Accounting and the 'Art of Government': Margaret of Austria in Abruzzo (1539-86)
This paper analyses the accounting, accountability and disciplinary practices triggered by the Ordinances of 1571 in the feudal State of Abruzzo, whose sovereign was Margaret of Austria, daughter of Emperor Charles V. In a scenario stimulated by the ascent of mercantilist discourse and police schemes, new 'technologies of government' were forged to optimize the State's collection of receipts and to minimize fraud, rendering public officers accountable and their activities visible and controllable 'at a distance'. Using the 'governmentality' framework, this paper analyses the Ordinances that disciplined the activities of the primary finance/accounting and police officers in Abruzzo. The paper complements and extends the previous literature by illustrating the wide array of accounting- and non-accounting-based disciplinary techniques enforced by the sovereign in order to shape, align and even seduce the behaviour of officers/functionaries working in the State apparatus, and the general population. The analysis goes beyond the existing literature by unveiling the implementation of the hitherto undisclosed disciplinary double system of gratification-punishment advocated by Foucault, that also involved the population in the 'State control of the mechanisms of discipline'. In a related vein, the accounting system applied displays representational, translational and distributive properties, along with novel incentive schemes.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/REAR20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/REAR20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:667-695. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.