Archives de catégorie : Séminaires & conférences / Seminars & workshops

Economics of convention als ein neopragmatischer Institutionalismus

Diaz-Bone, Rainer (2020)

Lecture to be given 22 April 2020 at Research Institute of Sociology, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Economics of convention as a neopragmatist institutionalism

“In his lecture ‘Economics of Convention as a neopragmatist Institutionalism’, this institutionalism is first introduced and its methodology and contributions to economic sociology are outlined. The focus is on conventions as logics for economic coordination and valorization, and a pragmatic concept of ‘quality’. The basic position of the ‘Economics of convention’ is the radical coexistence of many quality conventions in the economy, resulting in a plurality of economic coordination logics.”

Location/time: Research Institute of Sociology, University of St. Gallen, Müller-Friedbergstrasse 8, St. Gallen, Room 01-113, 14:00-16:00.

Two EC related lectures in the “Social Research Colloquium”

“Kolloquium Sozialforschung” at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland (Autumn 2019)

Guy Schwegler (University of Lucerne)

During the autumn semester 2019, the bi-weekly colloquium at the University of Lucerne took place, which was organized by Rainer Diaz-Bone and Kenneth Horvath. The format features speakers from both academia as well as private and public research institutions to deal with the methodological challenges of social science in a broad way. The various presentations given this past autumn dealt with subjects such as bibliometric reviews (Isabel Steinhardt, University of Kassel), large data sets and maps (Timo Ohnmacht, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts), or the question of representativeness in surveys (Stephanie Steinmetz, University of Lausanne). Furthermore, two researchers were also part of this semester’s program that relied heavily on convention theory (EC). For the very first presentation of the colloquium, Valeska Cappel (University of Lucerne) presented her PHD project’s perspective on the think-aloud-method. And for the very last one of the semester, Simon Schrör (Weizenbaum Institute Berlin) focused on the furniture industry. For his newly started PHD, he examines the role of conventions in the digital transformation of this industry.

These two latter presentations and their subsequent discussions will be summarized in this blog post.

Valeska Cappel:
“Die Think-Aloud-Methode: lautes Denken zur Erfassung impliziter kognitiver Wissensvorgänge” [Using the Think-Aloud Method to Grasp Implicit Cognitive Knowledge-Processes]

Valeska Cappel

In her PHD project, Valeska Cappel focuses on the digital classifications of health within software applications on smartphones (i.e. apps). She has been presenting her project in numerous forums already (see here for some reports on her presentation on this very blog). For her most recent presentation on the subject, she focused on a very specific part of her empirical work, namely the possible application of the think-aloud-method.

As Cappel put it, her project has three aims when it comes to health classifications in apps. First, there is a (more historical and general) side to the establishment of these digital classifications that she looks into. Here, she hopes to identify the equivalences and form-investments present. Second, she also will look at tensions, conflicts and non-intended consequences that result from the implementations of the classifications within and through the helath apps. Third, Cappel wants to examine closely the actual handling of the apps within specific situations, where users interact with the objects, the software and therefore the classifications. Although her three goals co-constitute each other and are somehow inseparable, she approaches each part with a different methodological emphasis. For her third aim—the handling of the apps within situations—Cappel sees the think-aloud-method fit to capture data about the cognitive processes the users bring forward in interaction with the apps.

After these introductory remarks, Cappel went on to introduce the method and different approaches to it. These approaches of the think-aloud-technique range from an “introspective” and immediate verbalization of the participants during process over to “retro-“ or post-process verbalizations, that can happen either just after a respective action or in a delayed manner. For Cappel, all of these approaches to the method promise ways to approach the peculiarities of people dealing with classifications in situations. The more immediate verbalizations, for example, seem to relate better to the ideas present in the regimes of engagement concept while the delayed approach seems more fit for justifications. The main challenge of the method, however, lies in the fact that its basic assumption lead to a psychological explanation of the underlying processes all too fast. A path to use the method in the context of EC concepts, in relation to the ideas of technologies of the self by Foucault, or with the symbolic interactionism in mind, as Cappel intends to, does not present itself easily.

The challenge was also at the heart of the discussion that followed the presentation. Here, however, participants stressed that a similar tension as in the method also lies in Cappel’s very subject, i.e. the knowledge category “health”. The idea of “cognition” with and through the category as a psychological process is connected to the sociological issue of the “handling” of the category. Various approaches to this tension then were discussed. One proposed solution was the idea to re-focus the method on the situation as only accessed by the talking participant (instead of focusing on the thinking participant). Another proposal was to apply the method in sessions with couples (and therefore two participants) or to create some sort of “crisis” experiments, and not just observe daily routines.

Simon Schrör:
“Digital-basierte Konventionen und Designmöbel. Transformation einer Industrie” [Digital based conventions and Design Furniture. Transformations of an Industry]

Simon Schrör

Simon Schrör only recently started with his PhD project that focuses on the digital transformation of the furniture industry and its related implications for modes of productions, justifications, and the likes. In Lucerne, he began his presentation with a little introduction of the Weizenbaum Institute, a joint venture project of Berlin’s universities that focuses on the digital transformation of the society, where Schrör is engaged as researcher. As part of one of the twenty research groups of the interdisciplinary institution, he especially focuses on the new governance forms and norms that result from digitalization.

