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Revisiting the Concept of Moral Economy


September 29-30, 2023


Dr. Faduma Abukar Mursal, UNILU


Prof. James G. Carrier, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (DE)


The concept of moral economy has been widely and divergently used across the social sciences to investigate the values, emotions, and practices that have informed and inspired modern social formations (Fassin 2009; J. Carrier 2018). Since the landmark works of E.P. Thompson 'The moral economy of the English crowd', and James C. Scott The moral economy of the peasant, the term has gained renewed attention following the 'ethical turn' in social sciences, which has sparked intense theoretical and ethnographic efforts (Keane 2015; Mattingly and Throop 2018). In this context, this CUSO workshop is an invitation to revisit what moral economy means, and what it says about the nature of economic activity and the economy at large. Indeed, the interest in moral economy contributes significantly to anthropological debates about globalisation and neoliberalism, often to account for and delimit the moral dimension of economic life. It raises questions about the nature of commercial and economic relations more generally, which commonly are seen as shaped by an impersonal and amoral economic system (Carrier 2022). Thus, we invite PhD students to reflect on the assumptions, expectations, and understandings of moral economy that figure in their research projects. The questions we might ask include: What links do we establish between morality and economic activity? How has everyday economic life been shaped by, and in turn shaped, moral discourses? How can anthropologists account for the complexity of the economy? This workshop will be of interest to PhD students conducting research in a broad range of fields, including economic anthropology, anthropology of the economy, anthropology of ethics and morality, political economy, neoliberalism and neoclassical economics, political ecology, the commons, the economy of care.


Romerohaus in Lucerne


Participation fee: CHF 60 

For students of the CUSO universities (Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel and Fribourg) and from the universities of Bern, Zürich, Luzern and Basel, accommodation and meals are organised and covered by the CUSO doctoral program in anthropology. Travel expenses will be reimbursed based on half-fare train ticket (2nd class) from the student's university to the place of the activity.



Deadline for registration 01.09.2023
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