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The literature on financial regulation has typically emphasized the role of the powerful financial industry in shaping regulatory outcomes. However, capture theories cannot explain the prominence of financial consumer protection in post-crisis reform agendas. By contrast, this paper argues that, despite their collective action disadvantage, a polymorphous network of civil society organizations was able to gain momentum after the financial crisis and to influence the financial reform process. In this policy window, where decision-makers were looking out for an alternative source of expertise, a transnationally connected civil society network successfully raised the issue of consumer protection on reform agendas in tandem with public entrepreneurs and on the back of a popular backlash against big finance. This argument will be explored through a comparative study of the impact of transnational pressures on policy-makers in Europe and the US in the immediate aftermath of the crisis. In the conclusion, the paper discusses the substance of the financial reforms that have been undertaken.

in Journal of Civil Society Publié en 2017
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Dodd–Frank, the financial reform law passed in the United States in response to the 2008 financial crisis, established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new federal regulator with the sole responsibility of protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. This decision marked the end of a highly politicized reform debate in the US Congress, in which proponents of the new bureau would normally have been considered to be much weaker than its opponents. Paradoxically, an emerging civil society coalition successfully lobbied decision-makers and countered industry attempts to prevent industry capture. What explains the fact that rather weak and peripheral actors prevailed over more resourceful and dominant actors? The goal of this study is to examine and challenge questions of regulatory capture by concentrated industry interests in the reform debates in response to the credit crisis which originated in the US in 2007. The analysis suggests that for weak actors to prevail in policy conflicts over established, resource-rich opponents, they must undertake broad coalition building among themselves and with influential elite allies outside and inside of Congress who share the same policy goals.

in Journal of European Public Policy Publié en 2017
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This article examines interest group conflicts surrounding the financial transaction tax (FTT) debate in the European Union (EU). Specifically, it focuses on the advocacy efforts of EU-based financial industry groups at different stages of the policy debate. The article provides a detailed description of changes to the post-crisis regulatory environment and points to public salience as important factor that can constrain business power. Much in line with the existing literature, industry groups did not fare very well under conditions of high salience and public pressure during the agenda-setting stage. However, this article also shows that in order to get back on its feet, the financial sector lobby had to employ a combination of quiet and noisy politics during later stages of the policy process. As soon as the contextual conditions provided by the financial crisis started to fade away, industry groups were able to bounce back by using a framing strategy that linked their arguments against an FTT to broader societal goals, by disseminating scientific evidence and by building coalitions with business groups outside of finance in order to water-down the proposed directive.

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This article examines the role of non-financial interest groups in EU financial regulatory decisionmaking. While regulatory capture theories clearly helped identify the causes for the incrementality in spite of the major shock the 2008 crisis had caused, this article will consider a range of regulatory policy initiatives that do not neatly conform with this theory. I examine the extent to which nonfinancial groups are able to have their preferences met in the making of three different consumer policies: the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD), stricter regulations of retail investment products (PRIPs/KID) and the reform of EU level supervisory structures. By employing a process-tracing approach based on qualitative interviews to analyze political responses to the 2008 financial crisis, the article demonstrates that newly mobilized groups could translate key advocacy goals into policy by deploying counter-expertise and co-operating with policy-makers in some cases but not in others.

in La Vie des idées.fr Publié en 2018-03
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Luc Boltanski et Arnaud Esquerre invitent à repenser les mécanismes sociaux de production de la valeur et soulignent l'importance du fait de constituer des collections dans la dynamique des inégalités qui caractérise nos sociétés. En s’interrogeant sur les formes et enjeux de la marchandisation et de la formation des prix dans nos sociétés, ils montrent que l'insertion dans une collection enrichit un bien.

