Re-politicizing financial regulation: a sociological analysis of the debate on loan-to-value regulation in Norway

Trond Løyning (2020)

Housing Studies, Online first

Abstract. While financial regulation became highly contested in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the specifics of such regulation is usually debated among professionals, in specialized fora. This article analyses an exception to this; the debate on the loan-to-value ratio regulation introduced in Norway in 2010. Newspaper articles are analysed, using Boltanski & Thévenot’s pragmatic perspective on how actors legitimize their arguments and critique. Unlike other critical approaches (i.e., critical discourse analysis) this perspective focuses on actors own critical capacity and it is argued that the approach is useful in analyzing re-politicizing efforts of social actors. The main finding is that most arguments opposing the regulation are based in the civic “regime of justification”, while arguments supporting the regulation are based in the industrial regime of justification. Few arguments enact the market regime as justification. The article discusses reasons why the regulation has not been repelled, despite the widespread criticism.

Link to the review

Media Ethics, Moral Controversies, and the Sociology of Critique

Thomas Hove (2020)

Communication Theory, Online first

Abstract. Communication scholars have begun to investigate various links between empirical research and normative theory. In that vein, this article explores how Boltanski and Thévenot’s sociology of critique can enhance our empirical and normative understanding of controversies in media ethics. The sociology of critique and its justification model provide a comprehensive descriptive framework for studying practices of moral evaluation and the social goods at stake in them. First, I discuss some prevailing approaches in media ethics. Second, I explicate how the sociology of critique defines situations of normative justification and supplies a model of their basic requirements. Third, I show how this model can be used to analyze the social background of a media ethics controversy. Last, I suggest how the descriptive approach of the sociology of critique can identify conditions in morally pluralistic social settings that pose challenges to normative theories.

Link to the review

« Ma mort, mon choix » ; analyse de postes pro-choix à la lumière de la théorie des cités de Boltanski et Thévenot

Camille Gambi (2020)

Mémoire de Master (Criminologie), Université catholique de Louvain

Promoteurs : Bertrand Renard & Jean-François Cauchie

Lien vers la thèse téléchargeable

Perspectives on Quality of Higher Education in the Context of Finnish Education Export

Henna Juusola (2020)

PhD thesis. Tampere: University of Tampere. Open access.

JURY
Responsible supervisor and Custos:
– Professor Dr. Jussi Kivistö, Tampere University Finland
Supervisors:
– Emeritus Professor Dr. Seppo Hölttä, Tampere University, Finland
– Dr. Terhi Nokkala, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Pre-examiners
– Professor Dr. Harri Laihonen, University of Eastern Finland
– Professor Dr. Anna Kosmützky, Leibniz Universität Germany
Opponent
– Professor Dr. Harri Laihonen University of Eastern Finland

Abstract. The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to describe quality-related initiatives, characteristics and principles that are produced and maintained in the context of Finnish higher education export at the national, institutional and programme levels using triangulation of data, method and theory. As such, this study contributes to the analytical and empirical understanding of the multifaceted concept of quality in the context of Finnish education export. In this study, education export denotes the international and for-profit actions that cross national borders either through the mobility of individuals and groups or through the mobility of programmes and other educational services. Previously conducted research shows that ‘quality’ in the context of education export has been subject to several expectations, principles and regulations that have exerted intense pressure on higher education institutions to consider the project locations and needs of students and customers without abandoning international comparability. Thus, involvement in education export actions can oblige higher education institutions to reflect on their traditions and processes from multiple perspectives and foster institutional aims to attain legitimation in various regimes. This research consists of four sub-studies and a summary that stress the different perspectives of quality in the context of Finnish higher education export at the national (macro), institutional (meso) and programme (micro) levels. The data used in this research included national policy documents, institutional audit reports, interviews (students and staff members), personal notes from participant observation and data from the online questionnaire (teachers). National policy documents were analysed and interpreted using Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis (sub-study I). Institutional audit reports (sub-study II) and interviews (substudy III) were explored using convention theory and qualitative content analysis. Data from the online questionnaire were analysed by qualitative content analysis and interpreted from the perspective of Mezirow’s transformative learning (sub-study IV). Personal notes recorded during the participant observation (sub-studies III and IV) were used to explain the context of the exported programme (sub-studies III and IV) and to refocus the research questions. This doctoral dissertation’s findings suggest that quality is formulated within the complex network of political, social, contextual, geographical and situational dimensions. At the national level, quality embodies the responsibility and resources that justify education export; Finnish education’s national reputation is a shared myth that sustains the widely held perception of Finnish education as superior. At the institutional level, education export is still a relatively new and fragmented action, which benefits from its international reputation but continues to seek a more strategic direction. The results also suggest that education export implementation is embedded in the temporal and local dimensions as well as in interaction among the students, teachers and representatives from the provider and receiver institutions. Therefore, higher education institutions are expected to consider quality from multiple perspectives and to justify quality of education for different stakeholder groups. Moreover, for education export providers, supporting teachers’ engagement in education export action is essential, as maintaining education quality throughout the process of knowledge creation requires trust-based interaction among providers and receivers.

