Governing Affects explores the neoliberal transformation of state governance in Europe towards affective forms of dominance exercised by customer-oriented neo-bureaucracies and public service providers.
By investigating the rise of affective labour in contemporary European service societies and the conversion of state administrations into business-like public services, the authors trace the transformative power of neoliberal political thought as it is put into practice. The book examines new affective modes of subjectivation and activation of public employees, as well as their embodiment of affective requirements, to successfully guide and advise citizens. Neoliberalism induces a double agency in neo-bureaucrats: entrepreneurialism is coupled with affective skills for the purpose of governing clients in their own best interests. These competences are unevenly distributed between the genders, as their affective dispositions differ historically. Drawing on the theoretical concepts of Foucault and Bourdieu, the book offers innovative insights into recent processes of state transformation, affective subjectivation, and changes in labour relations.
By combining theory building on governance with empirical research in key areas of state power, the book will be of interest to scholars and researchers in a broad range of disciplines, including political science, political sociology, and critical governance studies.
Introduction: governing affects. 1 On feeling, emotion, and affect: clarifying the concepts in a broad research field. 2 Affective governance, affective governmentality, and affective capital: a theoretical perspective on the transformation of work, governance, and the state. 3 Neoliberal affective transformation of key social fields. 4 Affective labour: neoliberal transformations of paid labour and bureaucratic work. 5 Neoliberal affective governmentality: empirical evidence. Conclusions.
The sociology of emotions has demonstrated the fundamental and pervasive relevance of emotions to all aspects of social life. It is not merely another specialized sub-discipline; rather it aims to reconfigure bases of mainstream sociology. This book series will not only be of interest for specialists in emotions but to sociology at large. It will be a locus for developing enhanced understandings of core problems of sociology, such as power and politics, social interactions and everyday life, macro-micro binaries, social institutions, gender regimes, global social transformations, the state, inequality and social exclusion, identities, bodies and much more.