Wednesday, 21 December 2016
4S Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 30 August - 2 September 2017
OPEN TRACK PROPOSAL
Kean Birch, York University, Canada
Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, UK
As an increasing number of 'things' (e.g. infrastructure, student debt, medical care, personal data, sunlight, etc.) are turned into assets, it is necessary to work out how value is appropriated from those assets through new forms of 'rentiership' (or rent-seeking). Often presented as the dark side of innovation and entrepreneurship, rent-seeking comes in many forms, including: government fiat (e.g. GHG emissions); monopoly (e.g. intellectual property); organizational arrangements (e.g. business models); and market configurations (e.g. value chains and networks, platforms). It is helpful to build on and go beyond the assumptions built into both Marxist and neoclassical economic literatures that rent-seeking is a problematic activity that distorts or corrupts the ‘naturalized’ working of capitalism or free markets. As such, the purpose of this open panel is to consider these different forms of rentiership as they constitute and are constituted by different forms of technoscience, in order to unpack the concept analytically and empirically and its political and normative implications for science, technology, and innovation. The panel welcomes papers on different forms of rentiership in technoscience, different conceptions of rentiership drawing on Marxist, neoclassical, and other traditions, and discussions of the analytical, political, and normative usefulness of rentiership as a concept.
Birch, K. (2016) Rethinking value in the bio-economy: Finance, assetization and the management of value, Science, Technology and Human Values DOI: 10.1177/0162243916661633
Birch, K. (2017), Financing technoscience: Finance, assetization and rentiership, in D. Tyfield, R. Lave, S. Randalls and C. Thorpe (eds), The Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science, London: Routledge.
Birch, K., Tyfield, D. and Chiapetta, M. (2017) From neoliberalizing research to researching neoliberalism: STS, rentiership and the emergence of commons 2.0, in D. Cahill, M. Konings and M. Cooper (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, London: SAGE.
Felli, R. (2014) On climate rent, Historical Materialism 22(3-4): 251-280.
Frase, P. (2016) Four Futures: Life After Capitalism, London: Verso.
Fuller, S. (2002) Knowledge Management Foundations, Woburn MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Fuller, S. (2016) The Academic Caesar, London: Sage.
Haila, A. (2015), Urban Land Rent, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
Krueger, A. (1974) The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society, American Economic Review, 64(3): 291–303.
Langley, P. and A. Leyshon (2016), ‘Platform Capitalism: The Intermediation and Capitalisation of Digital Economic Circulation’, Finance and Society, early view.
Lazzarato, M. (2015), Governing by Debt, South Pasadena CA: Semiotext(e).
McGoey, L. (forthcoming) The Elusive Rentier Rich: Piketty’s data battles and the power of absent evidence, Science, Technology & Human Values.
Muniesa F. (2012) A Flank Movement in the Understanding of Valuation, The Sociological Review 59(s2): 24-38.
Pike, A. (2015) Origination, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
Sayer, A. (2015) Why We Can’t Afford the Rich, Bristol: Polity Press.
Slater, T. (2015) Planetary rent gaps, Antipode DOI: 10.1111/anti.12185
Swyngedouw, E. (forthcoming) From Accumulation to ‘Value Grabbing’? A Political Ecology of Rent, Capitalism Nature Socialism.
Ward, C. and Aalbers, M. (2016) Virtual special issue editorial essay ‘The shitty rent business’: What’s the point of land rent theory?, Urban Studies 53(9): 1760–1783.
Zeller, C. (2008) From the gene to the globe: Extracting rents based on intellectual property monopolies, Review of International Political Economy 15(1): 86-115.