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The government of prediction? The politics of modeling and computation for...

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Conservatoire national des arts et métiers

2 rue Conté

75003 Paris

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The LISIS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés) will organize an international conference on 11-13 September in Paris on computation, prediction and policy. The call for abstracts is opened until 18 April 2017 - please email abstracts to: conference@innox.fr


Computation, be it based on statistical modeling or newest techniques of predictive analytics, holds the promise to be able to anticipate and act infallibly on futures and uncertain situations more generally. That the future is an object of governmental knowledge and action is nothing new though. So, what is the characteristic of today’s relationship with futures in policy making and action? To what extent do the means of computation – from statistical models to learning algorithms employed in predictive analytics — change this relationship, and the collective capacity and legitimacy to engage with future, uncertain situations? Do technologies of prediction change policies and their politics and, if so, how?

This event concludes the INNOX research project (innox.fr), funded by the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche. The project investigated the development and use of tools for computational modeling in the context of three policies — energy policy-making, crime control and chemicals regulation. In line with this project, the conference is aimed to provide a venue to broadly engage with how – and how far – ways of computing futures change government, along four main lines:

First, who predicts? Who composes, structures, the market for predictive knowledge? Who gets to establish predictions and its tools in policy, and who is trusted as an expert? How far do they shift the structure of expertise underpinning policies? Second, what’s in a prediction? What are the tools and cultures at work in prediction, and how do they differentiate, assemble or compete? Are there specific norms, arenas or trials by which this knowledge is verified, made credible, and selected?Third, how does computation and prediction change decision-making in administrations, its temporality, its objects, loci?Focusing on collective action and influence, fourth, one may wonder whether and how computation in its various forms make their way into the repertoires of collective action, and change the structure of influence among interest groups?

We invite contributions in English or in French, to cover these questions in a range of policy areas (food, agriculture, energy, climate, cities, crime, medicines, chemicals or health). Abstracts of up to a 1000 words, including elements concerning the research question, theoretical framework and empirical basis of the papers should be sent to conference@innox.fr by April 18 2017.

The conference will take place in central Paris at the Centre National des Arts et Métiers on 11-13 September 2017. Keynote speakers will be Claudia Aradau, King's College London, Paul N. Edwards, professor at University of Michigan, and Steve Hilgartner, professor at Cornell University.

Up-to-date information about the event at www.innox.fr

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Conservatoire national des arts et métiers

2 rue Conté

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France

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