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Department of Social Anthropology

 

I am an economist (BHons, Universidad del CEMA) and social anthropologist (MSc, University of Edinburgh; PhD, University of Manchester) who, after a 2-year stint as a political and economic consultant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, turned to academia to research ethical, political and economic reasoning around new technologies.

 

My doctoral and early postdoctoral work was based on my ethnography of Uber’s conflict in Buenos Aires, where I examined the logics, rhetoric and affects of what I called post-political reasoning – a popular, not governmental, orientation towards the foreclosing of the political. This project involved an anthropological examination of the neoclassical economics canon: the moral imperative of choice, the inherent virtue of competition, the perfectly informed citizen-consumer and popular reflections on categories such as efficiency, market price, demand and the like.

 

Recognised by the Argentine Council of Foreign Affairs, this work has led to several peer-reviewed and mass media publications and public policy recommendations to the Argentine Congress. It received the RAI’s Sutasoma Award for Research of Potential Outstanding Merit and is now the basis for my book manuscript Taxis vs. Uber, forthcoming with Stanford University Press.

 

Based at the Max Planck Cambridge Centre for Ethics, Economy and Social Change and funded by the Philomathia Foundation, my current project examines the ethics of behavioural insights as a technology of government and instrument of public policy. In spite of behavioural insights’ popularity, there is as of now little anthropological research into its ethical impact on the subtle webs of responsibility, accountability, prerogatives and guarantees linking governments, policies and citizens.

This project will seek to address these issues, asking as well: what kinds of ethical discourses do behavioural economic consultants deploy? What kinds of projects do they get involved in or not? What disciplines, regimes of knowledge and kinds of expertise do they claim or draw on, and what kinds of socio-technical devices do these involve (algorithms, rhetoric, big data, econometric regressions…)? How do they incorporate, reconcile or supersede canonical understandings of transparency, objectivity, impartiality, and other ethical categories peopling contemporary understandings of “good governance”?

 

Research

Political economy; new materialism; infrastructure; platform economies; algorithms; new technologies; political anthropology; popular politics; economic anthropology; neoliberalism; neoclassical economics; political reasoning; economic reasoning; industrial politics; ethics; Buenos Aires; Argentina; Latin America

Publications

Peer-reviewed
Book

del Nido, J. M. (forthcoming) Taxis vs Uber: Post-Political Reasoning among Argentines. Stanford University Press.

 

Journal articles

del Nido, J. M. (forthcoming) Ride-Sharing, Convenience and the Rise of Cynical Economies. Economic Anthropology.

 

del Nido, J. M. 2020. Inscription: Taxi Work Relations, the Ficha and the Political Economy of a Market Device. Anthropology of Work Review. Vol. XLI (1), pp. 50-58.

 

del Nido, J. M. 2019. Tecnología, Política Pública y Modernidad Periférica: El Conflicto de Uber en Buenos Aires. Hipertextos. Vol. 11(7), pp. 171-198.

 

del Nido, J. M. (revise and resubmit) Uber and What the People Want: Algorithms, Neoliberalism and Populism as a Political Logic. Anthropological Theory.

 

del Nido, J. M. (under review - special issue on platform economies) Algorithms, Borders, and the Ethical Affordances of Buenos Aires’ Middle Class: a Political Economy Approach. Ethnos.

 

del Nido, J. M. (in preparation) Contractualization: Liabilities, Terms and Conditions and the Political Economy of Signatures in Buenos Aires’ taxi trade.

 

Book reviews and book review essays

del Nido, J.M. (forthcoming). Christin, Angèle. 2020. Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms. Princeton University Press, 272 pp. $29.95 (Hb), ISBN: 9780691175232. Journal of Cultural Economy.

 

del Nido, J.M. (forthcoming). Gago, Verónica. 2017. Neoliberalism from Below: Popular Pragmatics and Baroque Economies. Durham: Duke University Press, 277 pp. $26.95 (Pb.), ISBN: 9780822369127. Anthropology Book Forum.

 

del Nido, J.M. 2018.  Bordering (and) the Political Economies of (Talking about) Risk. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Works reviewed: Mahoney, Dillon. 2017. The Art of Connection: Risk, Mobility and the Crafting of Transparency in Coastal Kenya. Oakland, CA: University of California Press; Nail, Thomas. 2016. Theory of the Border. Oxford: Oxford University Press; and Zeiderman, Austin. 2016. Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 

 

del Nido, J. M. 2017. Goldstein, Daniel M. 2016. Owners of the Sidewalk: Security and Survival in the Informal City. Durham, London: Duke University Press. xiv+ 334 pp. Pb.: $26.95. ISBN: 9780822360452. Anthropological Notebooks XXIII (2): 119-120.

 

Policy Recommendations

del Nido, J. M. 2020. “From ‘Lives vs. The Economy’ to ‘Lives vs. Lives’: Global South Lessons on Reframing the Lockdown Debate” (policy recommendations wirh respect to the Covid-19 crisis, policy@manchester, available at: http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/health/2020/05/from-lives-vs-the-economy-to-lives-vs-lives-global-south-lessons-on-reframing-the-lockdown-debate/)

 

del Nido, J. M. 2019. Tecnología y Modernidad en la Periferia: Uber y el Trabajo Pendiente. El Futuro del Trabajo Que Queremos (Argentine National Congress policy recommendations on the occasion of ILO’s Centennial). Editorial del Congreso, pp: 96-112.

 

Newspaper articles and general audiences

del Nido, J. M. 2019. Uber: Ongoing Battle for Buenos Aires is Testing Argentina’s Fragile Democracy. The Conversation UK, July 4th, available at https://theconversation.com/uber-ongoing-battle-for-buenos-aires-is-testing-argentinas-fragile-democracy-119566

 

del Nido, J. M. 2014. ‘A Bazaar of Memories: The Gdansk Shipyards’, New Eastern Europe, July-August, N° 3(XII)/2014.

 

del Nido, J. M. 2013. ‘No Alarguemos la Eternidad’, La Nación, (Argentine national daily), July 29th.

 

 

Philomathia Post-Doctoral Research Associate

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