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Quantification devices and political or social philosophy: thoughts inspired by the French State accounting reform

Instrumente der Quantifizierung und die politische oder soziale Philosophie: Gedanken, die durch die Reform des französischen staatlichen Rechnungswesens inspiriert wurden
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Eyraud, Corine


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Abstract Our various studies in the sociology of quantification have convinced us that it is possible to look at social or political philosophies and seemingly technical tools at the same time, considering them as a totality. The works of Alain Desrosières have also demonstrated this. But our recent work on the French State accounting reform has shown that the new accounting system can be used in many different ways, for very different, and even divergent purposes. There seems to be no unequivocal link between a kind of quantification device and a specific social philosophy. This article aims to reconsider the nature and conditions of this link, on the basis of our recent work on state accounting reform.
Keywords France; accounting; reform; New Public Management; public administration; rendering of accounts; economic efficiency; cost-benefit analysis; neoliberalism; public enterprise; public private partnership; quantification; political philosophy; social philosophy; dispositif; political decision; decision making
Classification Public Finance; Administrative Science; Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science
Free Keywords sociology of quantification; sociology of accounting; new public management
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 178-195
Journal Historical Social Research, 41 (2016) 2
Issue topic Conventions and quantification - transdisciplinary perspectives on statistics and classifications
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works