Filed under book | Tags: · activism, assembly, autonomy, colonialism, commons, democracy, entrepreneurship, finance, labour, multitude, neoliberalism, organization, politics, protest, social movements, subjectivity
“In recent years ‘leaderless’ social movements have proliferated around the globe, from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia. Some of these movements have led to impressive gains: the toppling of authoritarian leaders, the furthering of progressive policy, and checks on repressive state forces. They have also been, at times, derided by journalists and political analysts as disorganized and ineffectual, or suppressed by disoriented and perplexed police forces and governments who fail to effectively engage them. Activists, too, struggle to harness the potential of these horizontal movements. Why have the movements, which address the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and create a new, more democratic and just society? Some people assume that if only social movements could find new leaders they would return to their earlier glory. Where, they ask, are the new Martin Luther Kings, Rudi Dutschkes, and Stephen Bikos?
With the rise of right-wing political parties in many countries, the question of how to organize democratically and effectively has become increasingly urgent. Although today’s leaderless political organizations are not sufficient, a return to traditional, centralized forms of political leadership is neither desirable nor possible. Instead, as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argue, familiar roles must be reversed: leaders should be responsible for short-term, tactical action, but it is the multitude that must drive strategy. In other words, if these new social movements are to achieve meaningful revolution, they must invent effective modes of assembly and decision-making structures that rely on the broadest democratic base. Drawing on ideas developed through their well-known Empire trilogy, Hardt and Negri have produced, in Assembly, a timely proposal for how current large-scale horizontal movements can develop the capacities for political strategy and decision-making to effect lasting and democratic change. We have not yet seen what is possible when the multitude assembles.”
Publisher Oxford University Press, 2017
Heretical Thought series
ISBN 9780190677961, 0190677961
Filed under book | Tags: · economics, economy, finance, market, market economy, psychology, sociology, speculation
Spectacular Speculation is a history and sociological analysis of the semantics of speculation from 1870 to 1930, when speculation began to assume enormous importance in popular culture. Informed by the work of Luhmann, Foucault, Simmel and Deleuze, it looks at how speculation was translated into popular knowledge and charts the discursive struggles of making speculation a legitimate economic practice. Noting that the vocabulary available to discuss the concept was not properly economic, the book reveals the underside of putting it into words. Speculation’s success depended upon non-economic language and morally questionable thrills: a proximity to the wasteful practice of gambling or other “degenerate” behaviors, the experience of financial markets as seductive, or out of control. American discourses of speculation take center stage, and the book covers an unusual range of material, including stock exchange guidebooks, ticker tape, moral treatises, plays, advertisements, and newspapers.
Originally published in German as Spektakuläre Spekulation: Das Populäre der Ökonomie, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2007
Translated by Eric Savoth
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2013
ISBN 0804788251, 9780804788250
Filed under book | Tags: · art, economy, fashion, finance, market, sociology, value
How do we place value on goods – and, importantly, why? Valuation and pricing are core issues in the market economy, but understanding of these concepts and their interrelation is weak. In response, The Worth of Goods takes a sociological approach to the perennial but timely question of what makes a product valuable.
Structured in three parts, it first examines value in the broader sense – moral values and how they are formed, and the relations between economic and non-economic values – discussing such matters as the value of an oil spill, the price of a scientific paper, value in ethical consumption, and imaginative value. The second part discusses the issues surrounding valuation in aesthetic markets, specifically wine, fashion models, art, and the creative industries. The third part analyzes valuation in financial markets – credit rating agencies, stock exchange markets, and industrial production.
This pioneering volume brings together leading social scientists to provide a range of theoretical tools and case studies for understanding price and the creation of value in markets within social and cultural contexts and preconditions. It is an important source for scholars in economics, sociology, anthropology, and political science interested in how markets work, and how value is established.
– Interdisciplinary contributions from sociology, economics, political science, and marketing
– Presents empirical studies of both financial and some unusual markets – wine, art, fashion
– Pioneering work at intersection of sociology, economics, and marketing
– Chapters by leading international scholars in economic sociology
– Revisits both established theories of value and current thinking
Publisher Oxford University Press, 2011
ISBN 0199594643, 9780199594641