In Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (eds.), Handbook of economics and sociology of conventions. Cham: Springer, Online first
Abstract. This chapter discusses the contribution of the economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) to the study of environmental movements. The first section briefly reviews how EC/SC has contributed to a renewal in the study of collective action by relating it to processes of social construction of public problems. An examination of how actors succeed in turning their “private troubles” into “public issues” reveals that the observable diversity of environmental movements can be explained by the diversity of ways in which (1) material dependencies matter to people and (2) people try to have these concerns legitimized. As illustrated by the debates on “green justification,” some arguments on the value of the environment relativize the political weight of the notion of justifiable social order in favor of the notions of ecosystem and biosphere and consequently challenge the “grammar of justification.” Ecological arguments can also highlight the importance of “familiar attachments” as a specific source of emplaced valuations. In contrast to reductive frameworks (e.g., the NIMBY, “not in my backyard,” syndrome), EC/SC takes into account not only how actors try to manage orders of worth, interest-based valuations, and familiar attachments in arguments about the value of the environment but also how they succeed or fail in having them recognized as publicly relevant. The final section discusses how EC/SC enables comparative and historical analyses of environmental movements, conflicts, and controversies and how it helps to shed light on the transformation of critique in an increasingly interconnected but still diverse world.
Abstract. Boltanski and Thévenot (On justification. Economies of worth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2006) constructed in their seminal work On Justification the Orders of Worth (OW) framework as a research program for further empirical and theoretical development. This article suggests two methodological additions to extend the analytical capacities of the OW framework: The Socialism OW and the analytical adequacy axiom. The polito-philosophical Socialism OW, which acknowledges ‘(collective) welfare’ as its mode of evaluation (worth) and the higher principle of ‘solidarity’ as its test, is rooted in the political philosophy of Rosanvallon (The society of equals, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2013). In addition to the systematic justification of the canonical text, this article also offers a tabular presentation for the construction of a new OW in relation to the axioms. In the article, first, the existing OW are put under scrutiny discussing the test category of solidarity, which was added and creates an analytic overload for the Civic OW. Second, analyzing the case of the German binary statutory health system, comprising of a private (first-class) and a public (second-class) healthcare, the capacities of the existing OW are discussed to identify a blank spot in the OW framework for empirical analysis. Accordingly, the descriptive analysis of the German binary health system is less about how the system is justified, and much more about understanding how given OW operate within it as coordinative devices. This systematic analysis of a situation of (temporary) agreements, especially of investments in forms, amends the OW use for empirical analysis of critique and justification in a situation.