University of California Santa Barbara Social Science and Media Studies 3145 Santa Barbara, California 93106
Oct 30 /12pm
Join us at the University of California Santa Barbara for a discussion with Michel Feher, as he presents his new book, Rated Agency: Investee Politics in a Speculative Age. Christopher Newfield will introduce the author.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The hegemony of finance compels a new orientation for everyone and everything: companies care more about the moods of their shareholders than about longstanding commercial success; governments subordinate citizen welfare to appeasing creditors; and individuals are concerned less with immediate income from labor than appreciation of their capital goods, skills, connections, and reputations.
That firms, states, and people depend more on their ratings than on the product of their activities also changes how capitalism is resisted. For activists, the focus of grievances shifts from the extraction of profit to the conditions under which financial institutions allocate credit. While the exploitation of employees by their employers has hardly been curbed, the power of investors to select investees — to decide who and what is deemed creditworthy — has become a new site of social struggle.
In clear and compelling prose, Michel Feher explains the extraordinary shift in conduct and orientation generated by financialization. Above all, he articulates the new political resistances and aspirations that investees draw from their rated agency.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michel Feher is a Belgian philosopher who has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure, Paris, and at the University of California, Berkeley, and was recently a Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the publisher and a founding editor of Zone Books, NY (in 1986) as well as the president and co-founder of Cette France-là, Paris (in 2008), a monitoring group on French immigration policy. He is the author of Powerless by Design: The Age of the International Community (2000) and, most recently, of Rated Agency: Investee Politics in a Speculative Age (2018); the co-author, with Cette France-là, of Xénophobie d’en haut: le choix d’une droite éhontée (2012) and Sans-papiers et préfets: la culture du résultat en portraits (2012) and the co-editor of Nongovernmental Politics (2007), with Gaëlle Krikorian and Yates McKee, and of Europe at a Crossroads/near Futures Online, with William Callison, Milad Odabaei and Aurélie Windels (2015).