Value threads' conference summer
Read more here about what we did at the EGOS and EASST conferences in July 2022!
EASST 2022, Madrid, 6 - 9 July:
We began our conference summer at the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) conference, which this year was hosted in Madrid. After a long break from seeing colleagues in person, touching base with the European STS community was much appreciated. Together, the Value threads team organized two open panels, where we also presented our ongoing work. Marie Stilling Hansen presented her work on seaweeds, Stine Engen and Kristin Asdal presented their collaborative work on green finance, both in the panel about "the good" in environmental markets. Liliana Doganova and Nassima Abdelghafour organized the panel on forests, cleverly named ForeSTS.
Read more about the panels here:
Kamilla Karhunmaa, University of Helsinki; Kristin Asdal, University of Oslo; Trine Pallesen, Copenhagen Business School
Environmental problems are often described through the notion of a market failure, or the inability of markets to account for the costs associated with the production of goods and services. The notion of market failure calls for internalizing externalities, thus focusing environmental economics on the calculation and minimization of harm and cost through the design of market interventions. A classic example is thinking of climate change as “the greatest example of market failure” (Stern, 2006) which requires valuing and accounting for the damages and costs caused by climate change.
The intersection of market failures and environmental concerns has attracted attention in STS. Work succeeding Callon’s (1998) essay on externalities has studied how economists, accountants and other actors interact in attempts to deal with market externalities through instruments like emissions trading (e.g. MacKenzie 2009). More recent work has focused on “market design” or the new types of applied engineering and economics that claims to know how to make markets respond to all sort of collective concerns (Frankel, Ossandón, Pallesen 2019). Less attention has been placed on how environmental markets perform, refract and invest in notions of the good (Asdal et al., 2021, Geiger, 2021). With the good, we refer here to a range of normative stances from the notion of individual benefit to the public good and beyond to the idea of a good economy and society.
In this panel, we are interested in papers that focus on how notions of the good are performed in and through environmental markets as well as in the production of environmental goods and services. What societal visions or sociotechnical imaginaries of the good are incorporated into and exhibited by environmental markets and their governance (and consequently which ones are excluded)? How do governments, civil society organizations and scientists aim to shape or refute environmental markets and with what notions and justifications related to the (private or public) good? How does science feature in demarcating what is thought of as a good environmental market or product? We aim to make visible how actors interacting with environmental markets are constantly reformulating notions of both the private and the public good and in doing so, are speaking for other human and more-than-human needs and desires.
Liliana Doganova, Mines ParisTech; Nassima Abdelghafour, Mines ParisTech; Evan Fisher, University of Toulouse 2 – Jean Jaurès; Brice Laurent, Mines ParisTech
This panel aims to bring together STS perspectives on forests. Forests have recently become the object of renewed concerns, as wildfires and deforestation alarms have positioned them as the sentinels of the damages of climate change and environmental degradation, while their capacity to act as carbon sinks has revealed them as a potential venue for fighting climate change by reducing global CO2 emissions. The panel proposes to relate these recent developments to longstanding analyses of forests as the locus of future-making. In line with the conference theme, we invite contributions that examine the multiple temporalities of forests and the processes by which the past, the present and the future are drawn together and acted upon. More broadly, we aspire to position forests as an object for STS: an object that fruitfully lends itself to the categories and methods of STS, and an object that STS should think with if it ambitions to dissect the politics of techno-scientific (and other) futures.
Read more about the panels and find the literature by following the links or check out the EASST 2022 website.
EGOS 2022, Vienna, 7 - 9 July:
From Madrid we went on to Vienna and the 38th EGOS Colloquium hosted by the European Group for Organizational Studies. Together with Jean-Pascal Gond (City, University of London), Liliana Doganova and Kristin Asdal organized an open panel at the 38th EGOS Colloquium. Stine Engen also presented in the panel together with Kristin Asdal. With all the participants having submitted a long-paper ahead of the conference, the panel proved to be a very useful workshop for developing our work and discussing ideas in the interdisciplinary field that makes up organizational studies.
The panel call read:
Under the heading «Valuation and Critique in the 'Good Economy'», the sub-theme investigates contemporary attempts at perfecting economic practices by bringing together the pursuit of profit with the pursuit of other forms of “goods”. The term “the good economy” is used to refer to a wide array of initiatives, discourses and models that aim at entangling the production of economic and social value(s) (Asdal et al., 2021; Doganova, 2015; Nicholls, 2009), and envisage markets as the relevant locus for addressing collective concerns and solving public problems (Frankel et al., 2019; Gond & Brès, 2020; Neyland et al., 2019). Under the motto of “doing well while doing good”, a striking variety of organizational and instrumental innovations has proliferated in the last decades: from corporate social responsibility to social entrepreneurship, impact investing and purpose-driven organizations; from shared value to environmental accounting and the triple bottom line; from clean-tech, environmental markets and conservation finance, to the bioeconomy and natural capital. Has our economy become a “good economy”? How do such shifts to “doing good” eventually happen, or how are they sought being realized? By which devices, valuation registers and competences do what is taken to be “goods” and “bads” change? And, how to relate to, critically discuss, and analyse these issues?
Read more about the panel and find the literature here.
The EGOS panel also served as a form of workshop for the coming special issue in Valuation Studies on exactly Valuation and critique in the “good economy”, which has a call for abstracts out now. The deadline for submission on the 15th of September.