Accounting, Territorialization and Power

  • Andrea Mennicken London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Peter Miller London School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract

This essay aims to introduce readers to the social studies of accounting, attending in particular to the roles and relevance of Foucault’s works for this field. We provide a brief overview of social studies of accounting, discuss recent developments in Foucault oriented accounting scholarship, and position the articles that appear in this special issue in the context of these developments. In the concluding section, we argue that accounting is an inherently territorializing activity. The calculative instruments of accountancy transform not only the possibilities for personhood, they also construct the physical and abstract calculable spaces that individuals inhabit. A focus on territorializing shifts attention to the links between calculating and governing.

Author Biographies

Andrea Mennicken, London School of Economics and Political Science
Andrea Mennicken is Senior Lecturer in Accounting at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a Research Associate of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the LSE. Her research centres on transnational governance regimes; processes of social and economic transition (with a special focus on post-Soviet Russia); the sociology of valuation; and accounting and management reforms in the ‘new’ public sector. She co-edited (with Hendrik Vollmer) Zahlenwerk: Kalkulation, Organisation und Gesellschaft (VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007). Published journal articles include “From Inspection to Auditing: Audit and Markets as Linked Ecologies” (Accounting, Organizations and Society, 2010) and “Connecting Worlds: The Translation of International Auditing Standards into Post-Soviet Russia” (Accounting, Organizations and Society, 2008). For a full list of publications see: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/accounting/facultyAndStaff/profiles/mennicken.htm
Peter Miller, London School of Economics and Political Science
Peter Miller is Professor of Management Accounting at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an Associate of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation. He is an Editor of Accounting, Organizations and Society, and has published in a wide range of accounting, management and sociology journals. He was an editor of I&C (previously Ideology & Consciousness), and co-editor of The Foucault Effect (1991). In 1987, he published Domination and Power, and in 1986 co-edited (with Nikolas Rose) The Power of Psychiatry. More recently, he has co-edited (with the late Anthony Hopwood) Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice (1994), and Accounting, Organizations and Institutions (Oxford University Press, 2009). In 2008, he published (jointly with Nikolas Rose) Governing the Present. A list of selected publications can be found at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/accounting/facultyAndStaff/profiles/miller.htm
Published
2012-04-24
Section
Special Issue on Foucault and Accounting