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Mundane GovernanceOntology and Accountability$
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Steve Woolgar and Daniel Neyland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584741.001.0001

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Mundane Governance

Mundane Governance

A Profound Question of Political Philosophy?

(p.1) 1 Mundane Governance
Mundane Governance

Steve Woolgar

Daniel Neyland

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by describing a ferment of mundane governance, investigating routines, processes, and outcomes of ordinary activities newly opened to moral reclassification, everyday objects, and people that are being reclassified, the focus of indignation, and target of legal action. It draws on a wide range of studies to help make sense of it all: accountability, governmentality, materiality, ontological multiplicity, evidence, space, ordinary and everyday objects, science and technology. Yet delving into these literatures raises more questions than answers. What exactly are accountability relations? How are the ontologies of governance constituted? How do entities, objects, and things become of the world? Is it better to think that people and things are governed in spaces or that spaces are themselves governed into being? What is the import of noticing how objects are constitutively linked with their people? Through what processes are things and people and continuously reclassified?

Keywords:   Omnipresence, significance, morality, irony, exoticism, sensibilities

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