After this introduction of the institute and its focus, Schrör went on to present design furniture and the changes that present themselves with the digitalization of this field. For him, the furniture objects resemble an interesting case for the digital changes. Consequences in legal, technical, as well as social norms and regulation here find their way into a specific and material object—the ways to coordinate in the digital realm are present in the furniture. Taking a step back further, Schrör then went on to present the wider societal change since 70ties as described by Andreas Reckwitz with the term late-modernity (“Spätmoderne”, see Reckwitz 2017/2020) again as mirrored in the design furniture field. Here, the former idea of design as a process inherent to mass production has been flipped on its head and the changes resulted in a questionable new role of the once standardized furniture. Now, design furniture are presented as luxury objects and a form of singularity. At the same time, however, they are being copied and cheaply manufactured by a mass market with instant and global availability.

To grasp these changes in a more systematic way, Schrör presented the concepts of the four commodity structures respectively forms of valorization that Boltanski and Esquerre introduced in Enrichment (“les formes de mise en valeur”, 2017/2020). With these four characteristics alongside the quality conventions, he went on to describe the differentiated practices to produce furniture present in the industry today. According to Schrör, furniture producers can be grouped with regard to three licensing regimes, each with respective (but non-exclusive) characteristics of goods and valorization. First, a license-based furniture production focuses on luxurious “design” furniture. Here, especially the collection form (“forme collection”) is present while a justification follows the convention of inspiration. Although emblematic of the current societal situation (singularities, enrichment), the licensed-based regime is especially challenged by processes of digitalization—and by the second type of furniture manufacturers. In this second regime type, companies have become specialized in an unlicensed production of the former regime’s products, e.g. “copying” the design products. Here, the digitalization enabled the companies to access the global distribution chains of Amazon and the likes that guarantee a certain amount of safety due to globalization (and lack of regulation). And, of course, this resulted into more and more difficulties for the license-based companies to track down their “copy-cat” counterparts. The companies under the unlicensed regime operate with the standard as well as the trend form (“forme standard/tendance”) for their goods, and justify their actions with the grammar of the civic regime. The second regime type seems to be profiting from the changes made possible through digitalization in an unapologetic manner. The third way of producing furniture, on the other hand, resemble a genuine “post-digital solution”. This regime is based on the Open Source idea, where licenses are available publicly on various online channels. These licenses then are forwarded to local producers (again, via specific channels or “platforms”). Here again the standard form becomes present, with promises to an asset form (“forme actif”), while a domestic justification organizes the production.

For Schrör, the approach of value setting in Enrichment as well as the EC in general enables the researcher to look at processes like the ones happening in digitalization from a more structural viewpoint while at the same time never losing sight of actual practices—and their possible contradictory effects (see also Boltanski and Esquerre 2017:495ff). As a first empirical idea, Schrör presented a possible chain of production that he’d like to follow and where the respective conventions should be identified. According to Schrör, an artefact analysis becomes central in following this chain of production.

During the discussion that followed his presentation, the participants of this last colloquium of the semester talked about three distinctive issues. First, the idea of following the design furniture as artefacts was discussed. Schrör presented the fabrication process in an ideal type model. Participants then pointed out that the situations of “production”—and their respective qualities and justification—shouldn’t be pre-fixed, but rather emerge in empirical work. What the actual “furniture” as an artefact is then should be questioned within various situations. The second subject discussed was the issue of digitalization. In a similar manner as with the first issue of the production process and its “artefacts,” participants pointed out that digitalization as a process also need to be specified empirically: in what function and form does the digital manifest itself, and what are the problems actors try to solve with these novelties? As a third discussion point, some weaknesses of convention theory were addressed. On the one hand, the commodity structures introduced by Boltanski and Esquerre seems to be focusing primarily on actual goods and their consumptions. Non-productive industries, the service sector and their respective “goods,” however, are not yet easily placed within the framework. On the other hand, it was pointed out, that the exact identification of a certain convention or justification in a systematic way has never been laid out—and remains a challenge both in Schrör’s project as well as in EC research in general.


Boltanski, Luc and Arnaud Esquerre (2017) Enrichissement. Une critique de la marchandise. Paris: Gallimard.
Boltanski, Luc and Arnaud Esquerre (2020, forthcoming) Enrichment. A Critique of Commodities. Cambridge, UK; Medford, MA: Polity.
Reckwitz, Andreas (2017) Die Gesellschaft Der Singularitäten: Zum Strukturwandel Der Moderne. Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Reckwitz, Andreas (2020, forthcoming) Society of Singularities. Cambridge, UK; Medford, MA: Polity.

Sociology of engagements: pragmatic regimes and governing tyrannies.

Laurent Thévenot (2018)

Lecture given at the Summer School in European Education Studies (University of Naples Federico II, 3 July 2018) now online as YOUTUBE videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7:

Valeur, prix et politique

Séminaire de l’IDHES ENS-Paris-Saclay, 2019-2020

Organisé par Christian Bessy,

Présentation du séminaire (année précédente)

Le séminaire donne lieu à des présentations de chercheurs du laboratoire IDHES et d’invités extérieurs. Il est ouvert aux doctorants et aux étudiants de master.

Horaire et lieu : Jeudi 14h30-16h30, à l’IDHES Ens-Paris-Saclay, à Cachan (61 avenue du Président Wilson), Bâtiment Laplace, 2ème étage, Salle Pollak. Dans nos nouveaux locaux après le déménagement à Saclay au printemps.

Programme 2019-2020

Jeudi 10 octobre

Intervention de Jean-Christophe Scilien sur « Les fermetures d’usines ».

Jeudi 14 novembre

Intervention de Guillemette de Larquier sur « Les conventions d’évaluation des salariés à l’embauche ».

