Accounting as a technology of neoliberalism: The accountability role of IPSAS in Nigeria
حسابداری به عنوان فناوری نئولیبرالیسم: نقش پاسخگویی IPSAS در نیجریه-2021
This paper critically examines the implications for Nigeria’s indebtedness of neoliberalism as a neo-colonial dependency concept and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) as a technology of a new form of economic imperialism. As Nigeria’s huge oil and gas revenues continue to be lost to corruption, the country relies on loans from Paris Club countries and International Financial Institutions (IFIs), notably the World Bank. In 1999, when the country changed from military to democratic governance, Nigeria’s debt to the Paris Club and the World Bank was $30bn. With pressure from the Paris Club and the World Bank to repay its debts, the new democratic Nigerian government sought debt forgiveness and rescheduling. Although the World Bank, representing the creditors in debt negotiation, does not go into specific accounting standards to be adopted by debtor nations, the Bank does require Nigeria to embrace neoliberal economic reforms (including public sector reporting framework that produces consistently relevant and reliable financial information – which denotes IPSAS). Despite the partial debt forgiveness, repayment of the balance of the debt and adoption of IPSAS, Nigeria remains endemically corrupt, relies on loans from powerful nations and IFIs, and has again become debt-laden. Contrary to neoliberal assumptions therefore, we provide the evidence that better accounting may not necessarily be a panacea for economic development.
keywords: نئولیبرالیسم | موسسات مالی بین المللی (IFIS) | حسابداری بین المللی بخش دولتی | استانداردها (خود) | فساد | شفافیت و پاسخگویی | Neoliberalism | International Financial Institutions (IFIs) | International Public Sector Accounting | Standards (IPSAS) | Corruption | Transparency and Accountability
The architecture of accounting and the neoliberal betrayal of life
معماری حسابداری و خیانت نئولیبرالی از زندگی-2021
This paper identifies the way in which accounting practices reinforced the increasing influence of the intolerant financial emphasis of the market on the quality of social housing under neoliber- alism when successive British governments gave little importance to the impact of aesthetic and ethical qualities of social housing on the well-being of inhabitants. Social values, most especially safety and beauty, were able to be reinterpreted according to economic logic, thereby denying the need for them to be explicitly considered in any social housing decisions. The study emphasises the way in which the austerity and deregulation agenda of neoliberal policies that had a signif- icant impact on building and fire safety regulations were ultimately justified by financial criteria. The Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 belatedly exposed the way in which the financial and operational visibilities created by accounting practices had become crucial to the successful implementation of the economic logic of the neoliberal agenda and related market priorities of successive British governments, irrespective of the consequences. The paper demonstrates how the Grenfell Tower refurbishment was the apotheosis of neoliberalism; a toxic mix of austerity, outsourcing and deregulation. The focus on value for money in the refurbishment led ultimately to the betrayal of life of the residents.
keywords: حسابداری | برج گرنفل | مسکن اجتماعی | نئولیبرالیسم | فوکو | Accounting | Grenfell Tower | Social housing | Neoliberalism | Foucault
Social movement activists’ conceptions of political action and counter-accounting through a critical dialogic accounting and accountability lens
تصورات فعالان جنبش اجتماعی از کنش سیاسی و مقابله با حسابداری از طریق یک دریچه حسابداری گفتگوی انتقادی و پاسخگویی-2021
In the face of growing disaffection with neoliberalism and corporate social and environmental accounting, critical accounting recognizes the potential of counter-accounting to open spaces for democratic contestation and to advance progressive change. Critical dialogic accounting and accountability (CDAA), for example, views counter-accounting as providing social movements with opportunities to challenge neoliberal hegemony, to mobilize multiple publics and to construct new social realities. However, the democratizing potential of counter-accounting is contested within academia, and social movements’ views of counter-accounting as a politicizing practice are not well understood. We extend CDAA theorizing by elaborating on the value of counter-accounting in advancing democratic struggles against neoliberalism and illustrating how an agonistic lens can be useful in framing social movements’ actions in these struggles. Social movements’ conceptualizations of political action and counter-accounting are empirically investigated through interviews with 25 social movement activists. Based on the interviews and our CDAA lens, we propose possible areas for critical accounting collaborations with social movements as they seek to effect progressive change.
