[Foucault-L] Ph.d. Course on Foucault/governmentality May 4-6, Copenhagen

Dear members,
I hope some of You may find ths Ph.d. Course on Governmentality, Foucault and Critique of interest...

Kaspar Villadsen
Foucault, Governmentality, and Critique – analytical strategies for critique of power (4-6 May 2011)

Professor Mitchell Dean, Macquarie University, Sydney, Professor Sverre
Raffnsøe, Department of Management, Politics & Philosophy, CBS,
External Lecturer, Afonso Moreira, Department of Management, Politics
& Philosophy, CBS, Associate Professor Kaspar Villadsen,
Department of Management, Politics & Philosophy, CBS, PhD Scholar,
Marius Gudmand-Høyer, Department of Management, Politics &
Philosophy, CBS
Course Coordinator

Kaspar Villadsen
Prerequisite/progression of the course

Only PhD students can participate in the course.

Aim of the course

The course will provide the
participants with: a) An updated introduction to key analytical concepts
in the Governmentality literature, and the potentials and weaknesses of
these concepts will be discussed. b) Possibilities
for supplementing the governmentality approach with other analytical
sources will be discussed. c) Furthermore, a detailed consideration of
the current status of governmentality studies and postFoucauldian
studies will be given, in particular in light of recent
claims for a crisis of critique. d) Finally, suggestions will be
presented on how to elaborate or move beyond the framework of
governmentality by activating concepts of bio-power and sovereignty,
reconsidering the social and notions of society, and focusing
on international dimensions of governmentality. In brief, the course
aims to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the
governmentality framework, that is, its analytical possibilities, its
current status, and its possible directions of development.

Course content, structure and teaching

Over the last 20 years,
post-Foucauldian “governmentality studies” have come to growing
prominence. These studies have been effective in critically analysing
new types of liberal government, in particular by demonstrating
‘the active side of laissez faire’. They describe how the motto of
‘pulling back the state’ has been accompanied by a series of
governmental strategies and technologies aimed at shaping institutions
and subjects in particular ways. Perhaps most noticeably,
they have presented a diagnosis of a proliferation of regimes of
enterprise and accounting in new and surprising places. But a wide range
of other domains have been subjected to governmentality analysis
spanning from genetic screening and risk calculation,
new crime prevention strategies, to health promotion by
self-responsibilisation. To be sure, the concepts in governmentality
studies continue to constituteeffective tools for critical social
analysis. Nevertheless, in recent years critical objections have
been raised against the governmentality approach. It has been noted by
some observers that the Foucauldian and post-structuralist language,
originally used for critical academic purposes, seems to be increasingly
appropriated by ‘the powers’ that were the
object of such critique. Most notably, this point has been voiced
(although in different versions) by Zizek, Boltanski, and
Hardt&Negri. These thinkers suggest that a post-structural ’politics
of difference’ increasingly seems to be an integral part of the
ways, in which institutions and companies organise themselves. If
modern liberal government has begun to speak for the dissolution of
binary essentials, the destabilisation of rigid power structures, the
creation of space for the subject’s self-transforming
work upon itself, and so on.In light of this development, we need to
think of ways to revitalise the Foucauldian concepts of
critique/criticism. A central theme of the PhD course is the search for
effective analytical strategies for critique of power (some
perhaps less noticed) in the works of Foucault and other writers in the
governmentality tradition. The course requires the submission of a
paper that deals with conceptual problems or analytical designs in
relation to Foucauldian inspired/governmentality studies.
Furthermore, papers that apply Foucauldian concepts to empirical
problems in a variety of domains are welcomed. It is also possible to
participate on the basis of an abstract stating the theme of the PhD
project. An abstract should be approximately 1 page,
whereas a paper should be approx. 5 pages. In both cases, the PhD
student should state his main analytical challenge/concern at his/her
current stage in the project. Papers/abstracts must be in English.
DEADLINE is 26 April, 2011.
Lecture plan




Wednesday, 4 May.    




Kaspar Villadsen   

Analytical approaches in governmentality studies    





Mitchell Dean    

Ways to move beyond the governmentality framework   


Kaspar Villadsen & Mitchell Dean   

Papers from Ph.D. scholars   

Thursday, 5 May.    




Mitchell Dean   

Contemporary Neoliberialism and ways to analyse it   





Kaspar Villadsen   

Statephobia, civil society and critique in postfoucauldian thinking    


Kaspar Villadsen & Mitchell Dean   

Papers from Ph.D. scholars   

Friday, 6 May    




Afonso Moreira   

Making up people: Foucault combined with ethnography   


Sverre Raffnsøe   

The dispositive of welfare: A diagnosis of the present   





Marius Gudmand-Høyer    

Dispositive analysis: the key analytical strategy of Foucault?    


Kaspar Villadsen & Mitchell Dean   

Papers from Ph.D. scholars   


Kaspar Villadsen & Mitchell Dean   

Concludingdiscussion and evaluation   

Teaching methods

The course will use lectures given
by specialists in the field, roundtable discussions, and presentation of
papers from PhD students. Participation in the course requires a paper
with an outline of Ph.D. project or parts
of the project. See more details above.
Course literature

Dean, M. (2007) Governing Societies: Political Perspectives on Domestic and International Rule. Maidenhead: Open University Press (especially Introduction and conclusion). · Dean, M. (2010)
Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Societies (2nd edition). London: Sage (especially Introduction to Second Edition and chapter 10)._ · Foucault, M. (2007)
Security, Territory, Population. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (especially lecture 5) · Foucault, M. (2008)
The Birth of Biopolitics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (especially lecture 12). · Deleuze, G. (1990) Postscript on Control Societies, in: G. Deleuze:
Negotiations 1972-1990. New York: Columbia University Press · Raffnsøe, S. & Gudmand-Høyer, M.
The Dispositive, Unpublished article · Villadsen, K.
&Karlsen, M.P. (2008) "Who Should Do the Talking? The proliferation
of dialogue as governmental technology", in:
Culture & Organization, no. 14, vol. 4.
Villadsen, K. (2008) "Doing
without the State and Civil Society as Universals: 'Dispositifs' of care
across the classic sector divide", in:
Journal of Civil Society, no. 4, vol. 3. Rose, N. (1996) ‘The Death of the Social’, in: Economy and Society.
Hardt, M. &Negri, A. (2000) ‘Symptoms of change(?), in Empire.


Please send your application to Julie Siezing (
jsi.lpf@xxxxxx) no later than
April 1, 2011.

Kaspar Villadsen
Associate Professor, PhD
Department of Management , Politics & Philosophy
Copenhagen Business School
Porcelænshaven 18a
2000 Frederiksberg
Phone: (45) 3815-3649 / (45) 2721-3264
E-mail: kv.lpf@xxxxxx

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