Version classiqueVersion mobile


Madeleine Akrich
Yannick Barthe
Fabian Muniesa
et al.

Callon and the life of democracy

Nigel Thrift

Texte intégral


1Michel Callon is rightly renowned as one of those authors who in recent years have questioned the notion of the economic as a fixed category and have argued that it should be reconceived as a shifting process of ‘economization’ (Caliskan & Callon 2009, 2010) in which certain practices become badged as economic in ways which confirm their existence as part of this sphere and simultaneously redefine what the sphere itself consists of. Such authors have not so much questioned the existence of an economic sphere as the terms on which it exists: a fixed ‘economy’ becomes provisional, theoretical economics becomes practical economics in the wild (and vice versa), and so on.

2But there comes a point when repetition sets in and something new has to be born. The literature that writers like Callon and MacKenzie have spawned has begun to say the same things, things that we now know. No doubt many more empirical studies of various instances of the economic and economization will follow but their impact will be incremental, simply because only so much is left to say. This is not to diminish Callon’s contribution but rather to underline just how important it has been.

3But it also makes it difficult to just follow on. Therefore, instead, I want to turn to another aspect of Callon’s work which is still in solution. For where I think Callon will have proved to have made an equally important contribution is in pointing the way to the evolution of practices of the economic which might be more democratic and might in turn begin to change the notion and practice of the economic into something kinder and more inclusive. In the end, this may, indeed, turn out to be the most important aspect of his work because it not only changes the academic terms of engagement with the economy (important though those might be) but also begins to change how everyday practices of the economic are sensed and made open to change and, in turn, charged with the potential for further action. In this short piece, it is this aspect of his work that I therefore want to deal with.

4The paper therefore proceeds as follows. First, I situate Callon’s work as part of a more general examination of the rise of a more expansive form of democracy, what might be called, following Keane (2009), ‘monitory democracy’, even as more or less vicious forms of totalitarian (anti- or post-) democracy also seem to be multiplying. Then, in the second part of the paper, I try to show that the rise of this monitory democracy brings its own challenges, concerned with the nature of expertise and the nature of decision, challenges which Callon has himself underlined. Then, in the brief conclusion, I argue that, most particularly in a time of economic turmoil, when, quite frankly, no one can be quite sure what is going on or what to do about whatever that might be, it seems to me that Callon’s arguments really need to be applied to the sphere where there is most need of more democracy and least access to it – the economic sphere, rather than science and technology, important though that sphere may also be.

Democracy vilified and undone

  • 1 A figure like Bill Clinton can be seen as the forerunner of this kind of world, with his voracious (...)

5Democracy is under concerted attack, and from many sides. But, if there is one threat hanging over democracy which is paramount it must surely be the rise of an authoritarian capitalism of the kind that luminaries as different as Colin Crouch and Sheldon Wolin have argued now exists, a form of capitalism that has been remorselessly building over the last twenty or thirty years, what is often called a ‘post-democratic’ consensus in which business and state elites rule the roost. “The forms of democracy remain fully in place [but] politics and government are slipping back into the control of privileged elites in the manner characteristic of pre-democratic times” (Crouch, 2004: 6). The result is a kind of convergence of state forms based on the premise that it is no longer clear that capitalism and democracy are necessary partners in a world where it is possible to have both the ‘inverted totalitarianism’ (Wolin, 2009) of the United States, in which corporate power often either no longer answers to state controls or bends them to its will, and the machinations of a state like China, in which corporate power and the state seem to be becoming increasingly synonymous. In both these constituencies, as in many more, politics increasingly becomes the pursuit of profit through a citizenry which “welcome change and private pleasures while accepting political passivity” (Wolin, 2009: xv) via what has become an increasingly managed political process based around the selfconscious constructions of a media system which has become much more than an overlay, a system in which the values and practices of politics and celebrity have become increasingly synonymous (Dill, 2009).1 The promise of happiness reigns (Ahmed, 2010; Ehrenreich, 2010) and a public fearful of its loss becomes more and more receptive to being led. So it is that any semblance of liberty can drain away (Kampfner, 2009; Wilson, 2009)

6But what this analysis ignores is that exactly at the same time as a corporate plutocracy has once more asserted its existence, longing for the clean political certainties of a Singapore, so democracy has mutated in ways hitherto unforeseen which are of the utmost importance in that they represent an expanded and enriched version of democracy, a democracy able “to absorb debates and controversies” (Callon, Lascoumes & Barthe, 2009: 9). In order to deal with overflows, democracy itself has overflowed, producing numerous new institutions. Perhaps the author closest to Callon’s views on this issue is John Keane with his account of ‘monitory democracy’, a shadow state, consisting of far more than the familiar litany of nongovernmental institutions, which is democratizing the practices of democracy. The list of these institutions is almost endlessly varied and disjointed:

“Citizen juries, bioregional assemblies, participatory budgeting, advisory boards and focus groups. There are think tanks, consensus conferences, teach-ins, public memorials, local community consultation schemes and open houses […] that offer information and advisory and advocacy services, archive and research facilities and opportunities for professional networking. Citizens’ assemblies, democratic audits, human rights organizations, brainstorming conferences, conflict-of-interest boards, global associations of parliamentarians against corruption, and constitutional safaris […] are on the list. So, too, are the inventions of India’s banyan democracy: railway courts, lok adalats, public-interest litigation and satyagraha methods of civil resistance. Included as well are activist courts, consumer testing agencies and consumer councils, online petitions and chat rooms, democracy clubs and democracy cafes, public vigils and peaceful sieges, summits and global watchdog organizations set up to bring greater public accountability to business and other civil society bodies.” (Keane, 2009: 692-693).

7The list of inventions extends still further:

“Deliberative polls, boards of accountancy, independent religious courts, experts councils, […] public ‘scorecards’ – yellow cards and white lists – public consultations, social forums, weblogs, electronic networking and civil disobedience and websites dedicated to monitoring the abuse of power […]. And the list of new inventions includes self-selected opinion polls (‘SLOPs’) and unofficial ballots (text-messaged straw polls, for instance), international treaties and criminal courts, global social forums and the tendency of increasing numbers of non-governmental institutions to adopt written constitutions with an elected component.” (Keane, 2009: 693).

8The sheer diversity of the political field in many countries nowadays throws down an organizational gauntlet to conventional democratic politicians as they make their way around a landscape of institutions which are “less centred on elections, parties, and legislatures; no longer confined to the territorial state; and spatially arranged in ways much messier [than formerly supposed]” (Keane, 2009: 697), a landscape which, coupled with the demands of the modern media, provides nothing so much as the demand for a state of permanent politicking accompanied by comparatively high levels of scrutiny.

9Monitory democracy is not all good, of course. It can allow special interests to flourish, it can make it possible for self-appointed experts to reveal not very much in the way of expertise, and it can act as camouflage for the powerful. But the general upwelling of new organizations and techniques for giving voice is mostly positive. It harnesses the power of diversity to give democracy multiple institutional voices, thereby producing more intelligence (Page, 2007).


10Callon’s heart is clearly on the side of monitory democracy in its many forms but its rapid institutional proliferation does bring with it a number of linked political questions which demand an answer. There are two of these I want to address, in particular. One concerns the nature of expertise. The second concerns the nature of decision.

  • 2 Indeed, scientists seem to live in the same haze as the rest of us. Witness the oft-reported fact (...)

11Lets us start with the vexed political question of expertise. There are some difficulties with Callon’s account of expertise of which I will note four. To begin with, on Callon’s view, it is possible to contrast a secluded world of experts with expertise in the wild. But as Collins & Evans (2009) and others have pointed out, there are many varieties of expertise which it is difficult to pin down in this way. Numerous forms of expertise live in the boundaries between these two categories. Then, there is the question of how much the supposedly well informed know in the first place. As many studies have shown, not a lot in many cases. Callon quite rightly questions how much individual scientists really know outside of their immediate empirical domain.2 Quite so. As Shapin points out in discussing the case of evolutionary theory,

“Scientists may often have only the vaguest ideas about the theoretical underpinnings of their work. In any case, while it may or may not be the case that evolution provides the conceptual foundation of life science, it is certainly not the case that biologists need to have command of any such theory to do competent work, for example, on the sex life of marine worms, on algal photosynthesis, or on the nucleotide sequence of breast cancer genes. Lots of practitioners of lots of modern expert practices turn out not to be very good at articulating their practices’ supposed foundations.” (Shapin, 2010: 7)

