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    Reflexive governance and child sexual abuse: liberal welfare rationality and the Cleveland Inquiry

    Ashenden, Samantha (1996) Reflexive governance and child sexual abuse: liberal welfare rationality and the Cleveland Inquiry. Economy and Society 25 (1), pp. 64-88. ISSN 0308-5147.

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    The purpose of this paper is to explore child sexual abuse as a site of contemporary government, exemplifying producivity of the approach to the study of political rationality suggested by Michel Foucault. It gues, firstly, that the government of chil sexual abuse is achieved through a complex of discourwses and practices which are a form of government we can chracterize as liberal welfare rationality, secondly, that the dicourses surrounding and articulating this rationlity are regualated through the constitution and reconstitution of a public/ private distinction and, thirdly, that this distinction is based on the mobilization of a range of expert discourses of science and of law. The paper examines aspects of the Public Inquiry into the Cleveland child sexual abuse case, showing how the Inquiry forms a technique through which government reflects on itself and demonstrating that, in its contemporary form, the ‘government’ of families is achieved through the regulation of a productive relationship between science and law as practical knowledges which the Inquiry mobilizes to re-ground and re-articilate the possibility of liberal child protection practices.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): governmentalilty, state-family relations, science, law
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2017 09:26
    Last Modified: 02 Oct 2017 09:26


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