Governing the social through ‘social entrepreneurship' : A Foucauldian view of ‘the art of governing' in advanced liberalism
This chapter probes how Foucault's work can contribute to a political understanding of social entrepreneurship. Concretely, building on Foucault's work on the ‘art of governing', social entrepreneurship gets reflected in its relationship to neoliberal governmentality. Conceiving social entrepreneurship as an answer to that little ‘something' which has been kept vacant after the ostensible demise of the welfare system, I suggest that social entrepreneurship defines a ‘programmable reality' in which entrepreneurial modes of self-fashioning become sensible, even mandatory. Delineating how ‘social entrepreneurship' turns the social into a space of competition, individual responsibility and self-organisation by demanding entrepreneurial virtues and behaviours from people who until recently were not envisioned as entrepreneurs, the point is made that the formation of enterprising subjects is anything but an omnipotent and totalitarian process. The chapter hence concludes that studies of neoliberal governmentality need to go alongside qualitative inquiries of actual practices of self-formation, for it is only by studying how governing unfolds on the local level that the struggles and contradictory relationship between power and subjectivity can be grasped.
contribution to scientific community
Social entrepreneurship and enterprise: Concepts in context
Tilde University Press