Indexal thinking: Reconfiguring global topologies for market-based intervention

Afshin Mehrpouya, Rita Samiolo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
225 Downloads (Pure)


Through the example of a “regulatory ranking” – an index produced with the aim to regulate the pharmaceutical market by pushing companies in the direction of providing greater access to medicine in developing countries – this chapter focuses on indexing and ranking as infrastructural processes which inscribe global problem spaces as unfolding actionable territories for market intervention. It foregrounds the “Indexal thinking” which structures and informs regulatory rankings – their aspiration to align the interests of different stakeholders and to entice competition among the ranked companies. The authors detail the infrastructural work through which such ambitions are enacted, detailing processes of infrastructural layering/collage and patchwork through which analysts naturalize/denaturalize various contested categories in the ranking’s territory. They reflect on the consequences of such attempts at reconfiguring global topologies for the problems these governance initiatives seek to address.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThinking Infrastructures
EditorsMartin Kornberger, Geoffrey Bowker, Julia Elyachar, Andrea Mennicken, Peter Miller, Joanne Randa Nucho, Neil Pollock
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781787695573
ISBN (Print)9781787695580
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
ISSN (Print)0733-558X


  • Access to medicine
  • Global
  • Infrastructure
  • Ranking
  • Territorialization
  • Topology


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