Category Archives: Entrevistas

Where do groovy markets come from? A conversation with Liz McFall

Liz McFall (Head of the Department of Sociology at the Open University, one of the editors of the Journal of Cultural Economy and site manager of Charisma-Market Studies) has been crafting a very distinctive approach, in the context of recent SSF, to finance. She doesn’t write about esoteric derivatives but about domestic financial goods such as insurance and consumer lending. Most of her research is based on historical data, not on interviews or participant observation, and her conceptual interest is not calculation, rankings or formulae but charisma. In this conversation, carried out last May in Copenhagen, I use McFall’s last book Devising Consumption. Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending as an excuse to make her expand on some of the characteristic features of her work.

Q1. Devising Consumption has five main chapters, accordingly have I prepared five questions, although, and I am sorry for that, my questions neither follow the order of the book nor do they necessarily correspond to particular chapters. Continue reading

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On ethnography, collaboration and social studies of finance besides performativity. An interview with Annelise Riles

Collateral KnowledgeAnnelise Riles’s (Professor of Law in Far East Legal Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Cornell) work is characterized by an intense and productive dialogue between law and anthropology. This results in a form of research which, simultaneously, brings legal reasoning to the center of the ethnographer’s concern (as an object of social scientific investigation) and makes this same reasoning a productive tool for anthropological inquiry. In this conversation carried out right after the workshop ‘Markets for Collective Concerns?’ held last December at Copenhagen Business School, Riles discusses her latest book on her long-term ethnographic work with financial regulators and lawyers in Japan, Collateral Knowledge, and her more recent articles on collaborative research. The interview was conducted by José Ossandón and Gustavo Onto helped elaborate the questions. Continue reading

Shaping Jazz with Damon Phillips

bookjacketIn 2013, Damon Phillips, James P. Gorman Professor of Business Strategy at Columbia University, published the book Shaping Jazz: Cities, Labels and the Global Emergence of an Art Form with Princeton University Press. This book is filled with insightful arguments and findings for the study of economic life and, in particular, of the role that organizations and geography play in shaping cultural markets. The book combines network analysis and archival research in innovative ways while, at the same time, presenting Damon’s thoughts and stories which gives the reader a glimpse into the author’s creative mind. Damon and I met to chat about his book. Below I present a summary of our conversation with the attempt to provide you with some “backstage” information about this relevant and enjoyable piece of work: Continue reading

“Entrepreneurs are violent. They operate without any kind of regime of justification, they just act”. An interview with Will Davies.

Will Davies is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Politics at Goldsmith, University of London where he also co-directs the newly created Political Economy Research Centre, and a prolific blogger. His recently published book The Limits Of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty And The Logic Of Competition examines the efforts paid by economic and innovation experts to model society in terms of competition. In this conversation we discuss the usefulness of the concepts developed by the recent sociology of critique to study the limits of neoliberalism and how the economic critique of the state has been employed precisely to legitimate, empower and expand the state.

Introduction

Q1. TU. In the introduction of your book you mention that critics of neoliberalism will probably feel disappointed if they are expecting to find a sort of conspiracy theory being unveiled through your research. However, what your research does is to unveil the theoretical and ontological underpinning of competition and neoliberalism. But maybe I am missing part of your intentions. An introductory question: what were your initial hypotheses and/or motivations for studying competition and the rationality and authority of the neoliberal state?

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De los Chicago boys a la Berkeley mafia: entrevista con Yves Dezalay

Foto: ICSO, Universidad Diego Portales

Director emérito del CNRS y miembro del Centro de sociología europea de la EHESS, Yves Dezalay es una referencia mayúscula en el estudio de los economistas. Su obra pionera publicada en 2002 junto a Bryant Garth La internacionalización de las guerras de palacio guío la reflexión de muchos de los análisis sobre economistas y abogados a escala global y local. Tras sus investigaciones en América Latina, Dezalay estudió en profundidad estos fenómenos en varios países de Asia (más publicaciones acá). En esta conversación, llevada a cabo en Paris en mayo 2014, Dezalay hace un balance de sus hallazgos y sintetiza sus conclusiones sobre la ‘Berkeley Mafia’ y la actualidad de los economistas en la crisis de algunos países de Europa. El audio esta vez es en francés, aunque abajo van las preguntas traducidas al español.  Continue reading

