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Governmentality, health policy and the place of critical politics

12 Eluska Fernández and Claire Edwards Conclusion: governmentality, health policy and the place of critical politics Introduction Our starting point in gathering together this edited collection was a desire to explore the potential of governmentality-inspired ideas to develop a more nuanced and indeed critical understanding of the construction of healthbased policy in Ireland. Health policy analysis in the Irish state, like much social policy research in general, has often taken its starting point from positivist approaches in social science, echoing Osborne

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
Exploring the introduction of the smoking ban in Ireland

. This chapter also discusses some of the social and political implications of conducting a governmental analysis by drawing attention to the fact that the regulation of smoking became interlinked with social and moral processes, and exposing how some of these processes played a symbolic role in promoting boundaries between different social groups. Governmentality, tobacco control and the self A key element within a Foucauldian understanding of power is that the meaning of government is not seen as necessarily tied to the nation-state. Rather, it is defined as the

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland

neoliberal forms of governance (for example, Prince, Kearns and Craig, 2006; Peedell, 2009; Gallagher, 2012; Barcelos, 2013; Van Houdt and Schinkel, 2013). Methodological framework The concept of governmentality refers to systematic and regulated ways – discursive as well as concrete (usually bureaucratic) practices – in which the state/government exercises and justifies its power (or form of political technology), according to a particular form of rationality (mode of thought or reasoning), so as to control and manage its populace (Lemke, 2002, 2007; Gallagher, 2012

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
Children’s health and biosocial power

2 Kevin Ryan Governing the future: children’s health and biosocial power Introduction When Michel Foucault began to develop the concept of biopolitics, he wrote that ‘a society’s “threshold of modernity” has been reached when the life of the species is wagered on its own political strategies’ (1998: 143). More recently, Giorgio Agamben has shown how this threshold is a zone of indeterminacy at the intersection of zoē, which is ‘bare’ metabolic life, and bios, or life that has been ‘clothed’ or cultivated by language and politics, thus amounting to a ‘form or

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
Open Access (free)
A history of colonial and post-colonial nursing
Editors: Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins

Colonial Caring covers over a century of colonial nursing by nurses from a wide range of countries including: Denmark, Britain, USA, Holland and Italy; with the colonised countries including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Nigeria, India, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and the Danish West Indies. It presents unique perspectives from which to interrogate colonialism and post-colonialism including aspects of race, cultural difference and implications of warfare and politics upon nursing. Viewing nursing’s development under colonial and post-colonial rule reveals different faces of a profession that superficially may appear to be consistent and coherent, yet in reality is constantly reinventing itself. Considering such areas as transnational relationships, class, gender, race and politics, this book aims to present current work in progress within the field, to better understand the complex entanglements in nursing’s development as it was imagined and practised in local imperial, colonial and post-colonial contexts. Taking a chronologically-based structure, early chapters examine nursing in situations of conflict in the post-Crimean period from the Indian Rebellion to the Anglo-Boer War. Recruitment, professionalisation of nursing and of military nursing in particular, are therefore considered before moving deeper into the twentieth century reflecting upon later periods of colonialism in which religion and humanitarianism become more central. Drawing from a wide range of sources from official documents to diaries, memoirs and oral sources, and using a variety of methodologies including qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book represents ground-breaking work.

Introducing the governmentality turn

in Ireland? This edited collection builds on these themes by providing empirical examples of the application of ideas drawn from governmentality studies to health and health policy in Ireland. Drawing on contributions from writers based in the disciplines of social policy, sociology, public health and political science, the book seeks to answer three related questions: (1) How have certain health issues become constructed as ‘problematic’ and in need of intervention in Ireland? (2) Through what strategies, discourses and technologies have health policies and

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
The case of Universal Health Insurance – by competition

characteristic of advanced liberal government. Advanced liberal governments seek to ‘govern without governing 184 Governing neoliberal healthcare agendas society, to govern through regulated choices made by discrete and autonomous actors’ (Rose, 1996: 328; emphasis original). The problems of advanced liberal government can be analysed in terms of their political rationalities – the discursive field to exercise power and their governmental technologies – their programmes and their techniques which give effect to governing (Rose and Miller, 2010). Dean (1999) outlines how

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
The dead body, the individual and the limits of medicine

operation of ‘technologies of power’ must be combined with study of the political rationalities underpinning them. These rationalities are the ways of thinking that make the exercise of power possible. He explains the two sides to the governmentality coin: the term refers to the representations, arguments, justifications and definitions that enable a problem to be recognised and addressed, but also the structuring of the forms of intervention deemed necessary and appropriate. Lemke reminds us that Foucault used the concept to highlight the articulation of power relations

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland

). Taking government beyond the notion of a monolithic, centralised state, a governmental approach involves asking questions such as, Who is governed? How are those who are to be governed known about? To what ends are they to be governed? Through what tactics and techniques does governing take place? (Rose, O’Malley and Valverde, 2006). Rose and Miller’s seminal (1992) paper, ‘Political power beyond the state’, elucidates a series of conceptual tools which facilitate exploration of these questions. Specifically, they point to programmes and technologies of government as a

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland
A governmental analysis

perceived to lack the power to act on behalf of their own interests. In other words, they are intended to help people to help themselves, and they operate according to a specific political rationality. The outcome is that democratic citizens are both the effects and the instruments of liberal governance. Subjectivity is then seen as being both enabled and constrained by the relations of power. In order to govern individuals and utilise their capacity to achieve one’s own objectives, it can be necessary to reformulate commonly understood activities, concepts and ideas. For

in Reframing health and health policy in Ireland