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Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

growing influence of ‘behavioural economics’ ( Alcock, 2016 ). Before its sobering escape into the wild, as evinced in the Trump election and Brexit referendum ( Cadwalladr, 2017 ), behavioural economics had been popularised as ‘nudge politics’. Despite raising democratic concerns in targeting the sub-conscious, it has found favour among many Western governments. 5 Behavioural economics operationalises late-capitalism’s logistical requirement for people and things to be in the right place at the right time 24/7 ( Srnicek, 2016 ). Humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction All over the globe, fascism, racism and xenophobic nationalism are resurfacing in what we once thought of as ‘respectable’ democracies. Following a particularly bleak weekend at the end of October 2018 (the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, reports of worsening famine in Yemen, Israeli bombardment of Gaza and the murder of eleven worshippers at a refugee-harbouring synagogue in Pittsburgh), my colleague Dr Sara Salem of the London School of Economics tweeted: ‘It’s difficult watching political scientists scrambling to understand

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

behaviour of those who would perpetrate violence, while vulnerability-reduction strategies implicitly accept a certain level of threat and aim to reduce people’s exposure to that threat. In addition, so-called remedial action to mitigate the consequences of violence after it has occurred is included as a component of civilian-protection strategies ( Bradley, 2016 : 119–26; IASC, 2016 : 31). Policy guidance on staff security, and on operational security more broadly, commonly distinguishes three types of strategy: acceptance, deterrence and protection ( Egeland et al

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

deriving ever more elaborate optimisation algorithms; and the other social scientists who still, mistakenly, believe that ‘there is nothing more to the economics of consumption than utility maximisation’. Between this introduction and the conclusion the chapter is divided into five sections. The first looks at the hard core of modern economics of consumption. In this, consumer behaviour is about utility maximisation – or, to be more precise, it is about an axiomatic theory of demand. If these axioms are accepted, then modern demand theory shows that the consumer behaves

in Innovation by demand
Open Access (free)

9 Conclusion Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde In conclusion we draw together and evaluate a number of the themes raised in this volume and begin to sketch an agenda for future research about markets and the competitive process. Happily, this book resides within a now-flourishing broader stream of ideas at the interface between economics and sociology. Some of this new work signals the resurrection of economic sociology, while other aspects of it emanate from within the literature on innovation processes and, more generally, from evolutionary economics. There has

in Market relations and the competitive process
Problems of polysemy and idealism

2 Markets, embeddedness and trust: problems of polysemy and idealism Andrew Sayer Introduction In this paper I develop a critique of certain approaches to markets and firm behaviour in economics and economic sociology. There are two main targets of the critique. The first concerns some common approaches to markets and the nature of firms in relation to them. Here I argue that the diverse uses of the term ‘market’ in contemporary lay and academic discourse cause confusion. Also problematic in both mainstream and institutional economics is the tendency to treat

in Market relations and the competitive process

rational action stemming from the work of Milton Friedman. He argues that Friedman sidestepped issues of ‘realistic analyses of the way in which business people decide and act. He disregarded empirical evidence of the routine-driven nature of business activity …’ (Hodgson, 1997, p. 663). Hodgson argues that analyses of decision making should consider the importance of habits and rules. Specifically, his interest lies in understanding the circumstances in which agents are required to exhibit habitual behaviour. Old institutional economics saw habits as central to their

in Innovation by demand
Open Access (free)
A multidisciplinary perspective

literature does not seem to be surprising, since they present rather large challenges to standard consumption and preference theory. However, Kelvin Lancaster (1966) managed to fit the adoption of new consumer goods within a neoclassical framework. In the next section his approach is assessed and related to recent approaches addressing the same phenomenon from a behavioural economics perspective, allowing for preference change. While preference change no longer seems to be a non-issue for economists, the question for the biological foundations enabling and constraining

in Innovation by demand

broad conceptual overviews of ways that the sociological and economics literatures address issues of innovation, demand and consumption. Alan Warde, in Chapter 2, reviews the sociological literature on consumption, focusing in particular on research that offers alternative or complementary views to the concepts of ‘conspicuous consumption’ and individual choice, which has dominated much work in this area. From this, he proposes a research agenda for examining everyday consumption, that is, consumption that is unremarkable, bound by habit and routine, and which takes

in Innovation by demand

an essential way in the longterm growth of variety. The consumer as an innovator The qualitative change taking place in economic development creates new goods/services. Consumers have available a much wider range of these than was the case in previous economies. The demand theory that is normally presented in textbooks can deduce the behaviour that follows from a given set of preferences. Preference formation is not considered a legitimate subject of analysis for economics, but it is left to other disciplines in the social sciences. Such an approach would be

in Innovation by demand