The Handbook on Governmentality discusses the development of an interdisciplinary field of research, focusing on Michel Foucault’s post-foundationalist concept of governmentality and the ways it has been used to write genealogies of modern states, the governance of societal problems and the governance of the self.
Contributors include: Claudia Aradau, Carol Bacchi, Wendy Brown, Graham Burchell, Partha Chatterjee, Sahil Jai Dutta, Stuart Elden, Ben Golder, Colin Gordon, Jef Huysmans, Jonathan Xavier Inda, Hans-Martin Jaeger, Samuel Knafo, Susanne Krasmann, Clara Lecadet, Emanuele Leonardi, Daniele Lorenzini, Ian Alexander Lovering, Brett Neilson, Luigi Pellizzoni, Cristina Rojas, Nikolas Rose, Srila Roy, Ranabir Samaddar, Maurice Stierl, Martina Tazzioli, Miriam Ticktin, William Walters, Richard Weiskopf, Chenchen Zhang
‘Nearly forty years after his death, governmentality remains Michel Foucault’s most elusive and productive theoretical concept; especially in generating interdisciplinary empirical scholarship. Now with its revelatory introductory chapter and powerhouse collection of leading contemporary scholars, Walters and Tazzioli’s Handbook on Governmentality has demystified the topic and opened governmentality to a new generation of critical researchers across the social sciences and humanities.’ – Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley, US
‘Governmentality has become a ubiquitous term in social and political theory. Stemming from Foucault, the concept has been stretched and even squeezed over the last years. This impressive Handbook lays the basis for a new season in governmentality studies, exploring new geographical and conceptual frontiers. An amazing achievement!’ – Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna, Italy
My piece in here is entitled “The Yoke of Law and the Lustre of Glory: Foucault and Dumézil on Sovereignty”. It’s the first in a series of pieces exploring the links between Foucault and Dumézil through Foucault’s career.
In an age of mobility, borders appear to be everywhere. Encountered more and more in our everyday lives, borders locally enact global divisions and inequalities of power, wealth, and identity. From the Calais ‘jungle’ to the UK’s ‘hostile environment’ policy, this book examines how borders in the UK and Calais operate through everyday practices of segregation. At the same time, it reveals how border segregation is challenged and resisted by everyday practices of ‘migrant solidarity’ among people on the move and no borders activists. In doing so, it explores how everyday borders are key sites of struggles over and against postcolonial and racialised global inequalities. This talk will be of interest to scholars and students working on migration, borders, and citizenship as well as practitioners and organisers in migrant rights, asylum advocacy, and anti-detention or deportation campaigns.
One for libraries, at this price… [update Jan 2023: a more affordable e-book is also available. If you buy direct from Routledge, code FLE22 currently gives a 20% discount]
For architecture and urban space to have relevance in the 21st Century, we cannot merely reignite the approaches of thought and design that were operative in the last century. This is despite, or because of, the nexus between politics and space often being theorized as a representation or by-product of politics. As a symbol or an effect, the spatial dimension is depoliticized. Consequently, architecture and the urban are halted from fostering any systematic change as they are secondary to the event and therefore incapable of performing any political role. This handbook explores how architecture and urban space can unsettle the unquestioned construct of the spatial politics of governing.
Considering both ongoing and unprecedented global problems – from violence and urban warfare, the refugee crisis, borderization, detention camps, terrorist attacks to capitalist urbanization, inequity, social unrest and climate change – this handbook provides a comprehensive and multidisciplinary research focused on the complex nexus of politics, architecture and urban space. Volume I starts by pointing out the need to explore the politics of spatialization to make sense of the operational nature of spatial oppression in contemporary times. The operative and active political reading of space is disseminated through five thematics: Violence and War Machines; Security and Borders; Race, Identity and Ideology; Spectacle and the Screen; and Mapping Landscapes and Big Data.
This first volume of the handbook frames cutting-edge contemporary debates and presents studies of actual theories and projects that address spatial politics. This Handbook will be of interest to anyone seeking to meaningfully disrupt the reduction of space to an oppressive or neutral backdrop of political realities.
In Sharing Territories, Cara Nine defends a river model of territorial rights. On a river model, groups are assumed to be interdependent and overlapping. If we imagine human settlements and territorial rights as established in river catchment areas-not on lands with walls and borders-the primary features of group life are not independence and distinctness. Drawing on natural law philosophy, Nine’s theory argues for the establishment of foundational territories around geographical areas like rivers. Usually lower-scale political entities, foundational territories overlap with and serve as the grounding blocks of larger territorial units. Examples of foundational territories include not only river catchment areas but also urban areas, drawn around individuals who hold obligations to collectively manage their surroundings. Foundational territorial authorities manage spatially integrated areas where agents are interconnected by dense and scaffolded physical circumstances. In these areas, individuals cannot fulfil their natural obligations to each other without the help of collective rules. As foundational territories overlap the territories of other political units, Nine frames a theory of nested and shared territorial rights, and argues for insightful changes to the allocation of resource rights between political groups and individuals.
The proliferation of social media has provided ideal conditions in which feelings of anger and frustration can be expressed and shared, forming a deep pool of ressentiment that is being drawn upon and exploited by populist and authoritarian leaders.
In his new book, Joseph Vogl shows how this dynamic is rooted in the fusing of finance capital and information in a new form of information capitalism that is reshaping the affective economy of our societies. The capital accumulation strategies of powerful new platforms and social media are pushing people into fragmented, opposing, and conflictual communities where ressentiment is nurtured and grows. The feelings of grievance and rejection generated by capitalism are redirected into attacks on migrants, foreigners, and others, thereby deflecting their critical potential, and bolstering the system that is their source. It is the cunning of ressentiment that provides the key to understanding why, despite the profusion of communication in our social media age, global finance and information capital can be neither understood nor attacked as a totalizing power.
This brilliant analysis of the ways in which information capitalism is transforming the affective economy of our societies will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the forces that are shaping our societies today.
Engin Isin has relaunched his website – The Subjects of Politics – with most of his publications available to download, some thematic organisation with “reflections on concepts and methods that guided it and the questions that motivated it”, along with possible connections to an “interest in images”.