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Nous étudions l’impact de la financiarisation sur la montée des inégalités au sein de dix-huit pays de l’OCDE de 1970 à 2011 et nous mesurons les rôles respectifs de diverses formes de financiarisation : la croissance du secteur financier, la croissance de l’un de ses sous-composants, les marchés financiers, la financiarisation des entreprises non financières et celle des ménages. Nous testons ces impacts grâce à des modèles de régression de panel à effets fixes sur données agrégées au niveau national. Nous utilisons comme variables dépendantes l’indice de Gini de la base SWIID, les mesures d’inégalité interdéciles de l’OCDE et les parts des revenus touchées par les fractions les mieux rémunérées grâce à la World Top Income Database. Nous montrons d’abord que la part du secteur de la finance dans le PIB est un moteur important de l’inégalité dans le monde, qui explique de 20 % à 40 % de son accroissement entre 1980 et 2007. Lorsque nous décomposons cet effet du secteur financier, nous constatons que cette évolution est principalement tirée par l’augmentation du volume des transactions boursières et par le montant des actions détenues à l’actif du bilan des banques. Au contraire, la financiarisation des entreprises non financières et celle des ménages ne jouent pas un rôle important. Sur la base de ce test d’inégalité, nous interprétons donc la financiarisation comme étant essentiellement un phénomène de marchéisation, défini comme la croissance de l’activité sociale consacrée au commerce des titres sur les marchés financiers.

in World Politics Review Publié en 2014-07
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The financial industry is commonly described as one of the most influential in politics. The numbers certainly support this impression. In terms of lobbying expenditures in the United States, the banking sector outspent even the health care sector. Few industries have comparable resources available and have been able to establish such a strong institutional presence. In many countries, top bankers and high-ranking public officials meet frequently; revolving doors between the two worlds are common; and the technical complexity of financial regulation makes consultation with the industry at all levels of decision-making a necessity. Accordingly, commentators in the media and academia warn about conflicts of interest and undue influence. [First paragraph]

in Economic Sociology (European Electronic Newsletter) Publié en 2013
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The article offers the author's insights on their study on financial industry mobility. The author describes a case-study which involved an equity derivatives trading-room head and his staff who were given bonuses of 10 and 7 million euros, respectively. He raises the concern on whether the immobile attempt to prevent the mobile in their activities to stop exploitation. Results show that people who are open to moving main assets or teams submit to retainment devices more than other employees.

L’article de Chemin et Wasmer (2009) tente d’établir l’inefficacité de la politique de réduction du temps de travail dite des « 35 heures » en matière d’emploi en exploitant une expérience naturelle : l’Alsace-Moselle a subi une réduction du temps de travail de moindre ampleur que le reste de la métropole car elle a pu intégrer dans son calcul deux jours fériés additionnels qui existaient pour des raisons historiques. L’article de 2009 propose pour cela de montrer d’une part que les salariés de ces trois départements ont connu une réduction de la semaine de travail significativement moindre que ceux du reste de la France et d’autre part que cette différence n’a pas été accompagnée par plus de chômage ou moins de créations d’emploi. Lors d’une réplication de cet article, nous avons découvert une erreur de code informatique dans la définition des entreprises de plus de vingt salariés qui fausse sensiblement les résultats. Sa correction ainsi qu’une meilleure prise en compte du caractère frontalier de la région concernée infirment les hypothèses de l’article. La réduction du temps de travail, telle qu’elle est mesurée par l’enquête Emploi, a été aussi importante en Alsace-Moselle que dans le reste de la France. Ainsi, notre propre travail jette des doutes sur la validité de cette expérience naturelle pour évaluer les effets de la réduction du temps de travail sur l’emploi.

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Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of aesthetic judgment, this text offers an inductive account of financial reasoning inside a trading room. Driven to maximise bank profits, trading room operators do not find ‘one best way’. Rather they choose among several possible winning strategies: mathematical arbitrage, economic analysis, chartist analysis. These strategies differ sharply from one another in their conception of the market, method, proximity to scholarly knowledge, and legitimacy. We show that the choice of one method depends on a system of tastes and distastes that are both historical – depending on individuals’ social and educational background – and relational – depending on the individual's relative position within the trading room viewed as a field.

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Twenty years ago, Michel Callon edited The Laws of the Markets, a groundbreaking volume that substantially redefined economic sociology by resetting the relationship between sociology and economics (Callon 1998). Many articles in economic sociology at that time started (and still do today) with sharp criticism of neoclassical economics. The latter was censured for being overly simplistic and complex, overly reductionist and irrelevant. [First lines]

in Review of International Political Economy Publié en 2013-11
JOHNSON Juliet
MÜGGE Daniel
SEABROOKE Leonard
GRABEL Ilene
GALLAGHER Kevin
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An anniversary issue provides an inescapably inviting opportunity to reflect on the past, evaluate the present, and contemplate the future. Eschewing the self-congratulatory rhetoric of traditional anniversary celebrations, we have devoted this 20th anniversary issue of RIPE to contributions that critically examine the academic discipline of international political economy, focusing on our collective challenges and limitations as much as on our achievements. As every author knows, it is the thoughtful, constructive, and above all critical review that ultimately pushes us to produce better scholarly work. The global financial crisis mandates such a reassessment, as did the fall of communism that birthed this journal. [First paragraph]

