2nd May 2014

The Limits of Performativity: Politics of the Modern Economy now out in HBB

Edited by Franck Cochoy, Martin Giraudeau, Liz McFall


The economy is commonly described either as the apolitical realm of calculation or as the fully political one of domination. This book scrutinizes the ways in which the economy is performed, in order to situate where precisely politics is located with regard to economic matters. Politics, the book demonstrates, thus appears at the turning point, in the place where the efficiency of economics is negotiated and where the need to forward it, reshape it, and complement it emerges.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Cultural Economy.


Introduction: Performativity, Economics and Politics: An Overview Franck Cochoy, Martin Giraudeau and Liz McFall

Part 1: Performativity, Economics and Politics

1. Performative Agency Judith Butler

2. Performativity, Misfires and Politics Michel Callon

3. Performativities: Butler, Callon and the Moment of Theory Paul du Gay

4. The ‘Performative Turn’ in Science and Technology Studies: Towards a Linguistic Anthropology of ‘Technology in Action’ Christian Licoppe

Part 2: Politically Separating Politics and the Economy

5. The Resources of Economics: Making the 1973 Oil Crisis Timothy Mitchell

6. Pragmatics and Politics: The Case of Industrial Assurance in the UK Liz McFall

7. Performing Physiocracy: Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours and the Limits of Political Engineering Martin Giraudeau

Part 3: Transacting Across the Politics/Economy Divide

8. Gift-Giving or Market?: Economists and the Performation of Organ Commerce

Philippe Steiner 9. Performing Border in the Aegean: On Relocating Political, Economic and Social Relations Sarah Green

10. Political Marketing: Multiple Values, Performativities and Modes of Engaging Hans Kjellberg and Claes-Fredrik Helgesson 11. ‘How to Build Displays that Sell’: The Politics of Performativity in American Grocery Stores (Progressive Grocer, 1929-1946) Franck Cochoy