Governing Affects: Neoliberalism, Neo-Bureaucracies, and Service Work, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Governing Affects

Neoliberalism, Neo-Bureaucracies, and Service Work, 1st Edition

By Otto Penz, Birgit Sauer


178 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815380740
pub: 2019-12-09
SAVE ~$31.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351212434
pub: 2019-12-06
from $23.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


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.

Table of Contents

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.

About the Authors

Otto Penz is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Vienna. His research interests include political sociology and sociology of the body. He is the author of numerous books, one recently with Birgit Sauer: Affektives Kapital: Die Ökonomisierung der Gefühle im Arbeitsleben, 2016.

Birgit Sauer is a Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science, University of Vienna. Her research interests include gender and politics, gender, right-wing populism, and affect. One of her recent publications is the edited volume, with Mojca Pajnik: Populism and the Web: Communicative Practices of Parties and Movements in Europe, 2017.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Sociology of Emotions

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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General