Vote neg to eschew neoliberal frameworks—they’re unsustainable and insulate decisionmaking from deliberation and alternative assumptions needed to solve
Adaman and Madra 2012 – *economic professor at Bogazici University in Istanbul, **PhD from UMass-Amherst, economics professor (Fikret and Yahya, Bogazici University, “Understanding Neoliberalism as Economization: The Case of the Ecology”, http://www.econ.boun.edu.tr/content/wp/EC2012_04.pdf, WEA)
The reduction of ecological valuation through a market mechanism (or various techniques) to a ¶ mere aggregation of individual subjective valuations—which is the main premise of neoliberal ¶ ideology—may be inappropriate for complex and uncertain phenomena ridden with ¶ incommensurabilities and inter- and intra-generational distributional conflicts, such as global ¶ warming, where individual valuations will have clear implications for all living beings. Indeed, ¶ in making decisions with substantial consequences pertaining to our current life as well as our ¶ future (such as the overall growth rate, distributional trajectories, technological path, ¶ consumption habits, risk attitude [say, vis-à-vis nuclear energy]), the market response or the ¶ aggregation of individuals’ valuation through a set of available techniques (e.g., the contingent ¶ valuation) may substantially differ from what could be derived through collective deliberation ¶ and negotiation of various stakeholders including the scientific community (see, e.g., ¶ Özkaynak, Adaman and Devine, 2012). This criticism applies not only to neoliberal positions ¶ that favor the current unequal distribution of power but also to the Post-Walrasian one which ¶ although concerned with distributional issues keeps relying on individualist ontologies of ¶ calculative and calculable agency. Indeed, there is a growing theoretical and applied literature ¶ arguing that in incommensurable cases, where all relevant aspects cannot be captured in a single ¶ dimension (such as those derived from monetary cost-benefit analyses), a multi-criteria ¶ methodology would seem better placed, as it will be possible to involve not only economic but ¶ also political, moral, scientific and cultural inputs from a variety of stakeholders (see, e.g., ¶ Martinez-Alier, Munda and O’Neil, 1999; Munda, 2008). The key promise of the multicriteria decision-making tool and other similar participatory and deliberatory dispositifs is that ¶ rather than finding a “solution” to a conflictual decision, they shed light on the multifaceted¶ dimensions of the problem at hand and thus facilitate the consensus-building process from ¶ below (see, e.g., Adaman, 2012). In this regard, they constitute a formidable path to be ¶ explored as an alternative to the surreptitiously normative neoliberal governmental dispositifs, ¶ designed by experts from above, under the assumption that all actors are calculative and ¶ calculable.
The current indiscriminate application of neoliberal policies over the entire scope of the social ¶ field has brought about such political, economic, cultural and ecological devastation that any ¶ type of reform suggestion along the line to halt this process is met with much welcoming by ¶ many of us—even if some of them are still acting as if economic incentives are the only viable ¶ policy tool in town. Consider the case of carbon markets, for example, where the cap is ¶ decided either through a scientific body or through aggregating individuals’ preferences. The ¶ fact of the matter is that, far from addressing the inefficiencies that emanate from opportunistic ¶ and manipulative activities, these mechanisms are vulnerable precisely because they end up¶ soliciting manipulative, predatory, and rent-seeking behavior (because they are designed to ¶ function under such behavioral assumptions in the first place). In other words, these solutions ¶ subject a commons such as global climate into the economic logic of markets and ¶ “performatively” turn it into an object of strategic-calculative logic (MacKenzie, Muniesa and ¶ Siu, 2007; Çalışkan and Callon, 2009; MacKenzie, 2009; Çalışkan and Callon, 2010; see also ¶ Spash, 2011). Consider, furthermore, the case of price-per-bag policies. Laboratory ¶ experiments and anthropological evidence both suggest that charging a price for some activity ¶ that should in fact be treated as a duty or a commitment may well create perverse results (see, ¶ e.g., Campbell, 1998; Bowles and Hwang, 2008). Monetizing the pollution-generating activity ¶ instead of limiting the use of plastic bags (along with an awareness program) may well result in ¶ an increase of the unwanted activity. Similarly, while nationalization is the trend in areas of ¶ natural resource extraction and energy production, many continue to argue for privatization ¶ and private-public partnerships instead. Nevertheless, the problem with the private versus ¶ public dichotomy, given our reading of the contemporary state as an agent of economization, is ¶ precisely that both forms, to the extent that they are informed by the different variants of ¶ neoliberal reason, serve to isolate these critical areas from the deliberations and political ¶ demands of various stakeholders and the general public, limiting the only channels for ¶ communication available to them to the price (or price-like) mechanisms. However, perhaps ¶ most importantly, neither can be immune towards all sorts of rent-seeking activities that occur ¶ behind the close doors of the technocracy that operates in the area where state shades into ¶ market in the various forms of dispositifs.
Needless to say, economic activities that generate pollution and consume energy are not recent ¶ phenomena that are exclusive to what is now increasingly being called the neoliberal era. If ¶ anything, postwar Keynesian developmentalism was possible precisely because of the ¶ availability of cheap oil, and is responsible for an enormous amount of environmental pollution ¶ and ecological degradation (Mitchell, 2011). In this sense, it would be wrong to present ¶ neoliberal as being the only responsible mode of governmentality for the dual crises of climate ¶ change and natural resource depletion. Yet, this does not change the fact that the neoliberal ¶ reason (in its free-market and mechanism-design variations) is pushing its agenda in an era ¶ where both of these crises are reaching catastrophic levels, and it is highly questionable whether ¶ neoliberal methods of handling the environmental pollution and the extraction crisis will be¶ capable of addressing long-term concerns.
Share with your friends: