Archives mensuelles : août 2022

As Grandes Transformações na Ordem Social Global: capitalismo e dominação segundo Luc Boltanski

The Major Transformations in Global Social Order: capitalism and domination by Luc Boltanski

Letícia Negrão Chamma (2022)

Revista Perspectivas Sociais 8(1), pp. 1-14. Open access

Resumo. O tempo presente está marcado por grandes e profundas transformações na política econômica, bem como na vida social e cultural. A década de 1970, por sua vez, marca a passagem para uma nova ordem global que é estabelecida pelos processos e fenômenos da globalização, da financeirização e da precarização. Assim, pretende-se, neste artigo, evidenciar essas grandes transformações que ocorreram na ordem social global, a fim de compreender o novo espírito do capitalismo e seus instrumentos de dominação gestionária a partir da sociologia de Luc Boltanski.

Abstract. The present time has been marked by a great and profound transformations in economic policy, as well as in social and cultural life. The 1970s, in turn, marks the passage to a new global order that is established by the processes and phenomena of globalization, financialization and precariousness. Thus, it is intended, in this paper, to highlight these great transformations that occurred in the global social order, to understand the new spirit of capitalism and its instruments of managerial domination from the sociology of Luc Boltanski.

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Discours des moniteurs sociaux sur leurs pratiques. de terrain auprès des demandeurs d’asile en Italie

Discourses of social workers on their practices in the field for asylum seekers in Italy

Pina Lalli & Elena Giacomelli (2022)

Mots. Les langages du politique, 2022/2 no 129, pp. 65-81.

Résumé. L’arrivée des migrants a représenté un gros défi pour la société italienne, qui n’a pourtant pas créé un système d’accueil homogène sur le territoire national. À partir d’entretiens réalisés dans l’un des meilleurs systèmes d’accueil local (dans le Trentin, au nord de l’Italie), nous proposons d’analyser deux thématiques centrales des discours de cette communauté de pratiques, qui font émerger le rôle plus ou moins reconnu de l’« entrepreneur moral » au niveau du guichet.

Extrait: “L’absence d’un système d’accueil formellement intégré et la situation avancée du Trentin créent des opportunités pour adopter une perspective de réflexion approfondie quant aux objectifs assignés à la mission d’accueil confiée aux ONG, montrant les contradictions qui découlent de l’exigence d’une fonction plus globale d’autonomisation à long terme des migrants. S’ouvre alors un espace de négociation à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des organisations, en conflit ou non avec le cadre formel des règles officielles de la demande d’asile.
C’est pourquoi notre recherche se concentre sur ce que révèlent les discours d’une communauté de pratiques qui fait preuve d’une grande efficacité et de bonnes relations avec les autorités locales et les autres partenaires. Nous interprétons ici à la fois la suggestion sociologique de Luc Boltanski et Laurent Thévenot (1991) d’explorer la ‘grammaire des actions’ – c’est-à-dire le type de règles à travers lesquelles les acteurs sociaux peuvent justifier et rendre compte d’un sens socialement acceptable de leur travail – et l’hypothèse de Michael Lipsky (1980) sur la « street-level of bureaucracy », c’est-à-dire le pouvoir discrétionnaire des fonctionnaires – ici le personnel précaire recruté par les ONG – chargés d’appliquer les règles et de mettre en œuvre les procedures.” (p. 69)

Abstract. The arrival of migrants has been a major challenge for Italian society; however, a uniform reception system has yet to be created in the country. Based on interviews conducted in one of the best local reception systems (located in Trentino, in Northern Italy), we analyze two central themes raised in the discourses of this community of practice that bring out the more or less recognized role of “moral entrepreneur” at street level.

Extract: “The absence of a formally integrated reception system and the advanced situation of Trentino create opportunities to adopt a perspective of deep reflection on the objectives assigned to the reception mission entrusted to NGOs, showing the contradictions that arise from the requirement of a more global function of long-term empowerment of migrants. This opens up a space for negotiation within and outside the organizations, in conflict or not with the formal framework of the official rules of asylum seeking.
This is why our research focuses on what is revealed by the discourses of a community of practice that demonstrates high efficiency and good relations with local authorities and other partners. Here we interpret both Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s (1991) sociological suggestion to explore the ‘grammar of actions’ – that is, the type of rules through which social actors can justify and account for a socially acceptable meaning of their work – and Michael Lipsky’s (1980) hypothesis about the “street-level of bureaucracy,” that is, the discretionary power of the officials-in this case, the precarious staff recruited by NGOs-who are charged with enforcing the rules and implementing the procedures.” (p. 69)

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The Nexus between Methods and Power in Sociological Research

Andreas Schmitz & Julian Hamann (2022)

American Sociologist, Online first

Abstract. This article develops an integrative perspective on the nexus between power and sociological research methods. By reflecting upon two of the most widely used methodological approaches in sociology – standardized survey research and qualitative interview research – we develop a comprehensive heuristic framework for examining the ways in which the use of sociological methods affects and intersects any social scientific practice: (1) the power effects that societies and institutional settings exert on methods and the use of methods, (2) power in the use and implementation of methods, and (3) the power effects that methods and the use of methods exert on societies and institutional settings.

