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Accueil > L’ Iiac > Archives > Séminaires > Séminaires 2011 - 2012

Anthropologie des régulations économiques : formes, pratiques et théories

Birgit Müller, chargée de recherche au CNRS, Valeria Siniscalchi, maître de conférences à l’EHESS

par Maryse Cournollet - publié le


Deux mardis par mois au deuxième semestre (EHESS - Centre de la Vieille-Charité - 2 rue de la Charité - 13002 Marseille).


Ce qu’on appelle la « globalisation néolibérale » s’accompagne d’une extension et de l’élaboration de nouveaux mécanismes de régulation. Cette deuxième année, le séminaire poursuivra la réflexion sur la définition et la mise en œuvre des mécanismes de régulation. Il s’intéressera aux tensions et aux conflits de valeurs et d’intérêts qui apparaissent quand des nouvelles formes de régulation sont négociées et mises en place. Les diverses séances aborderont également l’analyse des régimes de temporalité et de pouvoir que ces formes de régulation produisent.
Ce séminaire semestriel comprend quatre séances, hébergées dans les séminaires respectifs de Birgit Muller (deux séances de trois heures, à Paris) et de Valeria Siniscalchi (deux séances de trois heures, à Marseille).

Séance du 22 mai 2012 - Salle de réunion - 3ème étage - EHESS - Centre de la Vieille Charité - 2 rue de la Charité - Marseille
« Régulations et frictions. Systèmes normatifs et enjeux économiques
dans les certifications et les labellisations alimentaires
 »


Ce qu’on appelle la « globalisation néolibérale » s’accompagne d’une extension et de l’élaboration de nouveaux mécanismes de régulation. Cette deuxième année, le séminaire poursuivra la réflexion sur la définition et la mise en œuvre de ces mécanismes. Il aura lieu sous la forme des deux journées, hébergées dans les séminaires respectifs de Valeria Siniscalchi (le 22 mai, à Marseille) et de Birgit Müller (le 5 juin à Paris). Lors de la première journée, les études de cas porteront sur les certifications des productions biologiques, sur les indications géographiques et les labellisation de qualité comme formes de régulation. Nous aborderons les tensions et les conflits de valeurs et d’intérêts, les formes de résistance et les reconfigurations des rapports de pouvoir qui ont lieu quand des nouvelles régulations sont négociées et mises en place. Les cas analysés nous permettront de réfléchir aux relations entre les logiques de marché et la redéfinition des systèmes normatifs ainsi qu’aux rôles des différents acteurs et institutions et d’explorer les formes de régulation « intermédiaire » promues ou mises en places par des acteurs non institutionnels.

9h30 - Valeria Siniscalchi, Birgit Müller, Introduction

10h00 - Marie-France Garcia (INRA, CSE), La qualité à l’épreuve des rapports marchands. Le marché des certificateurs de produits biologiques

11h30 - Cristina Papa (Université de Perugia, enseignant invité à l’EHESS), Pratiques et politiques de gestion de l’huile AOP d’Ombrie (Italie)

14h00 - Valérie Boisvert (IRD, GRED), La protection de la biodiversité comme nouveau référentiel de justification des indications géographiques ? Le cas de l’Ethiopie

15h30 - Valeria Siniscalchi (Centre Norbert Elias), Conflits normatifs et redéfinition des espaces économiques : Le cas des produits "sentinelles Slow Food"

Séance du 5 juin - salle B-587 - EHESS - 190 Avenue de France
75013 Paris
« Government Regulation versus Self-Regulation in Agricultural Regimes  »


This part of the seminar looks at how markets for bulk agricultural commodities such as wheat, cotton and milk are embedded — to use Karl Polanyi’s terminology — through regulation in social and political relationships and how farmers become actors in the political games that these regulations involve. State, corporate or associated (cooperative) actors initiated these regulatory interventions in market mechanisms. We will pay particular attention to the mechanisms through which agricultural producers attempt to create and maintain collective marketing structures, assure the consistent quality of their products and protect themselves against fraud and abuse by large agricultural corporations. How does the individual interest of farmers play out against collective strategies ? To what extent do agricultural producers need State intervention to protect themselves against their own divisions and spirit of competition and to what extent is cooperation and political mobilisation indispensible to allow farmers strategic action against the arbitrariness of the state ?

