Title: Narcissistic and dangerous 'alphas': 'sovereign individuals' and the problem of cultivating the 'civic' in cyberspace

Authors: Kym Thorne

Addresses: The School of Accounting and Information Systems, City West Campus, University of South Australia, South Australia 5072, Australia

Abstract: This paper examines Davidson and Rees-Mogg|s (1997) notion of the |sovereign individual| as part of a continuing, integrated investigation into inter-locking approaches to free-market globalisation, the virtual organisation and individual agency shared by neo-liberal and post-modern thought. Particular attention is given to whether global markets and information technology establishes a new cyberspace realm which conditions the ability of governments to regulate economic and social activity and to cultivate individual actions. The paper investigates whether it is possible for de-physicalised cyberspace to provide sufficient nourishment for any individual, sovereign or otherwise. This exploration questions the privileging of the sovereign individual discourse and practice which eliminates all alternative approaches to social capital, community and identity. This paper suggests that the challenge for public or civic administration and accounting is to escape the illusions and impractical schemes presented by those interests which benefit from elevating the sovereign individual above all other forms of sovereignty, making the visible invisible, communities non-communities and persons non persons.

Keywords: community; cyberspace; globalisation; identity; social capital; invisibility; neo-liberalism; public administration; post-modernism; sovereign individual; free market globalisation; virtual organisations; individual agencies; civic administration; critical accounting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2010.030340

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2010 Vol.2 No.1, pp.96 - 109

Published online: 14 Dec 2009 *

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