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Beyond the Market
Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculation in the Economyav Jens Beckert311
Uncertain Futures considers how economists visualize the future and decide how to act in conditions of uncertainty. As dynamic capitalist economies are characterized by innovation and novelty they exhibit an indeterminacy that cannot be reduced. This book questions how expectations can be formed and decisions made in spite of uncertainty.
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Sidonie Naulin, University Grenoble Alpes, European Journal of Sociologu By making the reader enter the complex worlds of uncertainty management in the economy, Uncertain Futures demonstrates the richness of the contemporary field of research about "futures" in the social sciences....This book offers great insights for any social scientist interested in future management and social action.
William A. Allen, Visitor, National Institute of Economic and Social Research Uncertain Futures is a stimulating and diverse collection of papers about the consequences of radical uncertainty and how they are managed in practice. As the clear and comprehensive introduction by the editors explains, devices such as narratives, stories, conversations and 'imaginaries' give shape to expectations of the future... Radical uncertainty is not a new concept, but it nevertheless receives less attention than it really deserves. Uncertain
Futures is a very welcome and interesting antidote. It left this reader with an enhanced understanding of the expedients that are customarily used as means of either overcoming or else tacitly ignoring radical uncertainty, and of the dangers that a flawed but superficially persuasive narrative can wreak. Mindless
positivity is just as dangerous as mindless negativity. For that alone, Uncertain Futures is well worth reading.
W. Brian Arthur, author of Complexity and the Economy Economic theory is built on how people make decisions, and in real life all decisions are made under some degree of fundamental uncertainty - people simply do not know what future they face. Uncertain Futures shows that people use works of imagination, or they use narratives, or calculative practices such as business plans, to act in spite of uncertainty. Economics - thanks to Beckert and Bronk - can build upon a much more realistic human foundation than
before. A first-rate contribution to the field.
David Stark, Columbia University and author of The Sense of Dissonance Especially when uncertainties produced by innovation are compounded by second-order uncertainties about the reactions of others, what should one do when rational calculation of probabilities based on past data is ineffective in predicting the future? From a diverse range of disciplinary perspectives, the essays in this collection creatively explore the role of imagination - long studied as a source of innovation, but until now neglected as a response to uncertainty.
Charles Goodhart, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England We all have to take decisions with long-term consequences, with little knowledge of what the future may bring. The future is inherently uncertain, so we cannot even estimate probabilities in most cases. The editors of this book have put together a collection of papers by economic sociologists, economists, a psychologist, and an anthropologist to ex...
Jens Beckert is director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. In 2018 he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for his work reinvigorating the social sciences with an interdisciplinary perspective, especially at the intersection of sociology and economics. His research focuses on the fields of economic sociology, sociology of inheritance, organization theory, and social theory. Richard Bronk is a visiting fellow in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He spent seventeen years working in the City of London and the Bank of England before teaching political economy at LSE from 2000-2007. His research now focuses on the role of imagination and language in economics, the dangers of analytical and regulatory monocultures, and the epistemology of markets.
1: Jens Beckert and Richard Bronk: An Introduction to Uncertain Futures Section I: The Nature of Expectations in Modern Political Economies 2: Robert Boyer: Expectations, Narratives, and Socio-Economic Regimes 3: David Tuckett: Conviction Narrative Theory and Understanding Decision-Making in Economics and Finance 4: Jenny Andersson: Arctic Futures: Expectations, Interests, Claims, and the Making of Arctic Territory Section II: The Strange World of Economic Forecasting 5: Werner Reichmann: The Interactional Foundations of Economic Forecasting 6: Olivier Pilmis: Escaping the Reality Test: How Macroeconomic Forecasters Deal with 'Errors' 7: Andrew G. Haldane: Uncertainty in Macroeconomic Modelling Section III: The Role of Narratives and Planning in Central Banking 8: Douglas R. Holmes: A Tractable Future: Central Banks in Conversation with their Publics 9: Benjamin Braun: Central Bank Planning? Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Price of Bending the Yield Curve Section IV: Constructing Futures in Finance 10: Elena Esposito: Predicted Uncertainty: Volatility Calculus and the Indeterminacy of the Future 11: Natalia Besedovsky: Uncertain Meanings of Risk: Calculative Practices and Risk Conceptions in Credit Rating Agencies Section V: Managing Expectations in Innovative Business 12: Martin Giraudeau: Processing the Future: Venture Project Evaluation at American Research and Development Corporation (1946-1973) 13: Liliana Doganova: Discounting and the Making of the Future: On Uncertainty in Forest Management and Drug Development 14: Timur Ergen: The Dilemma between Aligned Expectations and Diversity in Innovation: Evidence from Early Energy Technology Policies