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Vers un processus d’innovation managériale durable : une lecture par la traduction et les compromis

Fanny Fox (2020)

PhD thesis. Liege: Université de Liège. 28 aoüt 2020. Open access.

Promoteur :  Professeur François PICHAULT (Université de Liège)
Membres du jury :
          Professeur Christian DEFÉLIX (Université Grenoble Alpes)
          Professeur Édouard DELRUELLE (Université de Liège)
          Professeur Mathieu DETCHESSAHAR (Université de Nantes)
          Professeur Frédéric SCHOENAERS (Université de Liège)

Résumé. L’innovation managériale, au cœur des débats contemporains, demeure opaque à certains égards, notamment en raison des définitions attachées à dire ce qu’elle n’est pas. Ainsi, elle se distingue de l’innovation technologique, ne concerne pas le core business et s’éloigne des modes de gestion hiérarchique classiques. Notre recherche entend dépasser ces écueils pour se concentrer sur le processus d’innovation managériale et, partant, faciliter son déploiement. Trois articles explorent cinq études de cas, tantôt issues de recherches classiques, tantôt issues de recherches-interventions. Premièrement, la démarche de libération dans un organisme public est analysée à l’aune de la sociologie de la traduction. Ce projet, largement médiatisé, vise à réaménager les espaces et le temps de travail et à instiller une culture de responsabilisation. Les pierres d’achoppement, contradictions et acquis du changement sont mis en évidence, depuis sa conception jusqu’au suivi de sa mise en œuvre. Deuxièmement, les conséquences pour l’innovation managériale d’un revirement stratégique sont interrogées. D’une part, la responsabilisation et la transformation managériale au sein d’une industrie chocolatière sont délaissées. D’autre part, les ambitions d’innovation sociale pour une usine du futur sont abandonnées par une entreprise aéronautique. Plusieurs sources de vulnérabilité de l’innovation managériale, liées au processus de traduction et à l’asymétrie du rapport de forces, sont mises en lumière. Troisièmement, la mise en péril de l’innovation managériale par l’évolution du contexte est étudiée. D’un côté, une structure associative cherche à préserver son fonctionnement autogestionnaire. De l’autre, un fournisseur d’énergie souhaite maintenir sa culture atypique originelle. À l’aide de la théorie des conventions, l’examen du contenu des innovations managériales démontre la nécessaire construction d’un compromis dont le maintien devient un enjeu crucial. Ces résultats sont ensuite intégrés au sein d’une modélisation dynamique du processus d’innovation managériale susceptible d’en favoriser la durabilité. In fine, l’ensemble ouvre la voie à une réflexion sur la soutenabilité du processus d’innovation managériale et à des recommandations managériales.

Towards a sustainable managerial innovation process: a reading through translation and compromises

Abstract. Managerial innovation, at the heart of contemporary debates, remains opaque in certain respects, notably because of the definitions attached to saying what it is not. Thus, it differs from technological innovation, does not concern core business and is far removed from traditional hierarchical management methods. Our research aims to go beyond these pitfalls to focus on the process of managerial innovation and thus facilitate its deployment. Three articles explore five case studies, some of which are based on classic research, others on research-interventions. First, the process of liberation in a public organization is analyzed in the light of the sociology of translation. This project, which is widely publicized in the media, aims to redesign work spaces and time and to instil a culture of empowerment. The stumbling blocks, contradictions and achievements of change are highlighted, from its conception to the monitoring of its implementation. Secondly, the consequences for managerial innovation of a strategic turnaround are questioned. On the one hand, accountability and managerial transformation within a chocolate industry are neglected. On the other hand, social innovation ambitions for a factory of the future are abandoned by an aeronautics company. Several sources of vulnerability of managerial innovation, linked to the translation process and the asymmetry of the balance of power, are highlighted. Thirdly, the endangerment of managerial innovation by the evolution of the context is studied. On the one hand, an associative structure seeks to preserve its self-management functioning. On the other, an energy supplier wishes to maintain its original atypical culture. Using convention theory, the examination of the content of managerial innovations demonstrates the necessary construction of a compromise, the maintenance of which becomes a crucial issue. These results are then integrated into a dynamic modeling of the managerial innovation process likely to promote its sustainability. Ultimately, the whole process opens the way to a reflection on the sustainability of the managerial innovation process and to managerial recommendations.

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Social Justice in times of uncertainty

The Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association (SSA)

28-30 June 2021, Geneva/Switzerland.

“Social Justice in Times of Uncertainty takes as a starting point the health pandemic that erupted in 2020, which led societies across the world to cope with disruptions in the provisioning of goods and services, means of livelihood, and fundamental freedom – not least, that of movement. The crisis also revealed global and local inequalities, translated into who has the right to live or not, and raised new questions around (in)justice in the contemporary world. In light of the turmoil experienced, as a globalized society and within our communities, this conference emphasizes the relevance of social and environmental justice in the making of a fair society, asking the question: in times of uncertainty, what does it mean to live a good life in a just society? For the first time, the Conference of the Swiss Sociological Association will be hosted in Geneva, through a partnership between the University of Geneva and the Haute Ecole de Travail Social de Genève (HETS GE/HES-SO), and with the participation of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.”

Keynote speaker:

– Amita Baviskar (University and Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi/India)
– Ota de Leonardis  (University of Milano-Bicocca/Italy)
– Michèle Lamont (Harvard University/USA)
– Peter Wagner (University of Barcelona/Spain)

Deadline for submission: 02 November 2020

Link to the conference

Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien zur Bewältigung von Unsicherheiten und Krisen in der agro-industriellen Fleischproduktion

André Woelk & Christine Tamásy (2020)

In: Diekmann, Marie/Theuvsen, Ludwig/Weinrich, Ramona (eds.): Sustainability Transitions in der Lebensmittelproduktion. Alternative Proteinquellen in soziotechnischer Perspektive, pp. 53- 72. Open access.

Auszug. “Am Beispiel der Wertschöpfungsketten der konventionellen Schweine- und Geflügelfleischproduktion nimmt sich der vorliegende Beitrag dieser soeben skizzierten Mehrdimensionalität und Heterogenität von Nachhaltigkeit an. Mit einem konventionstheoretischen Ansatz nach Boltanski und Thevénot (2007) wurden hierzu in Landwirte, Futtermittelhersteller, die Fleischverarbeitung, Veterinäre und staatliche Einrichtungen hinsichtlich der akteurs- und somit stufenspezifischen Nachhaltigkeitslogiken und Strategien qualitativ untersucht. Das übergeordnete Interesse des theoretischen Zugangs lautet: Wie koordinieren und begründen Akteure ihr Handeln in Situationen der Unsicherheit? Es handelt sich dementsprechend um eine Frage, welche die Wertschöpfungsketten der agro-industriellen Fleischproduktion aktuell mehr denn je direkt betreffen, denn die Branche steckt in einer Krise, was zu erheblichen Unsicherheiten bei den Akteuren geführt hat. Der vorliegende Beitrage stellt diesbezüglich zwei Fragen in den Fokus: Erstens, welche Bedeutung haben alternative Proteinquellen auf Algen- und Insektenbasis in den jeweiligen „Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien“ und wie werden sie bewertet? Zweitens, wie ist die Veränderungsbereitschaft von Akteuren der Wertschöpfungskette zu beurteilen und welche Interessen und Logiken stehen sich gegenüber? Die zweite Frage wird in diesem Beitrag am Gebrauch von Antibiotika sowie am in der Kritik stehenden Geschäftsmodell des Veterinärwesens beispielhaft diskutiert. Werden die handlungsrahmenden Konventionen akteursspezifischer Praxis sichtbar, z.B. durch das Aufzeigen der Argumentationsstrukturen und somit der Rechtfertigungen von Akteuren, dann kann, so der Grundgedanke und praktische Hintergrund des Beitrags, im Sinne des Bottom- up Prinzips die Wertschöpfungskette dahingehend optimiert werden, dass zukünftige Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien jene Logiken aufgreifen und in den Planungen konkreter berücksichtigen. Dies verspricht, eine höhere Akzeptanz der beteiligten Akteure in der Umsetzung als es Programme tun, die ohne Berücksichtigung der Akteurslogiken, nach dem Topdown Prinzip gehandhabt bzw. oktroyiert werden. Insofern hat der Beitrag praktische Relevanz, die über die engere Forschungsleistung hinausgeht. Der folgende Abschnitt 2 geht zu Beginn auf die Anforderungen der übergeordneten Fragestellung ein und begründet die Wahl des konventionstheoretischen Ansatzes nach Luc Boltanski & Laurent Thévenot (2007). Anschließend wird ein Einblick in die Modellgenese, sowie ein Abriss der Modellparameter gegeben. Den Schluss bilden weitere, aus dem Modell heraus entwickelte Fragestellungen die in der Empirie an die beiden Wertschöpfungsketten herangetragen wurden.” (p. 53-54)

