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Jens Beckert, “Imagined Futures and Capitalist Dynamics”

November 6, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Jens Beckert, Director, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

This event is sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies 

In a capitalist system, consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How do actors assess the future if this future is open and uncertain? In this lecture, Dr. Beckert adds a new chapter to the theory of capitalism by demonstrating how fictional expectations drive modern economies-or throw them into crisis when the imagined futures fail to materialize. The talk is based on his recently published book “Imagined Futures. Fictional Expectations and Capitalist Dynamics” (HUP 2016).

Jens Beckert is director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. This year he is the  Theodor Heuß Professor at the New School for Social Research in New York. Beckert studied sociology and business economics in New York and Berlin. He was a visiting researcher at Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and SciencesPo in Paris. In 2018 he was awarded the Leibniz-Prize, the highest research award in Germany. Beckert works in the fields of economic sociology and investigates primarily questions of market development. His book “Imagined Futures” (HUP 2016) examines the role of expectations for economic growth and crises.


November 6, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


206 Ingraham
1155 Observatory Dr
Madison, WI 53706