Globalization Strategies and the Economics Dispositif: Insights from Germany and the UK

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This contribution analyses current transformations in the field of economics as a reconfiguration of various academic cultures embedded in globalised hierarchies. The theoretical argument points to the rules and modalities which constitute the field
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  Historical Social Research Historische Sozialforschung Jens Maesse:  Globalization Strategies and the Economics Dispositif:Insights from Germany and the UK. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.120-146. Cite as:Jens Maesse. 2018.Globalization Strategies and the EconomicsDispositif: Insights from Germany and the UK.  Historical Social Research  43 (3): 120-46. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.120-146. For further information on our journal, including tables of contents, article abstracts,and our extensive online archive, please visithttp://www.gesis.org/en/hsr. Published in: Historical Social Research  43 (2018) 3    Historical Social Research Historische Sozialforschung  All articles published in HSR Special Issue 43 (2018) 3: Economists, Politics, and Society. Christian Schmidt-Wellenburg & Frédéric Lebaron There Is No Such Thing as “the Economy”. Economic Phenomena Analysed from a Field-Theoretical Perspective. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.7-38 Alexander Lenger Socialization in the Academic and Professional Field: Revealing the Homo Oeconomicus Academicus. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.39-62 Emmanuel Monneau Economics Degrees in the French University Space: Heteronomy and Professionalization of Curricula 1970-2009. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.63-93 Arthur Jatteau The Success of Randomized Controlled Trials: A Sociographical Study of the Rise of J-PAL to Scientific Excellence and Influence. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.94-119 Jens Maesse Globalization Strategies and the Economics Dispositif: Insights from Germany and the UK. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.120-146 Christian Schmidt-Wellenburg Struggling over Crisis. Discoursive Positionings and Academic Positions in the Field of German-Speaking Economists. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.147-188 Thierry Rossier & Felix Bühlmann The Internationalisation of Economics and Business Studies: Import of Excellence, Cosmopolitan Capital, or American Dominance? doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.189-215 Didier Georgakakis & Frédéric Lebaron  Yanis (Varoufakis), the Minotaur, and the Field of Eurocracy. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.216-247 Stephanie L. Mudge & Antoine Vauchez Too Embedded to Fail: The ECB and the Necessity of Calculating Europe. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.248-273 Elisa Klüger Mapping the Inflections in the Policies of the Brazilian National Economic and Social Development Bank during the 1990s and 2000s within Social Spaces and Networks. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.274-302 Mariana Heredia The International Division of Labor in Economists’ Field. Academic Subordination in Exchange for Political Prerogatives in Argentina. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.303-328 Christian Schneickert Globalizing Political and Economic Elites in National Fields of Power. doi: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.329-358   For further information on our journal, including tables of contents, article abstracts, and our extensive online archive, please visit http://www.gesis.org/en/hsr.   Historical Social Research Historische Sozialforschung   Historical Social Research 43 (2018) 3, 120-146 │  published by GESIS DOI: 10.12759/hsr.43.2018.3.120-146 Globalization Strategies and the Economics Dispositif: Insights from Germany and the UK Jens Maesse    ∗    Abstract : »Globalisierungsstrategien und das ökonomische Dispositif: Einblicke aus Deutschland und Großbritannien«  . This contribution analyses current trans-formations in the field of economics as a reconfiguration of various academic cultures embedded in globalised hierarchies. The theoretical argument points to the rules and modalities which constitute the field of economics as a dispositif that covers different local academic fields and reaches into other areas of the global political economy. Drawing on empirical data from German and UK eco-nomics, the study shows how national fields respond to global pressures and create a global class society of economists. I will analyse, first, how academic hierarchies develop in two different countries and, second, how discourses of excellence constitute academic cultures within these hierarchies. On the basis of wide-ranging empirical data, the analysis develops new theoretical reflec-tions about the logic of academic fields under globalisation. As a result, three different scientific cultures emerge that characterise the current field of aca-demic economics: “native transnationals,” “migration transnationals,” and “local transnationals.” Keywords:  Economic expert discourses, dispositif analysis, discourse studies, globalisation, world system theory. 1.   