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Governance and cultural authority

Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
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  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences


This paper is a discussion of the political agency of Cultural Studies within the contemporary conjuncture. It begins by examining critical polemics around culture and postmodernity and moves on to consider Bennett's Foucauldian approach to cultural criticism. Although critical of Bennett's approach, the paper retains the Foucauldian notion of governmentality as the explanation of governance as a form of rule. The relevance of governance to cultural studies is shown through the argument that the political agency of cultural studies rests on an administrative structure that can no longer be verified empirically or conceptually. The argument proceeds by proposing that the liquidation of this political agency has been caused by the cultural agency of postmodernity, to which administrative and political authority is subordinate. Governance is the political expression of this state of affairs. After outlining the general features of governance the paper concludes with a discussion of how the political agency of culture is expressed through governance.

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