Statactivism: State Restructuring, Financial Capitalism and Statistical Mobilizations

Tracés publie dans son prochain numéro, Réalités du possible (sortie imminente en librairie !) un article  d’Emmanuel Didier et Cyprien Tasset intitulé Pour un statactivisme. La quantification comme instrument d’ouverture du possible 

Un appel à contribution vient d’être publié autour de ce même thème pour la revue

Partecipazione e Conflitto, Rivista Scientifica di Studi Sociali e Politici

 Les propositions sont attendues avant le 16 Juin.


State Restructuring, Financial Capitalism and Statistical Mobilizations


Isabelle Bruno, CERAPS, Université de Lille 2,

Emmanuel Didier, Centre Maurice Halbwachs (CMH/ETT), CNRS/ENS,

Tommaso Vitale, Centre d’études européennes, Sciences Po,

Candidate submissions must be addressed at and to the three editors of the special issue. The call for papers will close on June 16, 2013: no papers received after that date will be considered for the special issue. Authors whose papers are considered unsuited will be promptly notified of this fact. Our target publication date is May 2014 (vol. 7, no. 2). The extension limit is 8,000 words, including notes and references.

Nowadays, statistics are often contested. Some unions and movements are claiming against them: they accuse quantification to freeze human relations; to bear on a fixed image of society; to constantly evaluate human beings, citizens, workers.

However, there are also forms of emerging collective action that use numbers, measurements and indicators as means of denunciation and criticisms. In some cases, activists seem to use statistics as a tool for struggle and as a means of emancipation. Sometimes statistics are simply employed for local resistance, opposing actors who are supposed to be “accountable” but present the results of their action manipulating data to their own advantage. In other cases, groups mobilize to oppose against specific indicators, or against the whole logic of benchmarking and continuous assessment. Some of these mobilizations are lead by experts, some others by NGOs, even by local administrative bodies and municipalities, trying to react to evaluating criteria discriminating them. In other cases, what might be called “statactivism” is not against indicators, but consists in quantifying original data to make an issue visible and relevant: precarious workers point out their real number to defend their rights; pro-migrants activists estimate the cost of deportation policy to show that it is too expensive; and so on. On the whole, the use of statistics has emerged as part of the repertoire of contention and as a major resource for contemporary mobilizations.

The objective of this special issue is to collect papers investigating the use of statistics and quantification in contentious performances connected with state restructuring, main transformations in welfare capitalisms, and changes in work organization regimes.

We welcome in particular:

  • Robust comparative investigations with precise references to political and institutional contexts.

  • Researches that shed light on the role that techniques, statistical nomenclature, graphic representation, statistical categories, scales of definition of indicators, and so on, play in contentious mobilizations.

  • Researches that, discuss theories of collective action and contentious politics starting from empirical results on statactivsm.

  • Papers analyzing how data are collected and used in contentious performance to claim for rights in workplace as well in administration.

  • Researches comparing statactivism in different professional sectors.

  • Comparisons with other kinds of mobilization (among others, those opposing to quantification as such).

  • Research on mobilizations against rankings and/or for alternative indicators.

  • Research exploring the local-transnational nexus, studying local forms of statactivism with extra-local political goals, as well as networks of statactivists in global campaigning.

  • Explanations of mimetic diffusion of practices of getting around and bending the rules of evaluation.

  • Longitudinal researches explaining the invention and the use of indicators to describe and explain inequalities, and the criticism against traditional developmental indicators.

Articles should concentrate on the conceptual and explanatory dimensions, not only on the descriptive one.

A first selection of articles will be made by the editors of the monographic issue. The selected articles will then be sent to anonymous reviewers not involved in the editorial team. They will be evaluated according to the quality and clarity of their research question, methodological rigor, theoretical contribution, discussion of the existing literature, and – obviously – relevance and pertinence in relation to the theme of this special issue.

Articles can be submitted in Italian, French, Spanish, or English. Papers in French and Spanish, if accepted must be translated by the author(s) in Italian or in English for publication.

Please include your name, address, e-mail, and a short abstract in English. Please respect the editorial rules for notes and references.

Peer Review Policy:Partecipazione e Conflitto adheres to a standard double-blind peer review process. Each article submitted will be evaluated by Editors and Editorial Board. If congruent with the object of the call for papers, it will be reviewed by three anonymous scholars.


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Citer ce billet
Eric Monnet (2013, 1 mai). Statactivism: State Restructuring, Financial Capitalism and Statistical Mobilizations. Tracés. Revue de sciences humaines. Consulté le 22 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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