Panels details > Panel 23

P23 - Economic Discourse in the Twenty-First Century: Narratives, Networks and New Modes of Regulation

PANEL Organizers
• Strassheim Holger (holger.strassheim@hu-berlin.de), Humboldt Universität (Germany)

• Plehwe Dieter (dieter.plehwe@wzb.eu), Berlin Social Science Center (Germany)

SUMMARY
Over the past fifteen years economic discourse changed considerably. The twentieth century can be characterized by the institutionalization of economics as scientific discipline, the mainstreaming of national income measurement and macro modeling as resources of government intervention, finally the global expansion of neo-liberal ideas and microeconomics. Since the end of the nineties, however, we can observe another series of discursive shifts: Firstly, research on happiness and wellbeing has raised a debate on the foundations of growth, thus challenging former narratives of economic and societal progress. Worldwide, governments are introducing indicators of subjective wellbeing as alternative to measurements of national income. Secondly, economic expertise is increasingly connected in the “global agora” (Stone). Literature observes the rise of new actors including global knowledge networks, transfer agencies, think tanks and transnational foundations engaging in the re-interpretation of economic interests. Thirdly, based on behavioral economics new modes of “empirically informed regulation” (Sunstein) are being created. In countries such as Great Britain, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, the United States and, more recently, Germany, behavioural interventions have increased. In campaigns against alcoholism or obesity, instruments of behavioural change are coupled with social media and web-based information, creating infrastructures of supervision and “algorithmic regulation” (Morozov). The panel aims at getting a better understanding of the emergence and consequences of new forms of economic discourse: How can we explain the spread of new narratives of economic and societal progress? What are the political and ethical implications of neo-utilitarian worldviews? In what ways are organizations and networks of economic expertise involved in economic discourses? How does this change the relationship between science, politics and the public? And finally: What mechanisms influence the rise of behavioural interventions and “nudging” techniques? What are the consequences for macroeconomic discourses on wealth and inequality as provoked by Piketty and others?

KEY WORDS
Think tanks, networks, economic discourse, behavioral economics, expertise, regulation, science, policy, narratives, capital, evidence, based policy, economics

ROOM
Sciences Po Lille  B2.13

SESSION 1 : 8/07/2015 : 15:00-16:30
Chair: Plehwe Dieter (dieter.plehwe@wzb.eu), Berlin Social Science Center (Germany)
Discussant: Strassheim, Holger (holger.strassheim@hu-berlin.de), Humboldt Universität (Germany)

• Capitalism and its Discontents
Nullmeier, Frank (frank.nullmeier@gmx.de), University of Bremen (Germany)

Performing Economics: How economic discourse gets enacted in radio news interviews
Fitzgerald, Joe/Brendan O’rourke (josephkfitzgerald@gmail.com), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)

The financial crisis as a heart attack. The narrow concept of ‚economic normality’ in economists public crisis discourse
Pühringer, Stephan (stephan.puehringer@jku.at), Johannes Kepler University of Linz (Austria)

SESSION 2 : 8/07/15 : 17:00-18:30
Chair: Strassheim, Holger (holger.strassheim@hu-berlin.de), Humboldt Universität (Germany)
Discussant: Plehwe Dieter (dieter.plehwe@wzb.eu), Berlin Social Science Center (Germany)

• Dethroning Okun? - The IMF and its new concern for inequality
Heussner, Frederick (frederick.heussner@hotmail.de), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (Germany)

• An Alternative Framework for Analysis of Governance in EU Competition Policy
Bartalevich, Dimitri (db.dbp@cbs.dk), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

• The politico-epistemic authority of behavioral economics in German consumer policy
Korinek, Rebecca-Lea (korinek@wzb.eu), WZB Berlin Social Science Centre (Germany)

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