Birth of Biopolitics

Just to confirm that the Birth of Biopolitics is out and available (I received my copy a few days ago). I haven’t seen mention of this yet. If you prefer not to incur shipping charges from the UK you can hold off for month or so till it comes out here.

Don’t forget that chapter one is available in full text format (pdf).

So far, I’m surprised that there’s a lot less on the Chicago school of neoliberalism than I thought (only towards the end of the book) since this is touted so much as Foucault’s only foray into contemporary politics (in the Lectures).

I love to imagine the scene captured at the end of the Lectures: there’s a hubbub after F. stops speaking then apparently you can hear him asking if anyone has recordings of the previous years’ presentations “because I don’t have any”!


3 Responses

  1. I love those little details. In the Government of self and others they’ve kept them too, and someone sends him a letter that he responds to at the start of a lecture. Gotta get to the archives and listen to the lectures basically. The net archives seem to be limiting their aspirations to samplers…

  2. Only 2 of the 12 lectures cover the Chicago school, true. But they are preceded by another 5 on neoliberal theory and policy in Europe before and after WW2, including the policies of the French and German governments of the time.

    There was another aside captured on tape which, as far as I recall, didn’t make it into print. ‘No, I haven’t been assassinated… je me suis mal rasé… has anyone got a kleenex?’

  3. There are good bits on the Chicago School in lectures from March 14th, 21st, and the 28th. These mostly focus on Becker’s theory of human capital, and then the crime and punishment literature from Becker, Stigler, and Erlchich. Foucault’s interest seem driven primarily in the re-invention of homo œconomicus by the neo-liberals.

    For anyone in Paris the first weekend of June, the University of Chicago Paris Center is going to be hosting a one day conference on June 6th called “Le Carcéral, Sécurité, and Beyond: Rethinking Michel Foucault’s 1978-1979 Collège de France Lectures”

    The full program is online here:

    (for full disclosure and to acknowledge the shameless self-promotion: I’m a co-organizing of the conference and will be presenting a paper on Foucault’s analysis of Becker et al.)

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