Extract: “For SSR [standardized survey research and the corresponding statistical analyses], this formative process can be referred to using the term ‘in-formation’ (Desrosières, 2009), which describes the production of unified categories and quantities during the analysis and, ultimately, the production of quantities, via the process of ‘quanti-fication’. Once a survey is conducted, completed questionnaires are further processed, mostly within institutional contexts. Passing through “statistical production chains” (Desrosières, 2009, p. 213), questionnaires become transformed into data and, eventually, information. Desrosières (2002) uses the concept of statistical production chains to describe procedures that transfer both the heterogeneous actors’ traits and the actors themselves into a single type of entity (i.e., a statistical unit). These entities are then sorted along unified dimensions, such as survey items. As a consequence, actors that actually differ on unobserved dimensions are ascribed the same analytical weight. It is this methodical transformation of different entities into a unified reference frame that makes them comparable and commensurable and that ultimately yields categories and quantities. Consequently, SSR does not merely measure, but it actively contributes to constructing social reality (Penissat et al., 2016, p. 136). According to this view, the definition of categories, the categorization of answers at the interpretative stage, and the statistical construction of objects all involve epistemic power (cp. Foucault, 1979), and as such can all be understood as part of a “political economy of statistics” (Diaz-Bone & Didier 2016, p. 7). Yet possible power effects are often ‘invisibilized’ in the process of knowledge production throughout the statistical chain: The political definition of a category is often taken by researchers at face value just as – vice versa – the findings thus gained are understood by politicians as ‘objective’. The statistical analysis of survey data is a prime example of ‘quanti-fication’: Basic statistics (e.g., means), figures and graphs, regression parameters, and classification models bring averaged cases into being and contribute to a vision of the normal.” (p. 10)

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Redefining Quality in Food Supply Chains via the Natural Resource Based View and Convention Theory

Tracy D. Johnson-Hall & David C. Hall (2022)

Sustainability, 14, pp. 1-26

Abstract. This study develops and tests a novel product quality framework for food supply chains (FSCs) that addresses sustainability. Issues including climate change, population growth, and the resources required by industrialized agriculture, as well as changing consumer preferences contribute to concerns about the social, ecological, and economic sustainability of FSCs. FSCs, therefore, need to be adapted to address changing supply and demand characteristics. We integrate the natural resourcebased view (NRBV) with convention theory (CT) to develop a new set of quality dimensions. Placing social and ecological considerations within the domain of quality management advances theory in two ways. First, while social and ecological considerations are typically peripheral to business models, this framework allows social responsibility and the natural environment to occupy a central place within FSC operations. Second, the framework reflects the fundamentally socially embedded nature of FSCs, including the geographic, historical, and cultural associations of food quality. We then construct a typology of quality conventions and FSCs. We empirically test the typology using a case study methodology with cases from the United States of America (USA). The analysis explores how firms bundle quality conventions across FSCs for competitive advantage. We also find a set of paths through which FSCs transition via exploitation, exploration and organizational ambidexterity to generate competitive advantage, highlighting tradeoffs that may arise as FSCs evolve. These tradeoffs, which relate to maintaining or adapting quality conventions, are practically important because, if not managed appropriately, may result in lower performance and less sustainable FSCs.

Figure 1. Theoretical framework: Natural Resource Based View (NRBV), Convention Theory (CT) and resulting typology (p.4)

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Prise de conscience patrimoniale d’un héritage naturel et culturel commun : les terres des Sœurs de la Charité, à Québec

Awareness raising of a common natural and cultural heritage: The land of the religious Sisters of Charity, in Quebec

Jakob Fabien (2022)

Territoire en movement, Online first, open access.


