Assessment of Need as a technology of government in Ireland’s Disability Act 2005
in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
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This chapter explores the Assessment of Need (AoN) process as a governmental technology which literally brings into being a new classification of people with disabilities and their assessed needs as governable entities. Governmentality literature has provided a fruitful hunting ground in terms of finding conceptual tools to analyse the ways in which states problematise and govern 'the wealth, health and happiness of populations'. Ireland has witnessed significant developments in the domain of disability policy and legislation. In a declared commitment to furthering the participation of people with disabilities in society, the government published a National Disability Strategy in 2004, the cornerstone of which was the passing of the Disability Act 2005. The chapter explores the spaces in-between the rationalities of particular policy programmes on the one hand, and the end point of many Foucauldian studies, namely the creation of self-governing subjects, on the other.

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