Economy

Led by Mark Davis

futures of capitalism, de-growth/net-zero economies, crowdfunding, democratic finance, digital monies/cryptocurrencies, consumerism/prosumerism, credit/debt.

Throughout his long career, Zygmunt Bauman made only one explicit reference to money, in a 1983 article that also lamented the “economisation of power conflict”. Financialization and neoliberalism were seldom addressed directly, just two of the global social processes unleashed by the separation of power and politics and so better synthesised into his theory of ‘liquid modernity’. Where questions of economy were firmly in focus, Bauman preferred to concentrate upon the many paradoxes of consumerism – control through liberation, similarity through difference, inertia through change.

This research area at the Institute takes inspiration from Bauman’s thinking on economy and society, but strives to extend his focus by reaching into economic sociology, cultural economy, critical political economy and heterodox economics. We are interested in questions concerning how money organises social life through relational and boundary work; how global flows of finance support or undermine territorially-bound democracies; and, how a sociological understanding of alternative economic practices can inspire inclusive and just transitions to net-zero societies.

The ‘Economy’ area is thus challenge-led, applying theoretical insights to solve real-world problems. We have a number of externally funded and interdisciplinary research projects underway, some of which you can explore by clicking on the icons below.

Starts Summer 2021
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Doctoral research project with Abundance Investment
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The project that created Community Municipal Investments (CMI)
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Our flagship Horizon 2020 project
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An excellent resource for sociology / anthropology of money
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A leading network based at University of Edinburgh
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