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M/market frontiers


Berndt, Christian; Rantisi, Norma M; Peck, Jamie (2020). M/market frontiers. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 52(1):14-26.

Abstract

This theme issue originates from an invitational workshop on the spatiality and diversity ofmarkets, convened at the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy in Montreal in 2017.Workshop participants, regardless of their disciplinary backgrounds and diverse researchinterests, shared a conviction that markets should be analysed in their plural and hybridforms, as social and political constructs always ‘in making’. In contrast to more orthodoxconceptions of markets as free-standing entities, discrete institutions or ideal types, this wastranslated into an imperative to centre ‘marketization’, along with attendant processes ofmarket re/construction. While this was interpreted as a positive research programme, if achallenging and quite radically open one, there was also an underlying concern. The concernwas that critical approaches to the study of markets, which foreground and problematizetheir variegated character, seem to have reached something of an impasse. A gulf has openedup between those orthodox market purists who seem to see little beyond the abstract marketprescribed by the neoclassical model (a self-regulating system of rational buyers and sellers)and the heterodox sceptics who, if they do not sidestep the market altogether, focus insteadon an unruly plethora of real markets, criticizing the neoclassical market model as an ide-alized and ideological construct. As we point out elsewhere (Peck et al., 2020), the problemwith these polar(ized) positions is that, notwithstanding their philosophical and normativedifferences, they all tend to work with,or against, a received reading of the capital-MMarket as advanced by standard economic theory, indexing to this analytical yardstick ineither positive or negative terms. On the heterodox side, the sway of the neoclassical, capital-M Market is manifest across a range of perspectives. Political-economic accounts, forinstance, tend to invoke an understanding of the market as a destructive juggernaut.

Abstract

This theme issue originates from an invitational workshop on the spatiality and diversity ofmarkets, convened at the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy in Montreal in 2017.Workshop participants, regardless of their disciplinary backgrounds and diverse researchinterests, shared a conviction that markets should be analysed in their plural and hybridforms, as social and political constructs always ‘in making’. In contrast to more orthodoxconceptions of markets as free-standing entities, discrete institutions or ideal types, this wastranslated into an imperative to centre ‘marketization’, along with attendant processes ofmarket re/construction. While this was interpreted as a positive research programme, if achallenging and quite radically open one, there was also an underlying concern. The concernwas that critical approaches to the study of markets, which foreground and problematizetheir variegated character, seem to have reached something of an impasse. A gulf has openedup between those orthodox market purists who seem to see little beyond the abstract marketprescribed by the neoclassical model (a self-regulating system of rational buyers and sellers)and the heterodox sceptics who, if they do not sidestep the market altogether, focus insteadon an unruly plethora of real markets, criticizing the neoclassical market model as an ide-alized and ideological construct. As we point out elsewhere (Peck et al., 2020), the problemwith these polar(ized) positions is that, notwithstanding their philosophical and normativedifferences, they all tend to work with,or against, a received reading of the capital-MMarket as advanced by standard economic theory, indexing to this analytical yardstick ineither positive or negative terms. On the heterodox side, the sway of the neoclassical, capital-M Market is manifest across a range of perspectives. Political-economic accounts, forinstance, tend to invoke an understanding of the market as a destructive juggernaut.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geography, Planning and Development, Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 February 2020
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 10:22
Last Modified:14 Feb 2020 10:24
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1472-3409
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518x19891833

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