Résumé
. La révision participative du Schéma d’aménagement et de développement de l’Agglomération du Québec suscite un trouble, une indignation en ce qu’elle pourrait mener au dézonage de terres agricoles périurbaines dotées d’un ensemble de propriétés, de valeurs partagées et reconnues par une communauté qui se mobilise pour en assurer collectivement la reconnaissance au titre de patrimoine commun et les préserver d’une transformation préjudiciable. Prenant appui sur les outils sociologiques développés par Luc Boltanski et Laurent Thévenot (1991), cette recherche analyse les opérations de dévoilement et de justification, les sens du bien et du juste ainsi que les appuis normatifs convoqués par les acteurs lorsqu’ils déterminent ce qui compte, ce à quoi ils attribuent une valeur, lorsqu’ils élaborent leur propre définition du monde et des actions qu’ils entendent y engager.

Abstract. The participatory revision of the Land Use Planning and Development Schema of Greater city Quebec is causing confusion and indignation as it could lead to the dezoning of peri-urban agricultural lands whose qualities and values are shared and prized by a community that mobilizes to have them collectively recognized as common heritage and to make them preserved from any harmful transformation. Inspired by the sociological approach developed by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot (1991), this research by the actors when they determine what counts, what they attribute a value to, when they elaborate their own definition of the world and of the actions that they intend to engage in it.

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Destigmatization Through Visualization: Striving to redefine refugee workers’ worth

Bernadette Bullinger, Anna Schneider & Jean-Pascal Gond (2022)

Organization Studies, Online first

Abstract. Refugee workers struggle to find employment because they are stigmatized. Research suggests that organizations can help destigmatize actors such as refugees by recognizing them and confirming their worth in society. Here, we explore pictures that refugee job-placement organizations in Austria and Germany used to redefine refugees’ moral worthiness – that is, their worth in relation to higher-order normative principles such as civic duty, efficiency and creativity. Analysing images used in organizations’ destigmatization efforts is essential, as pictures visualize and materialize refugees rather than abstractly describing them. Hence, visualization shapes the worthiness of refugee workers in the eyes of prospective employers. Combining social semiotics with the economies of worth framework, we found that job-placement organizations use three visualization practices – professionalizing, domesticizing and stylizing – that draw on distinct moral orders. We found that although these practices were intended to destigmatize, they also – counterintuitively – restigmatize. By leveraging social semiotic studies of visualization, our results advance stigmatization studies by showing how visualization can unintendedly restigmatize and by revealing that the visualization practices we identified are built upon multiple forms of worth. Our analysis also theoretically and methodologically extends studies of organizational morality by explaining how moral dimensions are expressed through visual registers.

Extract: “Our question, then, is How do visualization practices aimed at destigmatizing groups of actors reshape their worth?
To address this question, we use the insights of social semiotics (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006) to visually analyse higher-order normative principles, i.e. orders of worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, 2006). Compared to written text, visuals are better at evoking emotions, capturing attention, creating involvement and describing complex relationships (Lefsrud, Graves, & Phillips, 2020; Meyer, Jancsary, Höllerer, & Boxenbaum, 2018). Using visuals to (de)stigmatize is distinct from using verbal text because rather than writing about refugees abstractly, photographs show individuals and groups and thereby influence our ‘space of imagination’ (Vollmer & Karakayali, 2018) and our valuations.” (p. 2)

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From housing crisis initiative to public issue: Justifications Analysis of land-use proposals in the public sphere

Morgan Hamlin (2022)

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 9(2), pp. 226-247

Abstract. This article demonstrates how Justifications Analysis can be used to understand how citizens effectively politicise land-use proposals in the public sphere. I examine a proposal to develop housing on a public reserve in Auckland, New Zealand, and the moral justifications employed by supporters and concerned citizens. Invoking market and civic justifications, supporters de-politicised it as a partial solution to the housing crisis. In response, concerned citizens politicised the proposal with an anti-privatisation argument that denounced its market evaluation. Drawing on civic and green justifications, they morally evaluated the reserve as a space that should be protected for its recreational and environmental significance. My findings support and extend earlier studies that utilise Justifications Analysis and Boltanski and Thévenot’s justification theory. I reveal how public responses to land-use proposals can be understood as culturally informed political acts that transform seemingly apolitical topics into public issues that are contestable in the public sphere.

 

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

Sociology of conventions – Introduction to neopragmatic institutionalism

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

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

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

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Journée “Valeur, valeurs”

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

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

PROGRAMME

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organisers: Christian Imdorf, Arne Böker and Christian Schneijderberg.

