Can markets solve problems?
Daniel Neyland (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Sveta Milyaeva (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Economy 46
Thursday 18 September, 9:30-11:15, 11:30-13:15, 15:00-16:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Long abstract:

Markets are invoked in discussions of an ever broader variety of what we might term social, political, technological, scientific and economic issues, including healthcare, education, security, environment, and many other areas. These discussions frequently position markets as the basis for resolving (even simplifying and delegating responsibility for) otherwise complex problems. At the same time market-based initiatives are designed to make an intervention - to redistribute resources, cut costs, change working environments, access to services, delivery of formerly public goods, etc. As a result, questions arise regarding: the kinds of devices required to introduce markets; the seductive discourses of markets and their apparent ability to generate value, effectiveness and equality; the consequences of market-based initiatives, how they work, what counts as value, effectiveness or equitability, and to whom; to what extent and through what means market-based initiatives can be said to succeed or fail.

This session seeks to explore the possibility of combining the recent Science and Technology Studies interest in markets (Callon, 1998; MacKenzie, 2008; Muniesa, 2010) with a longer standing interest in the complex entangling of problems and solutions. Abstracts are invited which address: any of the above themes and questions; explore methodologies of market engagement; empirical studies of markets as solutions to problems; new ideas in market-making; the challenges of drawing together STS approaches to markets with ideas from other areas (economic sociology, political, theory, anthropology and others) or which draw together ideas from different areas within STS (market studies and science and technology policy, for example).

The papers will be presented in the order shown and grouped 4-4-4 between sessions