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Measuring innovation space: Numerical devices as governmental technologies
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4820-278X
2019 (English)In: Territory, Politics, Governance, ISSN 2162-2671, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The context of sub-national regions in Sweden is used to illustrate how rankings and indices operate as part of contemporary governing of space and territory. An empirical study of an index designed to measure the innovative capacity of these regions is presented to illustrate how such numerical devices are invoked as part of policy by providing policy-makers with a means to define reality, guide strategy and legitimize certain actions. Drawing on both the literatures of governmentality and the sociology of quantification, the construction of the index and its deployment into politics are examined with a focus on the performative aspects of mobilizing such technologies in governing. The analysis shows how an instrument intended as a learning tool for regions and regional policy-makers turns into a device through which power operates in the processes of marking, grading and commensuration, in turn reinforcing established orders among the regions. Following from this, it is found that such numerical devices are important governmental technologies that help relay and institute political rationalities. Therefore, they should be considered more carefully in any analysis of discourses of regional development, which is a field permeated by rationalities of innovation and competitiveness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019. p. 1-18
Keywords [en]
competitiveness, governmentality, ranking, regional development, Sweden, territorial restructuring
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-72342DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2019.1601594ISI: 000470353800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-72342DiVA, id: diva2:1321319
Available from: 2019-06-07 Created: 2019-06-07 Last updated: 2019-06-28

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Öjehag-Pettersson, Andreas
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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