CfP – Turning (More) Things into Assets: Techno-economic TRANSformations (4S Sydney)

Open Panel: Turning (More) Things into Assets: Techno-economic TRANSformations


29 août – 1er septembre 2018


Abstracts close: Feb 1st, 2018

Organizer: Kean Birch

What is an asset? How is something made into an asset? How is the boundary of an asset defined? What is the role of technoscience in this transformation? Assets can include things like intellectual property, land and natural resources, personality, emissions, infrastructure, etc. More and more STS scholars (and others) are puzzling over the specific techno-economic transformations entailed in the creation of an asset (e.g. Birch 2017a, 2017b; Birch & Tyfield 2013; Cooper & Waldby 2014; Muniesa 2014; Lezaun & Montgomery 2015; Doganova and Karnoe 2015; Doganova and Muniesa 2015; Martin 2015; Chiapello 2015; Boltanski & Esquerre 2016; Gardner & Webster 2017; Hogarth 2017; Muniesa et al. 2017; Vezyridis & Timmons 2017; Birch & Muniesa submission). Such work has stimulated an important debate on the importance of the asset form and assetization process in understanding an array of emerging phenomena in contemporary, technoscientific capitalism. They raise questions about the techno-economic implications of socio-technical platforms (e.g. Uber, Airbnb), digital business models (e.g. Google, Facebook), innovation financing and their financial logics (e.g. Silicon Valley ‘unicorns’), emerging accumulation strategies based on forms of ‘rentiership’ rather than entrepreneurship, and so on. The aim of this panel is to contribute to this ongoing research agenda by (1) inviting further case studies of assetization and (2) focusing on the specific techno-economic transformations involved in the turning of things into assets. It has a further aim to consider the implications of the asset form and assetization process for our the future of contemporary, technoscientific capitalism.

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