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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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The Wrong Bin Bag

The Wrong Bin Bag

The Situated Ontology of Mundane Governance

(p.21) 2 The Wrong Bin Bag
Mundane Governance

Steve Woolgar

Daniel Neyland

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores contemporary approaches to governance. It considers corporate governance, Foucauldian approaches to governance, and forms of science and technology governance. The chapter suggests that these approaches neglect the ontological status of people and things. It then explores relations of accountability. Two main kinds of accountability are distinguished. First, there is an understanding of accountability as a mutual, constitutive sense-making action. This contrasts with organizational accountability whereby accountable entities are taken as the basis for assessment. This distinction provides the basis for understanding the production of accountable material and for examining processes through which people and things are called to account, whom or what is held to account, through what means, and with what outcomes. It then continues to explore these through drawing on ideas from science and technology studies on objects and technologies and ontologies, in particular, through exploring the work of Latour.

Keywords:   Corporate governance, neo-Foucauldian governmentality, accountability, science and technology studies, objects, technologies, Latour

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