The modes of economies
Conveners Vincent Antonin Lepinay (Sciences Po), Martin Kornberger and Ursula Plesner (CBS)
We invite readers and co-researchers of AIME to join us for a unique series of events in Copenhagen from February 24 to 26, 2014.
On Monday February 24, at 3.30pm at the Copenhagen Business School, the AIME platform will be presented by the team of scholars and designers who have developed it.
On Tuesday 25th (all day) and Wednesday 26th (morning), a workshop will take place at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS Ovnhallen). The last three chapters of AIME will be tested empirically.
On Wednesday 26th, at 5pm, Bruno Latour will give a public conference on The Affects of Capitalism at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.
In Bruno Latour’s latest work, the economy features prominently. The last chapters of the book, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (hereafter AIME) promises to clarify the status of the most encompassing, and most authoritative of all social sciences, economics. More than a critique of economic’s inflated claims to science, the last chapters of AIME intend to rebuild the foundation of an inquiry that would put an end to the monstrous status of economics and offer a diplomatic way out of a magnificent case of confusion among several modern modes of existence. If the Economy is not simply? a continent, that French and English moral philosophers stumbled upon in the late 18th century, how should we go about investigating the majority of the ways in which it goes about its business? For a clean listing of its main activities, we could look at prices, pervasive calculations, and its large organizations; for a more sobering characterization we would note mass migrations, 2 digit unemployment rates and insane wealth inequalities. We may not agree on its ontology but it is very much in evidence.
“(…) how can we approach The Economy with sufficient dexterity without giving it too much or too little credit? Because The Economy offers the analyst such a powerful metalanguage, its investigation might have been concluded at once, as if everyone, from one end of the planet to the other, were now using the same terms to define the value of all things. Not only would it offer no handhold to anthropology, since it would have become the second nature of an already unified and globalized world, but it would have achieved at the outset all the goals taken on by our projected diplomacy, by allowing all peoples to benefit from the same measuring instrument made explicit everywhere in the same idiom. With The Economy, there would always be mutual understanding, because it would suffice to calculate. A quarter-century-long effort to specify the history of the Moderns would have been useless since, from now on, the entire Earth would share the same ways of attributing value in the same terms (…) How can she resist the appeal of this genuine universal, perhaps the only one we have in common? A single language, a single world, a single yardstick: “the real bottom line.” (pp. 383-4)
With the Economy, AIME locates one of the incredible sources of its resilience, and of the substance it has created, in the blending of 3 modes of existence, [ORG], [ATT], [MOR] that are documented in chapters 14, 15 and 16. (90 pages for the economy in the French version; 94 pages in the English version). There was never a quicker treatment of such a polarizing set of issues that shake the world on a continuous basis. In the spirit of slowing down the hasty recipes that most stakeholders of the economy seem to push, we want to invite readers of AIME to document the economy with us and assess the promise of diplomatic resolutions carried by the tripartite division of the economy.
Submitting a contribution
Submission deadline : January 20
Notification of acceptance: January 27
The workshop will feature discussions of documents pertaining to the economy section of AIME. The point of the meeting is not to engage in abstracto economic theories or theories of the economy. Quite the opposite, its aim is to clarify the fruitfulness and qualities of the axes put to use by AIME’s economic reconstruction.
The document-centrered approach reflects the philosophy of the inquiry: moving from a critical stance towards a diplomatic position that demands new skills of the social scientists turned diplomats. We are seeking contributions of interested parties – scholars, but also individuals or groups who feel that they are concerned by the redefinition of the economy put forth by AIME. These contributions will question or challenge the diplomatic proposal contained in AIME in a two step operation:
- Mobilize a case, or a situation that falls within the purview of the economy section of the book - Propose a modification to the diplomatic tools deployed by [ATT], [ORG] and [MOR] AIME is an experiment with disciplines and genres. The scholarly text itself is an anchor for a series of other elements that make up an extended book. We wish to use the multimedia platform to encourage contributions and to select the contributors who will attend the day and a half workshop. To contribute, please have a look at our website www.modesofexistence.org and make use of this tutorial.
We think that contributing on the platform will enhance the collective dimension of the experiment. If any difficulty is be encountered during the contribution process, we will obviously also accept more standard ways of applying to join the workshop. We will accept proposals of contribution until January 20. We will send notifications of acceptance by January 27 at the latest.
We will cover travel (economy class) and accommodation (2 nights) expenses of conference’ participants who are selected to present at the workshop. Do write to firstname.lastname@example.org and Vincent Lepinay (email@example.com) for more information.