Foucault News

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

Willmott, Kyle. 2020. From self-government to government of the self: Fiscal subjectivity, Indigenous governance and the politics of transparency. Critical Social Policy, 40(3): 471-491.

DOI: 10.1177/0261018319857169

In 2013 the Canadian Parliament passed the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA). Subject to immediate controversy, the law generated legal and political resistance from Indigenous leaders and scholars. The law requires First Nations governments to post audited consolidated financial statements and the salaries of chiefs and councillors online for public consumption. The article traces the use of transparency as a technology of government to examine how disclosure acts as an organizing mechanism of commensuration and moral scrutiny. The article then shows how transparency and disclosure was directed to rescale critique of the state away from the Canadian government, and toward First Nations governments. The article concludes by examining how bureaucrats envisioned how Indigenous peoples would use transparency and disclosure to reform their political conducts into that of a calculating taxpayer citizenship.

audit, settler colonialism, First Nations, governmentality, indigeneity

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