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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2021

Chandana Alawattage and Danture Wickramasinghe

This paper draws on the concepts of biopolitics and neoliberal governmentality to provide a sociological analysis of the strategic turn in management accounting.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper draws on the concepts of biopolitics and neoliberal governmentality to provide a sociological analysis of the strategic turn in management accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual and review paper addresses four interrelated questions: How can the early history of management accounting be revisited from a biopolitical angle? How has strategising been linked to the neoliberal evolution of capitalism? How has this neoliberal connection transformed management accounting into its new form of strategising? What are the implications of this transformation for future research and pedagogical practices in management accounting?

Findings

Management accounting is strategised in four interrelated directions: by absorbing the jurisdictional and veridictional roles of the market into the calculative practices of management accounting; by transforming management accounting's centripetal hierarchical order of calculations to a centrifugal order the neoliberal governmentality demanded; by re-calculating the point of production as a site in which labour now takes the form of entrepreneurs of the self, performing not only material but also immaterial elements of managerial labour; and by rescoping management accounting to address issues the “fourth or the global age of security” brought, including the social and the environmental ones.

Research limitations/implications

The research expands the existing frames of reference for exploring contemporary calculative practices in neoliberal governmentality.

Social implications

Strategic turn in management accounting implicates in issues of security, governance and ethics and offers “new opportunities” for expanding management accounting's relevance beyond economic enterprises to various civil society and political constituencies.

Originality/value

This paper makes a theoretical contribution to management accounting's contemporary developments by demonstrating how it moves into biopolitical circulation.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2015

Aaron T. Rowland

The Latin American region experienced an electoral shift to the political left during the 2000s but this leftist shift did not radically alter the political economy of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The Latin American region experienced an electoral shift to the political left during the 2000s but this leftist shift did not radically alter the political economy of the region. Following Jessop’s (2008) strategic-relational approach to theorizing about the state, this paper focuses on the perspective that the structure of the state is both an outcome of prior social struggles and a structuring mechanism for the social actors that attempt to enact political and economic reforms.

Methodology/approach

After demonstrating what this has historically meant for the types of state that have existed in Latin America during the past century by reviewing some of the literature on the corporatist and bureaucratic-authoritarian states and clientelism, this paper argues that the neoliberal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s constituted a new type of state – the Latin American neoliberal state. This analysis is then focused on the literature that seeks to describe the new lefts in the region, while continuing to focus on the role of the neoliberal state in structuring these new lefts’ terrain of struggle.

Findings

Understanding the new lefts in Latin America and the types of reforms that they are capable of making requires that we better understand this new type of state. Due to the structural limitations imposed by the neoliberal state, the lefts are not able to radically alter the region’s political economy.

Details

States and Citizens: Accommodation, Facilitation and Resistance to Globalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-180-4

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Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Dino Numerato, Karel Čada and Petra A. Honová

The aim of this chapter is to discuss the complexities and ambiguities of health-related citizenship in the neoliberal era. The scholarly discussions investigating the…

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to discuss the complexities and ambiguities of health-related citizenship in the neoliberal era. The scholarly discussions investigating the impact of neoliberalism on health and health care have primarily focused on the power of the neoliberal system. At the same time, the capacity of patients and citizens to act against neoliberal principles has been rarely discussed. Against this backdrop, we explore the ways in which civically engaged patients and citizens cope with neoliberal governance. To do so, we focus on the Czech context, as one that is not narrowly dominated by market-driven neoliberal logic but that blurs the distinction between marketisation and social protection. More specifically, we address the following two questions: What are the reactions of citizens and patients to the imperatives of neoliberalism? What are the implications for our understanding of health-related citizenship in the neoliberal era? Our analysis is underpinned by interviews and observations of public and patient involvement in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the data gathered from interviews were enriched through a review of available documents, including media articles, policy briefs, political statements and websites. We conclude that the neoliberal era is not only connected with the emergence of individualised, conscious citizens whose health is governed at a distance, but also with the occurrence of collectively organised, health-care conscious citizens who problematise the nature of contemporary health-care governance. We thus explain and illustrate how neoliberal ideology is imprinted on the behaviour of patients and citizens, as well as how they resist and strategically appropriate neoliberal imperatives.