9h30 - Birgit Müller, Valeria Siniscalchi, Introduction

9h45 - Steven Kaplan (Cornell University), The French regulatory experience in the Wheat Trade - from the “originary” moment in the Enlightenment until the elaboration of the first PAC

11h15 - Birgit Müller (IIAC-LAIOS), Our Board — Our Business. Democratic Governance, Regulation and the Collective Interest in the Western Canadian Wheat Trade

14h00 - Marie Phliponeau (ERASME), Local cotton versus global cotton ? Governing cotton in Burkina Faso

15h30 - Jan Doewe van der Ploeg (Wageningen University), Contrasting modes of regulating milk production : contestation and articulation


This workshop looks at how markets for bulk agricultural commodities such as wheat, cotton and milk are embedded — to use Karl Polanyi’s terminology — through regulation in social and political relationships and how farmers become actors in the political games that these regulations involve. State, corporate or associated (cooperative) actors initiated these regulatory interventions in market mechanisms. This workshop will pay particular attention to the mechanisms through which agricultural producers attempt to create and maintain collective marketing structures, assure the consistent quality of their products and protect themselves against fraud and abuse by large agricultural corporations. How does the individual interest of farmers play out against collective strategies ? To what extent do agricultural producers need State intervention to protect themselves against their own divisions and spirit of competition and to what extent is cooperation and political mobilisation indispensible to allow farmers strategic action against the arbitrariness of the state ?


The French regulatory experience of the Wheat Trade—from the “originary” moment in the Enlightenment until the elaboration of the first PAC.

Steven Kaplan, Cornell University
1. Point of departure : the relentless tyranny of grain. Explanation/decrytptage.


2. Michelet’s “Marseillaise of grain”, the most radical reforms of the eighteenth-century prior to the Revolution, the “freeing” of the grain trade in 1763-64. Genesis and implications. Transgression of the social contract of subsistence and modification of the very nature of the monarchy as the nourishing prince “emancipates” his hereafter wandering/abandoned/anomic flock


3. Reflection on the notion and practice of “market” and of “police”


4. Arguments for and against regulation


5. Social, economic, political, cultural, psychological consequences of this brutal de-regulation and the reversion to apprehensive paternalism


6. A quantum leap to the 20th c where the problem is no longer chronic dearth but frequent “overabundance” and persistent volatility


7. Creation of the ONIC and its gradual assumption of tentacular, authoritarian forms of intervention accelerated by the dislocation of war


8. The post-war dilemma and the “déjà vu” of a debate turning on the primacy of bread and the tyranny of grain during the protracted post-war penury.


9. Rethinking regulation across the longue durée.


Our Board — Our Business. Democratic Governance, Regulation and the Collective Interest in the Western Canadian Wheat Trade

Birgit Müller, IIAC-LAIOS, EHESS


When five multinational corporations control the world trade in grains produced by hundreds of thousands of individual farmers how are farmers going to defend their interest ? The Canadian Wheat Board acted as an effective shield from corporate oligopolies from 1943 until December 2011 when it was dismantled by the Harper government in the name of “marketing freedom”. The Wheat Board legislation had given farmers the collective monopoly to sell all wheat and barely from Western Canada through the single desk on the national and international market. This collective marketing structure had been able to maximize profits that would have been captured otherwise by large grain companies. It pooled the returns and distributed them back to the farmers.


