© 2020

Labelling the Economy

Qualities and Values in Contemporary Markets

  • Brice Laurent
  • Alexandre Mallard

About this book


This collected volume analyses labelling as a political and economic operation. It gathers contributions that focus on various domains, including the agri-food sector, the construction sector, eco-labelling, retail, health public policies and the energy sector, considering the use of labels for various objectives, such as providing legal and technical data on consumption products, certifying their quality, and indicating the approval of professional or political authorities. These practices are tied to both public and private interventions that make civic concerns visible and aim to govern them. The book considers ‘labelling the economy’ as an operation that introduces political questions into the economic realm, while also importing economic modes of reasoning into governance interventions. In doing so, the book considers the sociotechnical apparatus on which any label relies as a nexus where economic and political considerations are brought together.


STS labels standards markets policy making public concerns economic sociology

Editors and affiliations

  • Brice Laurent
    • 1
  • Alexandre Mallard
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation - i3Mines ParisTech, PSL UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation - i3Mines ParisTech, PSL UniversityParisFrance

About the editors

Brice Laurent is senior researcher at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation at the Ecole des Mines ParisTech, PSL Research University, France.

Alexandre Mallard is Director of the Center for the Sociology of Innovation at the Ecole des Mines ParisTech, PSL Research University, France. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Labelling the Economy
  • Book Subtitle Qualities and Values in Contemporary Markets
  • Editors Brice Laurent
    Alexandre Mallard
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-15-1497-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-15-1500-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-15-1498-2
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 278
  • Number of Illustrations 13 b/w illustrations, 20 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Science and Technology Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“The authors of this powerful new collection take us on a thorough investigation of the political and economic texture of labelling in modern markets. Together, studies of such matters as food, prices, property, energy and sustainable construction, explore labels as central to the functioning of markets and their politicization. What we learn as readers is that labels introduce a continual process of qualification, of which this blurb is a part.” (Professor Daniel Neyland, Head of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, Author of Can Markets Solve Problems)

“This vivid and inspiring book asks how labelling products across a wide range of sectors is turned into a powerful instrument of market governance by public and private stakeholders. It should be read by all those who are concerned with understanding the politics of modern markets.” (Pascale Trompette, Senior Research Fellow, CNRS, University of Grenoble Alpes)