Archives mensuelles : novembre 2022

A tribute to Robert Salais’ work

Christian Bessy & Claude Didry (2022)

Report on the round table initiated by Florent Le Bot (IDHES Université d’Evry) at the occasion of presenting and reflecting on the new publication:
Christian Bessy & Claude Didry (eds.) (2022): L’économie est une science réflexive. Chômage, convention et capacité dans l’œuvre de Robert Salais. [Economics is a reflexive science. Unemployment, convention and capacity in the work of Robert Salais]. Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses Universitaire du Septentrion.

23 November 2022
16H00 Welcome
Introduction by Florent Le Bot and Valérie Boussard (IDHES Nanterre)
Presentation of the book by Christian Bessy (IDHES ENS Paris-Saclay) and Claude Didry (CMH).
16H35 Robert Salais (thanks, questions to the following speakers, etc.)
16H45 break.
17H00 Presentation of the speakers by Florent Le Bot
Intervention Jean-Louis Fabiani (Central European University).
Speech by Jean-Philippe Robé (Lawyer).
17H40 Robert Salais
18H00- 19H00 Exchange with the audience.
19H00 Cocktail.


This round table took place in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, without losing sight of the quality of the intellectual exchanges around the collective work coordinated by Christian Bessy and Claude Didry, in homage to the work of Robert Salais.

Valérie Boussard recalled the central role of Robert Salais in the creation of the IDHES (Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l’Economie et de la Société) and its interdisciplinary orientation between economics, history, sociology and law. More than a heritage to be protected, Robert’s work constitutes a matrix generating new research issues in order to respond to societal challenges.
Claude Didry then recalled his meeting with Robert Salais in 1990, when he published an article on Durkheim in a dossier of the journal Genèses devoted to “the construction of the social fact”. This meeting was part of what Jean Luciani refers to in the book as the “detour through history”, to return to the institutional dynamics around which the work of Robert Salais and his team developed. Claude Didry retains from this meeting Robert Salais’ ability to read a text, not by underlining its shortcomings, but by adopting a true reading intended to highlight its contributions. This intellectual openness that Robert Salais impelled in economics of convention (EC) was then functioning at full speed, in a CNRS Research Group, where historical, legal and economic seminars crossed. Claude Didry speaks of “a bubbling hive of activity where we thought about many things, reading the philosophical foundations of EC, around Lewis, non-modal logic or Jaakko Hintikka’s theory of “possible worlds”. Didry returns to the structuring of the book in 6 parts (work, employment and unemployment, worlds of production and dynamics of innovation, institutions and conventions, Europe and capacities, quantification and democracy), emphasizing that these parts follow a biographical logic proceeding by “reflexive leaps”, the research nourishing each time a reflexive deepening towards new objects. He also underlines the collective dimension of the scientific investigation and Robert Salais’ involvement in the design of the institutional architecture of the IDHE laboratory, created in 1997 by the CNRS, as recounted in the first part of the book. In other words, in the case of Robert Salais, it is impossible to distinguish the researcher from the organizer of the research.

Christian Bessy returned to Robert Salais’ final text entitled “Ecological crisis and reflexive economy, an opening”. This text allows us to go through all the contributions, because the author responds to each one, certainly in footnotes, but also, seizes the opportunity that the coordinators of the book had thrown him around the concept of reflexive economy:
“A reflexive economy is an economy that first looks behind itself and investigates the damage it inflicts on our world. Thus informed, it then projects itself into the future and pursues its development in a way that reduces its past ecological and human footprint. It places at its center the democratic deliberation between actors on the evaluation of this footprint and on the solutions to be engaged.” (p. 307)
This approach is based on a change of posture towards things that cannot be reduced to simple objects over which we have control. Symmetrically, it would be necessary to take hold of things, “to face them as they are”, with their multiple uncertainties, says Robert Salais, in order to generate this time a “reflexive economy”, in the sense of a learning and a mode of knowledge, allowing to “see, distinguish, know, and name the particularities of each thing in relation to the others” (p. 330). This is in line with the “theory of taking” elaborated with Francis Chateauraynaud.

The contribution of Robert Salais today in this concluding text is not only reduced to a theory of knowledge based on the perceptions of the environment giving more thickness to things. He also returns to the contribution of David Lewis (1969) to the theory of conventions and in particular the distinction between two types of convention contrasting two principles of action:
– to qualify the objects according to a general principle, from crossed anticipations,
– to identify things according to a principle of particularity, based on the engagement of the sensory faculties to know how to act in the situation.
Christian Bessy concludes on the phenomenological conversion of Robert Salais and the necessity to articulate different scales of analysis of the crisis of the sensible in the transformations of capitalism.