The rise in inequality has been explained with reference to organized groups and the lobbying of the financial sector. This article argues that the image of politics as organized combat is contradicted by empirical evidence on lobbying in the United States, and does not travel well to Europe. The power of finance does not operate through organized political influence. Rather, politics in the interest of capital unfolds as a structural feature of advanced economies over time. Tellingly, at the height of the financial crisis, one of the most promising strategies of institutions seeking government support was not organizing for combat, but collective inaction. Our challenge, then, is to explain how the power of finance has built up and is playing out in creating inequality. A more structural, less agency-focused perspective highlights how the rise of finance has been supported by actors that few would accuse of being finance-friendly, such as the European center-left parties and consumers. Reconceptualizing the power of finance has important implications for political solutions to rising inequality.

in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Publié en 2015-07
SENIK Claudia
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This paper looks at the association between wage satisfaction and other people's pay, based on a matched employer–employee dataset. Three notions of reference wage appear to be being of particular importance: (i) the median wage level in one's firm, (ii) the level of wage of similar workers in the region, and (iii) the top 1% wage in one's firm. The first one triggers a signal effect, whereby all employees – especially young ones – whatever their relative position in the firm, are happier the higher the median wage in their firm, holding their own wage constant. The second and the third ones are sources of relative deprivation, i.e. workers’ satisfaction decreases with the gap between their own salary and these reference categories. These findings are based on objective measures of earnings as well as subjective declarations about wage satisfaction, awareness of other people's pay and reported income comparisons.

in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales Publié en 2015
RENISIO Yann
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Si l’histoire des sciences a souligné tant l’importance que la diversité des formes de coopération entre savants, une grande part des écrits contemporains concernant « l’interdisciplinarité » semble toutefois relever de l’invective ou du vœu pieux. Parmi les études empiriques qui ont rendu compte des proximités, échanges ou circulations entre domaines de connaissance ainsi que du cloisonnement plus ou moins fort du travail intellectuel, une écrasante majorité se fonde sur des matériaux construits à partir des produits finalisés de la recherche. Cette focale sur les publications, qui réduit le champ d’observation aux objets les plus nobles de l’activité scientifique, ne permet pas d’accéder aux conditions de possibilité des pratiques interdisciplinaires qui résident en premier lieu dans la structuration des différents sous-champs du champ scientifique ainsi que dans les trajectoires sociales, scolaires et professionnelles de ses agents. [Premier paragraphe]

in Sociological review Publié en 2011
BLOCK Anders
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An important philosopher and anthropologist of science, Bruno Latour has recently outlined an ambitious programme for a new sociological empiricism, in continuation of his actor-network-theory (ANT). Interrogating issues of description, explanation and theoretical interpretation in this ‘sociology of associations’, we argue that certain internal tensions are manifest. While Latour's philosophy of social science demands an absolute abandonment of theory in all its forms, proposing instead to simply ‘go on describing’, he is in practice employing versions of common sense explanation and pragmatic-constructivist theory to make ends meet. The core of this tension, we claim, can be located in Latour's meta-theoretical commitments, in effect obscuring important ways in which human subjects employ things, effects and symbols beyond their simple, ‘empirical’ existence. To illustrate these claims, we deploy the example of how morality works in social life, and coin the term quasi-actant, in allusion to the Latourian actant, to better understand such processes. Our overall criticism of ANT is immanent, aiming at the re-introduction of what we dub ‘virtual theory’ into Latourian empiricism, thus further strengthening what remains one of the most promising contemporary attempts to reinvigorate the sociological enterprise.

