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Lecture

Public Lecture: Laurent Thévenot on Reconstructing Critique

10/05 Wednesday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to a lecture by the sociologist Laurent Thévenot, Directeur d’études at the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and a renowned theorist of the critical social sciences.

Democratic nation-states are increasingly governed by non-democratic procedures. The rise of neo-liberalism, the celebration of the market as an arbiter of the pubic good, which makes individual and firm choice the vehicle for all valuation, has gone hand in hand with the rise of a non-democratic form of government based on private voluntary regulation and statistical evidence: government by standards. In this lecture, Laurent Thévenot, a pioneer of the French conventions of worth approach, co-author (with Luc Boltanski) of the much celebrated, debated, and translated On Justification (Princeton, 2006; Gallimard, 1991), analyzes the significance of this form of power, its relation to liberalism and the proliferating critiques of authority. Thévenot, trained as a economist and sociologist, is famous for pioneering a decidedly non-economistic approach which applies not only to the economy, but all forms of coordination: investment in form.


Laurent Thévenot is Directeur d’études, Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. His works include L’action au pluriel: sociologie des régimes d’engagement (2006), “Enlarging Conceptions of Testing Moments and Critical Theory,” in Simon and Turner’s The Spirit of Luc Boltanski (2014), and “Certifying the World: Power Infrastructures and Practices in Economies of Conventional Forms” in Aspers and Dodd’sRe-Imagining Economic Sociology (2015).

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