Le legs et l’impasse : Sur la gouvernementalité foucaldienne
187 - 201 p.
Governmentality, Biopolitics, Legitimacy, Historicism
The article focuses on the courses given by Foucault at the Collège de France on political governmentality (1976-1979), before he turned in 1980 to the question of the “government of the Self” and the “courage of truth”. It does not attempt a detailed reconstruction, but discusses some central themes which would make it possible to further develop the Foucauldian heritage, but also to show some of that heritage’s limitations. Section I offers a sympathetic discussion of Foucault’s analysis of “power”, the question of practices, “counter-conducts” and “population”. In a more critical vein, section II argues for moving away from the categories of “biopolitics” and “liberal governmentality”. It questions Foucault’s view of “socialist governmentality” as deficient, traces his methodological anti- legalism to its dead end, and seeks a more concrete historical anchoring of the question of political legitimacy and consent.