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Congestion

Rationalising Automobility in the Face of Climate Change

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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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7. The negotiation of a transportation strategy

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Whereas Chapter Six shows how the rational, moral order of one’s own transportation conduct is co-constituted by two observably relevant features, namely, on the one hand, biking as a non-obligation and, on the other hand, an indisputable ‘car owner’ category, Chapter Seven points out how the parties to the focus group setting accomplish the contested intersection of the municipal strategy for ‘improving’ citizens’ transportation practices and citizens’ self-administration. Here, I focus on how the parties to the setting utilise the machinery of conversation to negotiate what the municipal strategy aims at and to what extent this makes the participants accountable for conducting their transportation conduct in a specific way. For instance, I demonstrate how the municipal strategy is accomplished with the aim of ‘greening’ citizens’ driving practices and how this call to change one’s conduct is skilfully negotiated, in that the participants ascribe themselves to an ‘elderly’ category, thereby accomplishing their own driving as already being as green as possible. Hence, Chapter Seven shows that in and through the pre-emption of the attempt to conduct their conduct, the participants co-accomplish the governmental strategy that thrives on the success of utilising the participants’ freedom. Hence, following Bröckling et al. (2011: 18), this chapter highlights a performative relation in which governmental strategies and resistance encounter and define each other in the continuous project of governing automobility in the face of climate change. In other words, the starting point of this chapter is the understanding that the relationship between such...

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