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Markets and Standards

December 11 @ 13:00 - 15:00

The Markets and Valuation Group at the Department of Organization (CBS) invites you to a Public Seminar with professor Lawrence Busch.

Time and Date: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. kl. 13.00-15.00.

Location: Copenhagen Business School, Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg, room Ks43.

Pleaser register to seminar.ioa[at]cbs.dk no later than Dec. 3, 2018.


Currently, we live in a world in which markets play an outsized part. Although less obvious, we also live in a world of standards. The contemporary literature on markets in mainstream economics assumes that objects, services, firms and consumers are all standardized. This has not always been the case. Markets and standards have become intimately linked through their shared histories. Once one begins to examine that relationship more carefully, it becomes clear that (1) this is typical only of what might be called ‘high modernity’ and may even be in decline, and (2) standards perform many functions essential to the creation and maintenance of contemporary markets. Of late markets and (less visibly) standards have been used to pursue a wide range of ends. ‘Market Design’ has been recognized as feasible. Hence, we need to abandon our Cartesian or even Platonic view of standards and markets and accept that we live in a world with multiple ends. In such a world it behooves us to pay attention to the ways in which standards can be and are used to create, modify and even destroy markets – in short to build a multi-polar world.

Lawrence Busch is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Michigan State University. He has been on the faculty at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Lancaster University (UK). He is (co)author or (co)editor of 15 books and 150 other publications. Dr. Busch’s current interests include the use of standards in public and private policy making, biotechnology and nanotechnology policy, agricultural science and technology policy, higher education in agriculture, and public participation in the policy process and the consequences of neoliberal policies for democratic governance. He is currently working on a book on markets.

Selected recent publications:

Busch, L. 2011. Standards: Recipes for Reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Busch, L. 2017. Knowledge for Sale: The Neoliberal Takeover of Higher Education. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

This seminar is conducted in the context of the research ‘Standarder og konkurrence i klimaets tjeneste’ with the support of Dansk Standard.



December 11
13:00 - 15:00