in Dictionnaire des politiques publiques Sous la direction de RAVINET Pauline, JACQUOT Sophie, BOUSSAGUET Laurie Publié en 2010
BOSSY Thibault
EVRARD Aurélien
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Pendant le long après-guerre, les crises n’étaient qu’un phénomène conjoncturel et une exception par rapport au régime normal de croissance et de progrès social. De nombreux concepts fondamentaux des sciences sociales – la démocratie telle que nous la comprenons habituellement, avec ses marchés encastrés, ses électorats éclairés, ses élites politiques bienveillantes et ses alliances progressistes qui permettent de résoudre des problèmes – semblent inadaptés pour comprendre les bouleversements sociaux actuels. Dans le sillage de la crise financière de 2008, l’on constate l’effondrement des alliances majoritaires, le retour du populisme à grande échelle, tant dans le monde occidental qu’au niveau mondial, et l’irruption de protestations sociales chaotiques et parfois violentes. Les forces qui constituaient l’ossature d’un capitalisme articulé à l’État providence semblent obsolètes face aux élites financières et politiques qui, paradoxalement, sont à la fois déconnectées du cadre national mais aussi parfois directement liées aux mouvements nationalistes et populistes. Des politiques exploitant le ressentiment, d’autres fondées sur les identités locales, et de nouvelles politiques de classe interagissent sous des formes que nous ne comprenons pas encore. Ainsi, que le néolibéralisme engendre aujourd’hui l’autoritarisme n’est pas le moindre des paradoxes. En même temps, ces processus ne sont pas tous nouveaux et doivent être replacés dans le contexte des clivages socio-économiques et culturels produits par l’avènement du néolibéralisme dans les années 1970. Ce volume réunit des positions défendues par des universitaires spécialisés en histoire économique, en sociologie économique et en économie politique, sous la forme de brèves notes de réflexion préparées pour la Conférence du cinquième anniversaire du MaxPo, les 12 et 13 janvier 2018, à Paris.

in Journal of Economic Perspectives Publié en 2015-10
FOURCADE Marion
OLLION Etienne
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In this essay, we analyze the dominant position of economics within the network of the social sciences in the United States. We begin by documenting the relative insularity of economics, using bibliometric data. Next we analyze the tight management of the field from the top down, which gives economics its characteristic hierarchical structure. Economists also distinguish themselves from other social scientists through their much better material situation (many teach in business schools, have external consulting activities), their more individualist worldviews, and their confidence in their discipline's ability to fix the world's problems. Taken together, these traits constitute what we call the superiority of economists, where economists' objective supremacy is intimately linked with their subjective sense of authority and entitlement. While this superiority has certainly fueled economists' practical involvement and their considerable influence over the economy, it has also exposed them more to conflicts of interests, political critique, even derision.

in La Vie des Idées Publié en 2017-02
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L’ouvrage Le négationnisme économique. Et comment s’en débarrasser de Pierre Cahuc et André Zylberberg a suscité un vif débat dans la presse et dans le monde académique. Son objectif est de débusquer les insuffisances, les méconnaissances, les erreurs et les dénis des chercheurs et des acteurs publics qui critiquent la science économique, et plus particulièrement de ceux qui critiquent son courant dominant, l’économie dite mainstream. Sont plus particulièrement visés les économistes critiques, en particulier les « économistes hétérodoxes » ou « atterrés », mais aussi des figures intellectuelles issues d’autres disciplines scientifiques (Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Onfray, Dominique Méda, Axel Kahn), des PDG (Jean-Louis Beffa, Louis Gallois), des hommes politiques (Michel Rocard, Daniel CohnBendit, Barbara Romagnan) ou des journaux (Alternatives économiques). [Premier paragraphe]

Many of today’s public policies aimed directly or indirectly at regulating the behaviors of individuals and organizations provide for the implementation of a certain type of instrument which can be qualified as a label. They share some features with what the literature tends to identify as proper standards (e.g., they aim at defining the best practices, they may represent – at least – a symbolic resource for those who adopt them), but they also have some peculiarities, which we will present here. In this paper, we propose to analyze the characteristics and dynamics underpinning this mode of governance as part of a study of two particular public policy domains chosen for their complementarity as well as their contrasts: the fight against obesity, and sustainable consumption. In both of these fields, labels have become a preferred mode of governance – and even, we might say, a kind of standard. Based on Foucault (2004), we emphasize the fact that the logics of distinction, which regulate utilities and sanctions in a particular social field, are instrumentalized by public policy as an incentive to the actors to deliberately take action whose value is endorsed by a label. Hence, the aim and outcome of this mode of governance are not the uniformity of a field, but the ongoing creation of increasingly demanding labels that only some of the participants can hope to obtain.