keywords: حسابداری دیجیتالی انتقادی و پاسخگویی | مبنی بر حسابداری | عذاب | جنبش های اجتماعی | نئولیبرالیسم | Critical dialogic accounting and accountability | Counter-accounting | Agonistics | Social movements | Neoliberalism
Mothering in accounting: Feminism, motherhood, and making partnership in accountancy in Germany and the UK
مادران در حسابداری: فمینیسم، مادران، و مشارکت در حسابداری در آلمان و انگلستان-2021
Women remain significantly underrepresented at partnership level in accounting firms. The past three decades witnessed a steady increase in investment and research in gender equality in the profession, but there is a scholarly reluctance to focus specifically on motherhood despite the fact that four in five women will have children in their lifetime and experience inequality and discrimination as a result of their status as mothers. This article shares original empirical data of interviews with 60 female partners in Germany and the UK, focusing specifically on their experiences of motherhood and mothering. Theoretically, this article is framed by O’Reilly’s (2016a) matricentric feminism and Gatrell, Cooper and Kossek’s (2017) Douglasian thesis of the maternal body as a social pollutant at work. In Germany, the accounts frequently juxtaposed the maternal body with professionalism, with mothers expected to work part-time, but part-time working patterns deemed irreconcilable with partnership. Becoming a mother was often experienced as representing a burden to others at work. In the UK, the respondents were concerned with accessing maternity leave and returning to work, with some finding it challenging to make claims on the basis of their status as mothers. Half of the mothers were married to ‘househusbands’, often working like normative fathers, with some noting a lack of ‘choice’ in the matter despite their status and financial independence. In both countries, the unencumbered norm was mostly left unchallenged and the task of managing and hiding one’s care responsibilities left for individual women to work out in private, with the primary beneficiary of this concealment being the firm and its clients. The article demonstrates that we must make space for the study of mothering in accountancy if we want to be serious about tackling gender inequality within the profession.
keywords:جنسیت | مادری | فمینیسم ماتریکس | مشارکت | نئولیبرالیسم | آلمان | Gender | Motherhood | Matricentric feminism | Partnership | Neoliberalism | Germany
Debt, accounting, and the transformation of individuals into financially responsible neoliberal subjects
بدهی، حسابداری، و تبدیل افراد به سوژه های نئولیبرال مسئول مالی-2021
Building on Lazzarato’s (2012, 2015) insights about the importance of debt in governing populations in financialised neoliberal societies, this paper examines the transportation loan provided by Canada to refugees to travel to the country, and the role of the accounting department of the Canadian immigration agency in responsibilising refugees to reimburse this loan. Drawing on official documentation and historical data, and focusing on individuals’ lived experiences and biographies captured through in-depth interviews with refugees, this paper demonstrates that by imposing financial obligations to repay transportation costs, the government, with the help of non-governmental organisations, financialises and ‘responsibilises’ individuals, who develop micro-accounting skills throughout the process. The paper contributes to the accounting literature on responsibilisation in neoliberal societies by showing the way in which debt, and its accompanying accounting practices, leads people to become ‘more financially responsible’, while at the same time defining the very meaning of ‘financial responsibility’. By focusing on individuals’ lived experiences, the paper sheds light on some of the means by which accounting shapes people’s subjectivity and supports the construction of the neoliberal subject. Notably, this paper demonstrates that the vagueness, inaccuracy, or absence of accounting information responsibilises individuals via the emotions that these features generate. Importantly, the paper contributes to recent efforts to investigate the role of accounting in people’s everyday lives, a fruitful way to extend and reinvigorate accounting literature seeking to better understand the increasingly invasive role of accounting in our societies.
