Review of Security, Territory, Population

Security, Territory, Population which was published in English earlier this year has been reviewed in Ephemera by Nick Butler.

Where law is understood as a negative power (it prevents, it forbids, it prohibits, etc.), and where discipline is understood as a positive power (it obliges, it prescribes, it incites, etc.), security is understood as neither a negative nor a positive power. Instead, Foucault argues, security ‘let’s things happen’ and then reacts to this reality in a certain way in order to limit or even neutralize its more random, aleatory effects (p. 46-47). By way of example, Foucault discusses the kinds of techniques which are used to deal with various diseases in different periods. The juridical-legal response to leprosy in the fourteenth and fifteenth century and the disciplinary response to the plague in the sixteenth and seventeenth century are covered by Foucault in more detail in History of Madness and Discipline and Punish.

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