[Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail)

Hi everyone,

just thought that I had better clarify a couple of things.

I am looking at Foucault's work on Governmentality this semester. My reading of his Governmentality lecture and other references within his 1978 lecture series "Security, Territory & Population" is that this analytic can be applied even when the prevailing political rationality changes, or the state as a technology of government and its constituent elements (e.g., organising mechanisms,mix of private & public) change, or indeed the technologies and practices of government change. In other words, my core argument is that the twin pillars of governmentality: guidance of individual conduct and population management for the purpose of achieving national outcomes (e.g., GDP growth); remain in place even when the rationality for and the means of achieving (e.g., governmental tactics, practices, methods, devices, mechanisms etc) the aforementioned outcomes change, shift or mutate. In this sense, governmentality can accomodate say the alleged change from Fordist discipline to Post-Fordist flexibilisation.

I am responding to a recent claim that Foucault was "the great theorist of Fordist Discipline"and is at risk of becoming depasse, by arguing among others things both that:(1) his Governmentality analytic can accomodate epochal shifts from Fordism to Post-Fordism provided that the focus of government remains both the governance of individual conduct and the management of populations life issues (biopolitical concerns if you will); and (2) the Disciplinary society still exists.

Given my construal, the question arises does say repression fall under the conceptual auspices of Governmentality? and under what conditions would governmentality not apply - slavery perhaps?

I am curious to know if anyone disagrees with this construal of what I think is the continued relevance of Governmentality?

Any and all responses are welcome

Scott Nicholas

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail)
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