Foucault News

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

Rana, T., Lowe, A., Azam, M.S.
Green governmentality and climate change risk management: the case of a regulatory reform in Bangladesh (2022) Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-05-2021-5286

This study examines green investment reforms carried out in Bangladesh. The reform process curated significant changes by promoting green investment and fostering the adoption of risk management (RM) rationalities. This study’s focus is on revealing changes in behaviour and explaining how RM can act as an effective generator of climate change mitigation practices.

Design/methodology/approach: Building on Foucault’s concept of governmentality, the authors apply a “green governmentality” interpretive lens to analyse interviews and documentary evidence, adopting a qualitative case study approach. The authors explore how green governmentality generates RM rationalities and techniques to induce policies and practices within banks and financial institutions (FIs) for climate change mitigation purposes.

Findings: The findings provide valuable insights into the reform process and influence of RM rationalities in the context of environmental concerns. The authors find that the reforms and creation of RM rationalities affect the management of climate mitigation practices within banks and FIs and identify the processes through which the RM techniques are transformed as climate concerns are emphasised. The authors illustrate green governmentality as persuasive strategies, which have generated specific ways of seeing climate change reality and new ways of inserting RM into organisational activities, through the green governmentality effects they created. These reforms made climate change actionable and governable through the production of RM rationalities, supported by accounting conceptualisations and processes.

Research limitations/implications: The insights from this study can assist with how we act upon questions of climate change from an RM perspective. Governments, policymakers and regulators who develop climate change-related laws, regulations and policies can draw on these insights to help foster green governmentality for climate change mitigation actions informed by RM practices. Originality/value: This study offers insights into how climate change is not simply a biophysical reality but a site of power-knowledge dynamics where RM rationalities are constructed, and accounting processes are transformed. The authors show the application of RM and accounting efforts to change investment practices and how changes were encouraged and promoted by using regulation as a persuasive force on knowledgeable subjects rather than a repressive or oppressive power. The analytic power of green governmentality can be applied to increase understanding of how RM rationality contribute to the creation of useful conceptualisations of climate change and provide insights into how organisations respond to green governmentality. © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Author Keywords
Accounting for climate change; Climate change; Green governmentality; Green investment; Regulatory reform; Risk management

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