The freelance project manager as an agent of governmentality: evidence from a UK local authority

Ewan Mackenzie, Edward Barratt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Against the background of the era of economic austerity, this chapter presents case study evidence showing how efforts to promote project management at a United Kingdom (UK) local authority rely on the work of freelance consultants. Inspired by Foucauldian scholarship, we conceive the expertise of project management as a technology of governmental power, commenting on the practices and identities of the consultants. We show them to be advocates of their own distinctive understandings and ways of enacting project expertise, while also showing how certain forms of tactical yet limited “resistance” are defined by the key targets of their intervention: local government workers. The broader implications and dangers of project management for democracy in local government in the UK are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Projectification of the Public Sector
EditorsDamian Hodgson, Mats Fred, Simon Bailey, Patrik Hall
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781315098586
ISBN (Print)9780367183332, 9781138298545
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Critical Studies in Public Management


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