Sustainability strategies for coping with uncertainties and crises in agro-industrial meat production

Extract. “Using the example of the value chains of conventional pork and poultry meat production, this article deals with the multi-dimensionality and heterogeneity of sustainability just outlined. Using a conventional theoretical approach according to Boltanski and Thevénot (2007), a qualitative survey was conducted among farmers, feed producers, meat processing companies, veterinarians and governmental institutions with regard to actor and stage-specific sustainability logics and strategies. The overarching interest of the theoretical approach is: How do actors coordinate and justify their actions in situations of uncertainty? Accordingly, this is a question that currently affects the value chains of agro-industrial meat production more directly than ever before, because the sector is in crisis, which has led to considerable uncertainty among the actors. The present contribution focuses on two questions in this regard: First, what is the significance of alternative protein sources based on algae and insects in the respective « sustainability strategies » and how are they evaluated? Second, how is the willingness of actors in the value chain to change to be assessed and what are their interests and logics? The second question is discussed in this article using the use of antibiotics and the criticized business model of the veterinary sector as examples. If the framework conventions of actor-specific practice become visible, e.g. by showing the argumentation structures and thus the justifications of actors, then the basic idea and practical background of the contribution is that the value chain can be optimized in the sense of the bottom-up principle in such a way that future sustainability strategies take up these logics and take them into account in the plans in a more concrete way. This promises a higher acceptance of the actors involved in the implementation process than is the case with programs that are managed or imposed according to the top-down principle without considering the actor logics. In this respect, the contribution has practical relevance that goes beyond the narrower research performance. The following section 2 starts with the requirements of the overall research question and explains the choice of the conventional theoretical approach according to Luc Boltanski & Laurent Thévenot (2007). Subsequently, an insight into the genesis of the model and a summary of the model parameters are given. Finally, further questions developed from the model are presented, which were empirically applied to both value chains.” (p. 53-54)

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Les repères de la sélection à l’embauche et leur évaluation. Une exploration de l’enquête Ofer

Guillemette de Larquier & Emmanuelle Marchal (2020)

Document de travail n°202 du Centre d’étude de l’emploi et du travail

Résumé. L’enquête Offre d’emploi et recrutement, Ofer, (Dares, 2016) permet d’analyser les déclarations spontanées des recruteurs pour préciser ce qui détermine la sélection des candidats à l’emploi : de 1 à 3 critères sont cités avec une grande variété de formulations (N=18 788 occurrences). Une analyse de données met en évidence leur agencement d’après les niveaux de qualification. 3 registres de sélection, traduisant des attentes distinctes à l’égard de la main d’œuvre, sont identifiés : les capacités à « S’investir dans son travail » ; à « Evoluer dans l’entreprise » et à « Interagir avec autrui ». Selon la mobilisation séparée ou conjointe des registres, nous dégageons 4 classes de recrutement, décrites d’après les entreprises, les emplois et les profils de candidats recrutés. Enfin, nous mettons en évidence les méthodes de recrutement et de sélection associées à ces différentes classes. Les résultats soulignent l’importance des contextes de recrutement dans le choix des qualités valorisées par les recruteurs, et met à mal l’idée d’une transversalité des compétences nécessaire à l’occupation des emplois.

