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Accounting and Biopolitics: An Italian Perspective

Bigoni, Michele and Funnell, Warwick .N. (2024) Accounting and Biopolitics: An Italian Perspective. In: Vollmer, H., ed. Handbook of Accounting in Society. Edward Elgar, pp. 387-399. E-ISBN 978-1-80392-199-0. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:105818)

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The chapter investigates the contributions of accounting to biopolitics, the exercise of power over life. Drawing upon Foucault’s ideas on biopower, Agamben’s understanding of the functioning of biopolitics has risen to particular prominence. Unlike Foucault, Agamben does not merely see the ultimate goal of biopower as that of producing life, but stresses its negative consequences by mobilising his concepts of state of exception and bare life. The ways in which biopower is used to create states of exception and reduce human beings to bare life and the related contributions of accounting technologies will be illustrated by means of two Italian examples. The management of the Fossoli concentration camp under the Fascist regime and the recent intervention by the Italian government in the COVID-19 pandemics show how accounting can become a potent tool in the exercise of biopower, one which has significant effects on the way in which people conduct themselves.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: accounting; Agamben; bare life; biopolitics; state of exception; power
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Accounting and Finance
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Michele Bigoni
Date Deposited: 02 May 2024 10:10 UTC
Last Modified: 03 May 2024 08:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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