Introduction Academic fields typically tend to form an autonomous space of institutional-ised positions, funds, publications, recruitment strategies, research methods, knowledge areas, and debates (Bourdieu 1988). Economics seems to be an exception, since it is systematically embedded in non-academic fields and closely connected to the field of social power positions in the state and the economy (Lebaron 2014; MacKenzie 2006; Schmidt-Wellenburg 2013, 2018). This trans-epistemic nature of economics impacts academic life, career paths,  publication cultures, and the distribution of power and prestige within the discipline. ∗  Jens Maesse, Institut für Soziologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Karl-Glöckner-Str. 21E, D-35394 Gießen, Germany; jens.maesse@sowi.uni-giessen.de.  HSR 43 (2018) 3 │  121 Against this background, my paper analyses current transformations in the field of economics as a reconfiguration of various academic cultures embedded in globalised hierarchies. The general theoretical argument points to the rules and modalities which constitute the field of economics as a dispositif   that covers different local academic fields and reaches, through trans-epistemic orientation, into other areas of the globalised political economy. Drawing on empirical data from German and UK economics, collected and analysed in the FED project, 1  the study shows how local fields respond to global pressures and reconfigure as a global trans-epistemic dispositif. First, I will show how academic hierarchies develop in two different countries. Second, I will analyse how discourses of excellence constitute academic cultures within these hierarchies. The analysis develops new theoretical reflections on the logic of academic fields under globalisation, on the basis of wide-ranging empirical data. I will  propose the idea of economics as a hybrid social field that is dislocated from national fields and rearticulated in local fields, as well as global tendencies. To understand and grasp this hybrid character not simply as a stage in transition  but as a fully developed social form, the paper will apply the Foucauldian term of economics dispositif (Foucault 1980). A dispositif is not a homogenous space or field, rather it regulates the heterogeneity between different regions, subfields, discursive translations, and capital conversions. This results in split and spectral battlefields among different academic cultures, between the local and the global, the academic and the political, the economic and media logic. The paper will elaborate the global transformations of economics by taking into account the full complexities that constitute them through four interrelated dynamics, as illustrated in Figure 1. In a first step (section 2), the trans-epistemic interconnectedness that ties the economics discipline to the wider  political economy will be explained. Since discourses of excellence are an indirect effect of these trans-epistemic relations, section 3 will describe the global emergence of excellence myths and explore how they are adopted in local contexts of the UK and Germany. The second part of section 3 will inves-tigate how discourses of excellence influenced the formation of an academic class society, as reflected in strong academic hierarchies in the UK and weak  but visible inequalities in the German-speaking world. In a last step, section 4 will conclude by describing how three different academic cultures emerged from the special field structure of economics that is now better understood as a globalised dispositif. 1  Financial Expert Discourse, based in Mainz (Germany, 2011-2013) and Warwick (UK, 2013-2015), funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.  Figure 2.   The curr talism. Iof econfabric. T between tion. Acthrough ginning, ical (goclasses).  peripher  productihistoricaare in cohistory. dynamicmations lyse whworld isevolving :  The Constitu heoretical ybridity, aurrent Ca ent field of ecs analysis canmic expert he social undthe global anording to wothe rise of cathat was neveernmental inGlobalisatio structures on but also shl structure. Acnstant interacTherefore, the process of c(Foucault 200t type and fo already a re for many cen HSR 43 (   tion of the Gl and Historind the Plaitalism onomics is an not be detachiscourses witer globalisatiod the local (R ld system theitalism, as a restricted to stitutions, the is, rather,  power and i pe cultural lif ademic and nion with the r  global social nstant excha8; Hardt and m globalisatisult of multipuries (Braude 2018) 3 │  122 balised Econo cal Backgre of the E integral and id from some in an increan is involved obertson 1992ory (Arrighi 1socio-economiational cultur  state) and sonstructed aequality that styles in diffen-academic filing hegemo order is not ges, network egri 2001). n in each fiele globalisati   l 1985). mics Dispositif  und: Globonomics D  portant part initial reflectisingly heteroin permanent ) in all sphere994), globalisc system, froal (values and ocial boundar ound trans-not only influrent regions oelds, cultures ic logic at a s fixed systes, interactionstudies of glod takes, becan dynamics, alisation, iscipline in of global capins on the roleneous sociarearticulations of social acation emerge the very be beliefs), polities (particulational centrence economi every specifiand discourse pecific time i, it is rather and transfor alisation anase the currenthat has bee   - l s - --    - s --t
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