We image the economy as a marcoobject, the product of new statistical work, regulation, and management organized at the level of nationstate. A misleading idea, as Prof. Timothy Mitchell (Columbia University, New York) will explain in his lecture.

Datum: 10. Dezember 2014
Zeit: 18.00 Uhr bis 20.00 Uhr
Ort: Universität Luzern, Raum 3.A05

We imagine the economy as a macroobject, the product of new statistical work, regulation, and management organized at the level of the nationstate. But this is misleading, for making the economy was a work of scaling down and excluding things from calculation. The birth of the economy is better understood in relation to a wider and earlier development, the rise of the large corporation. If the economy involved what has been called "economization" (the work of rendering things calculable and creating economic agents), the large corporation involved the larger pro-ject of "capitalization." The corporation emerged as a way of building technicalspatial arrangements – initially colonies, canals, and railways, later oil fields, dams, urban fabrics, industrial processes, and consumer worlds – whose scale, durability, and powers of control promised a future stream of income that could be traded speculatively in the present. The birth of the economy was a shortlived attempt to stabilize the increasingly unstable speculative futures on which capitalization had come to depend.

About Timothy Mitchell
Timothy Mitchell is a political scientist and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University. He has made influential contributions to the history and politics of modernity as well as to cultural and postcolonial theory. Among his publications are Colonising Egypt (1988), Rule of Experts (2002) and his 2011 book Carbon Democracy.