31st March 2014

Can markets solve problems?

A website for a new ERC funded project has just launched. This is being worked on at Goldsmiths by Daniel Neyland and Sveta Milyaeva.

Here’s a brief overview of the project:

MISTS: Market-Based Initiatives as Solutions to Techno-Scientific Problems

Markets appear in discussions of an ever broader variety of social, political, technological, scientific and occasionally economic issues. Many of these discussions position markets as the basis for resolving (even simplifying and delegating responsibility for) otherwise complex problems in fields such as healthcare, education, security and the environment. Areas that once were the provision of the state are now imbued with devices, metrics, rankings, resources, regulations, experts and tenders oriented toward bringing into being a variety of market-based initiatives. The logics built into these initiatives of efficiency, effectiveness, better services, at lower costs – all made transparent and accountable to public beneficiaries – appear difficult to resist. However, this programme of research will seek to step back from these logics and ask fundamental questions of: what are markets and how do they work; what counts as value, for whom, decided in what ways; who and what is accountable to whom and what, through what means; what counts as effective or equitable and how is the counting accomplished?

For more info see: http://www.marketproblems.com/.