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Responsibilization

Definition

‘Responsibilization’ is a term developed in the governmentality literature to refer to the process whereby subjects are rendered individually responsible for a task which previously would have been the duty of another – usually a state agency – or would not have been recognized as a responsibility at all. The process is strongly associated with neo-liberal political discourses, where it takes on the implication that the subject being responsibilized has avoided this duty or the responsibility has been taken away from them in the welfare state era and managed by an expert or government agency.

Distinctive Features

The term ‘responsibilization’ first appears in the governmentality literature in the mid-1990s where it refers to a neo-liberal strategy associated with the assumption that under the governance of the welfare ...

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