9 Feb 2009 5:00pm - 7:00pm CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane


Critical Reflections on Economic Thought

Will Davies  (PhD candidate, Sociology and Cultural Studies, Goldsmith College, University of London)

Capitalism as competitive sport: forms of authority in neoliberal thought

Securing a free competitive order is a preoccupation of liberal economic theory from the late nineteenth century onwards, being viewed as the basis for the state's authority. Within ordo-liberal and neo-liberal thinking, law becomes represented pragmatically as the rule of a competition while the state's authority is analogous to that of a referee. This presentation will explore how ordo-liberals and Chicago neo-liberals have emphasised the need to formalise the rules of competition, so as to reduce the role of informal norms in economic life, enabling competitors to become as atomised as possible. It will link this to the more formal problem of rules, as it occurs in the work of Goffman and Wittgenstein. It will also address the threat that the executive branch of government poses to these same bodies of thought, and look at alternative means of coping with the executive in rival bodies of neo-liberal thinking.

Linking market mechanisms and property rights: one of the most fateful errors of economic theory. A critical perspective on a classical assumption that still rule today's economic thought  –  Adam Smith, Karl Marx


Christoph Freydorf  (Diplom candidate, Economic Sociology and Development Sociology, Universität Bielefeld, Germany)


Firstly, one should object to the opinion of the economic mainstream, that proposes private property of vital natural resources as a basic condition for freedom and market. For these aims restricted rights that allow the use of natural resources are more adequate.
Secondly, Marxism is trivialising its legitimate criticism of property-rights by also demanding the abolition of the market mechanism, without bureaucracy or social control being satisfactory alternatives.
A human right for each person to use an equal share of the world’s natural resources would allow market and private enterprise, but put an end to exploitation and poverty, because the powerful property rights remain with the whole society.
More specific considerations on basic principles and the regulatory framework are carried out in the presentation.



Open to all. No registration required. 


 Part of the Business and Society Research Group Series.  

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