The Foucault Effect:Studies in Governmentality

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Based on Michel Foucault's 1978 and 1979 lectures at the Collè ge de France on governmental rationalities and his 1977 interview regarding his work on imprisonment, this volume is the long-awaited sequel to "Power/Knowledge." In these lectures, Foucault examines the art or activity of government both in its present form and within a historical perspective as well as the different ways governmentality has been made thinkable and practicable.

Foucault's thoughts on political discourse and governmentality are supplemented by the essays of internationally renowned scholars. United by the common influence of Foucault's approach, they explore the many modern manifestations of government: the reason of state, police, liberalism, security, social economy, insurance, solidarity, welfare, risk management, and more. The central theme is that the object and the activity of government are not instinctive and natural things, but things that have been invented and learned.

"The Foucault Effect" analyzes the thought behind practices of government and argues that criticism represents a true force for change in attitudes and actions, and that extending the limits of some practices allows the invention of others. This unique and extraordinarily useful collection of articles and primary materials will open the way for a whole new set of discussions of the work of Michel Foucault as well as the status of liberalism, social policy, and insurance. Graham Burchell a contributor to "Radical Philosophy" and "Ideology and Consciousness, " is a free-lance researcher and translator. Colin Gordon, a former research assistant to Michel Foucault at the Collè ge de France, is the editor andtranslator of Foucault's "Power/Knowledge" and translator of "The Philosophical Imaginary" by Michelle LeDoeuff. Peter Miller is senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Publication Date: 
July 9, 1991