Accounting, new public management and American politics: theoretical insights into the national performance review
Borrowing from the work of political theorists Sheldon Wolin and William Connolly, this essay seeks to provide additional rationalization for the expansion of accounting within domains like the public sector. We suggest that such an expansion is intimately linked to social and cultural transitions which have led political theorists to not only question modern political theory but to also recognize the political significance of practices like accounting to political theory. We contend that these same transitions also make possible expansions of accounting through NewPublicManagement (NPM) initiatives like the U.S.'s NationalPerformanceReview (NPR). Seen in this way, accounting theory begins to move away from its traditional status as, in Foucault's (1995) terms, a “subjugated” knowledge and to take on a serious intellectual priority within political theory. A primary objective is to provide at least a partial rational-analytic typos useful in understanding the codetermined relationship between accounting and politics.