12The truth is that scientists, just like everyone else, fall back on cultural mores, relying on so-called cognitive shortcuts, whether these be particular modes of inference or trusted commentators, to arrive at a judgement, especially when it comes to supposedly difficult subjects like economics. Raban puts it nicely:

“In our present neo-Keynesian moment, economics has never seemed more bewildering and arcane. […] Most people I know, myself included, can’t readily follow the algebraic equations that explain the ‘Keynesian multiplier’ which, in its turn, is needed to explain TARP and the stimulus package. […] I simply take it on trust as a matter of faith that Paul Krugman, in his columns for The New York Times, is more likely to be right about such things than, say, Lou Dobbs or Senator John Thune, but I share in the general apprehensive fogginess about what’s happening.” (Raban, 2010: 10)

13The ability of various forms of monitory democracy to overcome these kinds of lacunae in knowledge, or even what is not known, and then to come to judgement is necessarily limited. Callon is clearly aware of this issue but what seems less clear in his work is what conclusions might follow from it. This is particularly relevant to a further point, which Callon again notes. That is that simply knowing something does not guarantee action. The parallel is perhaps best drawn with debates around the role of ideology:

“When the emphasis is placed on the question of truth and knowledge, as it is in the exceptionalist and Althusserian models, the material level at which ideology operates, i.e. the level of doing, seems to cease to be a factor. Knowledge seems to trump practice. Still, as Zizek points out, there is a ‘distortion already at work in the social realty itself at the level of what the individuals are doing, and not only what they think or know they are doing […] even if we keep an ironical distance, we are still doing them’.” (Rothenberg, 2010: 27)

14Last but not least, there is one other concern. Callon displays a faith in the distributed expertise of groups which some might think overly optimistic in that it still keeps faith with an idea that expertise is a value worth having. But not all communities think like that. Take the case of US commonsense conservatism, of the kind espoused by a politician like Sarah Palin, which undoubtedly draws on the views of a large constituency in the United States:

“Commonsense conservatism hinges on the not-so-tacit assumption that the average, hardworking churchgoer […] equipped with the fundamental, God given ability to distinguish right from wrong, is in a better position to judge, on ‘principle’, the merits of an economic policy or the deployment of troops abroad than ‘the experts’ – a term here unfailingly placed between derisive quotation marks. Dessicated expertise, of the kind possessed by economists, environmental scientists, and overinformed reporters from the lamestream media, clouds good judgement.” (Raban, 2010: 6).

15To summarize, learning – and a consequent opening up of democracy – cannot be guaranteed by the institutions of monitory democracy. Founding new sites and experimenting with new procedures is surely a good thing but it is beset by problems which Callon acknowledges but does not fully engage with. In the end, this is why it seems to me to be imperative to take on board a blast of good, old-fashioned pragmatism. For, in a certain sense, Callon’s thinking often recalls the debates that took place in the first half of the twentieth century between pragmatists like Dewey and Lippmann.

16Take the debate between Walter Lippmann and John Dewey over the ‘phantom’ of the informed public. For Lippmann (1925), an unashamed elitist, society comprised two types of people: informed agents and uninformed bystanders (also referred to as insiders and outsiders). The agent was someone who could act ‘executively’ on the basis of their own opinions to address the substance of an issue, and the bystander was the public. Only those familiar enough with the substance of a problem were able to analyze its twists and turns and propose meaningful solutions, and so were able to take ‘executive action’. But no one could have this executive capacity at all times – that is the myth of what Lippmann called the omnicompetent sovereign democratic citizen. Instead, individuals moved in and out of these roles/capacities:

“The actors in one affair are the spectators of another, and men are continually passing back and forth between the field where they are executives and the field where they are members of a public. The distinction between agents and bystanders […] is not an absolute one.” (Lippmann, 1925: 110)

17For most of the time, however, the public was just a “deaf spectator in the back row” (Lippmann, 1925: 13) because, for the most part at least, individuals are more interested in their private affairs and their individual relations than in those matters that govern society, the public questions about which they can be expected to know very little. Democracy acts as a check on the use of force but much of the time little else.

  • 3 For Dewey, a public only comes together when people perceive how the consequences of indirect acti (...)
  • 4 An interesting parallel might be made with a thinker who, I suspect, would not first come to mind (...)

