Changing regimes: governmentality and education policy in post-apartheid South Africa

Pam Christie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This article applies Foucault's notion of governmentality to educational restructuring in post-apartheid South Africa. It argues that the nature of government in a modern state entails engaging with particular practices and domains of knowledge, which themselves constrain the changes that are conceivable and credible. Using Foucault's concepts of ‘conduct of conduct’, regimes of practices and ‘saviors’, the article outlines the approach adopted by the new government in relation to establishing constitutional ground rules and managing the economy. It argues that in its approach to restructuring education, the new government prioritised issues relating to the ‘conduct of conduct’. The article suggests that Foucault's approach of questioning normalisations might yield alternative accounts of the exercise of governmental power in changing education. It ends by proposing that a range of theoretical framings be used in engaging critically with educational change
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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