Jeudi 12 décembre

Intervention de Michel Margairaz sur « Le prix du travail dans une perspective historique »

Jeudi 16 janvier

Intervention de Noé Wagener sur « Les revendications en matière de patrimoine »

Jeudi 27 février

Intervention de Laurent Dalmas sur « La valeur du paysage »

Jeudi 19 mars

Intervention de Raphaël Porcherot sur « La valeur de la monnaie entre travail et confiance »

Jeudi 23 avril

Intervention de Guillaume Dupéret sur « La manipulation du LIBOR, une convention entre acteurs financiers »

Jeudi 14 mai

Intervention de Sarah Kolopp sur « L’origine des conflits d’intérêts »

“Journées en l’honneur de Robert Salais” 19-20 Septembre 2019 (Cachan/Paris)

Organisé par Christian Bessy et Claude Didry

Programme provisoire

Mise à jour du programme : 

Jeudi 19 Septembre (Après-midi)

13 h 30 : Accueil
14 h 00 : Introduction Générale
(Pierre-Paul Zalio, Michel Margairaz, Alain Trognon, Rainer Diaz-Bone)

15 h 40 : Pause

16 h 00 : Travail, Emploi et Chômage
(Bénédicte Reynaud, Hiromasa Suzuki, Alessandro Stanziani, Noel Whiteside)

17 h 40 : Pause
18 h 00 : Cocktail – Concert

Vendredi 20 Septembre

09 h 00 : Les Mondes de Production
(Frédéric Marty, Juergen Kaedtler, Pascal Petit, Michael Storper)

10 h 40 : Pause

11 h 00 : Rencontres
(Simon Deakin ?, Elisabeth Chatel, Jacques Léger, Joachim Nettelbeck, Jakob Vogel)

12 h 40 – 14 h 00: Lunch (buffet)

14 h 00 : Europe et Capacités
(Joëlle Affichard, Jean-Michel Bonvin, Bénédicte Zimmermann, Jean De Munck)

15 h 40 : Pause

16 h 00 : Quantification et Démocratie
(Florence Jany-Catrice, Ota De Leonardis, Martine Mespoulet, Laurent Thévenot)

18 h 00 : Conclusion Table-ronde
(Valérie Boussard, Olivier Favereau, Philippe Minard)

19 h 00 : Apéritif

Contact :

Pour s’y rendre : ENS Paris-Saclay, 61 Avenue du Président Wilson, 94235 Cachan.

Salle Condorcet, Bâtiment d’Alembert, 2è étage

10th Sociology of Conventions Workshop “Conventions@Work”

Katharina Zangerle (University of Innsbruck) & Bianca Schönherr (University of Innsbruck)

University of Innsbruck, Austria 26-27 April 2019.

In the evening of 25 April, a proper dinner constitutes the unofficial start – as it is occasionally the case with fruitful encounters – of the workshop. For the second time, the EC family gathers in Innsbruck, after prior workshops in Basel, Vienna, Lucerne, Hamburg and Reutlingen.

The next day, the host and an expert of this year’s workshop topic, Julia Brandl (University of Innsbruck), introduced into “Conventions@Work”, and warmly welcomed all Economie des conventions (EC) long-time representants, veteran performers and newcomers as well as the keynote speaker Emmanuelle Marchal (Sciences Po, Paris), well known for her intense sociological engagement with labor markets and recruitment practices. Besides her, Guillemette de Larquier (University of Lille) allowed to learn first-hand from central representatives of EC about current developments in labor market research. This year’s general focus indeed was – as the title indicates – on labor markets and personal policy work, for example understanding sources of inequalities in the labor markets by looking at recruiting practices. Also, our dear sponsor French Focus (of the University of Innsbruck) got a word in this opening session. Useful side note for researcher in financial need with a link to France: the French Focus financially supports academic exchange between academics from France and Innsbruck

Variety in regard to disciplines (e.g., Sociologist, Economists, Historians), origin (e.g., France, Switzerland, Germany and Austria), empirical interests (e.g., from migration, health, the digital, social policy, science, farming, to intellectual property regulations and information security…), but connected through the common theoretical perspective, characterized the audience composed of about 35 scientists. Besides, it was the workshops format, which allowed the presenters adequate time (45 minutes) to make clear their arguments and respond to the assigned discussants’ and audiences’ responses of different sorts, that triggered the discussion. The following overview serves to communicate current developments in the community, but makes no account to be complete. If some of the following issues awake your interest and if you want to learn more about it, consider to personally contact the authors (they are all quite friendly). This opportunity should also serve to honor Qamar Ali’s organizational efforts behind the event!


On the first morning, discussions were based on four presentations:

  • In the first session, Bernadette Bullinger (IE Business School Madrid) presented her work about mediating employment opportunities for migrants. Together with her co-authors Anna Schneider and Jean-Pascal Gond she thereby encounters the phenomenon of “Placing the Displaced”.
  • Eva Nadai (FHNW Olten, Switzerland) talked in the second session about the encounter of “High Tech, Low Skills” by investigating quality conventions for unskilled workers in an upskilled economy.
  • After the first coffee break, Esther Berner (Helmut-Schmidt-University / University of Federal Armed Forces Hamburg) centers in her work “Between Violence and Love, the Public and the Intimate. The “Citizen in Uniform” in the Perspective of the Sociology of Engagement” from a historical perspective the changing role of military officer.
  • Katharina Zangerle (University of Innsbruck) applies together with the co-authors Konstantin Hondros and Sigrid Quack, the EC to prominent court trials where actors litigate Intellectual Property claims in the music and pharmaceutical industry.