Is neoliberalism Weberian? An interview with Nicholas Gane

9780230242036Like a sociological detective of ideas, professor of sociology at the University of Warwick Nicholas Gane (2012, 2014 a, b) has been following the traces of social scientific thought in neoliberalism. The initial clue was given by Michel Foucault who in his Birth of Biopolitics argued that Max Weber’s work not only influenced critical theorists such as Adorno and Horkheimer but also one of the main branches within neoliberal thinking, German ordoliberalism. While Gane’s research ended up finding Foucault’s Weber-Ordoliberals connections rather thin, the investigation took him to an even more worrying result, namely, Weber’s influence on the work of Ludwig von Mises and his followers in Vienna, including the über neoliberal Friedrich Hayek. In this interview carried out at Warwick early June, Gane talks about his recent inquiry and its consequences. Continue reading

The Synco Boys: those forgotten pre-neoliberal economic experts. An interview with Eden Medina

Portada revolucionarios ciberneticos.inddEden Medina has written one of the most fascinating books about Chile’s recent history, Cybernetic Revolutionaries (MIT Press) published originally in 2011 and recently translated by LOM as Revolucionarios Cibernéticos. Tecnología y política en el Chile de Salvador Allende. From a STS approach, and based on archive material and extensive interviews, the book describes in detail the history of ‘Proyecto Synco’, the attempt lead by British cybernetician Stafford Beer and Fernando Flores to coordinate and manage the Chilean socialist economy. Taking the translation of the book as an excuse, we asked Eden to talk to Estudios de la Economía. The only problem was that at that time, November 2013, we were each in a different country, Eden in the US, Manuel in the UK and José in Denmark. But we finally had the Skype conversation we share with you here. Unfortunately, at the time of the meeting Manuel was in a very noisy café. Therefore, some parts (particularly answer to question 1) are difficult to hear. Anyway, we are very happy to share this podcast, hoping it will motivate listeners to read Eden’s book and inspire more detailed historical research of this kind. Continue reading

Estudios de la Economía en ACCOUNTS (ASA Section Newsletter)

El último número de Accounts – la newsletter de la sección de Sociología Económica de la American Sociological Association- incluye esta entrevista sobre la historia y desafíos futuros de Estudios de la Economía. Continue reading

¿”Analítico versus interpretativo” / “capitalismo versus democracia”? Una entrevista con Peter Wagner

DSC_1109Peter Wagner ha dedicado su obra al estudio de las diferentes formas de modernidad, social, económica, política, y a las trayectorias históricas de las sociedades modernas. En la actualidad es ICREA Research Professor en el Department of Sociological Theory, Philosophy of Law and Methodology of the Social Sciences at the University of Barcelona. Sus intereses de investigación son la teoría social y política y la sociología política, cultural e histórica, con particular énfasis en el análisis comparativo de las configuraciones sociales y sus trayectorias históricas. Desde el año 2010 es el Investigador Principal de TRAMOD: European Research Council-funded Advanced Grant project “Trajectories of modernity: comparing non-European and European varieties”. Uno de los principales objetivos del proyecto TRAMOD es avanzar en el análisis comparativo de sociedades y organizaciones políticas contemporáneas, con especial énfasis en la pluralidad existente de lo que Wagner ha llamado societal self-understandings y las estructuras institucionales conexas en la sociedad mundial. Sus publicaciones recientes incluyen el libro Modernity: Understanding the Present (Cambridge: Polity, 2012) y Modernity as Experience and Interpretation. A New Sociology of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity, 2008).

Si bien Wagner ha sido reconocido como un sociólogo de la modernidad, nuestra conversación, llevada a cabo en su despacho de la Facultad de Economía de la Universidad de Barcelona, * se orientó principalmente al aporte de su actual proyecto de investigación a la sociología de la economía y a la comprensión de la dimensión económica de la modernidad.  Continue reading

“Facebook teaches you how to be a neoliberal agent”. An interview with Philip Mirowski

Never_Let_a_Serious_Crisis_Go_to_Waste_300dpi_CMYK_VERSO_SITEPhil Mirowski is an historian of science and philosopher of economic thought at the University of Notre Dame. He has extensively written about economic and scientific knowledge, neoliberalism, and the current financial crisis, among other topics. He visited Cambridge last June to speak at the ECONPUBLIC workshop “Economic reason: intellectuals and think tanks in the late twenty century”, and I took this opportunity to interview him. Our conversation took place on June 27 in the backyard of the hotel where Mirowski was staying in the outskirts of Cambridge. The interview touches upon many topics of possible interest for readers (and listeners) of this blog, including the particular conception of markets in neoliberal economics, Hayek, anti public intellectuals, and a harsh criticism to the performativity thesis in finance studies. Many thanks to Tiago Mata and José Ossandón for helpful suggestions in preparing this interview.

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