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Project Collaborator

Aaron Benanav

Assistant Professor of Sociology; Senior Research Associate at the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute Syracuse University


Aaron Benanav works on the history and future of work, technology, and employment. His first book, Automation and the Future of Work, offered a critical take on the contemporary “rise of the robots” thesis. The final chapter of that book situated contemporary automation discourses within a longer tradition of utopian thinking. He is now writing a second book that expands on that final chapter, which looks at a variety of approaches to achieving a post-scarcity economics. The book engages deeply with the socialist calculation debate, looking at the limits of money as motivator of human action, profitability as a guiding principle of investment, and GDP as a measure of human well-being and happiness. Instead of these single-criteria systems of evaluation, the book looks at a variety of multi-criterial alternatives, which share as their common feature that no optimal or best solution can be calculated under complex conditions of uncertainty. The Neubauer Collegium project will complement his interests in writing about varieties of economic systems, the interface between scientific knowledge and democratic decision-making, schemes for public investment, and alternatives to neoliberalism that are grounded in the calculation debate.


Economic Planning and Democratic Politics: History, Theory, and Practice

2023 – 2026