Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism, and Rationalities of Government

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Andrew Barry, Thomas Osborne, Nikolas S. Rose, Nikolas Rose
University of Chicago Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 278 pages
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Despite the enormous influence of Michel Foucault in gender studies, social theory, and cultural studies, his work has been relatively neglected in the study of politics. Although he never published a book on the state, in the late 1970s Foucault examined the technologies of power used to regulate society and the ingenious recasting of power and agency that he saw as both consequence and condition of their operation.

These twelve essays provide a critical introduction to Foucault's work on politics, exploring its relevance to past and current thinking about liberal and neo-liberal forms of government. Moving away from the great texts of liberal political philosophy, this book looks closely at the technical means with which the ideals of liberal political rationalities have been put into practice in such areas as schools, welfare, and the insurance industry.

This fresh approach to one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century is essential reading for anyone interested in social and cultural theory, sociology, and politics.

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Liberal government and techniques of the self
Governing advanced liberal democracies
Liberalism socialism and democracy variations on a governmental theme
The promise of liberalism and the performance of freedom
Security and vitality drains liberalism and power in the nineteenth century
Lines of communication and spaces of rule
Assembling the school
Governing the city liberalism and early modern modes of governance
Risk and responsibility
Foucault government and the enfolding of authority
Revolutions within selfgovernment and selfesteem
Foucault in Britain

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