Browsing by Subject "Polanyi"

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  • Frerichs, Sabine (Routledge, 2012)
  • Frerichs, Sabine (Hart publishing, 2014)
  • Frerichs, Sabine (Hart publishing, 2011)
    International Studies in the Theory of Private Law
    This paper forms part of the edited volume “Karl Polanyi, Globalisation and the Potential of Law in Transnational Markets” (Joerges and Falke 2011). Drawing on Polanyi’s “The Great Transformation” ‑ a study of the ‘utopian experiment’ of the market society which ended in the two world wars – I argue for an ‘economic sociology of law’ à la Polanyi, which builds on his macro-sociological insights and brings together the viewpoints of economic and legal sociology. Considering the present revival of Polanyi’s work ‑ or at least, the frequency of references to his work in the view of present crises ‑ the paper disputes the emblematic claim that ‘we are all Polanyians now’. In order to do so, it contrasts Polanyian perspectives with ‘Granovetterian’ perspectives on the one hand (part one), and with ‘Hayekian’ perspectives on the other hand (part two). It thus clarifies Polanyi’s position within sociology, notably distinguishing between ‘old’ and ‘new’ economic sociology, and also with regard to (mainstream) economics, including the subfield of law and economics broadly understood. Part one argues for a multi-level approach to embeddedness (including micro-, meso-, macro-, and meta-levels), which helps to distinguish between different research agendas in economic sociology. A (neo-)Polanyian research agenda would thus be characterized by an emphasis on macro- and meta-levels of (normative and cognitive) embeddedness, or what is referred to as regimes and rationalities. Part two compares a Polanyian understanding of the economic sociology of law with (neo-liberal) economic constitutionalism: an integrated, positive as well as normative approach to law and the economy, which was notably advocated for by Polanyi’s contemporary von Hayek. Against this background, it is argued that today’s market society is not least embedded in neoliberal economic theory, which also forwards a certain understanding of the law.
  • Stocchetti, Matteo (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2013)
    COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 14
    In this article I make four main points. First, that the populist inclination to blame the victim severely misconstrues the nature and implications of the current crisis. Secondly, core among these implications and re-reading Karl Polanyi, is the likelihood that in the age of hegemonic capitalism there may be no ‘countermovement’ in response to the disruptions produced by the market utopia. From this possibility emerges, in my view, the intellectual imperative of tackling a ‘new great transformation’: something that Polanyi could not foresee. Thirdly, I look at ‘marketspeak’ as the discourse that may have effaced the sources of the ‘countermovement’ by re-construing society itself as ontologically dependent on the market – rather than as an entity capable of defensive response – construing freedom as insecurity and the ‘citizen’ as ‘consumer’. Finally, I point to the rhetoric of sacrifice as the point of saturation of ‘marketspeak’ and to the problem of violence, associated with it, a core element in the political significance of this crisis and a dilemma that the leaders committed to the preservation of the market utopia cannot afford to ignore.
  • Frerichs, Sabine (2016)
    International economic law is dominated by ‘international law’ and ‘economic law’ perspectives. Socio-legal perspectives do gain ground at the margins of the field, but a sociology of international economic law, which addresses not only the subject matter but also the disciplinary dynamics of the field, has so far been missing. Drawing on Polanyi’s The Great Transformation and recent work in the economic sociology of law, this article puts the ‘law of market society’ centre stage in developing a genuine sociology of international economic law. This includes a sociology of law and economics, which exposes how the discipline (power structure) of international economic law is articulated with the discipline (knowledge structure) of law and economics. The law of market society includes all types of law that constitute or regulate the market, be it public or private law, national, international or even transnational law. Taking off from Polanyian ideas, law is conceived as a social institution ‘embedding’ the economy, but also as a ‘fictitious commodity’ which is itself subject to market forces. The tension between law’s commodifying and decommodifying functions, which these concepts illuminate, is reflected in legal discourse. Moreover, it seems to drive ‘law’s great transformation’ from its universalist origins in the nineteenth century to its national closings in the twentieth century, and to its transnational openings in the twenty-first century. In this sense, the law of market society follows itself a ‘double movement’.