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Rationalising Automobility in the Face of Climate Change


Laura Bang Lindegaard

The book investigates the negotiation of governmental rationalities of car-dependent life in the face of climate change. It appears that current forms of governing are bound up with a specific utilisation of the freedom of the governed. Accordingly, the book demonstrates how the governing of automobility unfolds as people account for and, hence, conduct their transportation practices. In this way, it unravels how villagers in a small Danish village negotiate a municipal strategy and conduct their transportation practices in ways that merely sustain the villagers’ already maintained car-dependent life forms.
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2. Studies of governmentality


The present chapter comprises four sections. The first one concerns selected areas of Foucault’s work, focusing on Foucault’s work on the notion of governmentality. The remaining sections concern current studies of governmentality and depict a line of research which is of particular relevance in this context. The first, and lengthiest of these sections, concerns Rose’s work on the powers of freedom. This is no coincidence but should reflect the fact that Rose’s work represents the backbone of my approach to governmentality. By focusing on how recent forms of governing are connected to a particular way of utilising freedom as being itself a set of powers, Rose founds the understanding that runs through this book, namely that current forms of governing are co-constituted by certain mentalities or rationalities of power that are continuously negotiated in discursive interaction. However, whereas Rose represents the backdrop of the approach, I have found it useful to broaden the scope and draw on the work of other scholars to clarify some of Rose’s points which are of specific relevance to my project. Hence, in the third section I draw on Dean in the aim to connect more clearly the notions of morality, mentalities of government and regimes of practices. Specifically, Dean explicates what Rose touches upon, namely that the specific notion of government implies that rationality is closely related to morality because government becomes a matter of rational accountability of practices concerned with ‘conducting the conduct’ of others and practices concerned with conducting one’s...

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