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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Uncertain Futures: Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculation in the Economy

Jens Beckert and Richard Bronk (London School of Economics and Political Science)

There has recently been a considerable renewal of interest in radical uncertainty well outside normally heterodox areas of economics (in the traditions of Knight, Keynes, Shackle, and Hayek). An edited volume will focus on decision making (and the nature of expectations) in conditions of uncertainty. The book starts from the premise that such uncertainty (as opposed to measurable risk) is central to many modern markets. Its main contribution, though, is to build on recent groundbreaking research in economic sociology, finance, anthropology, and psychology on the nature of expectations at the micro and macro level of the economy in conditions of uncertainty. In a series of theoretically grounded empirical case studies, the authors explore the role of imaginaries and narratives as well as calculative technologies in helping agents form expectations and cope with uncertainty. The volume aims to outline a novel set of microfoundations for understanding decision making in dynamic and innovative capitalist systems where the future is radically indeterminate and yet to be created by the actors themselves. Project duration: September 2016 to August 2018.
Beckert, Jens, Richard Bronk (eds.). Uncertain Futures: Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculation in the Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
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