Crappy Review

Another review of The Provoked Economy just discovered in the journal Oeconomia, by Nicolas Brisset, who seems to want to join the chorus of reviewers (Bruno Ambroise here and Dan Hirschman here) that decided what to expect from the book before reading it (something about the performativity “of economics”, something on Austin, eventually something à la Callon), did not find it there and then complained. Well, for the “of economics” part Brisset does the job rather brilliantly, since he combines the commentary with a review of Enacting Dismal Science, and excellent volume edited by Ivan Boldyrev and Ekaterina Svetlova in which there is indeed a chapter on “The problem with economics: naturalism, critique and performativity” (the actual title is gone from the review). Brisset basically acknowledges the multiplicity of notions of performativity, but wants to preserve a space in which the concept is used in a rigorous way for the study of the relation between the social sciences and social reality (something The Provoked Economy explicitly does not). But then, the most surreal confusion emerges. After having successfully found in Latourian pasteurization the key to the particular blend of pragmaticism that of The Provoked Economy aims at cultivating, Brisset affirms: “Muniesa traces this idea back to Baudrillard’s concept of hyperreality”. How can Muniesa be such an idiot? Let’s see. Perhaps for the same reason why he claims that representational techniques (performance indicators, valuation formulas, consumer tests, stock prices or financial contracts) “refer to what they provoke”. But, oh my, “it makes no sense to say that a specific technique “refers” to something”! And at the same time it is seems so “trivial to say that a technique has effects”! How silly this Muniesa is. He should just cut the crap and and “re-read” Aristotle instead.