Robert Salais warmly greeted the contributors to the book and the participants in the round table, in particular the two discussants, Jean-Louis Fabiani, whom he met at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (WIKO) in 2007, and Jean-Philippe Robé, with whom he worked with Gabriel Colletis on the Greek crisis in 2015, imagining in particular converting the Greek debt into investment financing. Today, with the ecological transition, the problem is much the same, as it would require reforming the way finance works. In a striking manner, Robert Salais shares his feelings on the book presented in these terms:
“As I read and reread it, I am impressed by the book, even intimidated in some ways, of all the research it contains that has been done and is yet to be done. It’s not really a tribute […]. What would you say if you were like me in front of another self that is there in the book, which you can’t deny looks a little like you? It seems to you moreover less volatile than what you do. It’s very disturbing in a way. It took me a while to adapt to this kind of thing. What comforts me is that this other one is the work product of a collective. Those who are there because they belong to the work of the IDHE, but also others who are there episodically. I join Laurent (Thévenot in his text) in saying that we are faced with a collective that was constituted and built by people who felt the potentialities, the freedoms, of a pivotal period, let’s say those of the 1960s to the 1980s. Each one at his moment, each one in his way, finally assumed to put themselves together, via convergences of which they did not know necessarily, because somewhere it is not intentional”.
This is the best description of the passage from a subjective to an objective mind. He emphasizes that when reading the book, he “feels a kind of internal vitality, a pleasure, almost, I would say, of each and every one. There is a deployment of energy both in time and space that has continued until today and which I hope will continue, but! In a way, we are part of a generation that is a bit of a turning point, that has put some stones on which we can build to go further. This is not true of all the works of this generation. They are possible supports, but young people must seize them because they are the ones who will be confronted with the phenomenon in all its complex reality. I think very modestly that we have begun to lay the foundations for a new understanding of our world, to review, to propose a critique and instruments to see differently. In fact, we have all sensed, each at our own time, that the future that was predicted for us was not so admirable. And in fact, what was being prepared looked an awful lot like a closure of the future, under the apparent evidence of openness, innovation, etc., and so I think that we started to take our responsibilities in front of these choices that were closing us in and that represented denials of reality. Now, as Christian Bessy said, the economy as we know it is completely unsuited to the development of new relationships between humans and nature. We must work together between the different sciences.

Jean-Louis Fabiani took the floor, beginning by thanking the organizers of the round table for inviting him to discuss the book on the work of Robert Salais, taking the point of view of the sociologist of intellectual life: “Robert Salais, an economist for a renewed sociology”. He emphasizes the opportunities, encounters, and conjunctures that give rise to new configurations. He proposes to start from the fruitful relationship between the sociologist Jean-Claude Passeron and the economist Louis-André Gérard-Varet, which led to the famous book Le modèle et l’enquête (1995). In relation to this attempt at dialogue, he positions the economics of conventions, whose manifesto was published in the Revue Economique (March 1989) at practically the same time and which “proposes something more mobile than a paradigm, a sort of configuration, perhaps this is not the best word, around a common object, conventions […]. EC wanted to stop taking into account the fact that it was not a paradigm. The EC wanted to stop taking for granted divisions that present contingent, even arbitrary dimensions, and that we naturalize without thinking about it by putting forward in a way the defense of the disciplinary body and therefore there was in this manifesto, which is a program, a watchword, the claimed necessity to widen the field of economic research to what I call these cultural peripheries: the historical science mentioned above, but also the law central in the operation I think and sometimes neglected by sociologists after Durkheim”. For Jean-Louis Fabiani, what appears central in the trajectory of Robert Salais is the refusal to reject the statistical tools (of economists) on the pretext that the model in which these tools are used is not satisfactory. This very rich book shows that Robert Salais’ works survive the critical and reflexive turn of his activity, beginning with L’Invention du chômage in 1986, which questions, as sociologists have traditionally done since Durkheim, the historical production of social categories. He provides an image of the heroic civil servant that evokes a nostalgia for a period of fertility and camaraderie, a period that contrasts today with a field based on individual performance.
“I would like to return to the notion of “reflexivity”, a notion that I am wary of because it risks being overused and we end up putting all the facilities of autoethnography in this word. The question of reflexivity in the social sciences is vast […]. What is a reflexive return? What do we have in mind when we say that the habitus is pre-reflexive? Is it a skill reserved for the researcher or a universal property of consciousness?”
He refers to the quotation from Robert Salais, mentioned by Christian Bessy, which gives a good illustration of his posture and which leads to a better social diffusion of knowledge production. CE would propose another way of posing the problems of ecological transition that is less prophetic, less Leninist and ultimately more effective. This leads Robert Salais to redefine the conditions of our own social legitimacy, a legitimacy that is in danger because of a technostructure more and more subservient to financial capital.

