologie von Konventionen (EC/SC) im Bereich der Bildung. Das innovative Potenzial dieser Ansätze ist zum Teil ihrer Diversität zu verdanken: Konventionentheoretische Forschung zu Bildungspolitik und Bildungspraxis erfolgte in verschiedenen Disziplinen wie Soziologie, Erziehungswissenschaft, Wissenschaftsforschung, Politikwissenschaft und Sozialarbeit. Die bisherigen empirischen Studien befassen sich mit Institutionen wie Schule, Berufsbildung, Hochschulbildung oder Erwachsenenbildung, mit Themen wie dem Übergang von der Schule in den Beruf, mit Lehrplänen oder Berufspraktiken, mit Herausforderungen wie Ungleichheit oder Digitalisierung oder mit Phänomenen wie Governance und Reformen im Bildungswesen. Es lassen sich drei komplementäre und vielfältig miteinander verzahnte Schwerpunkte konventionentheoretischer Arbeiten im Bildungsbereich ausmachen. Die erste Perspektive fokussiert Konventionen als Rechtfertigungsordnungen und Prinzipien der Gerechtigkeit und analysiert auf dieser Grundlage, wie Bildungsungleichheiten hergestellt und begründet bzw. wie Ungerechtigkeit thematisiert und kritisiert wird. Der zweite Ansatz rückt Konventionen als Grammatiken von Handlungen und Formen der Koordination in den Blickpunkt, um zu untersuchen, wie Akteure in ungewissen und spannungsreichen Situationen des pädagogischen Alltags Koordination und Kooperation sicherstellen, indem sie etwa Praktiken und Routinen hinterfragen und neu ausrichten. Die dritte Sichtweise hebt den Charakter von Konventionen als Wertordnungen und Qualitätsprinzipien (auch als Grundlage sozialer Klassifikationen) hervor. Sie hilft zu verstehen, wie Qualität durch Prozesse und Praktiken der (E-)Valuierung entsteht und wirksam wird, wenn beispielsweise Studierende selektiert, bewertet oder für spätere Berufslaufbahnen positioniert werden. Der Beitrag umfasst darüber hinaus in einem zweiten Teil einen Kommentar zu den vier weiteren Einzelbeiträgen der Veranstaltung im Hinblick auf empirische, theoretische und methodologische Forschungsdesiderate.

Presentation. In a first part, this contribution offers a research overview of foci and lines of development in current applications of the economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) in education. The innovative potential of these approaches is due in part to their diversity: convention theory research on educational policy and practice has occurred in a variety of disciplines, including sociology, education, science studies, political science, and social work. Empirical studies to date have focused on institutions such as schools, vocational training, higher education, or adult education; on issues such as the transition from school to work; on curricula or professional practices; on challenges such as inequality or digitalization; or on phenomena such as governance and reforms in education. Three complementary and variously intertwined foci of convention-theoretical work in education can be identified. The first perspective focuses on conventions as justificatory orders and principles of justice and, on this basis, analyzes how educational inequalities are produced and justified and how injustice is thematized and criticized. The second approach focuses on conventions as grammars of action and forms of coordination in order to examine how actors ensure coordination and cooperation in uncertain and tense situations of everyday pedagogical life, for instance by questioning and realigning practices and routines. The third perspective emphasizes the character of conventions as value systems and quality principles (also as the basis of social classifications). It helps to understand how quality emerges and becomes effective through processes and practices of (e-)valorization, for example, when students are selected, evaluated, or positioned for later careers. The paper also includes, in a second part, a commentary on the four other individual papers in the course in terms of empirical, theoretical, and methodological research desiderata.

Lien / Link

Analyzing Realities Trough Conventions – The use of Pragmatic sociology for Understanding Education in the Nordics

Paper session, 11 August 2022, University of Iceland, Room Lögberg – 205
Chair: Christian Imdorf, Leibniz University Hannover
30th Nordic Sociological Association Conference 2022
10-12 August 2022, Reykjavik, Island

Education policy is considered an important instrument for equal opportunities and social mobility as well as a prerequisite for high productivity and high employment. Hence, it is a significant instrument of social policy to implement some of the core elements of the Nordic welfare model. Rather than to contrast myths and realities of this model, this session proposes to distinguish conflicting justification orders, notions of justice and moralities in education which require compromises in order to consolidate reality claims of plural educational worlds. The emergence of New French Pragmatism and the sociology of conventions offer promising analytical tools to analyze the different aims and facets of post-secondary education at the intersection of the educational system and the labor market. Beyond orders of justification, conventions in education also refer to value orders and plural notions of educational quality, as well as to logics of action for the analysis of governance, transformations and reforms of educational institutions and organizations. The application of convention theory in education thereby represents an alternative to structuralist traditions which tend to focus on rules that act outside of individuals (Durkheim) or the role of incorporated class-dispositions (Bourdieu), as well as rational choice theory, which advocates a more individualist and utility-maximizing model of actors and society (Boudon). Rather, the new pragmatic approach emphasizes the agency of individuals (e.g. students, teachers, headmasters) when coordinating their social actions in the context of situational cultural orders. While convention theory has been applied in France since the late 1980, and for some time in the German-speaking countries, it has only more recently received serious scholarly attention in the Nordics. This session brings together ongoing research on post-secondary education (folk high schools, higher vocational education, municipal adult education), which serves societal aims at the crossroads of the different priorities of the welfare state, civil society, and the demands for labor market. Paper 1 looks at the plural worth of education, justificatory regimes and forms of student engagement in Arts Education programs at Swedish Folk High Schools (Fürst & Nylander), a type of school which has a long-standing and strong association with Nordic culture and civil society. Paper 2 analyses different justificatory logics of skilling in the plural worlds of higher vocational education, a more recent educational institution in Sweden which is supposed to serve local labor market demands (Ye & Nylander). Paper 3 investigates how tendering-based procurement as a management tool shapes the very nature and value of Swedish municipal adult education between welfare service and market good (Holmqvist). Paper 4 presents a book-project which will show how pragmatism as a theoretical analytical viewpoint can contribute to new takes on both the micro level and macro level processes in the Norwegian educational setting (Haugseth & Smeplass). The session ends with some concluding remarks against the background of previous European research on education and conventions by the session chair (Imdorf). In sum, this session offers an in-depth introduction to the usefulness of pragmatic sociology for analyzing the plural realities of post-compulsory education in the Nordics through a variation of different cases and examples.