Legislation had made possible what voluntary cooperative structures had not been able to achieve : it forced the farmers to act in concert and thus allowed them to maximize sales profits that would have been captured otherwise by large grain companies. However, while a majority of farmers supported the Board, a minority was fiercely opposed to what they considered a restriction of their “marketing freedom”.


This contribution looks at how the ideas of “orderly marketing” and “market discipline”, that were the ideological foundation of the Wheat Board were gradually replaced from the 1980s onwards by the idea of “market freedom” that became part of a cultural hegemony in Gramsci’s sense. On the basis of interviews with Western Canadian farmers, participant observation of the campaign for electing farmer representatives to the Wheat Board and the analysis of internet and archive material it examines to what extent the idea of market freedom took hold among Canadian farmers and made them support, acquiesce or resist the destruction of one of the most powerful structures that acted in their economic interest.


The controversies among farmers whether a minority opposed to the single desk should be allowed to sell their grain to whom they wanted or whether they should submit to the collective marketing discipline poses fundamental questions about economic freedom and collective benefit. The end of the Wheat board decreed — arbitrarily — by the Harper government shows government regulation as a field of continuous political struggle.


Local cotton versus global cotton ? Governing cotton in Burkina Faso

Marie Phliponeau


Governments – first the colonial rulers, then the independent states, have developed West-African cotton as a commodity. In the early 20th century, French textile mills urged the colonial government to grow cotton in West Africa, an area where the population had been mastering cotton growing for centuries. At this period, French businessmen and the colonial state attempted to promote French economic growth at the expense of West-African cotton growers and in competition with American cotton that dominated the world market.


At the beginning of the 21st century, the situation is reversed : the world cotton market is globalized and frames the economic and political rules that govern cotton. African states and African producers have to face new players (traders, speculators, cotton corporations, NGOs, World Bank, International Monetary Fund,). The breaking point dates back to the 90’s when entrepreneurial individualism, privatization, profitability and economic transparency became the foundations of the cotton commodity chain. But paradoxically, deregulation policies have given states and producers new roles that allowed them to develop new “regulatory” strategies. This new frame shapes political and economic mechanism. Associated producers who self-regulate, state regulation, globalized deregulation are in fact three embedded processes that shape the cotton commodity chain in a country like Burkina Faso.


Contrasting modes of regulating milk production : contestation and articulation.

Jan Doewe van der Ploeg, Wageningen University


As a consequence of the transitional processes that currently occur in agriculture and the countryside, there is the simultaneous but uneasy presence of different modes of regulation. From an analytical point of view these go back to self-regulation, governmental regulation and corporate control. The different modes of regulation might be encountered in fields as different as the marketing of milk and milk products and the spatial planning of rural areas, in particular pasture land for cows. Currently, each mode is highly contested and the interaction between two or more different modes is mostly characterized by a range of frictions and growing levels of frustration and counter-productivity. At the same time new forms of articulation are being designed and tested, both in the markets and in the government of rural areas. These new forms of articulation raise a range of new questions, some of which will be discussed in this contribution.

Le séminaire est ouvert aux étudiants du master (M1 et M2).

Mots-clés : Anthropologie, Droit, normes et société, Économie, Environnement, Politique,

Aires culturelles : Contemporain (anthropologie du, monde),

Suivi et validation pour le master : Semestriel

Mentions & spécialités :

* Recherches comparatives en anthropologie, histoire et sociologie [Marseille]
(Séminaire de recherche M1S2 M2S4)

Domaine de l’affiche : Anthropologie sociale, ethnographie et ethnologie

Intitulé général  : Anthropologie des régulations économiques : formes, pratiques et théories

Renseignements : par courriel.

Réception : sur rendez-vous.

Niveau requis : le séminaire est ouvert aux étudiants du master (M1 et M2).

Adresse(s) électronique(s) de contact : valeria.siniscalchi(at)ehess.fr, bmuller(at)msh-paris.fr

Site web : http://www.ehess.fr/fr/enseignement/enseignements/2011/ue/849/