It is in a more pragmatic vein that Jean-Philippe Robé underlines this financial impasse that “leads us straight to the wall”. He raises the question of how the law, and in particular accounting methods, can change the behavior of large companies (banks and investment funds), which cannot be reduced to small externalities at the margin. What has not been done in the past should now be done quickly. The only solution is to develop carbon sinks. He returns to the question of a reflexive economy:
“I don’t think that an economy as such can be reflexive itself, on the other hand organizations can have a reflexive behavior beyond the search for profit by taking into account other objectives. It is therefore necessary to democratize the enterprise in order to recreate a common good, an intermediary, between the public and the private. It is the ecological quality at all stages of the value chain that must be taken into account and impact the company. For this lawyer, it is important to introduce the replacement cost of environmental capital, the cost of creating the carbon sink, and to change the accounting rules so that these costs are charged to the company.

The discussion resumed on the need for political action in the face of the environmental emergency, given the limits of a response within the framework of neo-liberal capitalism. Guillaume Mercoeur, a doctoral student in sociology, emphasized the original dimensions of Robert Salais’ approach to the analysis of heterodox Anglo-Saxon economics in the field of climate change, and in particular the contributions of Andreas Malm. He refers to his thesis work on trade union involvement in improving working conditions and environmental issues, highlighting different levels of action over which the actors have control.
Robert Salais replied that different contributions in the book deal with reforms leading to the co-determined enterprise (Olivier Favereau), the sustainable enterprise (Jürgen Kädtler) and the enabling enterprise (Bénédicte Zimmerman).

Florent Le Bot, Robert Salais, Jean-Philippe Robé, Christian Bessy and Claude Didry

Christian Bessy and Michel Margairaz eds. Les biens communs en perspectives. Propriété, travail, valeur (XVIIIe-XXIe siècle), Editions de la Sorbonne, 2021

Kota Kitagawa (2022)

Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Online first

Abstract. This article presents a book review of Les biens communs en perspectives, edited by Christian Bessy and Michel Margairaz, Editions de la Sorbonne, 2021. The perspectives in the book follow a French institutionalism called the economics of convention (EC). Derived from thick and rich empirical studies based on profound historical and sociological investigations, the book challenges two stylized perspectives of the commons. The first stylized perspective is to view the commons as having already been pooled. The second stylized perspective is to view the commons as residuals, categorized as neither the state, the market, or business firms. The book presents a unique perspective that views the commons as having been formed and reformed by collective actions. From this perspective, the book implies that the reason for the current rash of discussion of the commons is that firms have started to consciously manage, exploit, and foster something collective for profit making. This review examines this EC approach to the commons from the standpoint of an American original institutionalist, John R. Commons. This standpoint highlights how the EC approach to the commons analytically benefits from a double meaning of “common goods.” One meaning refers to common assets accumulated and developed in or established as an institutionalized arrangement of members and objects in a community. The other is a value system shared by the members. This review confirms that both the American original institutionalist and the French institutionalists aim to be pragmatic idealists.

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Les politiques d’accès aux ressources numériques de l’administration au prisme de la microsimulation

Access policies to digital resources of the administration through the lens of microsimulation

Franck Bessis & Paul Cotton (2022)

In Valérie Revest & Isabelle Liotard (dir.), Transformation digitale et politiques publiques, ISTE Edition, p. 99-137

Extrait: “En resituant l’épisode d’Openfisca dans l’histoire du développement des modèles de microsimulation statique, nous proposons de compléter cette analyse sur deux aspects. Le premier concerne l’intervention d’autres acteurs situés au coeur de l’administration, et plus précisément au coeur du système de statistique publique. Le second porte sur les divergences de vues entre les acteurs qui ont pris part à ce mouvement : plutôt qu’une «collaboration d’acteurs», nous entendons faire apparaître et mettre en débat une pluralité de conceptions de la qualité de l’ouverture, c’est-à-dire à la fois des conceptions de ce qu’il importe d’ouvrir et de comment bien ouvrir.
Le concept privilégié dans cette optique est celui de «statactivisme», qui vise l’ensemble des actions menées de manière à «mettre les statistiques au service de l’émancipation» (Bruno et al. 2014). Les demandes d’ouverture des codes et données de l’administration se situent en amont des manières de «faire de la statistique une arme critique» étudiées jusqu’à présent dans cette perspective, qu’il s’agisse de consolider de nouvelles catégories «sur lesquelles s’appuyer pour revendiquer des droits et défendre des intérêts» (par exemple la catégorie d’« intellos précaires ») ou «opposer des indicateurs alternatifs à l’institution» (comme les « nouveaux indicateurs de richesse »).” (p.102)

Excerpt: “By resituating the Openfisca episode in the history of the development of static microsimulation models, we propose to complete this analysis on two aspects. The first concerns the intervention of other actors located at the heart of the administration, and more precisely at the heart of the official statistics system. The second concerns the divergence of views between the actors who took part in this movement: rather than a “collaboration of actors”, we intend to reveal and debate a plurality of conceptions of the quality of openness, i.e. both conceptions of what is important to open and of how to open well.
The concept favored in this perspective is that of “statactivism,” which refers to the set of actions carried out in such a way as to “put statistics at the service of emancipation” (Bruno et al. 2014). The demands for the opening of the administration’s codes and data are situated upstream of the ways of “making statistics a critical weapon” studied so far in this perspective, whether it is a matter of consolidating new categories “on which to rely in order to claim rights and defend interests” (for example, the category of “precarious nerds”) or “opposing alternative indicators to the institution” (such as the “new wealth indicators”).” (p.102)

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La réforme, le chiffrage, son modèle et ses données

The reform, the costing, its model and its data

Franck Bessis & Paul Cotton (2021)

Politix, vol. 134, no. 2, pp. 7-32.

Résumé. L’article retrace le processus par lequel la microsimulation, nouvelle forme d’évaluation ex ante, s’est imposée comme l’instrument privilégié pour concevoir et anticiper des effets d’une réforme du système socio-fiscal en France. Principalement conçus au sein des administrations « chiffreuses », les modèles de microsimulation sont d’abord élaborés de façon non coordonnée, appelant des jeux de concurrence mais aussi de coopération entre les équipes et institutions en charge de leur développement. Une nouvelle étape s’amorce à la fin des années 2000. Le monopole quasi exclusif de l’administration sur la microsimulation s’érode avec le retour progressif des économistes académiques dans le domaine. En découle une recomposition du paysage de la microsimulation qui, malgré la subsistance d’entreprises concurrentes, affirme un monopole de l’instrument sur la façon de penser une réforme du système socio-fiscal.

Extrait: “Au-delà de cette compréhension de l’expertise restreinte « à l’application de la démarche scientifique et la prise en compte des connaissances qui en résultent dans les processus décisionnels », le cas étudié nous invite à apprécier aussi l’évolution de la capacité des économistes à susciter et prendre part au débat public sur l’évolution des politiques socio-fiscales au moyen des mms. Cette redistribution des pouvoirs d’évaluation peut dès lors être lue à trois niveaux : celui des relations entre l’administration, le Parlement et les citoyens ; celui des relations internes à l’administration, entre les différents lieux d’expertise de l’administration (Insee, Cnaf, DG Trésor, Services du Premier ministre et Services statistiques ministériels) ; et celui des relations entre économistes internes et externes à l’administration.” (p. 10)

Abstract. This article explains how microsimulation, a new ex ante assessment method, became the “gold standard” to make and evaluate the effects of socio-fiscal reform. Primarily designed under costing-obsessed administrations, microsimulation models were initially developed with a lack of coordination, prompting institutions and teams leading the development to compete as well as cooperate. At the end of the 2000s, a new chapter began. The near-monopoly of microsimulation administration began to wane as academic economists gradually returned with renewed interest in the field. This led to a redrawing of the microsimulation landscape, which, despite the existence of competing companies, affirmed the status of this tool’s monopoly on the way in which reforming the socio-fiscal system is conceived.

Extract: “Beyond this understanding of expertise restricted “to the application of the scientific approach and the taking into account of the resulting knowledge in the decision-making process”, the case studied also invites us to appreciate the evolution of the capacity of economists to initiate and take part in the public debate on the evolution of socio-fiscal policies by means of the mms. This redistribution of evaluation powers can therefore be read at three levels: that of relations between the administration, Parliament and citizens; that of internal relations within the administration, between the different areas of expertise within the administration (INSEE, CNAF, DG Treasury, Prime Minister’s Office and ministerial statistical offices); and that of relations between economists inside and outside the administration. (p. 10)

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Les fondements théoriques de la co-détermination

Theoretical foundations of co-determination

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

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

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

Lien Zoom :

Discipline… and punish? Three economic and social science paradigms in the manipulation of Libor

Guillaume Dupéret (2022)

Defense of PhD thesis, November 17 in Ecole des Mines de Paris-PSL

The jury will be composed of:
André Orléan (CNRS-PSE, co-director)
Pierre Fleckinger (Mines de Paris-PSE, co-director)
Eve Chiapello (EHESS-CEMS, examiner)
Yamina Tadjeddine (Université de Nancy, rapportrice)
Michael Tröge (ESCP Europe, rapporteur)
Anaïs Henneguelle (Université Rennes 2-ENS Saclay, examiner)

