Socio-economics in 2018: more global, more ethnographic and less comfortable, please

Socio-economics in 2018: more global, more ethnographic and less comfortable, please Wishes I am pleased to introduce the first 2018 issue of the Socio-Economic Review. The lead article ‘Mapping the Business Systems of 61 Major Economies: A Taxonomy and Implications for Varieties of Capitalism and Business Systems Research’ by Michael Witt, Luiz Ricardo Kabbach de Castro, Kenneth Amaeshi, Sami Mahroum, Dorothee Bohle and Lawrence Saez challenges and expands our comparative understanding of economic institutions around the world by pushing beyond Western Europe or OECD countries. Indeed, despite the rhetoric of globalization, our academic understanding of institutional diversity and political economic dependencies from a truly worldwide perspective remains glaringly underdeveloped. Despite some attempts to extend comparative capitalism concepts to Eastern Europe or even China, the mainstream of international business scholarship continues to misunderstand much of the world in terms of ‘institutional voids’ or Hofstede-inspired cultural categories. Despite the debate on China and other BRIC economies, a clear conceptualization of the political economy of Brazil, Russia or India remains elusive. At the same time much work is needed to chart, in a more meso-level fashion, the diversity of corporate governance, employment, welfare state, family and other socio-economic institutions both across and within countries. The aim should not just be about mapping, but also using new concepts and relationships to challenge existing theory and build newer and better theories. Even much of the conceptual language of economic sociology stemming from the embeddedness paradigm uses fairly universal language or markets and networks, too often drawn implicitly from the US context. So developing better comparative concepts is not only an important agenda for avoiding overgeneralized theories, but also making social science research more politically sensitive and topically relevant to global phenomena. So a first wish for 2018: making socio-economics more global while simultaneously theorizing between and within country heterogeneity in corporate forms. Global interdependencies and resulting crises have very local consequences, as illustrated in the striking article by Alexander Kentikelenis: ‘The Social Aftermath of Economic Disaster: Karl Polanyi, Countermovements in Action, and the Greek Crisis.’ The Social Science Citation Index suggests that for the last 5 years there have been around 75–95 publications on the Greek crisis annually, drawing attention from a variety of disciplines, particularly economics, political science and public health. In this context, Kentikelenis offers a distinctly socio-economic perspective by using Polanyian theory to understand the social consequences of the Greek crisis and resulting countermovements, supported by detailed field research. In this vein, as academia faces Espeland and Sauder refer to as a growing ‘engines of anxiety’ to publish or perish in order to be quantified and ranked, one casualty of this scholarly ‘short-termism’ seems to be that long-term field research is becoming an endangered species. Downloading data sets or scraping the Internet for big data from the comfort of our own office (or I should perhaps say open plan office cubicles, which are becoming the new thing at some universities) is not the same as getting out to observe and interact with people. Getting ‘out there’ is still where much of the grit, surprise, new topics and insights are to be had. This leads to my second wish for 2018: more field work, more fresh and original data, and more ethnography. The topic of inequality is inherently uncomfortable, but inequality generating processes are often durable because they are masked or naturalized. Two further articles in Issue 1 touch on credit and financial markets, highlighting how different sets of professional (calculative) practices and logics have very real consequences for who is likely to gain or lose in the economy. In both cases, authors use historical reconstruction of what many consider neutral calculative practices used by key market actors to show their consequences for the changing distribution of risk and reward, as well as conflicts between groups. Similarly, a suite of four articles in this issue look at education, training and inequality—for example, examining how inequalities in the educational realm imprint upon and naturalize later economic inequality. Again viewed from a wider cross-nationally comparative perspective, these articles invite a number of reflections on conventional wisdom. My third wish for 2018: research on big questions of the day analyzed in ways that invite critical reflection not only on social science theory, but also ideological assumptions of policies and practices. In short, making socio-economics even less comfortable! News During 2017, Socio-Economic Review (SER) received 383 submissions of original manuscripts from first authors in 57 different countries—the highest levels to date. SER accepted 15.3% of all submissions with a final decision in 2017. The journal impact factor of Socio-Economic Review was 2.66 based on the citations made in 2016 to work published in 2015 and 2014. SER ranked 12th in Sociology, 19th in Political Science, and 38th in Economics, putting SER roughly within the top 8–11% of journals in these disciplines. The 2017 SER Best Paper Prize committee (Marc Schneiberg [chair], Alya Guseva and Isabelle Ferreras) considered all the reviewed papers for the four 2016 volumes. The committee looked for papers that: (a) addressed substantive questions and issues that have far reaching implications and are of interest to a broad range of SER readers; (b) clearly and effectively engaged prior theory and research and (c) used state of the art research methods to analyse new or existing data in ways that either brought important new phenomena to light or substantially revised existing understanding of socio-economic facts, trends or relationships. The committee selected two winning papers for the best submitted article published in the previous year: ‘How the Euro Divides the Union: The Effects of Economic Adjustment on Support for Democracy in Europe’ (SER vol. 14, no. 1, p. 1–26) by Klaus Armingeon, Kai Guthmann and David Weisstanner; and ‘Making Materiality Matter: A Sociological Analysis of Prices on the Dutch Fiction Book Market, 1980-2009’ (SER vol. 14, No. 2, p. 363–381) by Thomas Franssen and Olav Velthuis. Congratulations! Thanks Two editors have ended their terms with Socio-Economic Review and deserve special thanks: David Rueda (Oxford) and Marc Schneiberg (Reed College). I speak for the whole SER team in saying that it was great working with these two very unique and gifted editors. It is also my pleasure to welcome three new editors. Patrick Emmenegger (University of St. Gallen) joined SER in early 2017. He is a political scientist known for his comparative work on the politics of the labour market. Don Tomaskovic-Devey (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) is a sociologist and has pioneered the relational approaches to inequality with a focus on organizations and the workplace. Finally, our most recent addition in 2018 is political scientist Julia Lynch (University of Pennsylvania), renowned for her comparative work on health policy and inequality. Together, I am sure that the SASE community will help me to welcome this remarkably talented team with broad substantive and methodological interests. We also recognize our Editorial Board members, who serve as trusted reviewers for SER and give advice on important matters of journal policy. In following the policy of Editorial Board rotation, we have quite a few changes this year. We are very happy to welcome the following new members to the Editorial Board: Marius Busemeyer (U Konstanz), Emily Erikson (Yale), Elizabeth Gorman (U Virginia), Evelyne Huber (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Jonus Pontusson (U Geneva). We also thank outgoing members of the Editorial Board for their excellent and selfless service: Richard M. Locke, Hyeok Yong Kwon, Leslie McCall, Monica Prasad, and Erik Olin Wright. Our thanks also go as always to our editorial assistant Sarah King for her excellent work. In closing, I wish our authors, reviewers, editorial team and readers a peaceful 2018. I am grateful for the trust placed in the editorial term by the SASE community, and will continue to work hard in supporting socio-economics. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Socio-Economic Review Oxford University Press