Introduction. « La description des profils de postes dans les annonces, les nomenclatures ou les référentiels de compétence, donne à voir la diversité des exigences requises par les employeurs pour occuper des emplois. Les analyses menées en termes de conventions de compétences ont mis en évidence leur rôle dans la sélection à l’emploi, leur mise en forme selon les méthodes et les moyens pour recruter, leur évolution et leurs variations suivant les pays, les caractéristiques des entreprises, des activités ou des contrats (Eymard-Duvernay et Marchal, 1997 ; Bessy et al., 2001 ; Larquier et Marchal, 2012 ; Rieucau, 2015 ; Larquier et Rieucau, 2019). Parmi ces paramètres, la prise en compte des emplois à pourvoir occupe une place importante. L’enquête Offre d’emploi et recrutement de la Dares (Ofer, voir encadré 1) nous donne l’occasion de creuser cet aspect en partant des formulations foisonnantes adoptées par les recruteurs (plus de 18 000 citations recueillies), pour décrire librement le ou les critères (trois au maximum) qui ont joué un rôle décisif dans la sélection des candidats. Leur lecture rapide montre qu’ils ne renvoient pas uniquement à des compétences professionnelles, telles qu’elles sont classiquement repérées dans les CV, à partir des cursus de formation ou l’expérience des candidats. Ces critères portent aussi bien sur le dynamisme ou la personnalité du candidat, sa disponibilité ou sa motivation, auxquelles peuvent s’ajouter toutes sortes de considérations d’ordre moral (honnêteté, respect), matériel (posséder une voiture) ou esthétique (bonne présentation). Plus difficiles à légitimer que les compétences professionnelles, ces critères n’en ont pas moins une valeur professionnelle dans la mesure où ils sont prisés par les recruteurs. En les rassemblant sous le terme de qualités professionnelles, nous entendons insister sur cette valeur, sans prendre parti sur le fait qu’il s’agisse ou non de compétences. Nous proposons ici d’éclairer la manière dont les recruteurs mobilisent et évaluent ces compétences et qualités, en partant des questions qui affleurent à la lecture de la littérature académique et des rapports institutionnels. » (p. 5)

From skills to professional qualities. Job selection markers and their evaluation

Abstract. The Offre d’emploi et recrutement (Ofer) Survey (Dares, 2016) analyses the spontaneous declarations of recruiters to specify what determines the selection of job candidates: from 1 to 3 criteria are cited with a wide variety of formulations (N=18,788 occurrences). Data analysis highlights their dispersion according to qualification levels. 3 selection registers, reflecting different expectations about the workforce, are identified: the abilities to Involve oneself in one’s work, to Evolve within the firm and to Interact with others. According to the separate or joint mobilization of the registers, we identify 4 recruitment classes, described according to the firms, jobs and profiles of recruited candidates. Finally, we highlight the recruitment and selection methods associated with these different classes. The results underline the importance of recruitment contexts in the choice of qualities valued by recruiters, and undermine the idea of the transversal nature of the skills required to occupy jobs.

Introduction. « Descriptions of job profiles in advertisements, classifications or competency repositories show the variety of requirements that employers require to fill jobs. Analyses carried out in terms of skills conventions have highlighted their role in job selection, their formatting according to the methods and means of recruitment, their evolution and variations according to country, the characteristics of companies, activities or contracts (Eymard-Duvernay and Marchal, 1997; Bessy et al., 2001; Larquier and Marchal, 2012; Rieucau, 2015; Larquier and Rieucau, 2019). Among these parameters, consideration of the jobs to be filled occupies an important place. The Dares Job Offer and Recruitment Survey (Ofer, see box 1) provides us with an opportunity to explore this aspect by taking as a starting point the abundant formulations adopted by recruiters (more than 18,000 citations collected), and freely describing the criterion or criteria (three at most) that played a decisive role in the selection of candidates. A quick reading of these citations shows that they do not refer solely to professional skills, as they are traditionally identified in CVs, based on the candidates’ training courses or experience. These criteria include the dynamism or personality of the candidate, his or her availability or motivation, to which can be added all sorts of considerations of a moral (honesty, respect), material (owning a car) or aesthetic (good presentation) nature. Although more difficult to legitimize than professional skills, these criteria are nonetheless of professional value insofar as they are prized by recruiters. By grouping them together under the term professional qualities, we intend to insist on this value, without taking sides on whether or not they are skills. We propose here to shed light on the way recruiters mobilize and evaluate these skills and qualities, starting with the questions that emerge from reading the academic literature and institutional reports. »

Lien vers le document de travail / Link to the working paper

Eine bessere Gesellschaft ausrechnen? Zum Umgang mit Werten in der Ökonomik

Sebastian Thieme (2020)

In: Lars Hochmann (ed.), Economics 4 future. Verantwortung übernehmen für eine bessere Welt. Murmann

Extract. “So stellt man fest, dass natürlich wissenschaftliche Konzepte existieren, die ganz allgemein Werte und Wertbezüge als Teil der wirtschaftlichen Praxis berücksichtigen. Ein prominentes Beispiel ist die Sozialökonomik im Sinne von Gertraude Mikl-Horke, wo ethische Momente selbstverständlicher Bestandteil einer ökonomischen Analyse sind. Als konkretes Beispiel für eine Sozialökonomik lässt sich die französische Konventionenökonomie (économie des conventions) anführen, die verschiedene wirtschaftliche Sphären (Ökologie, Handel, Industrie, Markt) mit unterschiedlichen Orientierungen und Übereinkünften betrachtet, nachzulesen etwa bei Rainer Diaz-Bone.”

