From Innovation to Markets and Back. A Conversation with Michel Callon


  • Alexandre Mallard Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation (CSI), Mines Paris, Université PSL, i3 UMR CNRS (France)
  • Michel Callon Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation (CSI), Mines Paris, Université PSL, i3 UMR CNRS (France)



Innovation, Science, Technology and Society, Economic Sociology, Market Agencement


In this conversation, Michel Callon reviews the major events and questions that have marked his scientific career. He begins by presenting the personal and political path that led him, after completing his engineering studies, to join the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation at the École des Mines de Paris in 1968. His early work on the theme of innovation was conducted in a context where science and technology were the focus of multiple questions in economics and sociology. Michel Callon explains the collective research approach that led to the creation of the concept of translation, and the efforts to develop co-word analysis, an automated textual processing method designed to study the products of science and technology. It is from these questions on the processes of innovation, and from this long-standing dialogue with economists, that Michel Callon will develop, from the end of the 1990s, his work on markets. From research on the performativity of economic knowledge to the analysis of market agencements, this work has developed an original perspective on the dynamics of the economy, which goes beyond the criticisms usually levelled at capitalism by the social sciences. It invites us to develop a reflection on the plural roles that markets play not only in production and consumption, but also in the genesis of diverse social relations, in political organization and in crisis situations.


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How to Cite

Mallard, A., & Callon, M. (2022). From Innovation to Markets and Back. A Conversation with Michel Callon. Sociologica, 16(3), 151–173.