keywords: بدهی | رفتارهای مسئول مالی | نئولیبرالیسم | پناهندگان | حکومتی | احساسات | خود کارآفرین | Debt | Financially responsible behaviours | Neoliberalism | Refugees | Governmentality | Emotions | Entrepreneur of the self
Environmental justice in the context of urban green space availability, accessibility, and attractiveness in postsocialist cities
عدالت زیست محیطی در چارچوب در دسترس بودن ، دسترسی و جذابیت فضای سبز شهری در شهرهای پساجتماعی-2020
This article aims to position post socialist cities in Central and Eastern Europe in the broader debate on urban environmental justice. The article crosscuts through all three dimensions of justice (distributive/distributional, procedural/participatory, and interactional/recognition) in the context of urban green and blue space provision. Environmental justice is still an emerging topic in post socialist cities, constrained by market-orientation and neoliberal trends within society, privatization, and the primacy of private interests. The respective situation in post socialist cities provides insights into the international debate on environmental justice, by highlighting some extremes related to neoliberal and populist governments and very rapid processes that lack long-term democratic consensus within societies. The findings of this study are discussed in the context of a post socialist legacy, which includes broad tolerance for inequalities, a lack of solidarity in society, a lack of responsibility for the public interest, and extreme individualization and disregard for social interests. This has gradually led to the corporatization of local authorities and various business–government coalitions. This setting is more likely to favor business models related to the use and management of urban green and blue spaces than the environmental justice discourse.
Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe | Green and blue infrastructure | Transition economies | Environmental planning | Environmental governance | Neoliberalism
“Obviously there is a conflict between confidentiality and what you are required to do by law”: Chilean university faculty and student perspectives on reporting unlawful abortions
"بدیهی است که بین محرمانه بودن و آنچه که شما باید توسط قانون انجام دهید تضاد وجود دارد": دانشکده دانشگاه شیلی و دیدگاه دانشجویان در مورد گزارش سقط جنین غیرقانونی-2020
Background and objectives: While Chile recently decriminalized abortion in cases of rape, lethal fetal anomaly, and to save a womans life, most abortions are still criminalized. We assessed medical and midwifery school faculty and students views on punishing and reporting people involved in unlawful abortion, and their understanding of their obligation to protect patient confidentiality and to report unlawful abortions. Methods: We interviewed 30 medical and midwifery school clinician faculty from seven public, private, secular and Catholic-affiliated universities, all located in the metropolitan region of Santiago, Chile. Medical (n = 239) and midwifery (n = 79) students at these same seven universities completed an online survey. We coded faculty interview transcripts, and analyzed codes related to maintaining patient confidentiality and reporting unlawful abortion. We summarized student views related to reporting and imprisoning people involved in unlawful abortion, and used general estimating equation (GEE) models to identify the factors associated with support for criminalization. Results: Faculty and students generally did not support reporting or imprisoning anyone involved in an unlawful abortion and believed that protecting patient information takes precedence over reporting. Yet, faculty described pressures to report in the public sector and several cases where they or their colleagues were involved in reports. Most students somewhat/strongly agreed (78%) that patient information concerning an unlawful abortion should be kept confidential; 35% strongly/somewhat agreed that a clinician involved in an unlawful surgical abortion should be imprisoned, and 18% agreed that the woman involved should be imprisoned, with students from secular universities being significantly less likely to support reporting and punishing people involved in unlawful abortion, than students from Catholic universities. Discussion: There is a need to clarify clinicians ethical obligations in abortion care, in particular in Catholic universities, so that they can ensure that their patients have access to high quality confidential health care services.
