Fabian Muniesa

Fabian Muniesa is Senior Researcher at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation (CSI), a research center of Mines ParisTech.

  • Assetization

    Assetization

    Turning Things into Assets in Technoscientific Capitalism

    Kean Birch and Fabian Muniesa

    How the asset—anything that can be controlled, traded, and capitalized as a revenue stream—has become the primary basis of technoscientific capitalism.

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

    In this book, scholars from a range of disciplines argue that the asset—meaning anything that can be controlled, traded, and capitalized as a revenue stream—has become the primary basis of technoscientific capitalism. An asset can be an object or an experience, a sum of money or a life form, a patent or a bodily function. A process of assetization prevails, imposing investment and return as the key rationale, and overtaking commodification and its speculative logic. Although assets can be bought and sold, the point is to get a durable economic rent from them rather than make a killing on the market. Assetization examines how assets are constructed and how a variety of things can be turned into assets, analyzing the interests, activities, skills, organizations, and relations entangled in this process.

    The contributors consider the assetization of knowledge, including patents, personal data, and biomedical innovation; of infrastructure, including railways and energy; of nature, including mineral deposits, agricultural seeds, and “natural capital”; and of publics, including such public goods as higher education and “monetizable social ills.” Taken together, the chapters show the usefulness of assetization as an analytical tool and as an element in the critique of capitalism.

    Contributors

    Thomas Beauvisage, Kean Birch, Veit Braun, Natalia Buier, Béatrice Cointe, Paul Robert Gilbert, Hyo Yoon Kang, Les Levidow, Kevin Mellet, Sveta Milyaeva, Fabian Muniesa, Alain Nadaï, Daniel Neyland, Victor Roy, James W. Williams

    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00

Contributor

  • Living in a Material World

    Living in a Material World

    Economic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies

    Trevor Pinch and Richard Swedberg

    Understanding the intersection of economic sociology and science and technology studies through the idea of materiality.

    Although social scientists generally agree that technology plays a key role in the economy, economics and technology have yet to be brought together into a coherent framework that is both analytically interesting and empirically oriented. This book draws on the tools of science and technology studies and economic sociology to reconceptualize the intersection of economy and technology, suggesting materiality—the idea that social existence involves not only actors and social relations but also objects—as the theoretical point of convergence. The contributors take up general concerns, such as individual agency in a network economy and the materiality of the household in economic history, as well as specific financial technologies such as the stock ticker, the trading room, and the telephone. Forms of infrastructure—accounting, global configurations of trading and information technologies, and patent law—are examined. Case studies of the impact of the Internet and information technology on consumption (e-commerce), the reputation economy (the rise of online reviews of products), and organizational settings (outsourcing of an IT system) round off this collection of essays.

    Contributors Elizabeth Popp Berman, Daniel Beunza, Michel Callon, Karin Knorr Cetina, Shay David, Thomas F. Gieryn, Barbara Grimpe, David Hatherly, David Leung, Christian Licoppe, Donald MacKenzie, Philip Mirowski, Fabian Muniesa, Edward Nik-Khah, Trevor Pinch, Alex Preda, Nicholas J. Rowland, David Stark, Richard Swedberg

    • Hardcover $16.75 £13.99
    • Paperback $9.99 £7.99