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Call for Papers: Postcolonial Governmentality Panel for the BISA Annual Conference

November 5, 2013

Dublin, Ireland 18th - 20th June 2014

This panel will examine how both governmentality and postcolonial approaches  contribute to our understanding of global governance. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s writings, governmentality offers a conceptual framework to analyse how contemporary governance functions not solely through states but through multiple tactics and means that regulate the conduct of individuals and institutions by setting up standards of behaviour according to neoliberal rationalities. This panel addresses how the concept of governmentality adds to our understanding of postcolonialism. In turn, it will look at how governmentality beyond the Anglophone West contributes to our understanding of global governance. Taking a postcolonial approach to governmentality allows us to recognize the (post)colonial logics that reproduce neoliberalism, to account for the role of postcolonial sites and practices in shaping neoliberal governance, and for the inequalities embedded within it insofar as its standards of conduct determine which subjects are privileged and which excluded. In particular, postcolonial perspectives show how neoliberal governance can be both productive and repressive, functioning to impose a fixed code of conduct and to objectify ‘others’ as part of its project of improvement.

This panel invites papers that illustrate how postcolonial approaches and sites are valuable to understanding the practices of global governance.  Papers should take a context-driven approach that considers how various practices function as technologies of neoliberal governance, based on articulations within global and local interpretations. Of particular interest are subjects, practices and relations of inclusion and exclusion that are reproduced through the workings of postcolonial governmentality, including but not restricted to those such as tourism, liberal modernity and cosmopolitanism.

If you are interested in participating, please submit an abstract of around 200 words to Elisa Wynne-Hughes ( and Terri-Anne Teo ( by 14th November 2013. Below are our paper proposals for this panel.