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


I am familiar with some of Lemke's work on Governmentality and Biopolitics.

But thankyou for your reply.

----- Original Message ----- From: "David McInerney" <vagabond@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Mailing-list" <foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 10:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previouse-mail)

Hi Scott

I don't have too much that I can say on this right now but you might
want to check out the work of Thomas Lemke, which includes an essay
on the lecture course on the birth of biopolitics, a lot on
governmentality and political economy (as well as a lot on eugenics,
genetics, medicine etc if that interests you).

You can access papers online at

There is more material there in German on another page if that helps

best of luck with it


On 05/03/2008, at 10:16 PM, Scott Nicholas wrote:

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-F!
ordist 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
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  • Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail)
    • From: gfuller1
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    [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail), Scott Nicholas
    Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail), David McInerney
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