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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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8. Reconsidering rationalities of automobility

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By connecting up, on the one hand, the theoretical insight that current forms of governing rely on the projection and maintenance of certain governmental rationalities with, on the other hand, an ethnomethodological approach to discourse analysis, this book has investigated the ongoing negotiation of governmental rationalities of car-dependent life. Particularly, the book has provided analyses of focus group interviews with citizens stemming from sessions before and after the execution of a municipal transportation strategy. The analysis of sessions prior to the municipal strategy showed how the governing of automobility is currently unfolded at the molecular level, namely at the level of accounting for and, hence, conducting one’s own transportation conduct. Following the observation that current forms of governing are bound up with a specific utilisation of the freedom of the governed, the analysis demonstrated how biking is rationalised as a free choice and how the obligation to go by car is invoked to account for an already maintained practice. In addition, the analysis of sessions carried out after the strategy showed how the municipal strategy is accomplished as a governmentality strategy, a strategy aimed at governing through the conduct of conduct. However, the analysis showed how this happens through subtle negotiation of the intersection between the municipal attempt to conduct citizens’ conduct and citizens’ conduct of their own conduct. It showed how the municipal strategy is limited either to a rationality in which proper conduct of transportation conduct in the face of climate change is reduced to a...

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