Highlights

06/02/2019 States, Sectors, Firms, Growth: PhD seminar May 21–23, 2019, in Paris MaxPo

MaxPo and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) are welcoming proposals from PhD students to participate in a doctoral seminar to be held on May 21–23 at Sciences Po in Paris. Taught in English by Professors Lucio Baccaro (MPIfG) and Olivier Godechot (MaxPo/Sciences Po) with additional invited senior guest speakers, the seminar is open to current PhD students. The primary goal of the doctoral seminar is to discuss new research directions regarding capitalism emerging from two disciplinary areas: economic sociology and political economy. A maximum of twenty students will be admitted to the seminar. Preference is given to students from Sciences Po, the IMPRS-SPCE, and their cooperation partners. No specific fees will be charged for the course, which is financed by a grant from the Université franco-allemande – Deutsch-Französische Hochschule (UFA/DFH).

 

06/02/2019 Thomas Piketty held Impromptu Lecture at MaxPo MaxPo

 

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On January 24, in front of an audience of around 100 participants, economist Thomas Piketty discussed his paper Brahmin Left versus Merchant Right: Rising Inequality and the Changing Structure of Political Conflict (WID.world Working Paper No. 2018/7) Piketty showed a striking long-run evolution in the structure of political cleavages. In the 1950s–1960s, the vote for left-wing parties was associated with lower education and lower income voters. It has gradually become associated with higher education voters, giving rise to a “multiple-elite” party system in the 2000s–2010s: high-education elites now vote for the “left,” while high-income/high-wealth elites still vote for the “right.”

 

Piketty argues that this can contribute to explain rising inequality and the lack of democratic response to it, as well as the rise of “populism.” He sees the rise of globalization or educational expansion as the origins of this evolution and for the future he predicts a “multiple-elite” stabilization and a return to class-based redistributive conflict. The lecture was organized by MaxPo, and co-sponsored by the Sciences Po Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE) and Sciences Po CEVIPOF. Discussants were Martial Foucault (CEVIPOF), Nonna Mayer (CEE), and Jan Rovny (CEE/LIEPP).

 

06/02/2019 Alexis Baudour is new doctoral researcher at MaxPo MaxPo

MaxPo’s new doctoral researcher Alexis Baudour received his PhD in Mathematics from the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis. He holds a Master’s degree from the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay and received a Master’s degree in Economic Sociology at LSE in 2018. In January 2019, Alexis joined MaxPo to start his PhD in Sociology at MaxPo under the supervision of Olivier Godechot. Alexis will study the influence of economic factors on the right-wing populist vote in Europe. In particular, his project seeks to better understand the relationship between immigration concerns and the influence of the local economic environment (unemployment, median income, inequality) or the personal financial history of individuals. To achieve this, he compares income distribution evolutions and successive election outcomes using statistical methods such as instrumental variables or first-difference.

10/01/2019 New Member on MaxPo's Joint Council: Marie-Laure Djelic MaxPo

Since spring 2018, Marie-Laure Djelic has been a member of the Joint Council of MaxPo. Djelic is Professor at the Centre de sociologie des organisations at Sciences Po, Paris, and serves as Dean of the School of Management and Innovation at Sciences Po. Her research addresses the complex interactions between Business and Society. She has replaced Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier, who was a member of the Council since 2015. The Joint Council advises MaxPo directors on work at the Center as well as on the selection of research projects and staff.

14/09/2018 Anne van der Graaf awarded doctorate MaxPo

Anne van der Graaf was awarded her doctorate at Sciences Po on September 14, 2018. Her thesis "Managing Financial Risks: Protecting the Organization" explores the internal workings of large organizations that take financial market risks, especially banks and insurance companies. It follows their risk managers and analyses their work and output. While EU regulation and the literature on financial risk state that risk managers control risk-taking of their organizations, Anne van der Graaf shows that this is not the case. Risk managers rather focus on keeping the organization alive: by handling the communications to resourceful outsiders, i.e., regulators, shareholders, and counterparties, they prevent negative consequences from happening to their organization. Regulators, shareholders and counterparties all have the power to bring down a financial organization. With the help of their risk assessments, they want to avoid the negative impact an outsider could have. While accounting rules and mathematical standards restrict the malleability of the risks, risk managers juggle the different limits to show an organization in good health. From 2013 to 2018, Anne van der Graaf was a doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo) in Paris.

14/09/2018 Tirzah Jensen is new doctoral fellow at MaxPo MaxPo

In September 2018, MaxPo welcomed its newest PhD student, Tirzah Jensen. Using Foucault’s work on neoliberalism and governmentality, Tirzah’s research at MaxPo examines the management of unemployed citizens in Denmark to study how the neoliberalization of the welfare state affects the relationship between the citizen, the state, and the market. Tirzah holds an MA in Social and Political Thought from University of Warwick and an MA in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University. At MaxPo, Tirzah is pursuing a doctoral degree in Political Science under the supervision of Dr. Jenny Andersson.

06/03/2018 MaxPo 5th Anniversary International Conference "Destabilizing Orders – Understanding the Consequences of Neoliberalism"
January 12–13, 2018

 

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Throughout the long post-war period, crisis was a conjectural phenomenon, exceptional in a normalcy of growth and social progress. Many key concepts of the social sciences – indeed, our understanding of democracy, embedded markets, enlightened electorates, benevolent political elites, and problem-solving progressive alliances – seem inapt for understanding current societal upheaval. In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, we have witnessed the breakdown of majority alliances; the return, on a grand scale, of populism both in the Western world and globally; and the eruption of new patterns of social mobilization into chaotic and sometimes violent protest. The forces that underpinned the foundations of welfare capitalism seem obsolete in the face of financial and political elites that are paradoxically both disconnected from national territory and sometimes in direct alliance with nationalist and populist movements. Politics of resentment, politics of place, and new politics of class interact in ways that we do not yet understand. In what is perhaps the greatest paradox of all, neoliberalism has spawned authoritarianism. At the same time, these processes are not at all new but must be placed in the context of the socioeconomic and cultural cleavages produced by the shift to neoliberalism since the 1970s.

 

The MaxPo 5th Anniversary Conference addressed the different facets of social destabilization that we observe today. It marked the fifth anniversary of the founding of MaxPo, the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies. Presentations from accomplished scholars in the fields of economic history, sociology, political science, and economics analyzed different aspects of the overarching phenomenon of social destabilization, identifying common challenges in the diverse developments currently observed.

 

Presenters focused on specific arguments within six broad themes: Financial Markets Between Stability and Instability; Inequalities of the Western World; Colliding Geographies: Class, Place, and Identity after Brexit and Trump; Political Economy in an Age of Permanent Austerity; Political Elites and Experts; and Social Science at the Crossroads, discussed in a concluding round table that explored the question of "Where do we go from here?"

 

Presentations touched on a wide and impressive range of topics, including: an increase in individuation and social stratification across the developed world, workplace inequalities, a critical examination of global income inequality, the peculiar mix of plutocracy and populism in the U.S., contrasting fascism with "Trumpism," Brexit, resentment within neoliberalism, the poor political representation of lower-income populations, austerity agenda-setting and political party contestation as they relate to the recent rise of populism, the role of partisan policy professionals, the destabilization of Social Democracy over time, and the role of progressive experts in steering the level of public progressivism.

 

The conference concluded with a discussion of the contribution that social sciences are poised to make in terms of policy recommendations, fueling public debate, and educating future generations of leaders and active citizens in a post-neoliberal world order.

 

 

MaxPo 5th Anniversary Conference Contributors List
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