Socio-economics in 2018: more global, more ethnographic and less comfortable, please

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
1475-1461
eISSN
1475-147X
D.O.I.
10.1093/ser/mwy012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Wishes I am pleased to introduce the first 2018 issue of the Socio-Economic Review. The lead article ‘Mapping the Business Systems of 61 Major Economies: A Taxonomy and Implications for Varieties of Capitalism and Business Systems Research’ by Michael Witt, Luiz Ricardo Kabbach de Castro, Kenneth Amaeshi, Sami Mahroum, Dorothee Bohle and Lawrence Saez challenges and expands our comparative understanding of economic institutions around the world by pushing beyond Western Europe or OECD countries. Indeed, despite the rhetoric of globalization, our academic understanding of institutional diversity and political economic dependencies from a truly worldwide perspective remains glaringly underdeveloped. Despite some attempts to extend comparative capitalism concepts to Eastern Europe or even China, the mainstream of international business scholarship continues to misunderstand much of the world in terms of ‘institutional voids’ or Hofstede-inspired cultural categories. Despite the debate on China and other BRIC economies, a clear conceptualization of the political economy of Brazil, Russia or India remains elusive. At the same time much work is needed to chart, in a more meso-level fashion, the diversity of corporate governance, employment, welfare state, family and other socio-economic institutions both across and within countries. The aim should not just be about mapping, but also using new concepts and relationships to challenge existing theory and build newer and better theories. Even much of the conceptual language of economic sociology stemming from the embeddedness paradigm uses fairly universal language or markets and networks, too often drawn implicitly from the US context. So developing better comparative concepts is not only an important agenda for avoiding overgeneralized theories, but also making social science research more politically sensitive and topically relevant to global phenomena. So a first wish for 2018: making socio-economics more global while simultaneously theorizing between and within country heterogeneity in corporate forms. Global interdependencies and resulting crises have very local consequences, as illustrated in the striking article by Alexander Kentikelenis: ‘The Social Aftermath of Economic Disaster: Karl Polanyi, Countermovements in Action, and the Greek Crisis.’ The Social Science Citation Index suggests that for the last 5 years there have been around 75–95 publications on the Greek crisis annually, drawing attention from a variety of disciplines, particularly economics, political science and public health. In this context, Kentikelenis offers a distinctly socio-economic perspective by using Polanyian theory to understand the social consequences of the Greek crisis and resulting countermovements, supported by detailed field research. In this vein, as academia faces Espeland and Sauder refer to as a growing ‘engines of anxiety’ to publish or perish in order to be quantified and ranked, one casualty of this scholarly ‘short-termism’ seems to be that long-term field research is becoming an endangered species. Downloading data sets or scraping the Internet for big data from the comfort of our own office (or I should perhaps say open plan office cubicles, which are becoming the new thing at some universities) is not the same as getting out to observe and interact with people. Getting ‘out there’ is still where much of the grit, surprise, new topics and insights are to be had. This leads to my second wish for 2018: more field work, more fresh and original data, and more ethnography. The topic of inequality is inherently uncomfortable, but inequality generating processes are often durable because they are masked or naturalized. Two further articles in Issue 1 touch on credit and financial markets, highlighting how different sets of professional (calculative) practices and logics have very real consequences for who is likely to gain or lose in the economy. In both cases, authors use historical reconstruction of what many consider neutral calculative practices used by key market actors to show their consequences for the changing distribution of risk and reward, as well as conflicts between groups. Similarly, a suite of