Calculating a better society? On how to deal with values in economics

Excerpt. “Thus one finds out that scientific concepts exist, of course, which generally consider values and value relations as part of economic practice. A prominent example is socio-economics in the sense of Gertraude Mikl-Horke, where ethical moments are a natural part of economic analysis. A concrete example of a social economy is the French « économie des conventions », which considers various economic spheres (ecology, trade, industry, market) with different orientations and agreements, see for example Rainer Diaz-Bone.”

Link to the book

L’écologie est-elle rationnelle ?

Bernard Perret (2020)

Esprit, n°3, pp. 96-106.

Résumé. La rationalité écologique est irréductible à la rationalité économique. Il faut donc rompre avec cette dernière pour imaginer une société d’après la croissance.

Extrait. “Du point de vue théorique, André Orléan a bien montré la vanité des tentatives des siècles derniers pour fonder la discipline sur des réalités substantielles comme le travail ou l’utilité … [13] André Orléan, L’Empire de la valeur. Refonder l’économie, Paris, Seuil, 2011, p. 179)”

Is environmentalism rational?

Abstract. Environmental rationality cannot be reduced to economical rationality. It is therefore necessary to break with the latter to imagine a post-growth society.

Excerpt. “From a theoretical point of view, André Orléan has clearly shown the vanity of the attempts of the centuries 13] André Orléan, L’Empire de la valeur (The Empire of Value). Refonder l’économie, Paris, Seuil, 2011, p. 179)”

Lien vers Cairn / Link to the review

Tournant néolibéral et consolidation de la bureaucratie transnationale Note de recherche sur les statisticiens et économistes en Afrique de l’Ouest francophone

Boris Samuel & Kako Nubukpo (2020)

Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, no 234, pp. 50-65.

Résumé. Cette note de recherche porte sur l’essor d’un corps de statisticiens et d’économistes dans l’Afrique de l’Ouest francophone depuis les années 1990. La dévaluation du Franc CFA de janvier 1994 a été suivie par une politique d’intégration économique ayant pour objectif prioritaire la défense de la stabilité macroéconomique et le respect de critères de rigueur inspirés par les politiques européennes. La mise en place d’Afristat, qui démarre ses activités en 1996, contribue à rendre possible la surveillance multilatérale en déployant des outils statistiques harmonisés. Si elle permet à la France de diminuer son assistance bilatérale aux administrations économiques, elle ouvre aussi des lieux de sociabilité aux statisticiens ouest-africains, en leur permettant de développer des stratégies de carrière à la jonction entre le national et le transnational – ce qui est illustré à partir du chantier d’élaboration de nouvelles comptabilités nationales. Les années 1990 ont par ailleurs vu s’achever l’africanisation du dispositif de formation des statisticiens et économistes mis en place au lendemain des indépendances. Les écoles régionales d’économie et de statistique d’Abidjan et de Dakar sont aujourd’hui des piliers dans la formation des hauts cadres des administrations économiques ouest-africaines francophones. Enfin, les statisticiens et économistes de la Banque centrale des États d’Afrique de l’Ouest constituent une haute élite administrative qui emploie son savoir-faire au service des politiques de désinflation, tout en mettant à profit son influence pour se positionner dans les champs politiques nationaux et régionaux. L’étude biographique pour laquelle plaide cette note permettrait de savoir si l’intégration régionale réalisée autour de principes macroéconomiques orthodoxes a favorisé la constitution d’un corps régional de statisticiens et économistes.