Julia Brandl

  • After lunch in the canteen of the University of Innsbruck, Rainer Diaz-Bone (University of Lucerne), Kenneth Horvath (University of Lucerne), Lisa Knoll (University of Hamburg), Guillemette de Larquier (University ofLille) and Julia Brandl (University of Innsbruck), long standing representants of EC, discussed on the panel “Big Data, Methods, Value Chains – Conventionalists’ Perspectives on Research Practices”.

Guillemette de Larquier, Kenneth Horvath, Lisa Knoll, Rainer Diaz-Bone, Julia Brandl

  • Finally, Emmanuelle Marchal (Sciences Po, Paris) gave her keynote about “Hiring Practices as (De)valorization”. Based on the sociology of markets, she critically encounters recruiting processes and practically asks for example: How can we know what skills are necessary for a job and how to evaluate those skills? What does a recruiter do, when she reads a CV? What game is played at personal meetings between recruiter and job applicant? BTW: The keynote referred to her book Les Embarras des Recruteurs. Enquête sur le Marché du Travail (English: The Recruiters’ Embarrassment. A Labour Market Survey/Deutsch: Die Verlegenheit der Personalvermittler. Eine Arbeitsmarktuntersuchung, Paris, EHESS, 2015, ISBN: 9782713224911).

Emmanuelle Marchal

  • Even though “work” was central in every sense, conventionalists also know when it’s time to celebrate. At the end of the day Christian Imdorf (University of Hannover) and Regula Leemann (FHNW Basel-Muttenz) announced the publication of their upcoming book together with Gonon Philipp on “Bildung und Konventionen” (English: “Education and conventions”) available at Springer Verlag: in the new book series “Soziologie der Konventionen” ( Therefore champagne was cheerfully raised, accentuated by honoring words from Rainer Diaz-Bone. Congratulation again!

After an intensive first day, the group enjoyed a dinner in Innsbruck’s old town.


  • The second day began with the presentation of Lisa Knoll (University of Hamburg), where she introduced her current paper with Eve Chiapello on “The Welfare Conventions Approach” illustrated by social impact bonds.
  • Markus Schermer from the University of Innsbruck engages, against the backdrop of changing roles of and expectations towards farming, with conventions in agriculture and food production, thereby showing how farmers (re)organize and qualify their work.
  • Karolin Kappler and Uwe Vormbusch (both from FernUniversität Hagen) presented Orders of Justification in the Field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and framed them as ‘Spaces of Negotiation’ in the Making.
  • Dominik Zellhofer from the Vienna University of Economic and Business presented an excerpt of a dissertation project on information security policies in organizations and focused on building a framework based on the sociology of conventions.


  • After a light lunch, a session and discussion on “Methods and Research Question Spaces” followed with input from Kenneth Horvath (University of Lucerne) and Regula Leemann (FHNW) on “Reality Test” in EC-Its Theoretical AND Empirical Dimensions.
  • Valeska Cappel (University of Lucerne), Karolin Kappler (FernUniversität Hagen) and Sarah Lenz (University of Basel) engage in the last session with an increasingly prominent topic: “EC in the Field of Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence (AI)”, by investigating how the complex, ambiguous and contradictory moral infrastructure of late modern societies is mirrored and eventually transformed by AI.


The event was shaped by the active participation of all its attendees. Hence, special thanks to the chairs – Dominik Zellhofer (Friday) and Bernadette Bullinger (Saturday) – as well as the discussants Guillemette de Larquier, Heike Jacobsen, Arjan Kozica and Qamar Ali, Rainer Diaz-Bone, Esther Berner, Nina Pohler and Christian Imdorf who contributed to their colleagues’ scientific development.

Closing words from Julia Brandl and an outlook constituted the formal end of the two-day workshop.

Short reminder: WU Vienna invites to the 11th SoC Meeting (preliminary dates 16-17 April 2020). The central topic will be “Capitalism without Spirit? Conventions in the Age of Digital Transformation”

The congress of the Swiss Sociological Association “The future of work”

The next congress of the Swiss Sociological Association will be 10-12 September 2019 in Neuchâtel. The main focus will be on “The future of work”. The calls for abstract for presentations are online.

See the general congress homepage.

See for all calls for abstracts

Two workshop are more closely related to convention theory :

“Valuation and exploitation of work”

“Der Wert der (ver)wissenschaftlich(t)en Arbeit – Perspektiven auf Wissens- und Wissen-schaftspraktiken im Wandel“

Applicants must send their abstracts to the designated email address for each workshop. They must include their name, affiliation, and contact information in the message. The maximum length for abstracts is 2000 characters (including spaces) and the deadline for submission is April 20, 2019. Any inquiries, including references cited in the call for abstracts, must be addressed directly to workshop organizers and workshop organizers are solely responsible for the review and selection of the submissions they receive.

Economics of convention as a complex pragmatist institutionalism

Seminar session given by Rainer Diaz-Bone at the University of Grenoble 12 February 9.30-11.30

Spécaliste de l’économie des conventions, et principal relais à l’international de cette école théorique, Rainer Diaz-Bone nous fera part des perspectives de cette approche théorique, en particulier sur la question des institutions et de la connaissance. Il présentera également certaines pistes sur la façon de mobiliser l’économie des conventions dans le domaine de l’économie territoriale

Lien vers le laboratoire Pacte

Appel à communication / Call for papers Session spéciale : Économie des conventions – 9ème Colloque international AFEP / IIPPE

30 ans séparent la publication du numéro spécial de la Revue Économique consacré à l’économie des conventions de la prochaine conférence de l’Association Française d’Économie Politique. Cette conférence est l’occasion de faire le point sur l’actualité du programme de recherche conventionnaliste. En particulier, le présent appel vise à rassembler prioritairement (mais non exclusivement) des travaux de jeunes chercheur.e.s qui travaillent leurs problématiques à l’aide des cadres de pensée de l’économie des conventions. Il s’agit ainsi d’envisager la manière par laquelle le programme de recherche des conventions peut ou doit évoluer.


30 years have elapsed since the publication of the special issue of the Revue Économique devoted to the economics of conventions. The next conference of the French Associaton of Politcal Economy is an opportunity to review the current status of the conventional research agenda. In particular, this call aims to bring together as a mater of priority (but not exclusively) the work of young researchers who work on their problems using the conceptual frameworks of the economics of conventions. This means considering how the convention research programme can or should evolve.


Merci d’adresser vos propositions de communication (titre et court abstract) à et

Economics of convention and Science and Technology Studies: Some notes on the annual meeting of the Gesellschaft für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung in Berlin

Karolin Kappler (FernUniversität Hagen)

On 15/16 November 2018, the annual meeting of the German Gesellschaft für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung e.V. (Association of Science and Technology Research – GWTF) took place at the TU Berlin.

During the two days, about 40-50 participants discussed research on the topic “Verhalten und Vorhersage. Die techno‐sozialen Zukünfte algorithmischer Bewertungssysteme” (Behavior and prediction. The techno-social futures of algorithmic valuation systems) organized in thematic blocks on smart cities, predictive policing, the fluidity of algorithmic valuation, behavioral prediction and control, ascriptive inequality in machine learning and theoretical perspectives.

In the block on theoretical perspectives, Karolin Eva Kappler from the FernUniversität in Hagen presented the Economy of Conventions as a theoretical approach to explore socio-technical assemblages. Underlining the concepts of investments in forms, the statistical chain and intermediaries, she illustrated her presentation with empirical examples from genetic diagnostics and genetically induced training plans for athletes.

Gesa Lindemann and Katharina Block discussed different social theories to tackle predictive systems. On this behalf, they insisted on the important difference between property and possession and criticized that most of theoretical approaches – among them the EC – ignore that aspect.

In the session on predictive policing, Selma Lamprecht from the Weizenbaum-Institut in Berlin presented different theoretical perspectives to look at “predictive policing for all”. Apart from the ANT and the analysis of discourses and dispositives, she discussed the EC in order to explore not only practices regarding the development and design of such technologies, but also the disposition of people and end-users to adopt such a system of predictive policing.

In many interesting discussions during the conference, the EC was clearly considered to be a rather unknown theoretical approach in the field of science and technology studies, but its analytical value in identifying the plurality and conflictivity of orders of worth and conventions was highlighted and referred to during the whole conference.

Further, the development and the design of technology “for the good of the people” was discussed as an emergent field of research in many disciplines, such as in informatics, engineering and science and technology studies. In this context, the EC could evolve towards a major theoretical reference in this interdisciplinary field of research.

Program (as pdf) 2018-programm-GWTF

Seminar “Kulturen der Ökonomie: Die Economie des conventions”

Seminar at University of Halle (Winter semester 2018-2019) offered by Audrey Terracher-Lipinski.

Die Économie des conventions (EC) bildet seit den frühen 1980er Jahren die Basis der neuen Sozialwissenschaften in Frankreich. Soziologie und Volkswirtschaftslehre orientieren sich an der von Luc Boltanski und Laurent Thévenot (Über die Rechtfertigung, 2007) angestoßenen soziologisch-pragmatischen Theorie, wodurch auch zu trans- und interdisziplinärer Forschung gerade im Bereich Arbeit, Wirtschaft, Organisation, Markt oder Geld zustande kommt. Im Seminar werden wir uns daher zunächst mit einleitenden Texten beschäftigen, um ein theoretisches Gerüst zu bilden und im Anschluss mit empirisch geprägten Texten die Kenntnisse vertiefen. Schließlich soll auch der Einzug der EC in die deutsche Forschungslandschaft beleuchtet werden und inwiefern sich diese Forschungsrichtung hier ebenfalls durchsetzt.

08.11.2018 Diaz-Bone, Thévenot: Die Soziologie der Konventionen. Die Theorie der Konventionen als ein zentraler Bestandteil der neuen französischen Sozialwissenschaften: Einleitung

22.11.2018 Garcia-Parpet: The Social Construction of a Perfect Market – The Strawberry Auction at Fontaines-en-Sologne

06.12.2018 Barthe et al.: Pragmatische Soziologie: Eine Anleitung & Schenk, Rössel: Identität und Qualität im Weinfeld

10.01.2019 Schneijderberg,Steinhardt: Accreditation of X Qualities Instead of Quality X: A Normative Analysis of Criteria of the German Higher Education Accreditation Regime

17.01.2019 Thévenot: From social coding to economics of convention: a thirty-year perspective on the analysis of qualification and quantification investments

31.01.2019 Didier: Globalization of Quantitative Policing: Between Management and Statactivism

Penser l’économie de demain et le futur de l’économie politique – Envisioning the Economy of the Future, and the Future of Political Economy

AFEP-IIPPE Conference, with participation by ADEK, AHE and EAEPE

Date and place : IEP and University of Lille (France), 3-5 July 2019

Following the Global Financial Crisis and a decade or more of uneven but sluggish economic performance, the signs are that both economic prospects and the prospects for mainstream economics remain bleak even if the latter has strengthened its hold over the discipline despite what are at most token changes to address its sorely exposed methodological, theoretical and  applied deficiencies. As a result, this Conference focuses upon how to pursue a better “economics”, a better economy and the relationship between the two. The goal will be to identify the driving forces of the economy of the future and what is changing in the way in which academic disciplines, and in particular the social sciences (sociology, history, geography, political science, law, management, development studies) and various heterodox and political economy traditions within economics, describe, formalise, analyse and conceptualise the economic sphere and its relationships with society more broadly. Thus, the conference will investigate links between the crises in economic theory and the economic and social crises being experienced across the world – links with an immediate economic content, such as finance, inequality and unemployment as well as some major issues to be taken into account envisioning the economy and society of the future, as with ecology and migration.