Keywords: Abortion | Confidentiality | Healthcare systems | Higher education | Religion | Neoliberalism | Chile | Latin America
Accounting for crime in the neoliberal world
حسابداری برای جرم و جنایت در جهان نئولیبرالی-2019
This paper examines the recent European public sector accounting reform which introduces controversial calculative practices for the recognition of criminal activities in national accounts. Namely, accounting for unlawful drug production and drug trafficking, and accounting for prostitution. Challenging the presumption of accounting neutrality, this study analyses this “accounting for crime” policy from a semantic and an epistemological view point as a cognitive system of creation of meaning and formation of knowledge. The analysis reveals the polyhedrality of neoliberalism, and the way it exerts its influence on society through its circuitous discursive process of social construction and transfiguration of reality which flows crosswise its multiple dimensions. At the macro level this policy operates as a ‘hegemonic project’: It bonds together the economic and political interests of different ‘historical blocs’, making the implementation of these practices a matter of ‘common sense’. At the micro level this policy functions as an ‘apparatus of governmentality’: It encapsulates the cognition of crime within a panoptic logic of economic rationality, transforming its outcome into a contributory value of a countrys prosperity. In this context, this study outlines the centrality of accounting practice as a pivotal tool of the neoliberal ideology: It permits extending the realm of calculative methodologies to the commodification of human weaknesses, addictions, and sexuality, in a rational process of accounting to balance the supply and demand of sex and drugs, between prostitutes and clients, pushers and addicts.
Keywords: Government accounting | Crime | Accounting neutrality | Ideology | Neoliberalism and accounting | Neoliberal discourse | Hegemony | Governmentality
Event tourism and event imposition: A critical case study from Kangaroo Island, South Australia
گردشگری رویدادی و تحمیل رویداد: یک مطالعه موردی اساسی روی جزیره کانگورو، جنوب استرالیا-2018
Events are increasingly a focus for destination marketing organisations because of the tourists numbers and spending they attract. As a result, an event tourism phenomenon has emerged which seeks to exploit events as tourism assets for growing tourism. Such practices may have significant consequences for local communities. This article offers a case study analysis of the 2011 Kangaroo Island Pro-Surf and Music Festival to illustrate how such dynamics can play out. This event was developed by event tourism authorities without pre-consultation with the impacted community, which led to community opposition. This opposition undermined the events success and future. This work offers a detailed case study that provides some insight into the policy dynamics of the event instigators operating under a neoliberal policy paradigm. This article contributes to efforts to build knowledge resulting from critical deconstructions of political and economic dynamics that shape tourism policy and planning (Dredge & Jamal, 2015).
keywords: Event tourism |Community consultation |Community opposition |Event sustainability |Neoliberalism |Event imposition |Critical deconstruction |Policy and planning
Real estate, banking and war: The construction and reconstructions of Beirut
املاک و مستغلات ، بانکداری و جنگ: ساخت و ساز و بازسازی بیروت-2017
In urban studies scholarship, Beirut is often theorized on the frontiers of sectarian conflict as well as on the frontlines of neoliberalism. Entangling real estate, banking and transnational financial circulations, managed by the Banque du Liban, its political economy was – and still is – swayed by the fortunes of war. According to literature on the political economy of violence, profits are often made in times of conflict, a context appropriate to the civil war and postwar eras, during which the spoils of war enriched the pockets of warlords-turned politicians. Yet as the fighting in Syria spills over the border, encumbering Lebanons long paralyzed politics and straining Beiruts already deteriorated infrastructure, its political economy prospers – if only for a few – not because of violence but in spite of it. Beiruts skyline is covered in construction cranes erecting affluent, if empty, apartments; the banks are infused with deposits invested in the debt of a sovereign bankrupt in ways not simply financial. Both sectors are said to be resilient, a discourse so often repeated that resilience has become the dominant mode by which Beirut is understood. Excavating these discourses, this article presents Beiruts political economy as an assemblage of real estate investment, sovereign debt and emigration, and in so doing theorizes the Banque du Liban as a city builder fusing the political and the economic into an apparatus of transnational investment.
Keywords: Real estate | Sovereign debt | Political economy | Transnational | Hybridity