The Ghostly Workings of Danish Accountability Policies

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This article proposes a framework for thinking about the ghostly, thus arguing that policy can be understood as a landscape of intersecting and colliding temporalities from which arouse curious workings of barely-there forces, spooky energies and vibrating saturations of affective ambivalences. I present an empirical study of a policy agenda of introducing an assessment culture and improving the management of the Danish public school. I explore how all the routines and habits deemed outdated and sought annihilated by a new policy paradigm continue to haunt head teachers as seething presence of lurking resistance towards the policy aims as well as insidious doubts. Thinking about the ghostly contributes to studies of education policy by locating the reality of power in the mundane everyday doings and experiences of educational practitioners and insisting on the very tangled way people sense and intuit the complexities of contemporary forms of power.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)466-481
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Embedded policy
  • Head teachers
  • Accountability
  • Everyday life
  • Scholarly imagination

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