Re: Governmentality/State Theory

Well, Kantorowicz is referenced in Discipline and Punish, so I assume
Foucault did read it.

On a broader note, I would suggest that Foucault's understanding of
governmentality is linked to the concept of 'police' which Foucault
discusses in a number of places. We are unfortunate to have only the
'Govermentality' lecture from that course, and to find what Foucault
says about police you need to trawl through a number of papers (some of
which are not yet in English). His use of the concept of police is evident
as early as Histoire de la folie (1961) - though it is only later that he
explicitly develops it .

Reading Foucault on police in some ways brings him close enough to the Hegel
of the Philosophy of Right that useful discussion can be made. The crucial
point is that Foucault's conception of 'police' is borrowed from writers for
whom a division between state and civil society was not possible. It is
perhaps because F was unable/unwilling to develop from them that his work is
so open to criticism from Marxists to whom the state/civil society
distinction (developing from Hegel's work) is of paramount importance.

So, if you are interested in governmentality, look at what Foucault wrote
about police, (esp. Omnes et Singulatim, Political Technology of
Individuals, Politics of Health in the 18th Century)

Hope this is of interest - happy to continue the discussion.


Stuart Elden
Department of Government
Brunel University, UK


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