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To summarize Foucault’s thought from an objective point of view, his political works would all seem to have two things in common: (1) an historical perspective, studying social phenomena in historical contexts, focusing on the way they have changed throughout history; (2) a discursive methodology, with the study of texts, particularly academic texts, being the raw material for his inquiries.As such the general political import of Foucault’s thought across its various turns is to understand how the historical formation of discourses have shaped the political thinking and political institutions we have today.
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. ’Popular Life’ and Insurance Technology Daniel Defert 12.
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. Governmental Rationality: An Introduction Colin Gordon 2. Theatrum Politicum: The Genealogy of Capital - Police and the State of Prosperity Pasquale Pasquino 6. Criminology: The Birth of a Special Knowledge Pasquale Pasquino 13.
Politics and the Study of Discourse Michel Foucault 3. Peculiar Interests: Civil Society and Governing ’The System of Natural Liberty’ Graham Burchell 7.
Though his membership was tenuous and brief, Foucault’s later political thought should be understood against this background, as a thought that is both under the influence of, and intended as a reaction to, Marxism.
Foucault himself tells us that after his early experience of a Stalinist communist party, he felt sick of politics, and shied away from political involvements for a long time.