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As already mentioned the challenges and the strategies are closely linked. Thus, the strategies provide answers to the challenges to engineering. But the linkage is more profound than just answering the challenges. The strategies provide overarching interpretative frame- works for defining, discussing, and answering the challenges to engineering and a fortiori the future of engineering. The strategies are the medium in which gover- nance exists rather than its instrument.

To paraphrase Foucault, the strategies install an intrinsic logic of a regime of practice by framing situations and setting the limits for what is possible to think and argue Foucault The strategies of regimes are the producers of truths, knowledge, authority, and rationality. They are embodied and represented by social institutions, logics, material-discursive practices and the intentions of individuals, but the strategies are in themselves nonsubjective assem- blages of all the elements that conduce the conduct of actors.

In fact the strategies should be seen as the producers of the challenges. It would not only be impossible on a practical level to honor the recommendations to engineering education set forward by the business strategy, the professional strategy, and the hybrid strategy due to the congestion problem of curricula — it would also be inconsistent in regard to the visions and missions of the respective strategies.


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Buch to education and the job market. Engineering is also governed in much more subtle, discrete, and indirect ways. The strategies thus also work as disciplinary powers through our culturally mediated dispositions or dispositifs Foucault , pp. Foucault called this conduct of conduct govern- mentality Foucault : by subjectification into specific strategies, we conduct our own actions and those of others in a wide variety of contexts. As an example the ethos of engineering expressed in what I have labeled the professional strategy has a disciplinary effect on the practices of individual engineers.

This ethos is induced in subjects through technologies of education and socialization at technical univer- sities and engineering schools and reinforced in engineering communities. The three strategies that I have detected in the literature on challenges to engineering can thus be seen as prevailing discourses that afford the conduct of practitioners in engineering as well as other actors engaged in domains of technology, education, knowledge production, etc. The discourses afford and restrict the conduct of practitioners and actors through the development of logics, rationalities, and techniques that give guidance and orientation for future actions, judgments, deci- sion making, framing, ways of seeing and perceiving, etc.

The discourses, however, do not determine future action in accordance with a prespecifiable telos; the continuation of practice is contingent and the product of conflicts, negotiations, and reproductive actions that needs closer historical investigation. Alas, the format of this chapter does not allow us to indulge in genealogical investigations of engineering practice.

Thus, it must suffice to gesture to the three strategies found by examining influential Danish and American texts on challenges to engineering.

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In the table below I have tried to capture some essential features of the three response strategies detected in the texts Table Conclusion Through the analysis, I have documented the prevalence of three distinct strategies in influential contemporary Danish and American texts on challenges to engineering: the business strategy, the professional strategy, and the hybrid strategy. In applying the analytical tools of governmentality studies, it is possible to see these discursive strategies as a means of governing the territory of engineering by developing visions and missions for the domain.

Secondly, it can be recognized that the strategies — in accentuating and propagating different narratives — cannot be aligned or unified. Although some of the analyzed texts do contain arguments borrowed from more than one of the three strategies, it is clear — on a general analytical level — that the strategies are distinct insofar as their foci and goals vary. Buch different agendas, have different groups of proponents that try to advance these agendas, and delimit the territoriality of engineering in different ways. Where does this analysis leave us?

The analysis of this chapter has been explorative and critical in the sense that the challenge perceptions of influential texts have been problematized Foucault and scrutinized in order to explicate their implicit presumptions and related response strategies. In the public debate about the future of engineering, challenges are often seen as self-evident and inevitable and thereby establishing an authoritative departure for specific response strategies in relation to engineering education, engineering recruitment campaigns, etc.

By closer inspection, however, it is clear that the challenge perceptions are not rooted in neutral observations but are part and parcel of discursive formations and narratives that enable the perspectives, ambitions, and visions of actors. In establishing the linkage between specific challenge perceptions and response strategies, the analysis has made the hegemonic projects of regimes of engineering practice explicit and thus exposed them to reflection and critique. The approach of governmentality studies enables us to conceive the governance of engineering practice as the discur- sive subjectification of engineering identity and thus elicit new avenues for educa- tionalists seeking to reform engineering education.

The perspective has significant implications for the study of engineering education.


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  8. The conversation on engineering education needs to change. I suggest that the conversation on reforms in engineering education should pay more attention to how engineering work is practiced in different contemporary contexts and how engineers construct their engineering identities. Not because this information should yield objective correctives for reforms. But because more nuanced descriptions of diverse engineering practices could provide us with a richer picture of how engineers apply their engineering knowledge and skills in diverse contexts and settings, and what problems and challenges they face on a daily basis, and in their efforts to manage and develop their careers.

    It is important to have more specific knowledge of the processes of subjectification and socialization in engi- neering education and in various forms of engineering work in order to investigate how discursive practices and strategies guide and govern students and engineers. In order to reform engineering practice and education, we must have knowledge of how engineering is actually governed. This is only a first — but necessary — step in advancing the research agenda that can provide us with new knowledge to shift the governance of engineering education and practice.

    In search of the profiles of the engineers of the future — in Danish. ATV Akademiet for de tekniske Videnskaber. Burchell, Graham, et al. The Foucault effect. Studies in governmentality. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Clough, G. The Engineer of Visions of engineering in the new century.

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    Education the Engineer of Adapting engineering education to the new century. Crawley, Edward, et al. New York: Springer. Dean, Mitchell. Power and rule in modern society, 2nd ed.

    London: Sage. Douglas, David, et al. Citizen Engineer. A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

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    Duderstadt, John and The Millennium Project. Engineering for a changing world. A roadmap to the future of engineering practice, research, and education. The archaeology of knowledge.

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    New York: Pantheon. Foucault, Michel. Practicing criticism. In Politics, philosophy, culture, interviews and other writings, —, ed. New York: Routledge. In The Foucault effect studies in governmentality, ed. Graham Burchell. Power Knowledge. Selected interviews and other writings, —, ed.

    Brighton: Harvester.

    Gibbons, Michael, et al. The new production of knowledge. The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies. Hacking, Ian. The social construction of what? Hubris and hybrids. A cultural history of technology and science.


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    Miller, Peter, and Nikolas Rose. Governing the present. Cambridge: Polity.