By Paul Henman, Menno Fenger
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Additional info for Administering welfare reform: International transformations in welfare governance
Dean and B. Hindess (eds) Governing, Australia, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, pp 87-107. Dean, M. (1999) Governmentality, London: Sage Publications. Dean, M. (2002a) ‘Powers of life and death beyond governmentality’, Cultural Values, vol 6, no 1-2, pp 119-38. Dean, M. (2002b) ‘Liberal government and authoritarianism’, Economy and Society, vol 31, no 1, pp 37-61. Dean, M. and Hindess, B. (eds) (1998) Governing Australia, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Dearman, P. (2005) ‘Computer ised infor mation systems and professional autonomy: the record of social work’, PhD thesis, Monash University.
Further more, computer technologies mesh with governmental rationalities to intensify the surveillance of welfare agencies and staff – through the automatic recording and analysis of performance indicators (Adler and Henman, 2001) – and of welfare subjects (Henman, 2004). Concomitant with risk discourses, to which they give rise, such electronic apparatuses also provide the means to think about, implement and intensify targeted forms of governing welfare (Henman, 2004, 2005). It is because of the key constitutive role of electronic ICTs in welfare practices, that a governmentality of welfare reform must examine the governmental practices embodied in and promulgated by such technology to observe both the micro-politics of power and the ways in which such electronic power is enmeshed with (and even in tension with) dominant political rationalities of welfare reform (Henman and Adler, 2003; Henman and Dean, 2004; Dearman, 2005).
For example, how does the shift in language from client and citizenship to consumer, customer and taxpayer reconstitute the nature of welfare power relations? A governmentality of welfare reform would also give attention to the language of ‘risk’ as a new organising concept for thinking about 27 Administering welfare reform social welfare policy. In particular, it would show that with the new focus on statistical probabilities and possible futures, ‘need’ has been displaced by ‘risk’, and policy naturally becomes targeted (O’Malley, 1992; Ericson and Haggerty, 1997; Kemshall, 2002; Henman, 2004).