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À l’automne 2012, au pied des plus grandes places financières de la planète, le mouvement social #OCCUPY a dénoncé avec le slogan « We are the 99%! » conjointement le poids excessif de la finance et l’enrichissement des plus riches. Parfois les mouvements sociaux se trompent de diagnostics. Parfois ils ont raison. Qu’en est-il ? Financiarisation et montée des inégalités sont-elles liées et, si oui, dans quel sens ?

The principal component of a European social model was considered to be convergence of social outcomes toward the top. However, the latest economic and social trends are no longer characterized by a steady narrowing of the gap between the more and lesser advanced countries. While all European countries were affected by the economic crisis of 2008 and a coordinated response was put into place in 2009, since 2010, we see a growing divergence between two groups of countries in Europe. The first group, mainly in the North of Europe, concentrated around Germany, Austria, the Nordic countries, along with certain Eastern European countries having close economic ties to Germany, has steadily emerged from the crisis and resumed a positive economic and social path. The second group, however, comprised mainly of the Southern and Eastern periphery, remains stuck in negative economic and social situations following the crisis. This chapter demonstrates the initial economic convergence, followed by a stark divergence in certain economic and social outcomes after the crisis of 2008. It reviews the various explanations for these divergences. Finally, it considers the political outcomes of this economic and social dualization. We argue that despite the seemingly uniform rise of populist anti-EU challengers across Europe, these challengers differ significantly in the grievances they raise. Radical right parties are dominant in the center, while radical left parties outperform the radical right in the periphery, a dynamic that constitutes a second, political, dualization of Europe.

Publié en 2012-01
BRUGIDOU Mathieu
DENORD François
EVRARD Aurélien
POLLARD Julie
SÉNIT Carole-Anne
BOY Daniel
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1ères lignes : Introduit au début de l’été 2007, le « Grenelle de l’environnement » a fait l’objet de multiples analyses, bilans et critiques. Ce processus de concertation politique, relativement innovant, a été mené à marche forcée, à la suite de l’élection à la présidence de la République de Nicolas Sarkozy, entre juillet et décembre 2007. Des moyens inhabituels (en personnel et en fonctionnement) ont été engagés. La traduction législative de certaines des conclusions du Grenelle a été réalisée. Enfin, le Grenelle de l’environnement est censé avoir des effets significatifs dans l’évolution des politiques françaises de développement durable en traçant une « feuille de route » pour les décisions gouvernementales.

in Accounting, Organizations and Society Publié en 2013-11
FOURCADE Marion
HEALY Kieran
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This article examines the stratifying effects of economic classifications. We argue that in the neoliberal era market institutions increasingly use actuarial techniques to split and sort individuals into classification situations that shape life-chances. While this is a general and increasingly pervasive process, our main empirical illustration comes from the transformation of the credit market in the United States. This market works as both as a leveling force and as a condenser of new forms of social difference. The U.S. banking and credit system has greatly broadened its scope over the past twenty years to incorporate previously excluded groups. We observe this leveling tendency in the expansion of credit amongst lower-income households, the systematization of overdraft protections, and the unexpected and rapid growth of the fringe banking sector. But while access to credit has democratized, it has also differentiated. Scoring technologies classify and price people according to credit risk. This has allowed multiple new distinctions to be made amongst the creditworthy, as scores get attached to different interest rates and loan structures. Scores have also expanded into markets beyond consumer credit, such as insurance, real estate, employment, and elsewhere. The result is a cumulative pattern of advantage and disadvantage with both objectively measured and subjectively experienced aspects. We argue these private classificatory tools are increasingly central to the generation of “market-situations”, and thus an important and overlooked force that structures individual life-chances. In short, classification situations may have become the engine of modern class situations.

in Sociological Science Publié en 2016-06
FOURCADE Marion
SCHOFER Evan
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We offer an integrated study of political participation, bridging the gap between the literatures on civic engagement and social movements. Historically evolved institutions and culture generate different configurations of the political domain, shaping the meaning and forms of political activity in different societies. The structuration of the polity along the dimensions of “stateness” and “corporateness” accounts for cross-national differences in the way individuals make sense of and engage in the political sphere. Forms of political participation that are usually treated as distinct are actually interlinked and co-vary across national configurations. In societies where interests are represented in a formalized manner through corporatist arrangements, political participation revolves primarily around membership in pre-established groups and concerted negotiation, rather than extra-institutional types of action. By contrast, in “statist” societies the centralization and concentration of sovereignty in the state makes it the focal point of claim-making, driving social actors to engage in “public” activities and marginalizing private and, especially, market-based political forms. We test these and other hypotheses using cross-national data on political participation from the World Values Survey.

