Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality

Hi machiel,

note my responses in parentheses [ ] below

----- Original Message ----- From: "M. Karskens" <mkarskens@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Mailing-list" <foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:33 PM
Subject: 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' )[Could you please elaborate on this?]

- 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>
[I completely agree and that is one reason why I am arguing that Foucault's
Governmentality analytic remains relevant - disciplinary normalisation is an ongoing concern]

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
Foucault-L mailing list

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality
    • From: M. Karskens
  • Replies
    [Foucault-L] Governmentality, Scott Nicholas
    Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality, M. Karskens
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