Economic Sociology on Saint-Germain de Près

An impressive line-up of international scholars working on economic sociology gathered on 12-13 January 2018 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Franco-German MaxPo Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies. Directed by Jenny Andersson and Olivier Godechot, and located on the Sciences Po, Paris campus, MaxPo is an ongoing research partnership between scholars and PhD students at the French university and at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, directed by Jens Beckert and Lucio Baccaro.The meeting, entitled “Destabilizing Orders: Understanding the Consequences of Neoliberalism”, featured talks by (among others) Donald MacKenzie on the development of high frequency trading, Adam Goldstein on consumer choice in health insurance, Jacob Hacker on populism, Armin Schäfer on “the poor representation of the poor”, Mark Blythe on “how the menu gets set”, Olivier Godechot on the Piketty effect of only looking at the 1%, and Adam Tooze on the crisis of national statistics.  Wolfgang Streeck, Marion Fourcade, and Cornelia Woll also participated in a round table discussion under the heading “Social Science at the Crossroads”.





The specters of Donald Trump and his administration, as well as of political parties and voter turnout (or lack thereof), were frequently referred to during the two-day event. Dylan John Riley’s discussion of whether Trumpism could be compared to Fascism in the 1930s solicited great audience interaction and led to a general consensus that Trumpism is more comparable to 19th century Bonapartism. Late into the second day, the packed auditorium heard one eminent sociologist in the audience deliver a passionate plea to cease with the endless hand-wringing over populist parties and their negative influence, suggesting instead that some of these parties could be viewed positively.  An interesting idea to ponder…

For the full program, visit