18Dewey (1927)3 concedes to Lippmann that all kinds of powerful forces can eclipse the public and keep it from deliberating and articulating its needs, and not least corporate capital, distracting forms of entertainment, and the vagaries of different means of public communication. But, in contrast to Lippman’s belief that the public had very little capacity to be a rational participant in democracy, Dewey held a more optimistic view of the public and its potential as a democratic force. Dewey did not call for an abandonment of the public; rather, he hoped that the public would regain a sense of itself as a public. His solution to the problem of building a robust democracy was improved communication. Only with and through this communication could the public find itself and become the cohesive group it was meant to be.4

19We might argue that Callon takes Dewey’s part in this debate by providing an account of how to build new instruments of communication and deliberation – and thereby public cohesion. The issue then becomes a practical one. Can these instruments become embedded in the democratic process? Can they move from the informal into the formal battery of democratic methods, and at what cost?

20A second political question arises out of the haze of the decision. As anyone who has managed a large organization knows, it is rare to come across clear-cut decisions that set the ship on an unabashedly new course. As Callon, Lascoumes &Barthe(2009) point out, this does not produce a permanent state of organizational inaction but rather shows that action is distributed and that this distribution means that different parts of what we have come to call a temporally framed ‘decision’ proceed at a different pace. This once-and-for-all view of decision, and the critique of it, has had a long history in science studies, and indeed in management, where the heroic scientist, making a unilateral discovery, or the charismatic CEO, galvanizing an organization with instinctive and instinctively right decisions, is a commonplace but is just as commonly derided as a model of decision-making. Measured action continues apace, and often overflows its domain, producing valuable new learning opportunities. The critique has gained pace, not only in science studies, from numerous quarters (e.g. Suchman, 2006), but equally in management, not least amongst constituencies such as feminist management theorists and those who emphasize the importance of diversity (e.g. Page, 2007).

  • 5 I am absolutely in favour of what Sloterdijk calls hyperbolic theory but this is not the same thin (...)
  • 6 Perhaps they too should be subject to citizen juries!

21But, one place where this critique never seems to have gained a foothold is in the writings of left-leaning philosophers – with a few honourable exceptions. Not least when writing about democracy, these philosophers are prone to falling into the habit of making grandiose statements about the spirit and purpose of politics which are profoundly undemocratic in their exclusionary sweep (e.g. Badiou).5 In much the same way that managers often believe that they are making clearcut decisions that cut straight to the heart of the matter, so the same Pharaonic syndrome often seems to apply in the realm of theory. These left managerial metaphysicians have made sweeping statements about what the Left should do and how it should do it. The problem is that they want to do this with only the most marginal of references to the organization of actual politics in the world and with a mantle of authority which might itself be thought of as anti-democratic in that it seems to proceed by fiat. These theorists are experts who, like the professions and the guilds before them, have taken the mantle of expertise to themselves by excluding annoying incidentals like the work that has to be put into politics, the invention of new political forms and functions, or the discovery of issues that goes on on the job, so to speak. Yet their qualifications for such god-like status are often rocky and tendentious.6 This would not matter but for the fact that it can often produce legislation by theoretical fiat which can be dangerous. As just one example, it is one thing to say that democracy is often an empty signifier and quite another to assert that it does nothing at all (see Dean, 2009).

22But, thankfully, Callon remains a sociologist (Callon & Rabeharisoa, 2004). He will have only so much of philosophy. In contradistinction to many a modern sociologist for whom it often seems that the works of continental philosophy form an empirical datum, Callon has set out to provide an account of the world which is patchy and partial and empirically complex and, as a result, has something to say to those who believe that it is crucial to intervene in the affairs of the world, as opposed to sitting things out and making aristocratic announcements about its direction or lack thereof. The result is that he has been able to grow his enterprise from the ground up in a way that is grounded but not therefore without theoretical ambition. Surely, this must be the way to proceed.


23Let me conclude this piece by suggesting that where we need to take these thoughts next is back to Callon’s primary domain of the economy. What seems certain is that one of the real problems is how to think about the pursuit of democracy in the conditions that now pertain.

  • 7 Indeed, one could argue that recent revelations concerning the accuracy of predictions emanating f (...)