The Conference is jointly organised by AFEP (French Association for Political Economy/L’Association Française d’Économie Politique, celebrating its tenth anniversary) and IIPPE (the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy) with participation by ADEK (Association for the Development of Keynesian Studies), AHE (Association for Heterodox Economics) and EAEPE (European Association for Evolutionary Economics). Economists, other social scientists and activists wishing to attend should submit proposals falling within the scope of this general orientation, and/or the following, particular list of questions and topics, or other topics in Political Economy.

I. Envisioning the economics of today and of the future
a. Theories overtaken by the changes in capitalism?
b. The social sciences and the future of economics
c. The international organisation of political economy
II. Envisioning the economy of today and tomorrow: multidisciplinary perspectives
a. How do economists innovate to envision the future of capitalism?
b. Multidisciplinary approaches to contemporary market economies (capitalism as a socially embedded system)
III. From the field of possibilities to utopias
a. Searching for the good society: Alternative visions of the future – economic systems and utopia
b. Between market and utopia: Efficiency vs equality, competition vs cooperation?

Format of the proposals

Proposals (individual papers, complete panels, networks) can be submitted starting November 1, 2018. The Web site with Electronic Proposal Forms for submitting to this joint conference is here:


  • Deadline for proposals for individual papers: January 15, 2019
  • Deadlines for various types of panels: March 31, 2019
  • Notifications of accepted proposals will be sent to the authors by February 15, 2019
  • Registration for accepted proposals will be open on February 15, 2019
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L’appel à communication complet en Français

The integral Call for Papers in English

Valeur, prix et politique

Séminaire de l’IDHES ENS-Paris-Saclay, 2018-2019

Organisé par Christian Bessy,

Après une longue série de travaux sur la qualité des produits, l’Economie des conventions a entamé depuis quelques années une réflexion sur les formes de mise en valeur des choses ou encore le pouvoir de valorisation de certains acteurs à partir du développement d’un discours sur les choses. Il ne s’agit pas d’un simple raffinement théorique mais correspond aussi à une réflexion sur les changements politiques favorisant la marchandisation de certaines choses restées en dehors des échanges ou la montée des inégalités. On peut penser aux rémunérations versées aux superstars du football, aux grands patrons, aux traders ou, encore, aux cotes atteintes par des œuvres d’art dans les enchères publiques, témoignant pour le moins d’une forme de disproportion sinon de sentiments de forte injustice ou d’évaluation arbitraire (Steiner 2011).

La théorie économique a proposé des modèles pour expliquer ces « super prix » ou plus précisément le fait que les rémunérations et les probabilités de réussite augmentent plus que proportionnellement avec le talent et la compétence, en faisant référence à une ultra sensibilité de la demande sur un nombre limité d’individus (Rosen 1981) ou suivant une logique de « winner-take-all » ou d’avantages cumulatifs. Si ces modèles économiques ont profondément remis en cause le cœur traditionnel de la théorie économique des prix, la notion de « valeur » est le plus souvent réduite à celle de « prix ». Plus généralement, la théorie de la valeur sous-jacente à ces modèles considère la valeur des biens suivant leur utilité intrinsèque pour chacun et donc de façon préalable à l’échange (Orléan 2011). Seuls les travaux dans la lignée d’Akerlof et de Stiglitz ont montré le rôle des prix comme des « signaux de qualité », se substituant à leur fonction d’équilibrage de l’offre et de la demande

De son côté l’approche sociologique, à la suite en particulier des travaux de Simmel, met non seulement l’accent sur le fait que c’est de l’échange que les objets tirent leur valeur et non l’inverse, mais aussi, ne dissocie pas « valeur » et « prix ». Si la mesure monétaire a tendance à aplanir les différences de valeur, un prix très élevé provoquent l’effet contraire et rendent l’entité convoitée moins interchangeable et donc plus singulière. C’est dans ce sens que Lucien Karpik (2007), dans son ouvrage sur l’économie des singularités, explique la disproportion des prix au sommet de la hiérarchie des valeurs. Cette disproportion rappelle que toute volonté de classement et de hiérarchie ordonne en fait des entités incommensurables.

L’objet du séminaire n’est pas seulement de s’intéresser à l’économie de la disproportion des prix mais, plus généralement, de renouer avec les « théories de la valeur » en s’intéressant à la pluralité des modes d’évaluation des biens, aux mécanismes de la formation des prix sur divers marchés et aux différentes significations qu’ils ont pour leurs participants (Vatin 2009, Beckert et Aspers 2011). Comme l’avance O. Velthuis (2007), dans son ouvrage sur le marché de l’art contemporain, les prix ont suffisamment de consistance pour être considérés comme des symboles, et assez flexibles pour donner prise à différentes significations. Il met l’accent sur les processus de construction sociale de la valeur des objets d’art en référence aux conventions en œuvre dans les mondes de l’art. La méthodologie utilisée rejoint de ce point de vue l’approche de l’Economie des conventions sur la pluralité des modes de valorisation (Eymard-Duvernay 1989) ou des mondes de production (Salais et Storper 1993).

