- Legal subjectivity of market actors: a genealogy of legal devices
- 3rd Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop
- Book/source title
- Papers from the 3rd Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop
- Market Studies
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut (HSI)
To what extent have ‘legal’ practices been, and are they being contributing to the creation of the subjectivity of market actors that is an element of market arrangements? Building upon, and trying to combine quite different streams of literature, my main argument is that the notion of performat-ivitycan be fruitfully applied, not only to the relation between economics and economic practices, but also to the role that legal devices and concepts have played in the construction of market actor positions. Building upon Latour’s network-type analysis of law, upon the performativity-approach initiated by Callon, and upon Sassen’s analytical framework for analysing transformations of assemblages, I try to reconstruct a genealogy of legal devices that, up to the beginnings of the 19th century, have contributed to the legal subjectivity required for markets, and that has usually been taken for grantedby economics. It will be argued that legal notions have been incorporated in practices and their related knowledge to such an extent that they have been rendered almost invisible, but have nevertheless to be considered as constitutive (as a kind of normative ‘Operating System’) of market transactions.
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