Objects and subjects of risk: A governmentality approach to education governance

Wilkins, Andrew and Gobby, Brad. 2022. Objects and subjects of risk: A governmentality approach to education governance. Globalisation, Societies and Education, ISSN 1476-7724 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Across the globe school autonomy reforms have been criticised for opening up public assets to various dangers or risks, from misappropriation of public monies by private sponsors to secretive governance structures maintained by homophilic groups. While these risks are not the exclusive product of school autonomy reforms, they are an endemic feature of the conditions made possible by these reforms, namely ‘depoliticisation’, ‘corporatisation’, ‘endogenous privatisation’, and ‘disintermediation’. In response international organisations and national governments have called for improved accountability amid fears of corruption and governance failure. In this paper we take a fresh look at the existing literature on school autonomy through a unique focus on risk as a rationality of government. Specifically, we adopt a governmentality perspective of school autonomy reforms in England and Australia to capture the significance of risk to recalibrations of education governance.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Risk; governance; governmentality; modernisation; professionalisation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


6 August 2022Accepted
18 August 2022Published Online

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Date Deposited:

16 Aug 2022 09:25

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2022 08:39

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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