Members Login

Call for Papers: Postcolonial Governmentality Workshop

May 21, 2014

25-26th September 2014, University of Bristol

Postcolonial Governmentality: Theory, Sites and Practices

This workshop was inspired by the need for further collaboration between academics to understand how both governmentality and postcolonial approaches are key to understanding contemporary governance.

Drawing on 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. A postcolonial approach to governmentality exposes the (post)colonial logics that reproduce neoliberalism, the role of postcolonial sites and practices in shaping neoliberal governance, and the inequalities embedded within it insofar as its standards of conduct determine which subjects are privileged and 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 (gendered, racialized, sexualized)  ‘others’ as part of its project of improvement.

The theme 'Postcolonial Governmentality: Theory, Sites and Practices' examines how the concept of governmentality adds to our understanding of postcolonialism. In turn, it will look at how governmentality in postcolonial sites contributes to our understanding of global governance. This workshop invites papers from academics and doctoral students whose research illustrates 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 ‘secured’ through the workings of postcolonial governmentality, which may include but are not restricted to those found in tourism, the media, government and social movements.

This workshop, which includes panel presentations and discussions, will bring together academics and doctoral students working with postcolonial governmentality approaches to further unravel its conceptual value and understand how it operates across various contexts. We intend to publish an edited volume/special issue of selected papers from the workshop. 

The keynote speech will be delivered by Vivienne Jabri (King’s College London) and the workshop will conclude with a roundtable, with panelists that include Robbie Shilliam (QMUL), Carl Death (University of Manchester) and Paul Bowman (Cardiff University). 

This workshop is sponsored by the University of Bristol's Gender Research Centre and Global Insecurities Centre and has received additional financial support from Cardiff University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Please apply by 20th July with abstracts of no more than 200 words and a short biography. Full papers will need to be submitted by 10th September. These should be emailed to Terri-Anne Teo and Elisa Wynne-Hughes at and