Gustavo Onto is a Post-Doctoral fellow of the Graduate Program in Sociology and Anthropology of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and an associate researcher of the Center for Research on Culture and Economy (NuCEC), where he coordinates the Study Group in Nature and Economy (GENE) and also the Anthropology of Finance Study Group (GEAF) in partnership with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). He was visiting researcher at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris from 2013 to 2014. Gustavo has a PhD in Social Anthropology from Museu Nacional (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), an MA in Sociology from Columbia University (NY, USA) and an MsC in Public Management and Government from Getúlio Vargas Foundation (EAESP, São Paulo). BA in Economics (University of São Paulo). He is also a member of the Behavioral Studies Group of the Brazilian SEC and a collaborator on the website Estudios de la Economia (http://estudiosdelaeconomia.wordpress.com).
His doctoral research consisted of an ethnographic description of knowledge practices involved in the Brazilian competition policy implemented by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE in portuguese) - the federal agency responsible for this public policy - which demonstrated how economic subjects and objects are conceived, produced and governed from an antitrust perspective. The final dissertation described how these practices are interpreted by professionals who perform them, putting into evidence certain forms of convergences and divergences, implicit or explicit, that emerge from the relationship between legal-administrative practices and conceptions economic life. The thesis therefore presents an empirical study of the performativity of the legal-economic knowledge involved in the government of economic relations, which occurs by way of a complex interaction between said economic and legal-administrative realities and fictions.
He is currently developing a large comparative research entitled "Artefacts of regulation: an ethnographic study of documents, archives and communications of the national economic policy". It consists on a comparative and ethnographic account of the regulatory practices of three bodies of the Brazilian executive government - the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Central Bank and the Administrative Council for Economic Defense -, taking as focus the practices of production, circulation and organization of documental artefacts common to those organizations. Based on recent ethnographic literature on forms of economic government and regulation, this research aims at analyzing regimes of economic governance - i.e. financial markets supervision, monetary policy and antitrust/competition policy - through the different modes in which governmental bodies produce knowledge about objects and subjects under regulation, in which they archive and provide information and in which they communicate their decisions to the interested public. The research will focus on the description of how these documental practices, which characterize knowledge practices in the three different governmental bodies, produce: (a) different forms of relation between regulators and regulated parties; (b) conceptions about economic reality, which may or may not coincide with the ones of different policies; (c) socio-anthropological conceptions about the mechanisms and conditions of possibility of transformation (or performation) of economic life through governmental actions. Therefore, the research aims at describing the different socialities, epistemologies and ontologies that are at play in central economic regulatory regimes by paying closer attention to bureaucratic artefacts and the practices associated with them.
Areas of interest: Anthropology of Economic Regulation and Policy; Anthropology of Money and Markets; Anthropology of the State and Bureaucracy; Anthropology of Knowledge; Economic History and History of Economic Thought.
Publications and CV: