Enjeux et Représentations de la Science, de la Technologie et de leurs Usages.
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Globalisation is oftenest out as the last stage of a rationalizing process of world economies in front of which societies have to adapt. Political sociology help us to underline the cultural and historical aspects of such a phenomenon.
Quantitative tools of government - statistics or accountability - are often used to perform the adaptation of societies to globalization. The sociology of conventions hidden behind such tools offer a useful perspective on the cultural aspect of this phenomenon.
But quantitative tools are also submit to the forces of the globalization process. Describing their own evolution underline their political dimension, very often deny by their users. But this process offers an opportunity to analyze the cultural aspect of the globalization.
Whereas cultural aspects of globalization are the main focus, this seminar is ought to keep distances with an absolute relativism, sometimes labeled “ post-modern”, which leads to a vision that can not explain the strength of globalization as a rationalizing process.
Globalisation of quantitative tools of government
It seems that quantitative tools of government - statistics, accounting, ranking - follow the same evolution than programs of public policies, being more and more “globalised”. As if they were converging for fitting the same standards in all countries. The current standardization of accountability norms is a very explicit example of such a phenomenon (Chiapello 2005). Concerning quantitative tools used in public policies, the process seems to be more slow but with a great influence also. This seminar will focus on what could be the key linchpins of the globalisation of the quantitative tools of government. Are they mainly linked with scientific progresses in the statistical field? Or are they due to cultural aspects of the globalisation? Globalisation is often set out as the last stage of a rationalizing process of world economies in front of which societies have to adapt. Political sociology help us to underline the cultural and historical aspects of such a phenomenon. The sociology of conventions hidden behind such tools offers a useful perspective on the cultural aspect of this phenomenon. But quantitative tools are also submit to the forces of the globalization process. Describing their own evolution underline their political dimension, very often deny by their users. But this process offers an opportunity to analyze the cultural aspect of the globalization. Whereas cultural aspects of globalization are the main focus, this seminar is ought to keep distances with an absolute relativism, sometimes labeled “ post-modern”, which leads to a vision that can not explain the strength of globalization as a rationalizing process.
1. “Why modernization of census stays apart from globalisation ?” October 11th , 2007 Fabrice Bardet (RIVES/ENTPE), General Introduction of the Seminar Margo J. Anderson (University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee), “The Statistical Science under Surveillance: Will Sampling ever Enter the American Census Process ?”
National censuses still deal with important technical problems, even if the old controversy around the human kind is now over (Anderson 1988). One of the most famous problem is certainly the under-counting of populations, especially these leaving in poor-people areas. Statisticians reached an kind of international agreement to define some new survey methods that could address this issue. But in most countries, the old census system remains the same. Which is a first glance through the political part of statistical tools of government. The French Parliament voted in 2002 a reform that was the first introduction of survey in a national census process. It would be interesting to wonder why it seems to very unlikely to implement he same kind of reform in other countries. Even if they all face great difficulties with old methods of census. The American situation offers an interesting point of view on the scientific transfers. Even if the political controversy seems to have reach to a dead end, foreign experiences - like French one - have no influence to solve the problem. Modernisation of the Census is embedded with the political structure, so that the scientific controversy plays little role in the resolution of the problem.
2. “Data on Minorities and Democracy” October 12th , 2007 Joan Stavo-Debauge, “Frightening ethnic categories: why do French statisticians an researchers do not accept the statistical tool of affirmative action programs for minorities” Alain Blum (INED), “Institutionalisation of ethnic categories in Russia”
Generalisation of affirmative action programs for minorities, specifically in the European Union, have generated new needs in statistical data. But the creation of ethnic categories led to great controversies in some countries. Joan Stavo-Debauge will present the French situation where a majorities of researchers and statisticians hold the position that the introduction of an ethnic question in the national census won’t lead to solve any problem of discrimination, and more, would reinforce it. Alain Blum will present the last evolution of Russian situation where the ethnic category in the Census has been introduced a long time ago, and had produced noticeable effects that can be evaluated.
3. “Globalisation of Accounting Rules” January 23th, 2008 Meeting shaped with the collaboration of Yury Biondi (CNAM) Eve Chiapello (HEC), “Globalization of private accounting” Janvier 2008 Sue Newberry (The University of Sydney), “Public Sector Financial Management Reform New-Zealand”
4. “New indicators in World Bank’s Urban Development Policy” March 2008 Annik Osmont (Institut français d’urbanisme), “The genesis of the World Bank’s Urban Development Program” Jean-Jacques Helluin (World Bank), “The creation of the Global Urban Observatory”
5. “Globalisation of Schools Rankings” April 24th, 2008 Wendy Espeland (Northern University of Chicago), “Fear of Falling: The Effects of Media Rankings on American Law Schools” Roser Cusso (Université Paris 8)
6. “The European Integration of Indicators for Economic Policies” May 13nd , 2008 Florence Jany-Catrice (CLERSE) Julia Mensink (London School of Economics)
7. “Globalisation of Crime Victim Surveys” June, 2008 Frédéric Ocqueteau (CERSA) Bilel Benbouzid (ENTPE)
8. “The Influence of the Anglo-Saxon’s quantitative tools of government for Health Programs” September, 2008 Luc Berlivet (CERMES)
Anderson, Margo J. 1988. The American Census: A Social History. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Chiapello, Eve. 2005. Les normes comptables comme institution du capitalisme. Une analyse du passage aux normes IFRS en Europe à partir de 2005. Sociologie du Travail.