We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Cultural political economy, the knowledge-based...
View graph of relations

« Back

Cultural political economy, the knowledge-based economy, and the state.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date2005
Host publicationThe Technological Economy
EditorsAndrew Barry, Don Slater
Place of publicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)0415336066
Original languageEnglish


This chapter explores the interconnected roles of discourse and governance in constituting the knowledge-based economy in response to the alleged crisis of Atlantic Fordism. It interprets the globalizing knowledge-based economy (KBE) as an increasingly hegemonic meta-object of governance (and, indeed, meta-governance) that involves a complex, heterogeneous, and variable assemblage of social relations, which are articulated to a distinctive set of subjectivities and mediated through material objects and social institutions. It also traces the rise of the KBE as a provisional, partial, and unstable product of distinctive discourses and material practices. It should be emphasized at once that these claims do not imply that capitalism is always characterized by such hegemonic meta-objects of (meta-)governance nor that the latter have some predetermined lifespan (let alone a predetermined life-course) that coincides with some preordained logic of capital. Instead the approach developed here is precisely concerned with what I have elsewhere termed the �contingent necessity� of durable institutional orders and with what actor-network theorists have elsewhere described as the problem of how Leviathan (and, by extension, other institutional ensembles) get �screwed down� and actors are enrolled behind them (Jessop 1982; Callon and Latour 1981; Callon and Law 1982).