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

Different sessions with reference to French pragmatic sociology held at the Nordic Sociological Associations’ 2022 conference in Reykjavik, Iceland

Christian Imdorf (Leibniz University Hannover)

At the occasion of the Nordic Sociological Associations’ (NSA) bi-annual conference, held in Reykjavik, Iceland, 10-12 August 2022, a session on pragmatic sociology and education as well as a series of sessions on the politics of engagement in the Nordic Welfare State have been organised. The session “Analyzing Realities Trough Conventions – The use of Pragmatic sociology for Understanding Education in the Nordics”, chaired by Christian Imdorf (Leibniz University Hannover), illustrated that education policy, which is generally considered an important instrument for equal opportunities and social mobility as well as a prerequisite for high productivity and employment, is also a significant instrument of social policy to implement some of the core elements of the Nordic welfare model. While convention theory has been applied to educational issues in France since the late 1980, and for some time in the German-speaking countries, it has only more recently received serious scholarly attention in the Nordics. The session therefore brought together ongoing research on post-secondary education in Sweden (folk high schools, higher vocational education, municipal adult education), which serves societal aims at the crossroads of the different priorities of the welfare state, civil society, and labor market demands.

Diana Holmqvist (Linköping University) in her paper showed how the management tool of tendering-based procurements in Sweden implements municipal adult education and forms its value between a welfare service and a market good. The paper which is part of Holmqvists doctoral thesis “Adult Education at Auction – On Tendering-Based Procurement and Valuation in Swedish Municipal Adult Education” illustrated that procurement as an investment in forms does much more than simply ‘manage’ the organisation of education as it shapes the very nature of adult education. Erik Nylander (Linköping University) in his paper, co-authored with Rebecca Ye (Stockholm University), presented justificatory logics of skilling in the plural worlds of higher vocational education, a more recent and rapidly expanding educational segment in Sweden which, in public, is considered an educational policy tool to serve local labor market demands. Building on the sociology of conventions, the authors compared the often very different justifications offered by participants for enrolling in higher vocational education with those in educational program descriptions and how the plural worlds of higher vocational education participation are intertwined and enacted. Henrik Fürst (Stockholm University) and Erik Nylander gave an overview of and some insights into their new book titled “The Value of Art Education – Cultural Engagements at the Swedish Folk High Schools” which looks at the plural worth of education, justificatory regimes and forms of student engagement in arts education programs at folk high schools, a Swedish type of school whic­h has a long-standing and strong association with Nordic culture and civil society. The authors conclude that the pluralistic and heterogeneous educational provision of the art programs at the folk high schools – at times conceived as an economically worthless or contestable educational choice – offers a great vantage point to broaden a plural understanding of arts education and its intersecting and conflicting logics between welfarism, civic ethos, and artistic forms of engagement. Finally, Jan Frode Haugseth and Eli Smeplass (Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU) gave an outlook on their book project on social pragmatism in education which aims at an introduction in educational research and practice from a French pragmatic perspective addressed at Norwegian students in the social sciences and in teacher education. The book will be published in Norwegian and structured along several pillars for empircial investigation: Childhood perspectives, school as a research object and as a practical field, vocational education and training in the knowledge society, and theory development.

A series of sessions on the politics of engagement in the Nordic Welfare State organised by Anna Lund (Stockholm University), Veikko Eranti (University of Helsinki) and Eeva Luhtakallio (University of Helsinki) included several papers drawing on new French pragmatism. Jutta Juvenius (University of Helsinki) presented an analysis on changing valuations of housing policies in Finland. With a focus on the moral foundations on present urban policies in Helsinki, Tampere, Espoo and Vantaa, her analysis illustrates a shift from universalistic to more market-oriented housing policies. Jan Frode Haugseth and Eli Smeplass‘ (NTNU) contribution looked at social-media based communication and engagement of youth in Norway, with a special interest in how youths’ affectivities and meanings can be framed by Thévenot’s regimes of engagements. Eeva Luhtakallio and Taina Meriluoto’s (University of Helsinki) applied Boltanski and Thévenot’s theory of justification in their paper on visual social media politics in Finland, more precisely the fame-based logic of greatness. They highlighted that social-media algorithmics value arguments by how widely they are publicly liked and shared and concluded that the availability of social media fosters a shift of a democracy previously grounded in the civic convention towards a democracy of appearances, visibility and recognition. Finally, Maija Jokela (University of Helsinki) in her thesis paper on individualism in an urban neighborhood movement (the Finish Kallio movement) concluded that the sociology of engagement can capture different forms of individualism – individualized expressions in the inspired world as well as individual interests as engagement in a plan –, and the tensions these cultural forms of collective action and individualizations can produce.

All in all, these briefly summarized sessions at the NSA 2022 conference in Reykjavik offered an introduction for the audience to the usefulness of pragmatic sociology for analyzing the plural realities of post-compulsory education in the Nordics as well as the politics of engagement in the Nordic Welfare State through a variety of several completed, ongoing and planned research projects. They illustrate that the sociology of convention is especially suited to study different aspects of Nordic welfare policy and that it has started to spread in the Nordics.