  • Henrik Fürst, Uppsala University & Erik Nylander, Linköping University: Variety of Values in Arts Education: Engaging in Music, Creative Writing, and the Visual Arts at the
    Folk High School
  • Erik Nylander, Linköping University & Rebecca Ye, Stockholm University: Justificatory logics of skilling: the plural worlds of higher vocational education participation
  • Diana Holmqvist, Linköping University: Between welfare service and market good – how tendering-based procurement as management tool shapes the value of Swedish municipal adult education
  • Jan Frode Haugseth, Eli Smeplass, Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Social Pragmatism in Education – New Directions in Educational Research and Practice

Lien / Link

Production, Retailing and Consumption of Food. Commodity Chains before and after Covid-19

Conference 16./17.06.2022, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Organizers: Elmar Kulke, Linda Hering and Jakob Engel (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany), Nina Baur and Lara Espeter (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)

Aims of the Conference

During the last decades, global economic interactions have been strongly influenced by the development of global commodity chains (GCC) which are linking different steps of production, transportation/logistics, retailing and consumption at different places all over the world. In the beginning, only manufacturing industries were organized on a global level. Today more and more fresh food, vegetables or flowers are coming from new-established export-oriented farming in countries of the Global South. All in all, in a globalizing world, how these global commodity chains are organized and develop is of great importance for the functioning of the economy and society. This is especially true for agricultural production in general and the production of fresh produce in particular which are especially sensitive sectors both for producers and consumers: While agriculture is only a minor economic sector in highly industrialized countries, in the Global South, agricultural production remains an important sector. Agriculture thus remains an important source of the livelihoods for large parts of the world population. Regional-, supra-regional and export-linkages open farmer reliable incomes and enable them to invest in improving the production; but they also have to obey social and ecological standards defined by retailing and consumption. However, the system also makes farmers vulnerable, if they face sudden changes through competition with new developing production clusters or external shocks like Corona. For highbrow consumers in the Global North, fresh produce such as flowers or exotic fresh fruit served out of season have been a source of distinction for a long time. More importantly, for not-so-well-off consumers, food is especially sensitive because eating is not only a necessity but in many parts of the world, poverty is still linked to lack of food. Even in Europe, the experience and fear of starvation is deeply engrained in cultural memory, as for long periods of European history, everyday lives were characterized by lack of food and famines. Before the Corona crisis, this seemed a thing of the past: Modern-day consumers experienced food and other fresh produce as a commodity like any other to be bought securely on a regular basis all over the year in the local stores without having to worry about their origins and availability. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought this seeming security to an immediate end: The sudden and ongoing lock-downs and restrictions of transport have shown how fragile and vulnerable global commodity chains in general and commodity chains of fresh agricultural products in particular are. Understanding how commodity chains, logistics, transport and communication for agricultural fresh products are organized and have been re-organized during the last decades, as well as comprehending the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on commodity chains thus is of utmost importance. Such analyses of should not only be based on theoretical considerations but also on empirical evidence and more detailed analyses. The conference will provide this empirical evidence. The main objective of the conference is to analyze how production, retailing and consumption of food interlock as well as how external shocks induce the (re-)organization of the commodity chains for agricultural fresh-products. We will particularly analyze the Covid-19 -down-induced) and the long-term (induced by attempts to establish of reliable and robust chains) positive and negative effects both on 2 the organization of commodity chains and the individual actors of the chain. We will inspect how the spatial distribution of commodity chains interacts with actors on the actor levels by combining the economic geography approaches of global value chains (GVC) and global production networks (GPN) with the economic sociological approaches of convention theory and world systems analysis. The Papers address one of the following questions:

  1. How were commodity chains organized and spatially structured before the Covid-19 crisis and what challenges did they face during the crisis?
  2. What are the driving forces of these changes? That is: Who are powerful actors in the chain(consumers, retailers, intermediaries, agricultural producers, policy-makers) and where are they located? Who acted when, why and with what effects as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis?
  3. What short-term effects (during the crisis) and long-term effects (after the crisis) does this have on the spatial organization of the chain and on the actors of the chain? What effect does the organization?

Please register until 10.06.22. Contact:

Umkämpfte Klassifikationen. Kultursoziologische Perspektiven auf Bewertungskonflikte

Contested Classifications. Cultural Sociological Perspectives on Evaluation Conflicts

Call for Papers

Sektionsveranstaltung der Sektion Kultursoziologie auf dem 41. DGS-Kongress 2022 in Bielefeld. Organisatorinnen und Organisatoren: Oliver Berli (Köln), Uta Karstein (Leipzig), Hilmar Schäfer (Berlin).

Section event of the Cultural Sociology Section at the 41st DGS Congress 2022 in Bielefeld. Organizers: Oliver Berli (Cologne), Uta Karstein (Leipzig), Hilmar Schäfer (Berlin).

Deadline: 28 February 2022.