Corporate Governmentality: Building the Empirical and Theoretical Case

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This paper develops a theoretical framework for interpreting novel (if not unprecedented) corporate involvement in the spaces of health, welfare and prosperity from an adapted Foucauldian perspective. By tracing how corporations’ social interventions have moved beyond corporate social responsibility, we build a theoretical case for interpreting emerging social interventions as exercises in governmentality, or, more specifically, corporate governmentality. We seek to test the utility of this concept empirically by exploring case studies from Coca-Cola and Facebook, who, through different means and modalities, we argue, display a corporate governmentality in specific social intervention programmes. Ultimately, we claim that reading these activities through the lens of governmentality enables us to interpret corporate ambitions as rationalities of the governmental as well as the commercial. Analysis further claims that in identifying the practices of governmentality that exist outside of the genealogies of that state, we can discern novel trends in emerging patterns of 21st-century governmentality, including their territorial form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1048
Number of pages20
JournalTerritory, Politics, Governance
Issue number5
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • governmentality
  • biopolitics
  • Coca-Cola
  • Facebook
  • corporate governmentality
  • corporate responsibility


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