Contested Social Impact Bonds: welfare conventions, conflicts and compromises in five European Active-Labor Market Programs

Alec Fraser, Lisa Knoll & Debra Hevenstone (2022)

International Public Management Journal, Online first

Abstract. Over the past decade Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) have attracted much public policy and management research interest and debate. This article draws on the Welfare Conventions Approach to explore the diversity of five SIB-financed Active Labor Market Programs in four European countries using comparative case study methods. We identify a tension between the requirement to align civic and financial interests in SIB-financed programs alongside a drive to reform public sector procurement in a more entrepreneurial direction. We suggest that the diversity of SIBs emanates from the political struggles in implementation processes stemming from a plurality of welfare conventions that actors need to align and compromise. SIBs are built within historically grown “institutional contexts” that are themselves on the move over decades of welfare state reform, and processes of marketization – and thus far from homogenous.

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Les espaces publics d’une ville fragmentée entre arrangements et controverses – Le cas de Beyrouth

Arrangements and controversies around public spaces in a fragmented city: the case of Beirut

Jihad Farah & Zeinab Kashmar (2022)

Méditerranée, 134

Résumé. Dans cet article, nous proposons de mobiliser une lecture non-essentialiste des espaces publics pour en saisir la pertinence dans une ville fragmentée. Pour cela, nous nous appuierons sur les concepts d’« imaginaire urbain », de « controverse », d’« arrangement » et de « paysage urbain ». Ces concepts permettent en effet de décrire les espaces publics comme « prenant lieu » : c’est‑à‑dire comme une fraction du paysage urbain où se confrontent et s’articulent – sur différentes échelles spatiales et temporelles, dans des controverses et à travers des arrangements – les divers imaginaires urbains du vivre ensemble. Cette lecture permet de voir dans les espaces publics les appuis de projets urbains plus larges portés par ces imaginaires urbains. Elle permet en même temps de souligner l’importance et la diversité des stratégies discursives et spatiales dans la confrontation des controverses comme dans la construction des arrangements. Dans une ville fragmentée, la publicité de l’espace n’est pas une caractéristique acquise, mais reste toujours partielle et construite à travers des arrangements et souvent dans la controverse. En support à notre propos, nous discuterons les arrangements autour de la production, animation et marquage des espaces urbains de deux quartiers à Beyrouth.

Extrait: “Analyser les espaces publics à partir du concept de paysage urbain revient ainsi à identifier les différents projets dans un lieu, leurs auteurs, leurs montages spécifiques et leurs possibles articulations dans un projet plus large. Reste qu’identifier ces projets et leur articulation ne va pas de soi. Ainsi il importe de considérer les tensions et arrangements entre acteurs aussi divers qu’une municipalité, une association de commerçants, une société immobilière, un ministère, une association locale, un parti politique, un acteur religieux, ou simplement des habitants. Pour saisir la notion d’arrangement ici, nous revenons à Thévenot (2006) et ses régimes d’engagement : de familiarité, de projet et de convention.”

Abstract. In this article, we adopt a non-essentialist interpretation of public space and assess the relevance of this perspective in analysing contemporary fragmented cities. To this end, we use the concepts of “urban visions perceptions)”, “controversy”, “arrangement” and “urban landscape”. These concepts provide a basis for describing public space as “taking place”: a fraction of the urban landscape where different visions of urban life and community living are contrasted and related, through controversy and arrangement, at different spatial and temporal scales. This interpretation offers the means to see public spaces as the spatial bases of larger scale urban projects based on different urban visions. It also stresses the importance and diversity of discursive and spatial strategies embedded in confronting controversy and arrangement. In today’s fragmented city, the public nature of space is not a given characteristic; on the contrary, it remains always partial and constructed through arrangement and often through controversy. To illustrate our argument, we discuss arrangements related to the production, management and marking out of the urban space in two neighbourhoods in Beirut.

Extract: “Analyzing public spaces from the concept of urban landscape thus amounts to identifying the different projects in a place, their authors, their specific set-ups and their possible articulations in a larger project. However, identifying these projects and their articulation is not self-evident. Thus, it is important to consider the tensions and arrangements between actors as diverse as a municipality, a merchants’ association, a real estate company, a ministry, a local association, a political party, a religious actor, or simply the inhabitants. To grasp the notion of arrangement here, we return to Thévenot (2006) and his regimes of engagement: of familiarity, of project, and of convention.”

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