Mais, la particularité de cette approche est de travailler très explicitement ces « ordres de grandeur » suivant différentes philosophies politiques et façons de fonder le « bien commun » (Boltanski et Thévenot, 1991). Cette insistance sur la construction politique de la valeur est à relier avec les travaux anthropologiques d’A. Appadurai (1986) qui explore les conditions par lesquelles les objets économiques circulent dans différents « régimes de valeur » suivant l’espace et le temps. C’est ce qu’il désigne aussi comme des « politiques de la valeur » à la base de la création du lien entre échange et valeur. Ce type d’approche conduit à l’examen des carrières des personnes et des objets, suivant la variété des espaces de circulation et de valorisation qu’ils traversent, et à faire l’histoire des catégories de personnes et de choses, avec en particulier les enjeux autour de la définition des frontières. Un accent particulier sera mis sur le rôle des « intermédiaires de marché » dans la définition de ces catégories et plus généralement dans leur contribution à la définition des « conventions de valeur » sur différents types de marché (Bessy et Chauvin 2013). Il s’agit également de contribuer plus généralement à une anthropologie des façons essentielles dont les choses peuvent être structuralement différenciées et hiérarchisées en vue de l’obtention d’un échange profitable (Boltanski et Esquerre, 2017).

Le séminaire donne lieu à des présentations de chercheurs du laboratoire IDHES et d’invités extérieurs. Il est ouvert aux doctorants et aux étudiants de master.

Horaire et lieu : Jeudi 14h30-16h30, à l’IDHES Ens-Paris-Saclay, à Cachan (61 avenue du Président Wilson), Bâtiment Laplace, 2ème étage, Salle Pollak, à l’exception de la premier séance qui se déroulera le mercredi 19 septembre.

Site du séminaire :

Télécharger l’affiche : Seminaire-VPP-2018-2019


Mercredi 19 septembre 2018 : Intervention de Mathieu Cocq sur « Le tournant serviciel de l’industrie du jeu vidéo ».

Jeudi 18 octobre 2018 : Intervention de Clémentine Gozlan sur « La valeur de la science ».

Jeudi 22 novembre 2018 : Intervention d’Isaac Lambert sur « La valeur des brevets devant les tribunaux ».

Jeudi 13 décembre 2018 : Intervention de Guillemette de Larquier sur « Les conventions d’évaluation des salariés à l’embauche ».

Jeudi 24 janvier 2019 : Intervention d’Emmanuel Kessous sur « La matérialité des valeurs: une approche axiologique des labs dans le sud de la France ».

Jeudi 21 février 2019 : Intervention de Christian Bessy sur « L’appréciation et l’appropriation des activités créatives des salariés ».

Jeudi 14 mars 2019 : Intervention de Michela Barbot sur « La question du juste-prix en droit, perspective historique ».

Jeudi 18 avril 2019 : Intervention de Sarah Kolopp sur « La fabrique de la grandeur dans la haute fonction publique » ».

Jeudi 16 mai 2919 : Intervention de Delphine Naudier sur « Le travail d’évaluation des agents artistiques ».

Jeudi 20 juin 2019 : Intervention de Delphine Corteel et Volny Fages sur « Hacker les déchets, valoriser les gens »


  • Appadurai Arjun, 1986, ‘Introduction: Commodities and Politics of value. In The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, edited by Arjun Appadurai, 3-63. New-York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Beckert Jens, Aspers Patrick (ed), 2011, The Worth of Goods. Valuation & Pricing in the Economy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bessy C., Chauvin P.-M., 2013, ‘The power of market Intermediaries: From information to valuation process’, Valuation Studies, 1(1): 83-117.
  • Bessy C., Chateauraynaud F., 2014, Experts et faussaires, pour une sociologie de la perception, Editions Petra (1ère édition chez Métailié, 1995).
  • Boltanski L., Thévenot L., 1991, De la justification. Les économies de la grandeur. Paris, Gallimard.
  • Boltanski L., Esquerre A., 2017, Enrichissement, une critique de la marchandise, Paris, Gallimard.
  • Eymard-Duvernay F., 1989, « Conventions de qualité et formes de coordination », Revue Economique, Vol. 40, n°2, p. 329-361
  • Karpik Lucien, 2007, L’économie des singularités, Paris, Gallimard.
  • Kopytoff I., 1986), The cultural biography of things: Commodization as process. In The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, edited by Arjun Appadurai, 3-63. New-York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lahire B., 2015, Ceci n’est pas qu’un tableau. Essai sur l’art, la domination, la magie et le sacré, La découverte.
  • Lepetit B., 1994 « L’appropriation de l’espace urbain : la formation de la valeur dans la ville moderne (XVIe-XIXe siècles) », .
  • Orléan André, 2011, L’empire de la valeur. Refonder l’économie, Paris, Editions du Seuil.
  • Rinallo, Diego, and Francesca Golfetto. 2006. Representing markets: The shaping of fashion trends by French and Italian fabric companies. Industrial Marketing Management, 35 (7):856-869.
  • Rosen S., 1981, ‘The Economics of Superstars’, American Economic Review, vol. 71, n°5, p. 845-858.
  • Salais R. et Storper M., 1993, Les mondes de production : enquête sur l’identité économique de la France, Paris, Editions de l’EHESS
  • Steiner P., 2011, Les rémunérations obscènes. Le scandale des hauts revenus en France. Paris, Zones.
  • Vatin F., 2009, Evaluer et mesurer: une sociologie économique de la mesure. Toulouse, Presses Universitaires Mirail-Toulouse.
  • Velthuis Olav, 2007, Talking prices: symbolic meanings of prices in the market for contemporary art, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • Zelizer V., 2005, “Intimité et Economie”, Terrain, n°45, p. 13-28

Enjeux socio-écologiques des mutations du capitalisme contemporain: quels apports de l’économie des conventions?

