Tag: Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault: Biopolitics and Biopower

Key Concept Despite their prominence in subsequent academic writing,1 the concepts of “biopower” and “biopolitics” are perhaps the most elusive, and arguably the most compelling (given the attention they have subsequently received), concepts of Michel Foucault’s oeuvre. Within his published work, these concepts featured only in the last chapter of the slim first volume of…

Governmentality and the Management of the Circulation of ‘Extreme’ Ideas

In October 2016, the University of Sussex published its Freedom of Speech Code of Practice1 and its accompanying External Speakers’ Procedure.2 Like the many recent ‘Freedom of Speech’ or ‘External Speaker’ policies across higher education institutions in the UK, the main objective of these policies is to ensure University compliance with the Counter Terrorism and…

Governmentality: Notes on the Thought of Michel Foucault

Key Concept The title of Foucault’s lecture series of 1977-78 Security, Territory, Population was poorly chosen; the series should, as he acknowledges, have been called ‘Governmentality’, since the concern of these lectures is with the overarching ‘problem of government’ – that is, ‘how to govern oneself, how to be governed, by whom should we accept…

A Taste for the Secret: Interview with Mark Neocleous

Mark Neocelous is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University, UK. Author of several books incl. most recently ‘War Power, Police Power’ (2014 EUP), ‘Anti-Security’ (2011 Red Quill Books) and ‘Critique of Security’ (2008 EUP/McGill). Many of his articles can be freely accessed here.This interview was originally conducted in March 2014 for Kampfplatz (a…

Parrēsia: Notes on the Thought of Michel Foucault

Key ConceptIn the last two lecture series Foucault gave at the Collège de France in 1982-1984, published under the titles The Government of Self and Others and The Courage of Truth, a genealogy of the obscure concept parrēsia – “truth-telling”(dire-vrai) or “free-spokeness”(franc-parler) – is unfolded. Parrēsia was, according to Foucault, one of the core principles of…

“Peace! I Hate the Word!” A Few Thoughts in Favour of Conflict

Foucault emphasises that conflict is actually routine and commonplace. It is the structure of society. To engage any desire for things to be different, to engage meaningfully with politics, is to engage in conflict.The world is riven by conflict. The recent events in Ukraine are just the most recent example. The value and necessity of…

The Market as the Unique Site of Truth: On Foucault & Milk

It is pos­sible that after the rise and the fall of the Keynesian gov­ern­ment­ality, the neo­lib­eral model of gov­ernance and leg­ality reaches its apogee in the af­ter­math of the 2008 crisis.Whom would you ask in order to check if the milk you are drinking is fresh? This trivial question can be answered in multiple ways.…

Transphobia

A recent publication by Greek magazine LiFO clearly shows that on our backs and around gender, strategic games of liberties are to be played.  “I have a hard time making my mind take place…” begins the poem Body & Isn’t by Bruce Covey. Indeed, it is hard for the mind to take place when it…

In Defence of Foucault: The Incessancy of Resistance

In a recent article, ‘Foucault and the Revolutionary Self-Castration of the Left’, Jérôme E. Roos argued that: “Because it connects power with knowledge through discourse, and because it posits that knowledge and power are continually reproduced through both formal and informal institutions, there is ultimately no way for wilful agents to escape the choking grasp…

Truth, critique and writing: Foucault, every-day

The mysterious sequence of these seemingly unconnected words made up the title of my presentation for this year’s Critical Legal Conference. It took me a good few days after the conference, however, to fully grasp what I might have had in mind when I decided to assemble these random words into something. To understand what…