Accounting, Territorialization and Power

Andrea Mennicken, Peter Miller


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.

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