?What about the box?? Some thoughts on the possibility of ?corruption prevention?, and of ?the disciplined and ethical subject?
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AbstractAccepting the call to treat the ?toolbox? and not the ?tools? as central to doing Foucauldian analysis (Paltrinieri, 2012), this paper draws on Foucault's characterisation of his project as ?a critical history of thought? (Florence, 1994) where ?thought is understood as the very form of action? (Foucault, 1987a). Therewith the paper seeks to develop an analysis of corruption and corruption prevention among elites (Neu et al, 2015) in two ways. First it adopts Foucault's analysis of ?illegalism? in Discipline and Punish (1977: 82ff), wherein corruption ceases to be a negative?the ?unlawful? counterposed to ?law? as positive?as law itself becomes destabilised, framed by different forms of illegalism: ?illegalisms of property? for the poor leading to imprisonment, ?illegalisms of rights? for the powerful which go unchallenged. It suggests that elite corruption now supplements its use of the latter illegalisms through recourse to expert discourses of ?hyper-legalism?, increasingly entailing a ?skilful accounting? (Neu et al, 2015). Second, Neu et al propose that corruption's prevention may be effected by a modern Foucauldian ?ethical and disciplined subject?. However Foucault's analysis of modern self-formation in The Birth of Biopolitics (2008: 219ff) suggests this may prove problematic. The Human Capitalist subject is there an ?abilities machine? and ?entrepreneur of one's self?. As ?abilities machine? it is ?disciplined?, forming itself within the ?truth games? of today's ?double disciplinarity?, sc. involving self-engagement with both disciplinary conduct and disciplinary expertise. As ?self-entrepreneur? it may also, formally, be ?ethical? (cf. Dilts, 2011), based on Foucault's own classification of the aspects of that relation (Foucault, 1987b). But substantively its ?ethicality? may entail ploys of hyper-legalism and skilful accounting, leading to corruption's continuance as well.
Hoskin, K (2015) '?What about the box?? Some thoughts on the possibility of ?corruption prevention?, and of ?the disciplined and ethical subject?' Critical Perspectives on Accounting. ISSN 1045-2354