The politics of conventions : beyond a microphysics of power?

Abstract : The archeology of the "Economie des conventions" reveals the importance of the analyse of statistical work, as a form of deconstruction of statistical aggregates. It opens to a new way of conceiving State power in relation with the elaboration of a knowledge of society, and leads to a view of economic conventions as a microphysics of power (Foucault). This analyse of statistical work accompanies a critique of general equilibrium mechanism found by Olivier Favereau in Keynes' General Theory, with an emphasis on the action of the State in the search for a full employment economy. In this perspective, Invention of Unemployment by Robert Salais (1986) examines the process leading to a common understanding of such a category, shaping a "keynesian convention". This is a crucial step for the discovery of the conventions as coordination operated in the firms, which implies to conceive a plurality of "worlds of production". Thus, conventions and more specifically labour conventions are conceived as a microphysics of power, in which power in a relational way (Foucault) implies uncertainties of the coordination based on the institutional categories (either statistical and juridical).
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Contributor : Claude Didry <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 8, 2017 - 10:20:05 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:34:55 AM

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Claude Didry. The politics of conventions : beyond a microphysics of power?. Sociology of Conventions Workshop: "Power of Conventions – Conventions of Power", Arjan Kosica und Rainer Diaz-Bone, Jan 2017, Reutlingen, Germany. ⟨halshs-01445623⟩

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