Greening economy across organizational fields: the case of EU ETS – referat Aleksandry Lis

30 kwietnia 2020 r. (czwartek), spotkanie seminarium „Nowy instytucjonalizm – teorie i badania” odbędzie się on-line. Dr hab. prof. UAM Aleksandra Lis, antropolożka badająca relacje nauki, techniki i społeczeństwa [BIO] wygłosi referat (w języku polskim) na podstawie artykułu pt. „Greening economy across organizational fields: the case of EU ETS„. Pierwszy głos w dyskusji zabierze dr Andrzej Ancygier, starszy analityk w Climate Analytics i wykładowca New York University oraz Freie Universität Berlin [BIO].

Spotkanie odbędzie się w godz. 13:00-15:00 za pośrednictwem platformy Zoom. Chętnych do wzięcia udziału w seminarium prosimy o zgłoszenia mailowe na adres Prześlemy link umożliwiający udział w seminarium.

Chętnych do zapoznania się z artykułem autorstwa Aleksandry Lis również prosimy o kontakt mailowy.

Abstrakt artykułu:

The paper proposes to examine politics of making moral projects in the European Union through the case study of the EU Emission Trading Scheme. Through an economic sociology perspective I show how in complex fields of European politics and markets for electricity and industrial products, it has been difficult to construct a new market-based tool for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The paper argues for embedding the market devices perspective (i.e. see Callon 2009; MacKenzie 2008, 2009) into the theory of organizational fields (Fligstein). In his studies, MacKenzie (2008, 2009, 2009a) draws attention to power relations and to the embedding of emission trade in black-boxes of technical innovation and science. I argue to account for how the construction of emission trade is also embedded in complex and inter-related organizational fields and how different conceptions of control in these fields shape ETS.
This paper focuses on price predictions of emission allowances as a market device which makes it possible to communicate actors’ interests across different organizational fields. Price predictions, as the analysis shows, also help to embed ETS in other markets by making it possible to relate price predictions of EUAs to predictions of prices of other commodities (e.g. electricity). However, as the analysis shows, price predictions also allow actors to question the proposed changes, challenge the imagined futures and the project of ETS as such. This way, the same device which helps to coordinate building the market also helps to dismantle it, putting the moral project of ETS in doubt.
In the first part of the paper, I discuss price predictions as market devices and make an argument for studying market devices as embedded in organizational fields. This way I also contribute to the debate on performativity of economics, arguing for a more embedded perspective. In the second part, I examine the 2008 ETS reform and the 2013-2014 backloading debate as well as the current state of the ETS. In the conclusions, I make a point that by becoming inscribed into various price predictions of EUAs, CO2 gains new materiality in the realm of policy and economics and starts to be used by actors to argue for a transformation of this reality. The analysis opens up broader questions regarding the ability of the European Union institutions to successfully carry out moral projects, especially if they touch upon the existing markets. The question is whether moral projects proposed by the European Commission are not inherently self-defying by the virtue of having to interest and enroll so many various actors. This way, the paper contributes to a political reflection about the possibility to create moral projects in the European Union where both the political and economic fields are multiple and actors which play within these fields have diverse interests and conceptions of control (Fligstein 2001).

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