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Governing Europe through Managerial Professional Civil Society

Open Panel

Abstract

I problematize the argument that the involvement of the civil society in general, and European Non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) in particular, legitimizes and democratizes the EU governance. I propose to study the ENGOs from a rather critical perspective; a Foucaultian analysis on the ''governmentality''. Governmentality as a form of power sheds light on how the political power subjectifies and renders the subjects as both object and subject of government and what kind of subjects it creates. Having conducted a research on the Platform of ENGOs (Social Platform), a Brusells based umbrella network, I do define this the new type of organization as managerial-professional. This analysis concentrates on the symbiotic relation with technologies of performance and constitution of new subjectivity. The Platform, as both the subject and object of governing acts like a performance machine: it has to perform a set of goals, which are planned, carefully calculated, and inscribed into reports. It operates to achieve its contractual obligations via methods of managerialism. The reports, and the very system of reporting and evaluation creates a mechanism of surveillance, and a discipline. Reporting is not just documenting set of outcomes. It shapes the actions, and creates a certain cognitive frame to relate to the social phenomenon: to deal with social, in a certain form of inscribing the methods of objectives and representation of end results.This research draws its observations on Platform''s decision-making structures, working methods, yearly reports, interviews with the staff and techniques of communication.