24For we are faced with an unparalleled crisis in democracy. A whole sphere of the world – finance in its many forms – has been marked out as deserving favour, influence and wealth without citizens being given any real rights of oversight or reply. An enormous financial crisis has ensued for which the state – that is, taxpayers – will have to pick up the tab. If a comparable crisis had occurred in Callon’s favoured domain, science, there would have been an extraordinary outcry7 but, with some regulatory tweaks, we seem to be seeing the institution of business much as usual within the economic domain. As the economic commentator Robert Peston puts it, referring to the UK:

“There’s nothing terribly unusual about [citizens’] sense of powerlessness and alienation from the writing of the rules of the banking and finance game. When it comes to how banks are allowed to behave, sovereignty over decision-making rarely rests with citizens. Did anyone actually ask us whether we wanted our banks rescued to the tune of £1.2 trillion during and after the crisis of 2008? If they had, we might have said no. So perhaps it’s a good thing that politicians and central bankers simply did what they thought was best for us, without consulting – because if the banks had gone down, the contraction in our economy would have been far far worse than it turned out to be.

Better to leave it to the experts, eh? But hang on a tick: who actually got us into this mess in the first place? It wasn’t the fault of ordinary citizens like you and me. It was those self-proclaimed experts who allowed our banks to become too huge, too complicated, too addicted to taking crazy risks, and too poorly endowed with life-preserving capital. We trusted the Treasury, the Financial Services Authority and the Bank of England to make the right decisions about the structure and stewardship of our banking industry – and they got it spectacularly wrong.

That’s representative democracy – but actually normal representative democracy doesn’t really operate in this sphere. How so? Well, most of our elected representatives – including ministers – understand less about banking and finance than even those who actually ran the banks.

So little did we know, we have been delegating most of the really important decisions about all this to a financial priesthood: faceless, unelected, unaccountable technocrats who make up a committee that meets in the picture-postcard Swiss town of Basel – what’s known as the Basel Committee on banking supervision.

These financial priests let us down too. The rules they imposed on banks that were intended to limit dangerous risk-taking actually had the effect of encouraging banks to behave imprudently. Their rules made the financial system more fragile, not less. Here’s the funny thing. Although we as taxpayers have come to the rescue of the financial system on an unprecedented scale, we’re allowing those aloof financial priests to design the new system…

Since we’ve picked up an enormous bill for the banks’ recklessness and fecklessness, you might think we should be having a proper say over what kind of banks we want, for our money. ” (Peston, 2010)

  • 8 There is some work that has moved in this direction, most notably on the so-called ‘social economy (...)
  • 9 This would also need to include a campaign to produce greater economic literacy in the population (...)

25It seems to me that the most pressing task we now face is to direct the trajectory of democratic invention which Callon so brilliantly analyses in to the economic sphere. Financial expertise, and indeed economic expertise more generally, should be subject to the same degree of scrutiny by laypersons as is beginning to happen with science. Not only would there be a democratic gain from greater accountability but, as Callon points out, new learning would take place, and not least amongst the so-called experts who continually sanctify their economic expertise in journal and newspaper and blog.8 The panoply of the institutions of the market state must be paralleled by further democratization in the sphere that most needs it.9



Ahmed, S. (2010), The Promise of Happiness, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Amin, A., ed. (2008), The Social Economy, London: Zed Books.

Caliskan, K., & M. Callon (2009), “Economization, Part 1: Shifting Attention from the Economy towards Processes of Economization”, Economy and Society, 38, p. 369-398.

Caliskan, K., & M. Callon, (2010), “Economization, Part 2: A Research Programme for the Study of Markets”, Economy and Society, 39, p. 1-32.

Callon, M., P. Lascoumes & Y. Barthe (2009), Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Callon, M. & V. Rabeharisoa (2004), “Gino’s Lesson on Humanity: Genetics, Human Entanglements and the Sociologist’s Role”, Economy and Society, 33, p. 1-27.

Citton, Y. (2009), “Political Agency and the Ambivalence of the Sensible”, in G. Rockhill & P. Watts (eds), Jacques Rancière: History, Politics, Aesthetics, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, p. 120-139.

Collins, H. & R. Evans (2009), Rethinking Expertise, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Crouch, C. (2004), Post-Democracy, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Dean, J. (2009), Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Dewey, J. (1927), The Public and its Problems, New York, NY: Macmillan.

