Foucault Studies #6 is out

Foucault Studies #6 February 2009 is now out. It is a special issue on neoliberal governmentality.

This is quite timely for me because in my political geography class at the moment we’re doing neoliberalism and have just done governmentality!

Here is the table of contents.

The editors state in a short editorial:

The current issue of Foucault Studies includes works organized around the concept of “neoliberal governmentality.” This notion today appears both timely and oddly dated. While scholars have for many years responded to Foucault’s provocative treatment of neoliberalism, it is only with the recent publication in English of Foucault’s lectures of 1978‐79, The Birth of Biopolitics, that English language scholars now have direct access to his most succinct statements about this term. Therein we find perhaps the most contemporary face of Foucault scholarship, one uniquely appropriate to the most current formations of power, to modes of
subjectivity we readily identify in our own lives, and to proposals for resistance that have already been taken up by the global left. At the same time, access to these pages occurs at an odd moment, just as the broader global economic formation known as neoliberalism enters into a convulsive spasm few had anticipated even a year earlier. As this issue goes to press, newspapers openly declare the “End of American Capitalism,” the “New Depression” and heap scorn on the policies of “deregulation” that produced the financial crises of 2008. Thus, the timing of Foucault’s neoliberal engagement is doubly ironic.

This seems too final to me; I see no particular bracketing of neoliberalism and am there seems little evidence of newspapers in the US pouring scorn on deregulation.

The one possible exception is the columnist/economist Paul Krugman, who writes in the NYT and has become something of the darling of the intellectual political left in this country. He has consistently called for more government intervention to stimulate the economy (he was critical of Obama’s initial plan as too little too late) and is certainly no fan of deregulation. Howevewr, the editorial positions of the mainstream press seem as committed to corporatism as ever before and of course structural changes (such as dismantling “workfare,” private-public partnerships etc) seem as far away as ever.

In any case, there are four papers here plus plenty of book reviews and it’s good to see this journal finding its feet again.


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