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Models, Experts and Consultants

This chapter deals with how economic practices are engaged in ‘world-making’ with specific reference to cities. It ties in with an important ‘performative turn’ that has taken place in understanding economies, inspired by the likes of Michel Callon, Donald MacKenzie and other economic sociologists. In an influential book, MacKenzie (2006) argues that economics is ‘an active force transforming its environment, not a camera passively recording it’. Rather than viewing it as a ‘pure’ science with a closed and unassailable episteme, economic knowledge is understood more specifically as ‘the economic techniques, models and calculations embedded in the wider world of business, finance, consulting, policy and regulation’ (Christophers 2014: 81).

Much of this work has sought to define the formulation, transmission and consumption ...

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