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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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Why Govern?—Is, Ought, and Actionability in Mundane Governance

Why Govern?—Is, Ought, and Actionability in Mundane Governance

(p.79) 4 Why Govern?—Is, Ought, and Actionability in Mundane Governance
Mundane Governance

Steve Woolgar

Daniel Neyland

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 builds on the analysis of accountability, classification, and ontologically moral constitution of governable people and things, by considering the place of evidence in mundane governance. It focuses on the work of a local authority in constituting evidence of the recycling habits of the local population. Evidence, the ‘facts’ of recycling, cannot be separated from its morality; the move to constitute metrics for the actions of the local population is simultaneously evidential, moral, and actionable. The classification and accountability of waste, assessments of the adequacy of its presentation, and the governance of household actions is always and already a moral matter, and implies what appropriate actions might be taken.

Keywords:   Evidence, is, ought, action-ability, constitution, guillotine

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