Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality

In my opinion bio-issues are of course also topics of govenrmental power, but they are not any more the exclusive topics. My main objections, however, to you construal are:
- From 1978 on Foucault does not connect governmental power any more with the power on life and death or some reversal of that power; he even rejects that connection (lateron in an explicit way, see 'The Subject and Power' )
- The invention of statistics as governmental technique is more than pure Fordism; following the idea of examination in Discipline and Punish, statistics normalizes, and in doing so it always is as well focused on the individual, as on some idea of <normal>

machiel karskens

At 11:06 5-3-2008, you wrote:
Hi everyone,

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, the state as a technology of government and its constituent elements (e.g., organising mechanisms,mix of private & public) changes, or indeed the technologies and practices of government change. In other words, because Governmentality's key features are the governance of individual conduct and management of population bio-issues(births, deaths, health etc), the ends continue to be the concern of government even when the means of achieving these ends (e.g., GDP growth) changes. In this sense, 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.

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

Any and all responses are welcome

Scott Nicholas
Foucault-L mailing list

Prof. Machiel Karskens
social and political philosophy
Faculty of Philosophy
Radboud University Nijmegen - The Netherlands

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality
    • From: Scott Nicholas
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    [Foucault-L] Governmentality, Scott Nicholas
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