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Accounting for state intervention: the social histories of “beneficiaries”

Krause, Monika (2010) Accounting for state intervention: the social histories of “beneficiaries”. Qualitative Sociology, 33 (4). pp. 533-547. ISSN 0162-0436

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11133-010-9165-x


How does the state imagine the people? In what ways does it come to know the targets of its policies? This paper examines the transformation of the state through a focus on the visions implied in tools and practices of results-based management in state bureaucracies. When scholars have discussed the state’s vision or imagination they have often critically examined how the state constructs aggregates of the population as a whole. But an emphasis on or critique of aggregation can only be the beginning of understanding the multiple and sometimes contradictory ways in which people are imagined in governance today. Results-based management has created a new way in which the state imagines people. In some policy arenas citizens have been turned into “beneficiaries” through the practices of state managers. Beneficiaries differ from citizen in a number of ways: Citizens are thought to benefit from policies with broad goals; beneficiaries are shown to benefit from specific interventions. Citizens are owed service; beneficiaries are selected for intervention if it suits specific funding priorities. Citizens are the origins of politics and the end of policies; beneficiaries are a means to an organization’s success.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 15:21
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2021 23:17

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