Details

Health and Illness in the Neoliberal Era in Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-119-3

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2015

Michelle Christian

This paper explores how racial neoliberalism is the latest evolution of race and global capitalism and is analyzed in the example of global tourism in Costa Rica. Racial…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores how racial neoliberalism is the latest evolution of race and global capitalism and is analyzed in the example of global tourism in Costa Rica. Racial neoliberalism represents two important features: colorblind ideology and new racial practices.

Methodology/approach

Two beach tourism localities in Costa Rica are investigated to identify the racial neoliberal practices that racialize tourism spaces and bodies and the ideological discourses deployed to justify racial hierarchical placement that perpetuates new forms of global and national inequality.

Findings

Three neoliberal racial practices in tourism globalization were found. First, “neoliberal networks” supported white transnational actors’ linkage to national and global tourism providers. Second, “neoliberal conservation” in beach land protection policies secured private tourism business development and impacted current and future racial community displacement. Third, “neoliberal activism” exposed how community fights to change local tourism development was demarcated along racial lines.

Practical implications

An inquiry into the mechanisms and logics of how racism contemporarily operates in the global economy exposes the importance of acknowledging that race has an impact on different actor’s global economic participation by organizing the distribution of material economic rewards unevenly.

Originality/value

As scholarship exposes how gender, ethnicity, and class are constituted through global economic arrangements it is imperative that research uncovers how race is a salient category also shaping current global inequality but experienced differently in diverse geographies and histories.

Details

States and Citizens: Accommodation, Facilitation and Resistance to Globalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-180-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2019

Jiska Engelbert

One of the key normative questions that critical smart city scholars pose is if, and how, politically meaningful agency of citizens in the neoliberal smart city is…

Abstract

One of the key normative questions that critical smart city scholars pose is if, and how, politically meaningful agency of citizens in the neoliberal smart city is possible? The Lefebvrian concept of the “right to the city” proves particularly fruitful in this endeavor, as it allows for imaging ways and possibilities in which citizens can assert the use value of the city over the exchange value, and thus affirm the social “urban” over the economic “city.” This chapter seeks to contribute to this quest for and imaginations of politically meaningful agency in the neoliberal smart city. First, it does so by arguing that what smart city scholarship typically considers as politically meaningful interventions into the neoliberal smart city are too often initiatives that are strongly influenced by peoples’ and cities’ access to specific and unevenly distributed resources, like technological or political literacies and economic (infra-) structures. Therefore, and second, the chapter proposes that we look for critical interventions into the neoliberal smart city by “ordinary citizens” elsewhere, namely, in urban inhabitants’ everyday readings of the promotional and performative narrative of the neoliberal smart city.

Details

The Right to the Smart City
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-140-7

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2010

Barbara D. Merino, Alan G. Mayper and Thomas D. Tolleson

The paper aims to use a neoliberal ideology to frame an analysis of how the power of ideas can be used to maintain a failed corporate governance model based on stockholder primacy.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to use a neoliberal ideology to frame an analysis of how the power of ideas can be used to maintain a failed corporate governance model based on stockholder primacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs the concept of corporate hegemony to provide an understanding of the conditioning environment in the USA in the 1990s. It examines the tactics that neoliberals used to gain consensus for their ideology and to skillfully deflect criticism in the face of significant policy failures that have had a global impact.

Findings

The paper highlights the power of ideology to create a desired outcome. It finds that Sarbanes‐Oxley represented a neoliberal victory in that it legitimated shareholder primacy and continued use of a failed corporate governance model.

Practical implications

Sarbanes‐Oxley did not address the systemic problems associated with deregulation; it will not resolve the basic problem of how to prevent corporate malfeasance in an economic environment that rewards arbitrage capitalism, high risk and a focus on short‐term profits.

Originality/value

If shareholder primacy weakens accountability, as the paper suggests, then accounting researchers need to develop models that focus on deregulation rather than on regulatory capture and the use of state power to promote private interests. Accounting academics need to assume the role of public intellectuals and to reject Milton Friedman's focus on negative freedom as the sole objective of economic activity and examine economic well being in terms of positive freedom.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Cheryl Lehman, Marcia Annisette and Gloria Agyemang

This paper advocates for critical accounting’s contribution to immigration deliberations as part of its agenda for advancing social justice. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper advocates for critical accounting’s contribution to immigration deliberations as part of its agenda for advancing social justice. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate accounting as implicated in immigration policies of three advanced economies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors suggest that neoliberal immigration policies are operationalized through the responsibilization of individuals, corporations and universities. By examining three immigration policies from the USA, Canada and the UK, the paper clarifies how accounting technologies facilitate responsibilization techniques, making immigration governable. Additionally, by employing immigrant narratives as counter accounts, the impacts of immigrant lived experiences can be witnessed.

Findings

Accounting upholds neoliberal principles of life by expanding market mentalities and governance, through technologies of measurement, reports, audits and surveillance. A neoliberal strategy of responsibilization contributes to divesting authority for immigration policy in an attempt to erase the social and moral agency of immigrants, with accounting integral to this process. However the social cannot be eradicated as the work illustrates in the narratives and counter accounts that immigrants create.

Research limitations/implications

The work reveals the illusion of accounting as neutral. As no single story captures the nuances and complexities of immigration practices, further exploration is encouraged.

Originality/value

The work is a unique contribution to the underdeveloped study of immigration in critical accounting. By unmasking accounting’s role and revealing techniques underpinning immigration discourses, enhanced ways of researching immigration are possible.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 July 2014

Mathieu Albert and Wendy McGuire

In this paper, we present and apply a new framework – the Poles of Production for Producers/Poles of Production for Users (PFP/PFU) model – to empirically study how one…

Abstract

In this paper, we present and apply a new framework – the Poles of Production for Producers/Poles of Production for Users (PFP/PFU) model – to empirically study how one particular group of academic scientists has responded to neoliberal changes in science policy and funding in Canada. The data we use are from a qualitative case study of 20 basic health scientists affiliated with a research-intensive university in a large Canadian city. We use the PFP/PFU model to explore the symbolic strategies (the vision of scientific quality) and practical strategies (the acquisition of funding and production of knowledge outputs) scientists adopt to maintain or advance their own position of power in the scientific field. We also compare similarities and differences among scientists trained before and after the rise of neoliberal policy. The PFP/PFU model allows us to see how these individual strategies cumulatively contribute to the construction of dominant and alternate modes of knowledge production. We argue that the alignments and misalignments between quality vision and practice that scientists in this study experienced reflect the symbolic struggles that are occurring among scientists, and between the scientific and political field, over two competing logics and reward systems (PFP/PFU).

Details

Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-668-2

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

C. F. Abel and Karen Kunz

This chapter explores the challenges presented to public organizations by neoliberal thinking and the acceptance of the neoliberal capitalist agenda. Demonstrably, severe…

Abstract

This chapter explores the challenges presented to public organizations by neoliberal thinking and the acceptance of the neoliberal capitalist agenda. Demonstrably, severe economic, political, and social dislocations are the result. Nevertheless, neoliberal influence remains and intensifies. We argue that this counterintuitive result is not grounded in either instrumental or theoretical merit but in the creation and dissemination of certain identifiable memes. The chapter proceeds with a critical examination of current neoliberal memes, an appraisal of their impact on government, society and economics, and the derivation of alternative memes from a Smithian perspective on political economy. Based on this critique and the derived memes, the chapter offers suggestions for a pragmatic cultural and administrative praxis that promise not only to moderate the influence of neoliberal memes and to mitigate tendencies for the propagation of new disadvantageous memeplexes, but also to avert the problems associated with the traditional distrust of government agencies and their top-down, disengaged, technical, and expert-driven solutions.

Details

From Austerity to Abundance?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-465-1

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2015

Jonathan Murphy and Hugh Willmott

The paper adopts an organizational perspective to explore the conditions of possibility of the recent re-emergence of overt class-based discourse on one hand, epitomized…

Abstract

The paper adopts an organizational perspective to explore the conditions of possibility of the recent re-emergence of overt class-based discourse on one hand, epitomized by the ‘We are the 99%’ movement, and the rise on the other hand of a populist, nativist and sometimes overtly fascist right. It is argued that these phenomena, reflecting the increasingly crisis-prone character of global capitalism, the growing gap between rich and poor and a generalized sense of insecurity, are rooted in the dismantling of socially embedded organizations through processes often described as ‘financialization’, driven by the taken-for-granted dominance of neoliberal ideology. The paper explores the rise to dominance of the neoliberal ‘thought style’ and its inherent logic in underpinning the dismantling and restructuring of capitalist organization. Its focus is upon transnational value chain capitalism which has rebalanced power relations in favour of a small elite that is able to operate and realize wealth in ways that defy and often succeed in escaping the regulation of nation states.

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