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Title: Foucault’s Analyses of Liberal Governmentality. Past Investigations and Present Applications
Authors: Hofmeyr, A. B. (Benda)
Keywords: Foucaultneoliberalismgovernmentalitycritiquecritical attitudestrategicspower/knowledge
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: A.B. (Benda) Hofmeyr, "Foucault’s Analyses of Liberal Governmentality. Past Investigations and Present Applications" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2021) XXIII/1", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 589-616
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
This essay seeks to elucidate if and to what extent Foucault’s analyses of governmentality and neoliberalism as a form of governmentality in his 1978-1979 Collège de France lecture series can justifiably be used to come to a critical understanding of present-day neoliberalism(s). This has been a hotly debated issue among Foucault scholars based on what they consider to be ambiguities related to the normative status as well as the methodology of these lectures. In an attempt to contribute to this debate and to settle some of these concerns, I start by explicating how neoliberalism has variously been interpreted and specify what I understand “neoliberalism” to mean. Foucault’s notion of “governmentality” and his analyses of the mid-20th C versions of German and American neoliberal governmentalities presented in these lectures are contextualized in terms of his general thinking in the late 70s and early 80s specifically his insistence on the critical attitude as virtue and his methodological specifications of philosophical-historical research. I contend that although Foucault’s neoliberal governmentality lectures might be valueneutral, methodologically they remain a strategics of power/knowledge configurations imbued with the “critical attitude” that asserts the right not to be governed like that. It is therefore both justifiable and instructive to critically engage contemporary neoliberalisms through the lens of governmentality.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/32071
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2021) XXIII/1

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