in Poetics Publié en 2016-04
FOURCADE Marion
LANDE Brian
SCHOFER Evan
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What makes political life in the United States so different from political life in France, Hungary or Argentina? This paper considers why societies “do politics” differently. We draw on Pierre Bourdieu’s criticism of substantialist thinking in sociology and on his conceptualization of the social space to propose a new way of relating methodological to theoretical claims in comparative political sociology. We do this by exploring and constructing a “space of polities” based on data from the 2004 World Values Survey, using relational statistical techniques (e.g., geometric data analysis). The main insight is that any single form of political action (e.g., joining a voluntary association, or a demonstration, or a boycott) only takes its meaning in the context of its objective relationship to other forms of political action and non-action that have currency in each particular society. We explore the diversity of polity types that actually exist and discuss how they emerge from similar configurations in countries’ spaces of political practices. We suggest that the reason for such clustering lies in similar political–historical trajectories. We conclude by arguing for a comparative approach that is sensitive to differences in overall systems of relationships.

in Sociological quarterly Publié en 2012-09
FOURCADE Marion
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This article examines the concept of terroir-a French word that captures the correspondence between the physical and human features of a place and the character of its agricultural products. Tied to the protection of economic rents threatened by competition and fraud, the practice of classifying certain lands, grapes, and properties both substantively and qualitatively has become the organizing principle of the entire French wine industry. Often derided as snobbish monopolistic practices by New World producers, the notion terroir in France and its rejection in America both exemplify how the 'principles of vision and division' of the natural world are always intertwined with the 'principles of vision and division' of the social world. The present article discusses these affinities through an analysis of wine classifications in the French regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, and some of the critiques they have given rise to, in the United States especially.

in Theory and Society Publié en 2013-03
FOURCADE Marion
KHURANA Rakesh
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This article draws on historical material to examine the co-evolution of economic science and business education over the course of the twentieth century, showing that fields evolve not only through internal struggles but also through struggles taking place in adjacent fields. More specifically, we argue that the scientific strategies of business schools played an essential—if largely invisible and poorly understood—role in major transformations in the organization and substantive direction of social-scientific knowledge, and specifically economic knowledge, in twentieth century America. We use the Wharton School as an illustration of the earliest trends and dilemmas (ca. 1900–1930), when business schools found themselves caught between their business connections and their striving for moral legitimacy in higher education. Next, we look at the creation of the Carnegie Tech Graduate School of Industrial Administration after World War II. This episode illustrates the increasingly successful claims of social scientists, backed by philanthropic foundations, on business education and the growing appeal of “scientific” approaches to decision-making and management. Finally, we argue that the rise of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago from the 1960s onwards (and its closely related cousin at the University of Rochester) marks the decisive ascendancy of economics, and particularly financial economics, in business education over the other behavioral disciplines. We document the key role of these institutions in diffusing “Chicago-style” economic approaches—offering support for deregulatory policies and popularizing narrowly financial understandings of the firm—that sociologists have described as characteristic of the modern neo liberal regime.

in History of Political Economy Publié en 2017-06
FOURCADE Marion
KHURANA Rakesh
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This paper traces the career of Michael Jensen, a Chicago finance PhD turned Harvard Business School professor to reveal the intellectual and social conditions that enabled the emergence and institutionalization of what we call the “neoliberal common sense of capital,” what others have called the “shareholder value” view of the American firm. Jensen's work was embraced by a generation of corporate raiders aggressively advancing new financial practices and discourses. His contribution, commonly understood as “agency theory,” was intertwined with the transformations in corporate management and governance of the last decades of the twentieth century—from the junk bond market in the 1980s to the exponential growth of CEO pay in the 1990s to the shareholder value management strategies of the 2000s. While debates about the spread of neoliberal ideas and governance tools have largely centered on the transformations of the state and international institutions or the role of actively organized intellectual networks, this essay emphasizes the importance of identifying specific carriers of particular transformations within the space of American “business discourse.”

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