Dr Ivano Cardinale

ISRF Political Economy Fellow 2019-20

Dr Ivano Cardinale

ISRF Political Economy Fellow 2019-20

ISRF Ivano Cardinale

Ivano Cardinale is Lecturer in Economics at Goldsmiths, University of London. He also lectures on the history of economic thought at the Economics Faculty of the University of Cambridge. He was previously Mead Fellow in Economics (Junior Research Fellow) at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

He studies foundational issues at the interface between economics, political economy, and social theory. His programme can be described as “Structural Political Economy”: studying how the mutual shaping of human action and social and economic structures can help understand economic interests, their political representation, and the political-economy paths open to societies. His articles have appeared in journals such as Academy of Management ReviewStructural Change and Economic DynamicsRevue d’économie industrielle and Economia Politica. He has published books with Cambridge University Press and Palgrave Macmillan.

His ISRF Political Economy Research Fellowship is devoted to a central problem in decision-making under uncertainty: understanding how actors construct the space of hypothetical future events they use to guide their choices between alternative actions. Economics and decision theory typically assume away the problem of how actors imagine the future. Whilst several traditions have pointed out that actors typically do not know all the relevant events that can occur in the future, they have not studied how actors construct the event space in the first place, and hence why they imagine some events but not others. This project aims to provide an explanation of unimagined events by studying the interplay between changes in social fields, in actors’ positions therein, and in different actors’ cognitive structures.

Understanding Unimagined Events

This project falls in the area of decision making under uncertainty and aims to develop a framework to understand how actors construct the space of hypothetical future events they use to guide their choices between alternative actions. This framework will provide criteria to analyse the reliability of existing knowledge and the potential for surprising events to emerge in different social contexts, and could therefore be of considerable importance in times of rapid and often unpredictable change.

The project is grounded in conceptual work. It aims to recast a problem in economics and decision theory within a social theory framework, and to address this problem drawing on insights from the philosophy of time consciousness and social-theoretic analysis of social positions and action within them.

This research contributes to the ISRF goals in several ways. First, interest in the imagination of the future is building and converging from several disciplinary viewpoints, as reflected in the ISRF workshop in Amsterdam and in two issues of the Bulletin. Second, the opening up of economics to methods and insights from other social sciences is a core objective of ISRF, and the Political Economy Research Fellowships seem to be pivotal for that objective. Third, this project is unlikely to be funded by other bodies.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at lars.cornelissen@isrf.org.