@INET-BW: Clear skies with a chance of economics

For the next three days, a few of us are blogging the Institute of New Economic Thinking’s Bretton Woods Conference. It is an unusual event, as unusual as the Institute’s patron, George Soros, who somehow manages to be a player in politics, finance and culture on both shores of the Atlantic. A number of principals are walking about Mount Washington: policy makers (Summers and Sachs will drop by), media (Wolf and Tett from the FT, Cassidy from the New Yorker), bloggers (Huffington in on the guest list) and plenty of economists.

Historians are here too. (Skidelsky, Keynes’s biographer is sitting in front of me.) One of INET’s core business is to foster the teaching and the research into economic history and the history of economics. I am sure this will scramble some folk’s disciplinary grids, of who fits where, and the dangers of being an historian and analyst without due distance to one’s subject, that trouble of being too “embedded”. That is why I am taking this assignment more as the anthropologist (as I imagine them) than as the colleague. As in a field assignment I come prepared with my trusted Marantz recorder, a set of agreed questions that i discussed with colleagues in the course of the last week, and a set of empty notebooks to be filled. I also thought of wearing my khakis to make the transformation complete, but upon visiting weather.com I discovered it was going to be cloudy and cold, and there is still snow on the hillsides.

(Ben and Floris will likely take this experience differently, I am looking forward to some contrast)

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2 thoughts on “@INET-BW: Clear skies with a chance of economics

  1. A Marantz recorder? As the French say, “mazette!”
    I’d be interested to know about your methodology: will you do participant observation as well? (oscillating between your identity as an anthropo and an eco, rather than keeping a uniform distance with your eco subjects). Or else?

    1. Marantz PMD620: http://amzn.to/hmlP4p A trusted companion since 2007.
      I am participating because I am eating the food, but mostly I am observing. I am not speaking economeze, it strikes me that this is also substantively a media event, and that construction (of relevance, urgency, etc) is more interesting for me to probe.

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