HomeCompetition: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

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Published on Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Competition is a pervasive phenomenon in human and animal life. Modern society itself appears to be based on organizing the distribution of goods and privileges through competition. According to Georg Simmel, the sociological essence of competition entails an indirect form of fighting—antagonistic impulse transformed into the realization of some form of community value and perfection. The economic essence of competition may be that it equalizes—wages and profits can be brought into equilibrium by competition. Competition can be defined as a contest between actors, institutions, and, in fact, any group or social form, as well as between animal and ecological species, as they strive for something that all cannot obtain. This interdisciplinary conference will examine competition as a leading organizing principle of contemporary life.


Thursday, May 31        

9:30 am     Coffee, Tea                  

10:00 am   Introduction: Alan Kolata and Karin Knorr-Cetina

Session 1: Theories of Competition, 10:10 am – 12:30 pm  

  • Session chair: Alan Kolata
  • Bruno Frey:  “Competition: from perfect markets to awards”                
  • Georg Franck:  “Vanity Fairs: competition in the service of self-esteem”
  • Roger Guesnerie:  “Maximal competition versus optimal competition”
  • Session Discussion 

12:30 – 2:00 pm  Lunch

Session 2: Social and National Competition, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

  • Session Chair: Karin Knorr Cetina
  • Tobias Werron:  “What do nation-states compete for?: an historical-sociological perspective on ‘soft’ forms of competition”
  • Hartmut Rosa:  “Competition never sleeps. Structural and cultural consequences of the logic of dynamic escalation”
  • Session Discussion

3:30-4:00 pm  Coffee Break

Session 3: Competition in Financial Markets, 4:00-5:30 pm

  • Elie Ayache: “Competition in options markets: from the institutional market-makers to the individual locals on the floor”
  • Alexandru Preda: “Taking on the market: competition and spectacle in electronic financial markets”
  • Session Discussion        

Friday, June 1

8:30-9:00 am    Coffee, Tea

Session 4: Competition in Sports and Games,  9:00 am—10:30 am 

  • Session Chair: Alex Preda
  • Jörg Bergmann, Christian Meyer and Ulrich von Wedelstaedt: Accountability and deception in competitive interaction - A case study of boxing”
  • Rebecca Cassidy: “All’s fair in love and poker, except bots’: emergent forms of competition, cooperation and ‘fairness’ in remote gambling”
  • Session Discussion

10:30—11:00 am Coffee and Tea

Session 5: Fairness and Competition, 11:00—12:30 pm

  • Session Chair: Alan Kolata
  • Marion Fourcade: “The Noble and the ignoble: the naturalization of status in the French wine industry”
  • Bernd Irlenbusch, Jan-Erik Lönnqvist and Gari Walkowitz: “Personal values and moral motivation: disentangling moral integrity and moral hypocrisy”
  • Session Discussion and Final Comments



  • 6 rue Thomas Mann
    Paris, France


  • Thursday, May 31, 2012
  • Friday, June 01, 2012


  • Arnaud Coulombel
    courriel : acoulomb [at] uchicago [dot] edu

Information source

  • Arnaud Coulombel
    courriel : acoulomb [at] uchicago [dot] edu


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Competition: An Interdisciplinary Perspective », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, https://doi.org/10.58079/l3e

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