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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 498746
Title The Material practices of quantification: Measuring ‘deprivation’ in the Amsterdam Neighbourhood Policy
Author(s) Wilde, Mandy de; Franssen, Thomas
Source Critical Social Policy 36 (2016)4. - ISSN 0261-0183 - p. 489 - 510.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018316637138
Department(s) Environmental Policy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) actor-network theory - evaluation - governmentality - quantification - social policy
Abstract The use of indicators and indexes in social policy, as part of evidence-based policy, is understood by governmentality scholars as ‘techniques of governance’. However, we know very little about how the process of quantification is enacted in the material practices that constitute social policy itself. In this article we focus on a particular quantified object: the ‘Normal Amsterdam Level’ (NAP), used in an Amsterdam Neighbourhood Policy programme. We follow the NAP from its birth, to its life and its afterlife. We show that the qualification ‘deprived’ calls forth a whole set of problematic arrangements which are lost in a process of quantification. We understand the NAP as a generative device that actively assembles and arranges the world. These assemblages are rendered ‘hard’ through semiotic, statistical and visual techniques that produce facts about targeted neighbourhoods in relation to a city-wide average, thus serving as evidence and legitimisation for policy interventions.
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