P65
Linking the moral and the political economy in the European periphery

Convenors:
Jaime Palomera (Universitat de Barcelona)
Theodora Vetta (Universitat de Barcelona)
Chair:
Victoria Goddard (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
Discussant:
Frances Pine (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
Location:
Appleton Tower, Lecture Theatre 1
Start time:
21 June, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel will focus on the current 'remaking' of the European periphery, with its accelerated processes of dispossession, to explore how moral arguments around provisioning are simultaneously linked to economic models, forms of regulation, and actual everyday practices of livelihood.

Long abstract:

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith contends that human beings tend to identify with what others feel, and to form moral judgments based on this. We determine whether the feelings of others are just or unjust, correct or incorrect, depending on whether we sympathize with them or not. Because we tend to sympathize more with those who are affectively connected to us, the privileged space for moral sentiments is that of intimacy. This approach somehow resonates with anthropologists' general conception of moral economies. Theorists have traditionally confined their analyses of morality to the strict sphere of kinship, friendship and community. Yet the difference is that anthropology has the capacity to expose the ways in which moral economies are articulated with the political economy, i.e. with the sources and forms of structural inequality. In this panel, we invite anthropologists to explore the current 'remaking' of the European periphery, with its accelerated processes of dispossession, as a way to scrutinize how moral arguments around provisioning are simultaneously linked to economic models, forms of regulation, and actual everyday practices of livelihood. Following this broad question, presenters are asked to reflect on the following questions: 1) What are the material and ideological conditions of possibility that increasingly impoverished people face when designing life projects? 2) How do they negotiate different moral frameworks in their pursuit of a better life? 3) What is the relationship between authoritative models of the economy and the real economic projects and practices of ordinary people?