Insurgent capitalism: Island, bricolage and the re-making of finance

Donald MacKenzie, Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on recent discussions of the material cultures of markets and of financial innovation as bricolage, this paper explores the development of Island, a new share-trading venue set up in 1995. We examine Island's roots in a very specific conflict in the US financial markets and in the information libertarianism of 'hacker culture', and examine the material bricolage involved in Island's construction. The paper also outlines the processes that led to a dramatic 'Latourian' change of scale: Island was originally a 'micro' development on the fringes of US markets, but within little more than a decade key features of Island became close to compulsory, as the nature of North American and Western European share trading changed utterly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-182
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Social Studies of Finance
  • bricolage
  • Island
  • matching engine
  • high-frequency trading


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