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

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date2005
Host publicationThe Technological Economy
EditorsAndrew Barry, Don Slater
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (print)0415336066
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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).