Excellent Conferences in 2010: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Washington DC April 14-18


SESSION: Marketization and its discontents

Session organisers: Christian Berndt (University of Frankfurt), Marc Boeckler (University of Mainz), Peter Lindner (University of Frankfurt)

Half a century of radical market orientation under neoliberal policy programs and radical critique of the market as a capitalist device for uneven accumulation processes notwithstanding, our knowledge of the fragility of market arrangements remains very limited. Reactions to the current economic crisis illustrate this very well. Mainstream economists appear to have been caught completely wrong-footed, wondering “how [they] got it so wrong” (Krugman 2009) whereas from a political economy point of view the current situation serves as yet another empirical evidence for the crisis tendencies besetting capitalism. Approaching the market from a god’s eyes view, both positions have little to say about how concrete markets are continuously stabilized, maintained and reshaped or retreat, fail and fall apartTo broaden our understanding of the assemblage  and disassemblage of markets is the central concern of this session. It conceives of marketization (1) as arrangements of people, things and socio-technical devices that format products, prices, competition, places of exchange and mechanisms of control; (2) as a deeply ambivalent endeavor, never complete and always prone to failure, variably establishing linkages and cutting others; (3) as an inherently uneven process, incorporating and expelling places, people and things, exposing existing socio-material relations to new structures of inclusion and exclusion, poverty and wealth; (4) as an innately geographical project, relying on ongoing differentiations between market outside and inside and creating contested borderlands which are always subject to reassessment and reconfiguration.

In this context our aim is to attract contributions which address critical junctures in the making of markets where established linkages break, devices fail to work, competition ends, places of exchange collapse and new spaces for arguments about the legitimate boundaries of markets open up. Possible topics may include but are not restricted to:

*Public discourse: What crisis, whose crisis?

*Political battles: Re-negotiating the limits of marketization and commodification *Locating economic crises: places and devices of demarketization *Case studies on the disassemblage of markets *Frontier regions of marketization as fields of struggle about the legitimacy of markets *Demarketization and new borderlands of global capitalism *Ruptures and adjustments between markets and market models *Calculative spaces and the limits of calculation *The critical dynamics of virtual market places *From “market failure” to the “failure of (neoclassical) economics”

*The diversity of demarketization

*Heterodox theorizing of the market and its other

For more information about the AAG see *here*


About Richard J White

I am currently employed as a Reader in Human Geography. Having completed my doctoral thesis at The University of Leicester (Department of Geography) I worked as Research Assistant at The University of Warwick (Institute for Employment Research). I joined Sheffield Hallam University as a Lecturer in Economic Geography in 2006, and was the Course Leader for the B.A. (Hons) Human Geography degree between 2013-2015. Teaching Interests I have a broad interest in many radical approaches within both Human Geography, and other related social sciences. My particular expertise explores alternative/ post-capitalist forms of work and organization; anarchist and dissident geographies; geographies of activism and resistance; and critical animal geographies.
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