Governance by Numbers

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* Book: Governance by Numbers. The Making of a Legal Model of Allegiance. By Alain Supiot. Hart Publishing, 2017



"The West's cherished dream of social harmony by numbers is today disrupting all our familiar legal frameworks - the state, democracy and law itself. Its scientistic vision shaped both Taylorism and Soviet Planning, and today, with 'globalisation', it is flourishing in the form of governance by numbers. Shunning the goal of governing by just laws, and empowered by the information and communication technologies, governance champions a new normative ideal of attaining measurable objectives. Programmes supplant legislation, and governance displaces government.

However, management by objectives revives forms of law typical of economic vassalage. When a person is no longer protected by a law applying equally to all, the only solution is to pledge allegiance to someone stronger than oneself. Rule by law had already secured the principle of impersonal power, but in taking this principle to extremes, governance by numbers has paradoxically spawned a world ruled by ties of allegiance."

Table Of Contents

Part One: From Ruling by Law to Governance by Numbers

1. In Search of a Machine of Government

2. The Fortunes of an Ideal: Ruling by Law

3. Other Perspectives on Law

4. The Dream of Social Harmony by Numbers

5. The Development of Normative Uses of Quantification

6. The Law Geared to Numbers: From the Gosplan to the Total Market

7. Calculating the Incalculable: The Law and Economics Doctrine

8. The Encroachment of Governance on Law

Part Two: From Governance by Numbers to Ties of Allegiance

9. The Limits of Governance by Numbers

10. The Withering-Away of the State

11. The Return of 'Rule by Men'

12. 'Genuinely Human Work in Humane Conditions' I: From Total Mobilisation to the Crisis of Fordism

13. 'Genuinely Human Work in Humane Conditions' II: From Quantified Exchange to Ties of Allegiance

14. The Structure of Ties of Allegiance