Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Kantola, A., Seeck, H., Mannevuo, M. Affect in governmentality: Top executives managing the affective milieu of market liberalisation
(2019) Organization, . Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1177/1350508418821002

Abstract
This article explores the role of affect in governmentality and develops the concept of the ‘affective milieu’ to better understand liberal forms of managerial control in market environments. Taking Foucault’s writings on consent, security and technologies of self as a vantage point, we suggest that the regimes of governmentality are both rational and affective milieus and propose that the Spinozan–Deleuzian affect theory provides an entry point for exploring how regimes of governmentality operate as affective milieus. The Spinozan–Deleuzian affect theory helps in understanding affective complexities and attempts to create affective alliances in governmentality. Elucidating this point, we explore how top executives at globally operating paper and metal companies entered a new affective milieu when going through market liberalisation. The affective milieu oscillates between the dangers and promises of the market. Using the notion of priming, we analyse how the top executives use the affective threats and promises of the opening markets and how they attempted to develop managerial techniques to incite and orient employees in the new milieu. © The Author(s) 2019.

Author Keywords
Affect; affective milieu; Deleuze; executives; Finland; Foucault; governmentality; management; priming; Spinoza

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