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Cooper (2010). Turbulent Worlds

Bibliographic details:

Cooper, M. (2010). Turbulent Worlds. Theory, Culture & Society, 27(2-3), 167-190.‏


Focusing on the speculative methodologies used to generate models of the financial and meteorological future, this article develops a series of theses on the ‘evental’ and ‘atmospheric’ quality of contemporary power. What is at stake in the circulation of capital today, I argue, is not so much the exchange of equivalents as the universal transmutability of fluctuation. Whether we are dealing with the turbulence of world financial markets or that of complex earth systems, the non-dialectical relation can itself be extracted, recombined and liquefied, as it were, in a dimension of its own. In the same way that financial derivatives price the variable relation between and across national currencies, weather derivatives now make it possible to issue contracts on the unknowable contingencies embedded in complex atmospheric relations. This reconfiguration of value requires a thorough rethinking of classical sociological conceptions of debt, promise and political violence.