If cultures are always in the making, this book catches one kind of culture on the make. Academics will be familiar with audit in the form of research and teaching assessments - they may not be aware how pervasive practices of 'accountability' are or of the diversity of political regimes under which they flourish. Twelve social anthropologists from across Europe and the Commonwealth chart an influential and controversial cultural phenomenon. Through accountability the financial and the moral meet in the twinned precepts of economic efficiency and ethical practices. Audit practices have direct consequences, and in the view of many dire ones, for intellectual production.Yet audit is almost impossible to critique in principle - after all, it advances values that academics generally hold dear, such as responsibility, openness of enquiry and widening of access. Audit Cultures therefore provides an excellent opening for future debate on the 'culture' of management and accountability. It will be an essential resource for students of social anthropology and management.
Marilyn Strathern, Richard Harper, Cris Shore, Susan Wright, Eleanor Rimoldi, Maryon McDonald, Peter Pels, Ananta Giri, Vassos Argyrou, Vered Amit, Thomas Fillitz, Dimitra Gefou-Madianou
Marilyn Strathern is Professor of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University and Mistress of Girton College.