Call for Proposals: Workshop on “Regimes of Calculation and Global Governance”

May 14, 2013

Dear Soc Financers!

Below is a call for proposals for a September workshop in Ontario, Canada that might be of interest. It’s not exclusively about finance, but finance is certainly a relevant form of calculation for global governance!

Regimes of Calculation and Global Governance
September 19-20, 2013
Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Please submit 300 word abstracts to calculation.workshop@gmail.com by June 15,
2013. Contact Sarah Martin sjmartin25@gmail.com, or Rhys Machold
rhysmachold@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

Practices of calculation underpin modes of governance and enable new forms of
measurement and prediction at various scales and sites. Our life expectancy and
retirement funds are calculated, along with global greenhouse gases and national debts.
Calculation techniques can be profoundly inventive and transformative, conjuring up
previously unseen terrains of contestation while simultaneously obscuring others.
Calculation thus needs to be considered political from the outset. In sum, calculation has
become a common and taken-for-granted practice that shapes how we act in the world.
Without calculation, too, scholars of global governance are faced with large empirical
gaps and theoretical dead ends.

This workshop seeks to bring together scholars whose objects and purposes of
investigation may differ, but who share an important point of contact: a focus on
calculability as a technique that may come to exert forms of control over people, places
and things. The workshop asks: What is the role of calculation in global governance? To
what extent have recent and on-going ecological and financial crises opened,
constrained or otherwise transformed calculative projects? Using these questions as a
starting point, our workshop addresses ‘Regimes of calculation’ which are practices and
techniques for example that are used to represent social patterns through statistical or
quantitative measurement.

We encourage PhD students and junior scholars from fields including, but not limited to,
political science, sociology, geography, history and economics to submit proposals.
Travel fund support may be available. Proposals that address the following themes are
encouraged:

1) Calculative Vulnerabilities: Environment, Climate Change and Security,
2) Calculative (Im)mobilitites: Economies, Borders, and Regulation,
3) Sustaining Calculabilities: Food and Agriculture, Bodies, Health and Population,
4) Anti-Metrology: Sites of Resistance and Immunity from Calculation.

The event will consist of an opening keynote to situate regimes of calculation and global
governance by Dr. Stuart Elden, and confirmed participants include Dr. Suzan Ilcan,
University of Waterloo, Dr. Michelle Murphy, University of Toronto, Dr. Wendy Larner,
University of Bristol, Dr. Mark Salter, University of Ottawa, and Dr. William Walters,
Carleton University.

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