Abstract. This dissertation intends to better document the functioning of the Libor scandal, a central rate of the interbank market that was manipulated (at least) during the 2000s. However, its main purpose is to analyze this manipulation through several economic and social science approaches. The essential originality of this work therefore lies in its epistemological aim, which consists in making very diverse conceptual standpoints work around the same object.
After a general introduction of the thesis, the first chapter applies a conventionalist methodology. Thanks to the exploitation of internal communications made public during Libor manipulation trials, this work first precisely describes the network of actors (traders, brokers, contributors and regulator) involved. Based on Lewis’ (1969) founding definition, it characterizes Libor manipulation as a convention, a self-reinforcing social norm progressively becoming unquestioned. It is not easy for a regulator to stop such a conventional dynamic, and it is therefore possible to shed light on both the past of Libor (in comparison with an indicator produced in Chicago that was not retained as a benchmark at the end of the 1990s) and its future (the reform of the indicator following the scandal). In the second chapter, a more standard modeling approach presents an information economics model. In a theoretical framework inspired by the salient features of the Libor manipulation, a Bayesian model is proposed in which a manipulator learns by the magnitude of their fraud whether their supervisor is active or inactive. Two possible time frames for the optimal choice (successive traders active for only one period versus one single trader with an infinite payoff horizon) are compared: learning dynamics of the supervisor type, probability of control, magnitude of the payoff from the manipulation. From an applied economics perspective, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the Libor scandal to show how the model sheds light on what the manipulation of the indicator actually was. The last chapter resorts to pragmatic sociology to enrich the conventionalist analysis by proposing to study what can bring about the genesis or the decline of a convention – a question that has not been much explored in the literature, especially, as in chapter 1, when the convention is considered as a self-reinforcing norm. Starting with a detailed presentation of the “worlds” or “cities of justification” presented by Boltanski and Thévenot (1991), the aim is to show how several of them have been invoked, at different times, in the history of Libor. The genesis of Libor use convention, the development of the manipulation agreement and finally its decline can then be presented as compromises or conflicts between worlds whose mobilizations gain or lose legitimacy depending on the context. While it is not a question of opposing the different paradigms mobilized, nor of making one triumph at the expense of the others, the proposed dissertation rather intends to shed light on the benefits that can be gained from using multiple approaches derived from the diversity of disciplines and methods.

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Review of “Christian Bessy & Claude Didry (eds.), L’économie est une science réflexive. Chômage, convention et capacité dans l’œuvre de Robert Salais. Villeneuve-d’Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion

Guillaume Arnould (2022)

Lectures. Open access

Introduction: “La discipline économique est parfois décriée pour son caractère réducteur, d’autres fois pour ses aspects modélisateurs. Voici donc un ouvrage qui pourra réconcilier le lecteur avec cette discipline. L’économie est une science réflexive est un livre qui rend hommage aux travaux de l’économiste Robert Salais, porteur d’une démarche scientifique originale et ambitieuse qui a fait l’objet de journées d’études en 2019, dont sont issues les contributions réunies ici. Au-delà d’une synthèse des recherches issues de l’œuvre de Salais (auteur dans cet ouvrage de deux chapitres et un entretien) vingt-deux contributions permettent de discuter et d’approfondir les thèmes ou la démarche qu’il a contribué à mettre en œuvre. Robert Salais est, en effet, un auteur emblématique d’un courant de pensée majeur des sciences économiques contemporaine : l’économie des conventions. L’ouvrage réunit d’ailleurs certains auteurs qui y sont rattachés. Pour autant, il ne s’agit pas que d’un hommage mais bien d’une discussion approfondie d’un programme de recherche, des pistes qu’il a ouvertes et des prolongements qu’on peut en espérer.”

Introduction: “The discipline of economics is sometimes decried for its reductive character, other times for its modeling aspects. Here is a book that can reconcile the reader with this discipline. L’économie est une science réflexive is a book that pays tribute to the work of the economist Robert Salais, bearer of an original and ambitious scientific approach that was the subject of study days in 2019, from which the contributions gathered here are derived. In addition to a synthesis of the research resulting from Salais’ work (the author of two chapters and an interview in this book), twenty-two contributions allow us to discuss and deepen the themes or the approach that he contributed to implement. Robert Salais is, in fact, an emblematic author of a major current of thought in contemporary economic science: the economics of conventions. The book also brings together some of the authors who are associated with it. However, it is not just a homage, but an in-depth discussion of a research program, of the avenues it has opened up and of the extensions that can be hoped for.”

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Soziologie der Konventionen

Sociology of conventions

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2022)

In: Delitz, Heike (ed.), Soziologische Denkweisen aus Frankreich. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 471–493

Zussammenfassung. In dem Beitrag wird die Soziologie der Konventionen als zeitgenössische Wissenschaftsbewegung vorgestellt. Diese ist Teil der neuen pragmatischen Soziologien in Frankreich und rekombiniert die beiden sozialwissenschaftlichen Megaparadigmen (Neo-)Pragmatismus und (Neo-)Strukturalismus in innovativer Weise. Das Konzept der Konvention bezeichnet institutionelle Koordinationslogiken, die kompetente Akteure für die Bewertung und Valorisierung von Sachverhalten sowie für die Beurteilung angemessener Handlungspraktiken in Situationen heranziehen. Wichtig ist die Perspektive eines radikalen Pluralismus koexistierender Konventionen als Koordinations- und Bewertungslogiken. Der Beitrag stellt dann die methodologische Grundposition vor, welche als methodologischer Situationalismus bezeichnet werden kann. Weitere Zentralkonzepte der Soziologie der Konventionen (wie Kritik und Rechtfertigung) sowie die wichtigsten Systematisierungen von Konventionen werden eingeführt. Zuletzt werden auch einige der paradigmatischen Studien und die interdisziplinäre sowie mittlerweile internationale Struktur dieser neuen Wissenschaftsbewegung präsentiert.

