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Competing Responsibilities: Moving Beyond Neoliberal Responsibilisation

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Ideas of responsibility pervade social life, underpinning forms of governance, subjectivities, and collective relations. Inspired by current analyses of neoliberal projects of ‘responsibilisation’, this paper examines modes of responsibility that extend, challenge, or co-exist with neoliberal ideals. Our aim is twofold: first, we wish to broaden current scholarly understandings of how neoliberal ‘responsible’ subjects are nested within multiple frames of dependencies, reciprocities, and obligations. Secondly, we articulate a framework for conceptualising responsibility that places responsibilisation alongside relations of care and social contract ideologies—three modes of inter-relationship that we see as underlying the ‘competing responsibilities’ inherent in contemporary social life.
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Keywords: Care; Neoliberalism; Responsibilisation; Responsibility; Social Contract

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 3, 2014

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