four articles in this issue look at education, training and inequality—for example, examining how inequalities in the educational realm imprint upon and naturalize later economic inequality. Again viewed from a wider cross-nationally comparative perspective, these articles invite a number of reflections on conventional wisdom. My third wish for 2018: research on big questions of the day analyzed in ways that invite critical reflection not only on social science theory, but also ideological assumptions of policies and practices. In short, making socio-economics even less comfortable! News During 2017, Socio-Economic Review (SER) received 383 submissions of original manuscripts from first authors in 57 different countries—the highest levels to date. SER accepted 15.3% of all submissions with a final decision in 2017. The journal impact factor of Socio-Economic Review was 2.66 based on the citations made in 2016 to work published in 2015 and 2014. SER ranked 12th in Sociology, 19th in Political Science, and 38th in Economics, putting SER roughly within the top 8–11% of journals in these disciplines. The 2017 SER Best Paper Prize committee (Marc Schneiberg [chair], Alya Guseva and Isabelle Ferreras) considered all the reviewed papers for the four 2016 volumes. The committee looked for papers that: (a) addressed substantive questions and issues that have far reaching implications and are of interest to a broad range of SER readers; (b) clearly and effectively engaged prior theory and research and (c) used state of the art research methods to analyse new or existing data in ways that either brought important new phenomena to light or substantially revised existing understanding of socio-economic facts, trends or relationships. The committee selected two winning papers for the best submitted article published in the previous year: ‘How the Euro Divides the Union: The Effects of Economic Adjustment on Support for Democracy in Europe’ (SER vol. 14, no. 1, p. 1–26) by Klaus Armingeon, Kai Guthmann and David Weisstanner; and ‘Making Materiality Matter: A Sociological Analysis of Prices on the Dutch Fiction Book Market, 1980-2009’ (SER vol. 14, No. 2, p. 363–381) by Thomas Franssen and Olav Velthuis. Congratulations! Thanks Two editors have ended their terms with Socio-Economic Review and deserve special thanks: David Rueda (Oxford) and Marc Schneiberg (Reed College). I speak for the whole SER team in saying that it was great working with these two very unique and gifted editors. It is also my pleasure to welcome three new editors. Patrick Emmenegger (University of St. Gallen) joined SER in early 2017. He is a political scientist known for his comparative work on the politics of the labour market. Don Tomaskovic-Devey (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) is a sociologist and has pioneered the relational approaches to inequality with a focus on organizations and the workplace. Finally, our most recent addition in 2018 is political scientist Julia Lynch (University of Pennsylvania), renowned for her comparative work on health policy and inequality. Together, I am sure that the SASE community will help me to welcome this remarkably talented team with broad substantive and methodological interests. We also recognize our Editorial Board members, who serve as trusted reviewers for SER and give advice on important matters of journal policy. In following the policy of Editorial Board rotation, we have quite a few changes this year. We are very happy to welcome the following new members to the Editorial Board: Marius Busemeyer (U Konstanz), Emily Erikson (Yale), Elizabeth Gorman (U Virginia), Evelyne Huber (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Jonus Pontusson (U Geneva). We also thank outgoing members of the Editorial Board for their excellent and selfless service: Richard M. Locke, Hyeok Yong Kwon, Leslie McCall, Monica Prasad, and Erik Olin Wright. Our thanks also go as always to our editorial assistant Sarah King for her excellent work. In closing, I wish our authors, reviewers, editorial team and readers a peaceful 2018. I am grateful for the trust placed in the editorial term by the SASE community, and will continue to work hard in supporting socio-economics. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

Journal

Socio-Economic ReviewOxford University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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