Journées d’étude organisées par Guillemette de Larquier (Clersé, Université de Lille), Nicolas Postel (Clersé, Université de Lille), Richard Sobel (Clersé, Université de Lille), Philippe Batifoulier (CEPN, Paris 13), Nicolas Da Silva (CEPN, Paris 13) et Ariane Ghirardello (CEPN, Paris 13)

Jeudi 7 et vendredi 8 juin 2018
Université de Lille – Faculté des Sciences économiques et sociales – Salle des conférences

Alliant développements théoriques autour de l’élargissement des capacités cognitives et éthiques des acteurs économiques d’une part et méso-analyses des marchés et des organisations économiques des sociétés capitalistes d’autre part , le programme de recherche de l’économie des conventions a essaimé dans les autres courants hétérodoxes, au risque de perdre en visibilité. Pour autant, depuis quelques années, on sent poindre en différents lieux toute une série de travaux réaffirmant un renouveau de l’économie des conventions en tant qu’elle entend contribuer explicitement à l’analyse des mutations actuelles du capitalisme.

Le but de ces journées est double : (1) faire le point sur ce renouveau (avec un éclairage particulier sur le plan théorique et méthodologique), c’est-à-dire faire le point sur les nouveaux chantiers de l’école des conventions, notamment : la « grande déformation » de l’entreprise dans le capitalisme dominé par la finance, les nouvelles logiques de marchandisation du social et de la santé, la critique écologique du capitalisme, la critique des logiques managériales des Etats néolibéraux. (2) Examiner pour chacun de ces chantiers les liens qu’entretient l’analyse conventionnaliste avec les autres types d’analyses hétérodoxes, explorant ainsi les nouvelles alliances pouvant renforcer la constitution d’une vaste économie politique institutionnaliste française.


Jeudi 7 juin

9H30-10h30 : Accueil des participants et introduction des journées par les organisateurs : Guillemette de Larquier, Nicolas Postel, Richard Sobel (Clersé, Université de Lille) et Philippe Batifoulier, Nicolas Da Silva, Ariane Ghirardello (CEPN, Université de Paris 13)

10h30 – 12h30 : Premier atelier : Economie sociale et solidaire. (Présidence : Delphine Remillon (INED))
Sylvain Vatan (Triangle, Université Lumière Lyon-2) : « La marchandisation comme glissement de convention de valorisation »
Nathalie Magne (Université de Montpellier 3) : « Quand une entreprise classique devient une coopérative : quels processus de construction de la légitimité ? »
Philippe Semenowicz (Université Paris-Est Créteil) : « Les dilemmes de l’insertion par l’activité économique : à la recherche du meilleur compromis »
Daniel Urrutiaguer (Passages XX-XXI, Université Lumière Lyon 2) : « L’économie solidaire dans les mondes du théâtre »

14h00 – 16h30 : Troisième atelier : Capitalisme et valeurs
Leslie Carnoye (Ethics, FUPL) : « La critique écologiste du capitalisme, quelles perspectives pour une analyse conventionnaliste de l’environnement ? »
Gaël Plumecocq (INRA, AGIR) : « Théorie de la valeur et environnement : perspectives à partir de la socio-économie écologique ».
Christian Bessy (IDHES ENS-Cachan) : « EC et transformations du capitalisme »

17h00 – 19h00 : Table-ronde : Autour du Dictionnaire des conventions : Est-ce que la forme dictionnaire peut faire paradigme ou pas ? avec Olivier Favereau (Université Paris Nanterre) et Rainer Diaz-Bone (Université de Lucerne) auteur de l’ouvrage Die „Economie des conventions” (Présidence : Philippe Batifoulier (CEPN, Université de Paris 13))

Vendredi 8 juin

9h00-10h15 : Quatrième atelier : Droit et pratiques économiques. (Présidence : Rouslan Koumakhov (NEOMA Business School))
Camille Chaserant (CES, Université Paris I) et Sophie Harnay (BETA, Université de Lorraine) : « Déréglementation de la profession d’avocat et pluralité des logiques sur le marché des services juridiques : quelle place pour la déontologie professionnelle ? »
Franck Bessis (Triangle, Université Lumière Lyon-2) : « Ce que la théorisation ancrée fait aux conventions : retour sur la typologie des cabinets d’avocats »

10h45 -12h15 : Cinquième atelier : Etat social et conventions. (Présidence : Arnaud Le Marchand (Université du Havre))
Anaïs Henneguelle (IDHES ENS-Cachan) : « Comment comprendre le jugement pénal ? L’apport de l’économie des conventions »
Nicolas Da Silva (CEPN, Université de Paris 13) et Victor Duchesne (CEPN, Université de Paris 13) : « L’histoire conflictuelle de la sécurité sociale. Une approche en termes de conventions »

14h00-16h00 : Table-ronde : Quel avenir pour l’école des conventions ? avec Thomas Larche (Ladyss, Université de Paris7), André Orléan  (CNRS) et Nicolas Postel (Clersé, Université de Lille) (Présidence : Guillemette de Larquier (Clersé, Université de Lille) )

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