Archives par étiquette : Chiapello

Special Issue « Markets and Classifications. Categorizations and Valuations as Social Processes Structuring Markets » Historical Social Research

Karoline Krenn (Ed.) (2017)

Historical Social Research, 42(1).

In the last couple of years the discussion on market classifications has received new topicality through the unbounded possibilities offered by digital technologies to track behavioral data. Understanding the social foundations of categories and classification systems is a fundamental problem in sociology. In markets, classifications are present in the variety of goods traded, in quality differentiations and their association to goods, and, also their matching with consumers. From a pure business perspective such marking of market identities is based on objective characteristics. In contrast, it is the aim of social science studies to pay attention to the formation of market categories, to examine the social construction processes underlying these classifications and to demonstrate their contingencies. In this vein, the contributions to this HSR Special Issue, which come from various theoretical schools such as the new economic sociology or the economics of convention, present recent research across a range of economic settings: financial markets, fashion markets, consumer markets and others. Despite the varieties of markets and national institution settings, essential resemblances show. Among the topics covered: The case of the French impact investment market, arguing for a dual function of judgment devices, demonstrates the close connection between boundary-building and boundary-blurring. A study on Dutch marketing agents reveals that the same actors who promote new classifications have difficulties in implementing these differentiations in their own performances. The example of self-categorizations in the British ethical fashion industry shows that the relevance of classifications is connected to reputation and power. And, analyses into the US-credit market discuss the off-label of classifications and its adverse societal consequences.

Link to the review

Les services écosystémiques : de nouveaux outils de justification au service de la critique écologiste ? Une analyse conventionnaliste à partir du Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut (France), par Leslie Carnoye

Thèse soutenue le 8 décembre 2016 sous la direction de Richard Sobel et Alain Leprêtre

Le paradoxe des « services écosystémiques » est qu’ils tendent à devenir aujourd’hui un référentiel dominant en matière de conservation et de protection de la biodiversité, mais qu’ils restent, dans le même temps, une approche très controversée, notamment dans le champ de l’Economie Ecologique. Le présent travail de thèse vise à interroger le potentiel transformateur de l’approche par les services écosystémiques, vis-à-vis des dynamiques institutionnelles qui régissent les rapports entre la conservation et le développement.

Pour ce faire, nous nous basons sur une étude de cas précise : celle du Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut, dans le département du Nord. Nous y avons réalisé une expérience d’observation participante, dans le cadre d’un projet d’évaluation de services écosystémiques sur le territoire. Nous avons également conduit des entretiens semi-directifs avec un certain nombre de représentants du parc et étudié ses documents de gestion, à l’aide d’un logiciel d’analyse de données textuelles (Prospéro). Le cadre théorique mobilisé est celui de l’Economie des Conventions. L’apport de la thèse est de proposer de modéliser l’écologisme non pas sous la forme idéale de la cité, mais comme une critique du capitalisme, au sens de Boltanski et Chiapello (1999). Selon nous, les principales formes de critiques écologistes contemporaines sont la décroissance, le développement durable et la croissance verte et ces dernières s’appuient sur différentes formes de compromis entre plusieurs ordres de grandeur.

Notre analyse nous amène à penser que la place des services écosystémiques, comme outils de justification au service du parc Scarpe-Escaut doit être relativisée. Ce qui donne du sens au projet de conservation et de développement porté par le parc est en effet la mobilisation d’un registre domestique, alors que les fondements normatifs des services écosystémiques reposent plutôt sur les cités marchande et par-projets. Les services écosystémiques peuvent ainsi être compris comme des dispositifs importants de la critique écologiste de la croissance verte, laquelle s’avère peu subversive vis-à-vis du capitalisme connexionniste.

Jury
M. Philippe BATIFOULIER, Professeur, Université de Paris X, Nanterre (Rapporteur)
Mme Géraldine FROGER, Professeure, Université de Toulouse, Jean Jaurès (Rapporteure)
Mme Florence JANY-CATRICE, Professeure, Université de Lille 1 (Présidente)
M. Alain LEPRETRE, Professeur, Université de Lille 1 (Co-directeur)
M. Richard SOBEL, Professeur, Université de Lille 1 (Directeur de thèse)
M. Franck-Dominique VIVIEN, Professeur, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne (Examinateur)
M. Bertrand ZUINDEAU, HDR, Directeur de projet, Conseil Régional des Hauts-de-France (Invité)

Ecosystem services: new justification tools for the ecological criticism? A conventionalist approach based on the Scarpe-Escaut natural park

The paradox of « ecosystem services » is that they tend to become today a dominant approach to conservation and biodiversity protection, while remaining at the same time very controversial, especially in the field of Ecological Economics. The thesis aims at questioning the transformative potential of the ecosystem services approach, regarding the institutional dynamics governing the relations between conservation and development.

This research is built on a precise case study: the Scarpe-Escaut Regional Natural Park, in the north of France. In the park, we carried out a participative observation experience within an ecosystem services valuation project; we conducted semi-structured interviews and studied the park’s management documents using a text-based data analysis software (Prospéro). The theoretical perspective developed is conventionalist. This thesis points out that ecologism shouldn’t be modelled as an ideal “order of worth”, but rather as a critique of capitalism, following Boltanski & Chiapello (1999). We show that the main contemporary forms of ecologist criticisms are degrowth, sustainable development and green growth, each of them relying on different forms of compromises between several “orders of worth”.

Our analysis leads us to think that the role of ecosystem services, as justification tools for the Scarpe-Escaut Park can be relativised. What gives meaning to the park’s conservation and development project is indeed the mobilisation of a domestic “order of worth”, while the normative basis of ecosystem services appears to be related to the merchant and per-projects “orders of worth”. This makes of ecosystem services an important part of the green growth ecological criticism, the latter being poorly subversive towards connexionist capitalism.

Special Issue « Conventions and Quantification – Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Statistics and Classifications » Historical Social Research

Rainer Diaz-Bone & Emmanuel Didier (Eds.) (2016)

Historical Social Research, 41(2).

In the last few decades, the field of “quantification” – namely the “sociology of quantification” – has evolved and it has shown an impressing development. There are many different strands of science contributing research on processes of quantification and the impact of quantification within social contexts. The concept of quantification is positioned at the crossroad linking approaches such as accounting theory, convention theory (économie des conventions), sociology and history of statistics, analysis of commensuration, sociology of standards and of standardization, analysis of benchmarking, and others.

Alain Desrosières was an internationally renowned scholar in the fields of sociology of quantification and history of statistics. His work can be regarded as the most important contribution to this field. Desrosières was also a “compagnon de route” of the French movement of the so-called “économie des conventions” which postulated the convention-based (and therefore social) nature of qualities, categories and quantities. Consequently, Desrosières’ work was also one of the main inspirations for this HSR Special Issue.

This HSR Special Issue presents recent and transdisciplinary research on the history and sociology of quantification. Building upon the work of Desrosières, this issue includes contributions on the history of science from the eighteenth century to today, covering topics such as: the millennium development goals, financial quantification, and quantification in higher education environments. All in all, the contributions work out the “political economy” as well as the “political sociology” of statistics, categorization, and quantification.

Furthermore this HSR contains a Mixed Issue with one article on „Societal Malaise and Ethnocentrism in the European Union: Monitoring Societal Change by Focusing on EU Citizens’ Perceptions of Crisis ».

Contributions