Governing by Affect.
Subjectivity and control in times of post-industrial economy.

Workshop, 22–24 June, 2017

Collaborative Research Center
SFB 1171 “Affective Societies”
Freie Universität Berlin

In our networked societies, the ‘social’ and the ‘affective’ are being discovered as central to governing individual behavior. New instruments in marketing, corporate governance, politics and public administration address the individual less as a rationally deliberating, but as a socially and affectively co-dependent actor. Media interfaces are set up to gain and capitalize real-time knowledge of individuals’ affective states and social ties. Behavior is modulated by techniques such as ‘nudging’, social marketing and affective designs – in modern Human Resource Management, on social media platforms, in our ‘smart cities’. Together with the widespread adoption of Big Data technologies, these developments amount to a paradigm shift in governance that is yet to be understood by critical social and political philosophy. Based on a range of interdisciplinary contributions, our workshop will discuss this complex field of phenomena, mapping the challenges of critical social theory in the age of ‘affective societies’.

For more details please see our exposé [PDF].