TITLE: Columbia University Technology, Economy, Democracy

Sponsored by the Paul F. Lazarzseld Lecture Series, in honor of Paul F. Lazarsfled

FACULTY COORDINATORS: Joshua Whitford & David Stark


In the current era, information and interactive technologies are not exogenous to organization. In fact, organizational design—and consequently state structure and the design of social and industrial policy—has become inseparable from the design of the digital interface. We are intending to hold a workshop to address the interactions of technology and economy and how these disruptions give rise to new challenges and new opportunities for democracy. It will focus, in particular, on questions of valuation and governance using ideas drawn from science and technology studies to bridge research communities of political economy and economic sociology located in disciplines (political science and sociology, respectively) that too often operate in parallel even despite numerous calls for political economists and economic sociologists to learn from the complimentary methods, theories, and research traditions of the other. The workshop will help to breach these disciplinary boundaries while, at the same time, developing and strengthening ties: (i) between the departments of political science and sociology at Columbia, Northwestern, Sciences-Po, the European University Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the study of societies; and (ii) between a broader set of faculty and graduate students with interests and expertise in the study of political economy. It will also offer doctoral students ample opportunity to present their work, to receive feedback from senior scholars, and to establish links that might allow for and encourage doctoral mobility between institutions going forward.

The workshop is sponsored, jointly, by the Alliance, by the Blinken European Institute, by the Center on Organizational Innovation, by INCITE, by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and by the Department of Sociology.