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Economic Circuits in Madagascar. 'Agencing' the Circulation of Goods, Accounts and Money

Abstract : The everyday life of markets is constantly challenged by disruptions, uncertainties, unexpected outcome, which are most often diffuse and invisible. While the literature in markets has addressed the issue of uncertainty as a fundamental element underlying any commitment to action (Beckert, 1996, 2003), it has been more attentive to the various strategies of reducing uncertainty - i.e. the framing of interactions by rules or devices - than to the way people cope with ineluctable and unforeseen events in the daily making of markets. In this paper, we defend the idea that the day-to-day management of transactions leads to the emergence of what will call an economic circuit. We define an economic circuit as a socio-technical and spatialized chain which organizes on a regular and continuous basis the circulation of goods and payments between OEkinship (or at least familiar) partnerships (Zelizer, 2004). Exchanges are circular, assembling heterogeneous medias and transfers (Slater, 2013), and relying on financial arrangements, particularly delayed payment, as a crucial mode of transaction continuity. To illustrate the concept and its range, this paper draws upon the case of the small-scale trading networks in Madagascar. The analysis focuses on the creative adjustments and constant reconstructions taking place in the course of transactions, which endow the circuit with (temporal) elasticity and resiliency towards unforeseen events and uncertainties.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 3, 2014 - 2:23:57 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00954714, version 1



Céline Cholez, Pascale Trompette. Economic Circuits in Madagascar. 'Agencing' the Circulation of Goods, Accounts and Money. 2014. ⟨halshs-00954714⟩



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