Abstract. The paper presents the sociology of conventions as a contemporary scientific movement. This is part of the new pragmatic sociologies in France and recombines the two social science mega-paradigms (neo-)pragmatism and (neo-)structuralism in an innovative way. The concept of convention denotes institutional logics of coordination that draw on competent actors for the evaluation and valorization of facts and for the assessment of appropriate practices of action in situations. The perspective of a radical pluralism of coexisting conventions as logics of coordination and evaluation is important. The article then introduces the basic methodological position, which can be described as methodological situationalism. Other central concepts of the sociology of conventions (such as critique and justification) as well as the most important systematizations of conventions are introduced. Lastly, some of the paradigmatic studies and the inter-disciplinary as well as now international structure of this new scientific movement are presented.

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Dynamiques du capitalisme sanitaire

Dynamics of health capitalism

Philippe Batifoulier & Nicolas Da Silva (eds.)(2022)

Économie et institutions, numéro spécial, 30-31. Open access

– Philippe Batifoulier et Nicolas Da Silva: Capitalisme sanitaire. Introduction au numéro spécial

– Philippe Batifoulier et Nicolas Da Silva: L’Etat et la santé. Une économie politique du capitalisme sanitaire

– Jean-Paul Domin: Le développement du capitalisme sanitaire et l’émergence du complexe médico-industriel

– Marion Bruna: La mise en place d’une complémentaire santé par l’entreprise: entre logique d’incitation et inégalités de couverture

– Samira Guennif: D’une pandémie à l’autre, rareté artificielle et rente sous brevet de médicament

– Alexis Jeamet: Déposséder les soignants pour « reconstruire » l’hôpital public? Une analyse d’économie politique

– Laura Allès: Les transformations du capitalisme hospitalier français – Un secteur aux mains de la finance de marché

– Ana Carolina Cordilha: Financialisation and Public Health Systems: a new concept to examine ongoing reforms

– Bruno Boidin et Mathias Chavassieux: Capitalisme et santé au Sud: la finance mixte au cœur de la financiarisation de l’aide au développement

– Mariana Jansen Ferreira: Health financialization in Brazil: some evidence in the hospital sector

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Hommage à Robert Salais, présentation de l’ouvrage collectif 23 novembre 2022

Tribute to Robert Salais, presentation of the collective work November 23, 2022

Le 23 novembre 2022 aura lieu à l’ENS PSL au 48 boulevard Jourdan (salle 004, bâtiment POTOS) une demi-journée de discussion autour de l’ouvrage en hommage à Robert Salais qui vient d’être publié (09/2022) par les presses universitaires du Septentrion et coordonné par Christian Bessy et Claude Didry: L’économie est une science réflexive. Chômage, convention et capacité dans l’œuvre de Robert Salais.

On November 23, 2022, a half-day discussion will take place at ENS PSL at 48 boulevard Jourdan (room 004, POTOS building) around the book in homage to Robert Salais that has just been published (09/2022) by the Presses Universitaires du Septentrion and coordinated by Christian Bessy and Claude Didry: : L’économie est une science réflexive. Chômage, convention et capacité dans l’œuvre de Robert Salais  [Economics is a reflective science. Unemployment, convention and capacity in the work of Robert Salais].

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Introduction à la sociologie économique – Analyse critique des organisations et des marchés

Introduction to economic sociology – Critical analysis of organizations and markets

Matthieu de Nanteuil & Thierry Amougou (2022)

DeBoeck Supérieur


Avant-propos. Organisations et marchés à l’âge de l’anthropocène

PARTIE INTRODUCTIVE. Définitions et leçons de l’histoire

Chapitre 1: Qu’est-ce qu’un marché ? Qu’est-ce qu’une organisation ?

