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Critical Geographies of Childhood and YouthContemporary Policy and Practice$
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Peter Kraftl, John Horton, and Faith Tucker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428462

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428462.001.0001

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Youth policy, neoliberalism and transnational governmentality: a case study of Lesotho and Malawi

Youth policy, neoliberalism and transnational governmentality: a case study of Lesotho and Malawi

(p.43) three Youth policy, neoliberalism and transnational governmentality: a case study of Lesotho and Malawi
Critical Geographies of Childhood and Youth

Nicola Ansell

Flora Hajdu

Elsbeth Robson

Lorraine Van Blerk

Elodie Marandet

Policy Press

Over the past few decades governments worldwide have developed youth policies, encompassing diverse measures to address the problems and potentials of their younger populations. These policies have not emerged independently in diverse countries; intergovernmental organisations and international discourses are involved. In this chapter we use Foucault's concepts of governmentality and biopower to analyse a UNESCO (2004) publication designed to guide youth policy development, and the recently formulated youth policies of Malawi and Lesotho. We examine how youth policies perform as technologies of power, enabling states to exercise control over individuals and populations; and how such technologies produce individual subjects that are valuable to neoliberal economies. More significantly, we investigate whether youth policies represent a form of transnational governmentality through which the agendas of global capital contribute to the production of neoliberal subjects for a globalising market. We show that while this is, to an extent, true, the transnational exercise of power is far from all-encompassing, and we conclude by emphasising the unevenness and incompleteness of the exercise of neoliberalising power through youth policies in these two countries.

Keywords:   Biopower, Governmentality, Lesotho, Malawi, International Organisations, Neoliberalism, Technologies of power, Transnational

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