For M. Foucault, governmentality takes population as its subject and object in order to transform the targeted people into enterprising subjects by reconstituting their subjectivities, so that the art of government is to instill rules of conduct into their self-knowledge via their souls. In the regime of neoliberal governmentality, international competitiveness comes to define teachers as the source of a problem undermining national prospects. In order to improve the quality of human capital, the strategy of performance management is introduced. Foucauldian scholars conceptualize its negative influence on teachers as performativity, illustrating how they are subject to social returns. While performativity is able to foreground the dark side of performance management policy, Foucauldian researchers may overlook its positive influence on productive faculty members. In order to examine this possible aspect, 16 individual interviews were completed in sampled regions. The findings show that although productive university teachers suffered a considerable amount of pressure from this policy, it facilitated them to validate their academic commitment and to acquire social status. This validation subscribed the culture of neoprofessionalism.
- neoliberal governmentality, the discourse of international competitiveness, performance management, performativity, neoprofessionalism