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On Bureaucratic Formalization: The Reality-Like Fiction of Neoliberal Abstractions

Abstract : This chapter aims to shift the glance from a very peculiar feature—both fundamental and under-studied—of neoliberalism: its bureaucratic dimension. I have been able to pursue this way by crossing Michel Foucault’s analysis of neoliberalism with the work of Max Weber on bureaucracy, while drawing on Weber’s methodological approach. This approach enables me to shed a new light on a particular dimension of neoliberalism, which Michel Foucault seems to have slightly neglected in his work: the specific process of abstraction every act of formalization implies. This chapter offers an interpretation and a problematization of our contemporary situation in which the neoliberal narrative—and its abstractions—transforms the relation to reality, to the world, and to us, and installs its own fiction(s) that play(s) a fundamental role in perpetuating its own criteria and formal procedures as a mode of government.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 4:38:35 AM
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Béatrice Hibou. On Bureaucratic Formalization: The Reality-Like Fiction of Neoliberal Abstractions. Philippe Bonditti; Didier Bigo; Frédéric Gros. Foucault and the Modern International. Silences and Legacies for the Study of World Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.203 - 218, 2017, 9781349950980. ⟨hal-03394097⟩

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