Governing the Present: Administering Economic, Social and Personal Life

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Polity, Apr 28, 2008 - Business & Economics - 246 pages
The literature on governmentality has had a major impact across the social sciences over the past decade, and much of this has drawn upon the pioneering work by Peter Miller and Nikolas Rose. This volume will bring together key papers from their work for the first time, including those that set out the basic frameworks, concepts and ethos of this approach to the analysis of political power and the state, and others that analyse specific domains of the conduct of conduct, from marketing to accountancy, and from the psychological management of organizations to the government of economic life.

Bringing together empirical papers on the government of economic, social and personal life, the volume demonstrates clearly the importance of analysing these as conjoint phenomena rather than separate domains, and questions some cherished boundaries between disciplines and topic areas. Linking programmes and strategies for the administration of these different domains with the formation of subjectivities and the transformation of ethics, the papers cast a new light on some of the leading issues in contemporary social science modernity, democracy, reflexivity and individualisation.

This volume will be indispensable for all those, from whatever discipline in the social sciences, who have an interest in the concepts and methods necessary for critical empirical analysis of power relations in our present.


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Page 6 - First of all, a breach of self-evidence. It means making visible a singularity at places where there is a temptation to invoke a historical constant, an immediate anthropological trait, or an obviousness that imposes itself uniformly on all.
Page 25 - Although strategies of welfare sought to govern through society, "advanced" liberal strategies of rule ask whether it is possible to govern without governing society, that is to say, to govern through the regulated and accountable choices of autonomous agents - citizens, consumers, parents, employees, managers, investors - and to govern through intensifying and acting upon their allegiance to particular "communities".

About the author (2008)

Nik Rose is Convenor of the Department of Sociology and Peter Miller is Professor of Management Accounting at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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