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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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4. Considering commensurability


It is time to explicate what I have so far presupposed more implicitly, namely that it is both theoretically sound and fruitful to connect studies of governmentality and ethnomethodology. Thus, this chapter is not merely the last thread of the three-stringed strand that makes up the theoretical argument of the book; it is the thread that illuminates how the threads can in fact be seen as one interdependent strand.

In the first thread I introduced and discussed studies of governmentality, focusing on their sensitivity to current forms of governing, especially contemporary governmentalities in which power and freedom cooperate through the notion of the conduct of conduct. However, I also pointed out that such studies may have an inherent tendency to end up presupposing and homogenising its findings, treating current liberal governmentality as a naturalised end point rather than as a contingent and unstable, continually contested accomplishment. I observed that even though it is often pointed out that an inevitable aspect of carrying out studies of governmentality is an investigation of the hows at the molecular level, recommendations of how to do so are few and studies that actually follow the ambition through are to my knowledge non-existing. Lastly, I suggested that the lack of an observable attention to the subtleties at the molecular level might be related to the failure to acknowledge that governing is inevitably co-constituted by resistance.

Considering these insufficiencies of studies of governmentality, the second thread was motivated by the ambition...

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