Ehrenreich, B. (2010), Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World, London: Granta.

Gibson-Graham, J. K. (2006), A Post-Capitalist Politics, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Kampfner, J. (2009), Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money and Lost Our Liberty, London: Simon & Schuster.

Keane, J. (2009), The Life and Death of Democracy, London: Simon & Schuster.

Lippmann, W. (1925), The Phantom Public, New York, NY: Macmillan.

Page, S. E. (2007), The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Peston, R. (2010), “Why do we Trust the Financial Priests?”, Peston’s Picks (BBC Blog), 9 January [available online at:]

Raban, J. (2010), “Sarah and her Tribe”, New York Review of Books, 14 January, p. 6-10.

Rothenberg, M.A. (2010), The Excessive Subject: A New Theory of Social Change, Cambridge: Polity.

Shapin, S. (2010), “The Darwin Show”, London Review of Books, 7 January, p. 3-9.

Suchman, L. (2006), Human-Machine Interactions: Plans and Situated Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Whatmore, S. J. (2009), “Mapping Knowledge Controversies: Science, Democracy and the Redistribution of Expertise”, Progress in Human Geography, 23, p. 1-12.

Wilson, B. (2009), What Price Freedom? How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost, London: Faber & Faber.

Wolin, S. (2009), Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


1 A figure like Bill Clinton can be seen as the forerunner of this kind of world, with his voracious appetite for data coupled with immense affective skills.

2 Indeed, scientists seem to live in the same haze as the rest of us. Witness the oft-reported fact that 40 per cent of American scientists professed belief in an immortal soul and a prayer answering God in 1997, a figure that had not changed in its basics since 1916, or that, when confronted with the statement “man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, and no God participated in this process”, only a slim majority (55 per cent) of American scientists concurred while 40 per cent believed that a Creator was involved in the process of evolution (Shapin, 2010).

3 For Dewey, a public only comes together when people perceive how the consequences of indirect actions can affect them collectively: “Indirect, extensive, enduring and serious consequences of conjoint and interacting behavior call a public into existence having a common interest in controlling these consequences” (Dewey, 1927: 126). In other words, a public only develops when it has a reason and groups around an issue of substantial or serious significance.

4 An interesting parallel might be made with a thinker who, I suspect, would not first come to mind in thinking of Callon’s work, namely Jacques Rancière. Rancière shares a number of commonalities with Callon as well as some obvious differences. To begin with, unlike most French philosophers, he has involved himself in empirical work, most notably in his early histories of labour. He insists on privileging the forgotten voices of history through a general presupposition of equality – that is that individuals should be understood as having an equal ability to think and should therefore have an equal right to speak. Such a stance is echoed in Callon’s premise that the “philosophy in the wild practiced by the Danes or the Dutch is every bit as valid as all the confined moral and political philosophies that we find surfeit of on campuses and in other closed spaces” (Callon, Lascoumes & Barthe, 2009: 11). Then, Rancière is known for his derivation of the term distribution or partition of the sensible wherein some data are selected as relevant, others still as irrelevant, while some others are simply ignored (Citton, 2009). The reconfiguration of this division is the founding moment of political subjectivation and it is echoed in Callon’s interest in setting up spaces within which new distributions of the sensible can come about. A third parallel consists of Rancière’s emphasis on practice as being as important as knowledge, a move which both privileges ‘ordinary’ people’s actions and begins to tackle the issue that knowledge and action are not synonymous.

5 I am absolutely in favour of what Sloterdijk calls hyperbolic theory but this is not the same thing as thinking that by proclaiming a state of affairs one has somehow solved it.

6 Perhaps they too should be subject to citizen juries!

7 Indeed, one could argue that recent revelations concerning the accuracy of predictions emanating from the Climate Change Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the IPCC have come close to providing examples, though they are hardly on the same scale.

8 There is some work that has moved in this direction, most notably on the so-called ‘social economy’ (see Gibson-Graham, 2006; Amin, 2009).

9 This would also need to include a campaign to produce greater economic literacy in the population as a whole, although this would need to guard against the tendency to make this a reason to blame the victims, as has happened in a number of campaigns for greater financial literacy.


© Presses des Mines, 2010

Licence OpenEdition Books

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search