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Critiquing governmentality

The social construction of participation and accountability in the Atlantic zone of Costa Rica

Pieter de Vries

This article sets out to test the Foucauldian concept of governmentality as it has been applied by social theorists working on the topic of neoliberal managerialism. It starts with a critical discussion of the 'good governance' agenda as developed by the World Bank. The question that the article poses is whether such technologies of governance are as successful in shaping new fields of intervention as assumed in the (managerial) governmentality literature. This question is answered negatively by way of a case study of an extensionist, working in an integrated rural development project in the Atlantic zone of Costa Rica, who developed his own 'participatory extension style of operation' for dealing with farmer beneficiaries. At a more theoretical level, the article takes issue with current notions regarding the malleability of the Self and the 'social'. The article concludes that the governmentality approach has perverse consequences for the anthropological project as it leads to an impoverished kind of ethnography.

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Introduction

Mimetic Governmentality, Colonialism, and the State

Patrice Ladwig and Ricardo Roque

colonial state. Each article in this collection elaborates on the conceptual insights of mimesis differently and independently; each work adopts distinct approaches to state and government in colonial settings. Yet all articles share a similar trajectory

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Fighting Fire with Fire

Resistance to Transitional Justice in Bahrain

Ciara O’Loughlin

added by Mitchell Dean’s (2010) Foucault-inspired analytics of government approach, which by identifying discrepancies between actors’ declared and actual intentions, assists in revealing less obvious manifestations of resistance. While the former type

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The emergence of the global debt society

Governmentality and profit extraction through fabricated abundance and imposed scarcity in Peru and Spain

Ismael Vaccaro, Eric Hirsch, and Irene Sabaté

interests involved in it. Thus, we suggest debt in the era of financialization is something new, strange, and distinct. The contemporary debt paradigm has generated its own form of subjectivation and identity construction, a governmentality of sorts, in the

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Bringing the state back in

Corporate social responsibility and the paradoxes of Norwegian state capitalism in the international energy sector

Ståle Knudsen, Dinah Rajak, Siri Lange, and Isabelle Hugøy

understanding of what CSR does both for companies themselves and its target publics (whether local communities, employees, “host” or “home” governments). We argue positioning the politics of the state as key to the unfolding policy landscape of CSR results in

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Nicoletta Bevilacqua

In its electoral programme, the new centre right government that

took office after the victory of 13 May 2001 had announced its

intention to stress the digitalisation of public administration, which

it considered to be a necessary requirement for ‘redesigning public

administration from the foundations and reinventing the state in

organisational and functional terms so as to seize the potential

offered by new technologies’. The programme identified a break

with the approach taken by centre left governments in the need to

place ‘the idea of service provision as well as the organisation itself’

at the heart of ‘e-government’ policy, as opposed to setting up a network

infrastructure such as RUPA (Rete unitaria della pubblica

amministrazione – Public Administration Unitary Network), which

had been acted on by the previous government and judged ineffective

‘due to the lack of an adequate plan of organisational reform’.

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Gil Hizi

participants’ emotional reactions as a means to buttress class identities and revolutionary commitments ( Y. Liu 2010 ; Perry 2002 ). Affect in this case study also does not precisely correspond to the Foucauldian model of market-driven governmentality

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Policing production

Corporate governmentality and the Cultivation System

Albert Schrauwers

This article reexamines the Cultivation System in early nineteenth-century Java as part of an assemblage of Crown strategies, programs, and technologies to manage the economy—and more particularly, “police” the paupers—of the “greater Netherlands.” This article looks at the integrated global commodity chains within which the System was embedded, and the common governmental strategies adopted by the Dutch Crown to manage these flows in both metropole and colony. It focuses on the role of an early corporation, the Netherlands Trading Company, that also served as the administrator of poverty-relief efforts in the Eastern Netherlands where cotton cloth was produced. The article argues that corporate governmentality arose as a purposive strategy of avoiding liberal parliamentary scrutiny and bolstering the “enlightened absolutism” of the Crown. By withdrawing responsibility for the policing of paupers from the state, and vesting it in corporations, the Crown commercialized the delivery of pauper relief and reduced state expenditure, while still generating large profits.

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Representative Government in the Dutch Provinces

The Controversy over the Stadtholderate (1705–1707) and Simon van Slingelandt

Bert Drejer

contribution of Simon van Slingelandt. Van Slingelandt was an early eighteenth-century theorist whose views of the representative nature of the government of the Dutch Republic were deeply polemical when he developed them, but went on to have a profound

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Imitations of Buddhist Statecraft

The Patronage of Lao Buddhism and the Reconstruction of Relic Shrines and Temples in Colonial French Indochina

Patrice Ladwig

issue is described as “mimetic governmentality” (see also Ladwig 2011 ; Roque 2015 ). 3 In contrast to some of the works on mimesis outlined in the introduction to this special issue that emphasize the resistance aspects of mimesis, I suggest that