Extrait. “Outre le fait de disposer des points d’entrée pour conduire des enquêtes auprès d’institutions réputées peu accessibles, nous nous situons dans la lignée des recherches menées par des statisticiens-économistes de l’INSEE qui ont porté une attention critique aux modes de production et d’utilisation des chiffres, notamment dans la suite d’un dialogue nourri avec Pierre Bourdieu (Alain Desrosières, Laurent Thévenot, Robert Salais, Michel Volle, etc.). Nous opérerons nous aussi un recul réflexif par rapport aux pratiques statistiques et d’analyse économique.” (p. 52)

The neoliberal turn and the consolidation of a transnational bureaucracy

Abstract. This research note analyses the prominence taken by a corps of statisticians and economists in Francophone West African since the 1990s. The devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994 was followed by a policy of economic integration with the primary aim, influenced by European policies, of sustaining macroeconomic stability and budgetary rigor. The creation of Afristat, which became operational in 1996, contributed to the actualization of a multilateral control, through the deployment of harmonized statistical tools. While this enabled France to reduce its bilateral assistance to economic administrations, it also carved out spaces of socialization for West African statisticians, by allowing them to develop career strategies across the national and the international – a dynamic illustrated with the production process of new systems of national accounting. It was also fostered by the completion, during the 1990s, of the africanisation of the training scheme of statisticians and economists set up at the turn of the Independence era. The regional schools of economics and statistics of Abidjan and Dakar are now positioned as cores for the training of the high-level officers of Francophone Western African economic administrations. Finally, the statisticians and economists of the Central Bank of West African states constitute a high administrative elite which puts its expertise at the service of disinflationary policies, while capitalizing on its influence within national and regional political fields. This research note builds on a biographical study of this group of individuals as an entry-point to assess the impact of regional integration around orthodox macroeconomic principles on the constitution of a regional corps of statisticians and economists.

Excerpt. “In addition to the fact that we have the entry points to conduct surveys of institutions deemed to be difficult to access, we are in line with the research conducted by INSEE statisticians-economists who have paid critical attention to the modes of production and use of figures, particularly in the wake of a sustained dialogue with Pierre Bourdieu (Alain Desrosières, Laurent Thévenot, Robert Salais, Michel Volle, etc.). We will also take a reflexive step back from statistical practices and economic analysis.” (p. 52)

Lien vers Cairn / Link to the review

Shaping values and economics: Tensions and compromises in the institutionalization of organic agriculture in Finland (1991–2015)

Tomi Lehtimäki & Mikko J. Virtanen (2020)

Journal of Rural Studies, Online first

Abstract. This article examines the institutionalization of organic agriculture in Finland’s agricultural policy. Organic agriculture is one of the main alternatives for conventional food production, promoting values that go beyond the focus on productivity and profit. Yet, numerous studies have raised concerns over the changes institutionalization has produced in its transformative capacity. It has been claimed that institutionalization results in the economization of organic agriculture, whereby the goals of this alternative mode of production are displaced by market coordination and profit maximization. However, studies have also called for more detailed analyses, which would account for e.g. national variations in the development of organic agriculture. To further this discussion, we apply conventions theory to analyze how policy documents, strategy papers, and studies have justified the institutionalization of organic agriculture in official policy in Finland. Conventions theory has the benefit of examining both the moral arguments and the knowledge production related to this. From this perspective, we investigate how organic values have been shaped and how policies have attempted to resolve tensions between conflicting justifications. The results show that compromises between organic values and economic rationales have been used to promote organic agriculture, which has also promoted economization. However, the results also indicate that in addition to economization, organic values have faced other challenges. The value of organic agriculture has been questioned based on, for example, scientific measurements of organic products, and by comparisons to Finnish conventional production. Both challenges have questioned the significance of organic agriculture in terms of its health and ecological benefits. The results therefore indicate that more contextualized analytical models are needed when examining the institutionalization of organic agriculture.

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The Limits of Indicators of Wealth and Poverty through the Prism of a Systemic Approach of Zakatable Assets

Abderrazak Belabes (2020)

International Journal of Zakat 5(1), pp. 1-14

Abstract. The aim of the study is to explore the limitations of financial indicators of wealth and poverty in the light of a systemic approach which considers zakat assets as a system composed of parts that can interact with each other beyond first appearances. This allows human communities to attract what is beneficial and repel what is harmful in all circumstances, especially in times of crises and pandemics. Among the most important results reached by the study: the need to design indicators that are not only based on the quantity of money held by people, to highlight the quantities, volumes, sizes and areas related to resources to preserve the diversity of living things and ecosystems. The study recommends rehabilitation of the role of local actors in the design of indicators so that they are not the exclusive prerogative of international experts who are far removed from the daily concerns. This promotes freedom of initiative in the governance of local affairs in favour of the ‘de-financialization’ of human life.

Extract. “As Alain Desrosières (2014: 275) points out, ‘for a statistic to play its social role as an alleged neutral referent, above parts of a conflict or social groups, it must be instituted, guaranteed by democratic procedures themselves legitimate. It helps make reality and not just reflect it.’ The performative nature of economic indicators is reflected in statistics. One of the difficulties in studying statistics comes from their use as an argument to suggest certain progress and therefore justify the introduction of certain measures that seem, at first sight, to concern themselves with the fate of the most deprived, through a carefully designed vocabulary, taking into account repeated criticism).” (p. 4)

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Technical Universities in Germany: On Justification of the Higher Education and Research Markets

Christian Schneijderberg (2020)

In:  Geschwind, Lars/Broström, Anders/Larsen, Katarina (eds.), Technical Universities. Past, present and future. Cham: Springer, pp. 103-144

Abstract. The chapter presents both an overview of technical universities (TUs) in Germany, and how the methodological and theoretical approach of the orders of worth framework by Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) is useful for analyzing public organizations/forms. Guided by the research questions a) “How do publicly set performance indicators empirically construct the form of TUs?” And b) “How does market evolution of education and research products alter the civic-industrial conventions of coordination?”, first, seven characteristics are generated to define a TU in Germany: Recognition by the state, history as technical higher school, name, minimum of 40 engineering professorships, about 60% of professorships in natural sciences, technological, engineering, and mathematical sciences (STEM), average proportion of 1 to 1.6 of professorships in mathematical and natural sciences to professorships in engineering or vice versa, and professorships in social sciences. Second, further developing the theory of Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) helps understanding TUs as a dynamic but stable construction nurtured by investments in a form (Thévenot 1984). This is achieved by theoretically and empirically elaborating on the comprehension of a situation as it is (in comparison to justification in a situation) by focusing on the civic-industrial compromise of public universities being challenged by the market order constructed around higher education and research products and services by the German federal states.

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Gouvernance de l’eau et conflits de qualification en Indonésie. Une lecture institutionnaliste de la loi sur l’eau

Héloïse Valette & Catherine Baron (2020)

Géographie, économie, société 22, pp. 35-59

Résumé. Cet article vise à étudier le processus d’annulation de la loi cadre sur l’eau (loi 7/2004) en Indonésie. Nous analysons les stratégies d’acteurs aux intérêts antagonistes qui structurent la société indonésienne, en tenant compte des rapports de pouvoir. Pour ce faire, nous avons élaboré une grille d’analyse fondée sur les concepts de changement institutionnel, de gouvernance et de qualification. Les approches institutionnalistes historiques du changement permettent de réaliser une périodisation de la loi en identifiant des points de rupture correspondant à de nouveaux modes de gouvernance. Les approches régulationnistes de la gouvernance et celles en political ecology enrichissent la grille en considérant les rapports de pouvoir sous-jacents au choix d’un mode de gouvernance spécifique. Enfin, le recours à l’économie des conventions conduit à décrypter les qualifications auxquelles les acteurs se réfèrent pour justifier un mode de gouvernance de l’eau. La méthodologie est basée sur une démarche qualitative. Trois résultats sont mis en évidence. Tout d’abord, les conflits d’acteurs à l’origine du changement de règles sont des conflits de qualification de l’eau. Selon leurs intérêts, les acteurs construisent divers discours de justification fondés sur des valeurs différentes. Par ailleurs, ces discours révèlent un lien parfois mécanique, entre une qualification et un mode de gouvernance considéré comme le plus juste. Enfin, les choix de modes de gouvernance s’opèrent en fonction des rapports de pouvoir qui évoluent en fonction des périodes.

Water governance and conflicts of qualification in Indonesia. An institutionalist analysis of the water law

Abstract. This article aims to examine the process of repealing the framework law on water (law 7/2004) in Indonesia. We analyze the strategies of actors with conflicting interests that shape Indonesian society, taking into account power relations. To do this, we develop an analytical framework based on the concepts of institutional change, governance, and qualification. Historical approaches to institutional change are used to build a periodization of the law by identifying breaking points that correspond to new water governance modes. Regulationist approaches of governance and those in political ecology enrich the framework by considering the power relations underlying the choice of a water governance mode. Finally, mobilizing the economics of convention leads to deciphering the qualifications to which the actors refer to justify a specific governance mode. The methodology is based on a qualitative approach. Three results are highlighted. First of all, conflicts among actors leading to a change in the rules are conflicts over water qualification. Depending on their interests, actors develop various discourses of justification based on different values. Second, these discourses reveal a mechanical link between a water qualification and a governance mode considered to be the fairest. Finally, the choice of water governance modes is made according to power relations that evolve over time.

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