Conference Agenda

RN09_09: Political Economy, Policies and Coordination
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Philip Balsiger, University of Neuchatel
Location: BS.3.16
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Prediction games: Predictions and metapredictions in Swedish mineral exploration

Tobias Olofsson

Uppsala University, Sweden

How do actors assess the potential correctness of predictive accounts? Despite the recent resurgence of interest in the sociology of the future and the increasing volumes of insightful sociological work on the future, prediction making, and expectations, few studies have made in-depth inquiries into the interactions that take place between a predictor and they who assess the qualities of the predictions made. This paper aims to fill part of this gap by outlining how this interplay between prediction makers and assessors play out in mineral exploration. In doing so, the paper builds on empirical work carried out within Swedish industrial mineral exploration where mining permits require explorationists to prove that explored mineral deposits are minable. Predictions of minability need to demonstrate that the mineral deposit is likely to be economically exploitable in the future, and that the areas in question are appropriate for exploitation in a socio-environmental and industry-technical sense.

The paper describes the processes through which mineral explorationists in Sweden make and communicate predictions on the future minability of mineral deposits and how these predictions are assessed for their potential correctness by the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden. In discussing the prediction work carried out first by explorationists and later by agency officials, this paper introduces “prediction games” as a conceptual framework for analysis of the processes through which predictions are made, communicated, and in turn predicted upon. The paper combines interviews with explorationists and agency officials, ethnographic work within the field of industrial mineral exploration in Sweden, and exploration materials, mining permit applications, and agency rulings.

Regimes or Differences of Consumer Policy in Europe? An empirical assessment of 28 European Member States in four dimensions

Sebastian Nessel

University of Graz, Austria

Most comparative accounts of capitalism(s) have analysed and distinguished European countries from the perspective of production regimes (Varieties of capitalism approach,Hall/Soskice 2001). Only few studies have distinguished European countries from the perspective of the demand side of capitalism(s), that is the embeddedness of consumer-producer relations by consumer policy (Varieties of Consumerism, Trumbull 2006). This talk will further analyse the legal and political embeddedness of consumer-producer relations influenced by consumer policy. It shows how consumer policy between the 28 European Member States varies and identifies some consumer policy regimes in Europe by means of statistical analysis. The first part of this talk will briefly call into mind some findings of previous studies in the tradition of Varieties of Capitalism and Varieties of Consumerism approaches. The second outlines the methodological framework to measure consumer policy in all Member States in a legal, social, enforcement and associational dimension as well as the empirical data for measurement. The third presents empirical results in form of indices in each subdimension and for all countries and statistically tests previous suggestions of potential consumer policy regimes in a spatial, legal/institutional and temporal dimension using Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney and associated post hoc tests. The final part discusses the empirical results and argues for combining Varieties of Capitalism and Consumerism approaches to better account for and distinguish different forms of the national embeddedness of the economy in general and consumer-firm-relations more specifically.

Reconstructing The Global Political Economy

Erik Martin Andersson

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Stampeding climate change and global inequality call for a reconstruction of the global political economy. All along the ideological scale, from Financial Times columnists to Friends of the Earth, there is concord that we need a profoundly different global political economy if we shall reach the goals of the Paris Climate Accord and ameliorate inequality. This book presents analytical inroads to how such change can be designed in six dimensions of the global economy: everyday economic life, global economic institutions, global trade, economic development, global finance, and global industrial production. Vital and contested issues are presented first for each dimension, and after that inroads are presented so that both problem solving and transformative analysis are conceptualized. This is not utopian reasoning. The global economy has been changed by political fiat several times over the last century, most notable is the construction of the Bretton Woods institutions and the GATT at the end of World War II. But also waves of uniform national changes, such as Structural Adjustment Programs in the South and the deregulation of financial markets in the North during the 1980s, have brought about global uniform reconstruction in fairly short periods. These reconstructions have been most efficiently achieved and institutionalized after severe crises, (such as World War II or the Southern debt crisis) which is why we need to start planning for the aftermath of the next global crisis and the increased global policy space that will be available then.