Chapitre 2: Aux frontières de l’inhumain. Marché aux esclaves, organisation génocidaire et productivisme : regards croisés sur la rationalité du mal

PARADIGME I. UTILITARISME ET CRITIQUE SOCIALE. L’organisation constituée par le marché… et ses limites

Chapitre 3: D’Adam Smith à Léon Walras et Friedrich Hayek : la naissance de l’économie politique et l’invention du concept de « marché »

Chapitre 4: D’Adam Smith à F.-W. Taylor et Henry Ford : de la division du travail sous contrainte de marché à l’organisation scientifique du travail (OST)

PARADIGME II. SYSTÈMES ET STRUCTURES. L’organisation s’émancipe du marché, le marché se constitue comme organisation

Chapitre 5: De Fernand Braudel à Immanuel Wallerstein : les structures sociohistoriques de l’économie, le capitalisme comme système-monde

Chapitre 6: Après Talcott Parsons, Henry Mintzberg… ou Michel Foucault ? Regards croisés sur l’organisation comme système et comme structure

PARADIGME III. RÉGULATIONS ET CONVENTIONS. Repenser les organisations dans une économie plurielle à l’heure du marché global

Chapitre 7: De Robert Boyer à André Orléan : le marché comme construction institutionnelle et conventionnelle

Chapitre 8: De Jean-Daniel Reynaud à Laurent Thévenot : l’organisation, entre négociations et justifications

PARADIGME IV. SAVOIRS ET IDENTITÉS. Organisations et marchés à l’heure de la diversité des savoirs et des identités

Chapitre 9: De Richard Thaler et Daniel Kahneman à Sylvie Laurent : les marchés entre psychologie, biais cognitifs et racisme

Chapitre 10: De Chris Argyris à Arlie Hochschild et Kimberlé Crenshaw : l’organisation à l’épreuve des apprentissages, des émotions et des discriminations

En guise d’ouverture. La carte et les territoires

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Assurance santé et crise sanitaire : une solidarité portée par le marché ?

Health insurance and health crisis: market-driven solidarity?

Philippe Batifoulier (2022)

In Bruno Lamotte (dir.), Économie sociale et crises du XXIe siècle, éditions Campus ouvert, p. 123-140

Résumé. La crise sanitaire a confirmé que l’assurance santé privée est moins efficace que l’assurance publique pour atténuer l’épreuve financière pour certains patients et préserver la santé publique. C’est pourtant au nom de la solidarité que les pouvoirs publics en France soutiennent le développement du marché de l’assurance santé. La multiplication de dispositifs juridiques visant à éduquer le marché à la solidarité renforce la complémentarité entre assurances publique et privée et positionne les assureurs comme garants de la mission sociale de l’assurance santé.

Abstract. The health crisis has confirmed that private health insurance is less effective than public insurance in alleviating the financial cost for some patients and preserving public health. However, it is in the name of solidarity that the public authorities in France support the development of the health insurance market. The multiplication of legal measures aimed at educating the market to solidarity reinforces the complementarity between public and private insurance and places insurers as sponsors of the social mission of health insurance.

Extrait: “La crise sanitaire a confirmé que le marché de l’assurance santé a besoin de récupérer des missions de solidarité pour se développer. Dans cette perspective, la multiplication de dispositifs juridiques qui ont pour objet d’éduquer le marché à la solidarité font des assureurs privés des acteurs pivots de la santé publique et de l’impératif de solidarité. L’assurance santé privée n’est plus seulement complémentaire institutionnellement à l’assurance publique. Elle se veut aussi substituable moralement si elle peut se présenter comme garante de la mission sociale de l’assurance santé. On s’interroge en conclusion sur cette évolution où l’Etat renonce à porter lui-même les valeurs de solidarité pour les confier à un marché dont le chiffre d’affaires est conforté.” (p. 125)

Extract: “The health crisis has confirmed that the health insurance market needs to recover solidarity missions in order to develop. In this perspective, the multiplication of legal mechanisms aimed at educating the market in solidarity makes private insurers pivotal players in public health and the imperative of solidarity. Private health insurance is no longer simply complementary to public insurance in institutional terms. It can also be substituted morally if it can present itself as the guarantor of the social mission of health insurance. In conclusion, we wonder about this development, in which the State itself is giving up the values of solidarity and entrusting them to a market whose turnover is reinforced.” (p. 125)

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De l’évolution de l’assurance maladie complémentaire à celle des organismes mutualistes

From the evolution of complementary health insurance to that of mutualist organizations

Cécile Vasseur (2022)

In Mireille Bruyère, Jean-Paul Domin & Bruno Lamotte (dir.) Penser les limites ? Comment le champ de l’économie sociale interroge les limites des activités économiques, Cahiers du Cirtes, 10, Presses universitaires de Louvain, p. 147-164

Résumé. À partir d’une revue de la littérature et des premiers résultats d’une enquête qualitative, ce travail interroge l’effet de l’évolution du cadre institutionnel de l’assurance maladie complémentaire (AMC) sur les mutuelles de santé. L’originalité de cette contribution est qu’elle ajoute à l’analyse des mutuelles, celle des services de soins et d’accompagnements mutualistes (SSAM). En nous appuyant sur le programme de recherche de l’économie des conventions, nous cherchons tout d’abord à questionner l’évolution des modèles d’évaluation dans le secteur de l’AMC, avant d’en montrer ses conséquences sur la coordination des acteurs mutualistes.

