This review article considers two lecture courses by Michel Foucault (1972–73, 1979–80) and two books relating to the whole series of lectures (1970–84) by Stuart Elden. Foucault’s lecture courses can be divided into three phases, the first focused on the difference between sovereign and disciplinary power; the second on biopower, security, and liberalism; and the third on the government of the self and others. Foucault in 1976–79 altered his earlier frame by introducing the concept of governmentality and security dispositif and identified a missing, fourth type of power-governmentality called “socialism,” around which his concerns revolved for the remaining courses. Today there is a new Foucault effect, which has arisen around the courses on governmentality, neoliberalism, and biopower. The two courses by Foucault are situated in relation to the complete set of courses, and Elden’s books are welcomed critically as throwing light on the background to the lectures and Foucault’s main publications in this period but are problematic with respect to Foucault’s theoretical framework.
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Review Article| March 01 2018
The New Foucault Effect
The Punitive Society: Lectures at the College de France, 1972–1973, by Foucault, Michel,
2015, 344 pages, £23.60 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-40399-660-3
On the Government of the Living: Lectures at the College de France, 1979–1980, by Foucault, Michel,
2016, 384 pages, £16.87 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-25008-161-2
Foucault: The Birth of Power, by Elden, Stuart,
2017, 232 pages, £14.13 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-5095-0726-9
Foucault’s Last Decade, by Elden, Stuart,
2016, 247 pages, £16.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-74568-391-1
Mike Gane was a founding member of the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University in 1972, where today he is Professor Emeritus of Sociology. He has edited two collections on Michel Foucault: Towards a Critique of Foucault (1986/2010) and, with Terry Johnson, Foucault’s New Domains (1993). He has also published French Social Theory (2003) and Auguste Comte (2006).
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Cultural Politics (2018) 14 (1): 109–127.
Mike Gane; The New Foucault Effect. Cultural Politics 1 March 2018; 14 (1): 109–127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-4312952
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