Valverde & O'Malley masterclass - after governmentality: new questions and approaches

Abstract image to brains networked together, communicating

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 16 August 2017


Seminar Room 1.13, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Mariana Valverde, Pat O'Malley



Governmentality, as a mode of analysis, has enjoyed considerable prominence over the past twenty-five years or so. While there was never an orthodoxy about what it entailed, its main characteristic was a focus on the ‘ideal knowledges’ or ‘rationalities’ of how to govern.

Associated concerns involved questions of how issues were rendered into ‘problems’, what preferred state of affairs was envisaged, what techniques and apparatuses were to be deployed in achieving this, and what kinds of subjects were imagined as the targets or products of governing.

In some degree, governmentality analytics eschewed direct engagement in normative projects. However, from early on, there were more or less explicit connections made with newer approaches and concerns such as actor network theory and Deleuzian analyses, plus ongoing legacies from critical theories and frameworks.

As two people long involved in the development of governmentality, Mariana and Pat will discuss how far and in what ways their own work has moved on from, or further developed this framework, and what they may conclude about the current state of governmental analytics. Mariana and Pat provide a few references to work of their own and of colleagues that can be talked about in these respects, and they encourage other attendees to raise their own questions and insights into analysis ‘after governmentality’.

Required readings

  • Gavin J. D. Smith, Pat O’Malley; ‘Driving Politics: Data-driven Governance and Resistance.’ Br J Criminol 2017; 57 (2): 275-298. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azw075

  • A further ‘work in progress’ required reading will be emailed out to registered participants. Please register at this webform and a copy of the draft article will be emailed to you.

Optional reading

  • van Oorschot, I. and Schinkel, W. (2015), ‘The Legal Case File as Border Object: On Self-reference and Other-reference in Criminal Law.’ Journal of Law and Society, 42: 499–527. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6478.2015.00723.x

About the Speakers

Mariana Valverde is Professor of Criminology at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto. Her main research interests are: urban law and governance (historically and in the present), and, at the theoretical level, Foucault, sexuality studies, theories of spatiotemporality, and actor-network theory. She is the author of six sole-authored books, six co-edited collections, about 50 refereed journal articles, and various research reports and popular publications.

Pat O’Malley is Distinguished Honorary Professor at the School of Sociology, College of Arts and Social Science, ANU. His research interests include crime and punishment; accidents, law and insurance; terrorism and crime prevention; the place of excitement and risk-taking in modern life; the politics and technology of urban fire protection; money and criminal justice.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet