This article explores how market-based interventions designed to solve public problems, produce new configurations of governance. Our point of focus is on the mundane devices and practices which are crucial to enacting market-based interventions. These devices and practices are given a regulatory purpose through forms of counting and accounting for various sorts of mundane actions; what we term mundane metrology. This creates divisions between what is included and excluded from an intervention, making governance through markets possible. These divisions between what is included and excluded will be referred to as the sensitivity necessary to mobilise markets for addressing public problems. We treat sensitivity as the actions required to define what needs to be counted and accounted for, and the ongoing retuning of such definitions of need in response to changes in the course of an intervention. Mundane metrology and sensitivity are explored through a particular market-based intervention: the development of an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) designed to stimulate vaccination against diseases associated with high mortality rates in poor countries. This case is used to pose three questions: What are the devices and practices of mundane metrology in market-based interventions designed to solve public problems? How is metrology made (in) sensitive to the apparent needs of intervention? And how does metrology participate in counting, accounting, and accountability for intervention?
- Mundane markets
- Advance market commitment