Economic Re-ordering

In the 1990s, global capitalism reached its peak, with extractivist and managerial logic, and the market serving as the unquestioned template for organizing all aspects of life. However, subsequent financial, political, and epidemiological crises, coupled with mounting ecological challenges, have exposed the limitations of this paradigm. In response, the anthropological perspective of the economy’s embeddedness has gained renewed importance. Social ties have become the primary source of value and the organizational paradigm for new markets, driven by factors such as the energy transition, the pursuit of sustainable resource consumption, digitalization, financialization, and the intricacies of global commodity chains.

We aim to explore the deep integration of the economy with seemingly non-economic realms, such as governance, religion, health, leisure, education, and private life in today’s world. Our research will involve detailed case studies, unravelling these connections, predicting their future trajectories, and rethinking foundational concepts. Our investigations will encompass recent global and colonial history through an anthropological lens, emphasizing economic factors and materiality rather than assuming the primacy of dominant master concepts. We will address contemporary phenomena, focusing on material and digital infrastructures and their impact on social life, especially in “new” IT-based and supposedly fossil-free industries, platform businesses, crowdfunding, and experimental formats. We will analyse the implications of these innovations on logistics and how they shape the experiences of consumers and producers in their physical and non-virtual environments. Key aspects include the mobility of people and goods, examining the organization of this mobility through brokers and agencies, and investigating urban planning and development as vital sites of value creation. Moreover, we will explore how these dynamics influence the allocation of costs and benefits to private and public actors at both local and global scales, often involving the appropriation of formerly shared resources.

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