Abstract. Based on a review of the literature and the initial results of a qualitative survey, this paper examines the evolution of complementary health insurance sector on mutual health insurance companies. The originality of this contribution is that it introduces in the analysis the mutual care and support services (MCSS). Drawing on the research program on the economics of convention, we first seek to question the evolution of evaluation models in the CMA sector, before showing its consequences on the coordination of mutualist actors.

Extrait: “Les premiers travaux conventionnalistes s’intéressant à l’action publique et à la question de l’institution sont ceux de Salais et Storper (1995). Nous considérons les institutions au sens de Salais (2008, p.165), c’est-à-dire qu’elles « appartiennent à la sphère des ressources disponibles pour la coordination (droits, aides, financements, fiscalités, pénalités). Surtout, [elles] sont des objets intentionnels, en ce sens qu’elles sont créées pour mettre en œuvre une intention normative. » L’analyse de l’institution fait intervenir la question de la « réalisation collective du bien commun » c’est-à-dire « la construction et la légitimation de la base de connaissances (ou base informationnelle) à partir de laquelle [l’institution] juge la situation sur laquelle elle entend agir. » (ibid, p.165). Dans le secteur de l’AMC, la référence au bien commun est la protection sociale. Nous cherchons à montrer que l’évolution de la conception du bien commun qu’est la protection sociale, la rapproche de son pôle « assurance », qui serait efficacement gérée par le marché, et l’éloigne de son pôle « solidarité ».” (p. 149)

Extract: “The first convention-based works to focus on public action and the question of the institution are those of Salais and Storper (1995). We consider institutions in the sense of Salais (2008, p.165), i.e. they “belong to the sphere of resources available for coordination (rights, aid, financing, taxes, penalties). Above all, [they] are intentional objects, in the sense that they are created to implement a normative intention.” The analysis of the institution involves the question of the “collective realization of the common good” that is, “the construction and legitimization of the knowledge base (or informational base) from which [the institution] judges the situation on which it intends to act.” (ibid, p.165). In the complementary health insurance sector, the reference to the common good is social protection. We seek to show that the evolution of the conception of the common good that is social protection brings it closer to its “insurance” pole, which would be efficiently managed by the market, and moves it away from its “solidarity” pole.” (p. 149)

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Künstliche Intelligenz als hybride Lebensform. Zur Kritik der kybernetischen Expansion

Artificial intelligence as a hybrid life form. On the critique of cybernetic expansion

Jörn Lamla (2022)

In: Michael Friedewald, Alexander Roßnagel, Jessica Heesen, Nicole Krämer & Jörn Lamla, (eds), Künstliche Intelligenz, Demokratie und Privatheit. Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp. 77-99.

Auszug: “Eine solche Pluralität sozialer Welten mit unterschiedlichen Konventio­nen und soziomateriellen Praktiken ist auch wichtig, um die für die indivi­duelle Selbstbestimmung konstitutive Ausbildung kritischer Kompetenzen zu ermöglichen und zu verankern (vgl. Lamla 2021). Denn kritische Kom­petenzen  entwickeln  sich  aus  pragmatischer  Theorieperspektive  gerade  nicht in der privaten Selbstgenügsamkeit eines atomistischen Geistes, son­dern bedürfen der Konfrontation mit konkurrierenden Konventionen und Rechtfertigungen  in  der  sozialen  Lebenspraxis  (Boltanski/Thévenot  2007,  S.317).” (S. 94)

Extract: “Such a plurality of social worlds with different conventions and socio-material practices is also important in order to enable and anchor the formation of critical competencies that is consti-tutive for individual self-determination (cf. Lamla 2021). For critical competencies, from a pragmatic theoretical perspective, develop precisely not in the private self-sufficiency of an atomistic mind, but require confrontation with competing conventions and justifications in the social practice of life (Boltanski/Thévenot 2007, p.317).” (S. 94)

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Writing styles and modes of engagement with the future

Stefan B. Andrade, Anneke Sools & Yashar Saghai (2022)

Future, 141, pp. 1-19

Abstract. This paper present a new approach to analyze how people anticipate the future in times of uncertainty. Our approach combines insights from narrative theory and the sociology of anticipatory modes of engagement with the future. We applied a mixed method approach to analyze 166 letters from a creative writing exercise where residents from five countries was asked to write retrospectively from the viewpoint of a desired post-corona future. Using the methodology of Digital Story Grammar, we first categorized the letters given their grammatical structure in terms of who are in stories (characters), what the stories are about (type of action), and to what or whom were the actions directed to (objects for the character’s actions). This resulted in four writing styles: (1) analytical-observational, (2) collective-moral, (3) dialogical-personal, and (4) sensory-emotional. Consequently, we interpreted the four writing styles qualitatively in relation to the theory of modes of engagement with the future (i.e., familiarity, plans, exploration, and justification). We conclude by reflecting on the relationships between writing styles and modes in a multi-paradigmatic approach to the study of anticipation and the relevance to scenario-building practices.

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