Moral Views of Market Society

by Kieran Healy on October 30, 2006

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to participate in the “discussion on Sheri Berman’s book”:, perhaps out of residual guilt at not completing her Comparative Politics seminar back when I was a graduate student. But here’s a somewhat related new paper by “Marion Fourcade”: and myself on “Moral Views of Market Society”: [pdf] which touches on some of the Polanyian themes in the discussion, particularly debates about the relationship between the market and the moral order, broadly conceived.

{ 1 trackback }

fourcade and healy - moral views of market society «
11.01.06 at 3:38 am



Z 10.31.06 at 5:54 am

I thought this was an interesting article Kieran, touching on important subjects. Do you know of the works of Jean-Pierre Dupuy? He makes a number of points similar to some made in the article, in particular in Le Sacrifice et l’envie (whose subtitle is le libéralisme au prise avec la justice sociale).

I must say I was convinced and inspired by the way you argued about the necessity to distinguish between purely economic incentives to moralize markets and the current shape of moralization. Very interesting and fruitful lines of inquiries, I believe.

Am I allowed some criticisms? I thought it slightly regretable that you did not include the point of view that markets are good but capitalism bad (half way between the liberal dream and the commodified nightmare), either under the historical guise of, say, Braudel or under the ideological form favored by anarcho-capitalists.

Also, and I hope this is more constructive, it seems to me that one has at some point to give serious thoughts to the following alternative. Are markets just a particular kind of social exchange, no different in principle from others (gift, informal reciprocity…), as would be argued in Bourdieu’s Les structures sociales de l’économie for instance, and apparently in Zelizer’s work if I understand her correctly? Or are there analytically fruitful differences between those schemes (and not just moral thus socially constructed ones)? If there are such differences, do they have an impact on the moral evaluation of markets? I am not sure I could really ascertain your positions upon that question from the article. I believe interesting insights can be gained from such a discussion, but this comment is too long already.


Z 10.31.06 at 5:59 am

I am trying to comment but I am unable t have my comments appear. Hopefully, my original comment will show at some point.


a political theory grad student 11.04.06 at 6:13 pm

well, for whatever it’s worth, I just read the article and enjoyed it a great deal. I don’t really have much to say in immediate reaction, but I thought this thread needed more comments and would recommend the article to others.

Comments on this entry are closed.