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By Luigi Doria (auth.)

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6) Audit has thereby become the ‘control of control’, where what is being assured is the quality of control systems rather than the quality of first order operations. In such a context accountability is discharged by demonstrating the existence of such systems of control, not by demonstrating good teaching, caring, manufacturing or banking. 15) Detailed conceptions of quality may be very different if a supermarket is compared to a hospital. But the general principles of quality control systems for both can be made to look very similar, enabling one to compare them at an abstract level.

While I will come back later to some questions raised by that debate, it is worth mentioning here one of the most significant issues at stake. I refer to the possibility and opportunity of addressing quality of life in terms of an overall judgement about one’s life or of Calculation, Quality and Life: A First Look 29 measuring feelings (positive or negative) on a moment-by-moment basis. As outlined in a recent report edited by Stiglitz, Sen and Fitoussi: Subjective measures of well-being have been very prominent in recent discussions about measuring QoL [quality of life], but this popularity has also generated some ambiguities and misconceptions.

This will entail, for example, not considering the calculation of 48 Calculating the Human quality (and of the human through quality) immediately and above all in terms of unconditional quantification, nor in terms of some sort of reduction or reductive assimilation of quality itself. But it will also mean not merely looking at quality as an element of biopolitical rationalities, as a mask behind which a process of managerialization/marketization takes place, as the linchpin of a possible policitization/socialization of calculation, or even as an uncertain object that should nonetheless be accepted as a sensitizing notion.

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