Foucault’s The Punitive Society – forthcoming in English in June 2015

Announcement of the publication of The Punitive Society in June. Somewhat sooner than I’d anticipated, so good news there. Via Stuart Eldon. 

Foucault’s The Punitive Society – forthcoming in English in June 2015.


Foucault Studies 17 now out – Foucault and Deleuze

Progressive Geographies

cover_issue_517_en_US A special issue on Foucault and Deleuze , edited by Nicolae Morar, Thomas Nail, Daniel W. Smith, and including essays by William Connolly and Dianna Taylor; plus unconnected articles and a large number of reviews.

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Foucaultblog on hiatus?

Foucaultblog was founded in 2007 as a kind of indirect adjunct to my and Stuart Elden’s co-edited book on Foucault and geography. I’ve been the sole owner and contributor to it during that time, passing on Foucault news (I set up a Google Alert: whenever anybody mentioned “Foucault” on the web I would check out what they said and link to it if it was interesting). This is quite time consuming as you can imagine.

I’ve been thinking for some time that Foucaultblog is perhaps nearing the end of its run, but at the same time I know there’s a wide readership of the blog centering around interest in Foucault. I’ve rather badly kept it going these last few months but have increasingly found myself restricted by the (self-imposed) need to keep it on topic, when I might wish to write on other issues (eg Wikileaks).

Now I think the time has come to at least admit publicly that I have less interest and time in maintaining this blog. This has meant fewer posts and as every blogger knows, fewer posts means fewer readers. There are two options which occur: put the blog on hiatus, or ask you the readership to take it over. My guess would be that people would prefer to run their own blogs rather than one associated by someone else, so I’ve decided to put the blog on hiatus.

What this means is that while I may occasionally post here if something very interesting happens, my blogging activity will be elsewhere.

To that end: in September 2009 I registered for another blog name, opengeography, inspired by the open geography movement and its associated practices such as participatory GIS and openstreetmap. I started posting regularly there about a week ago. It’s weird but I knew no-one was reading it and this felt very liberating. I planned to post there for a while and then gradually stop here. I also planned to design it a bit more before publicising it.

However, I’m starting to see a few readers and links there now, so I might as well confess to it.

So, farewell then, foucaultblog!

Those readers interested in open, public and participatory geographies, critical historical genealogies of space and territory, and critical cartography, and oh well, the things I’m interested in, are welcome to check out opengeography! It’s experimental and unplanned and the topics will no doubt vary widely, but it the idea is to create an interesting, riskier space.

Thanks to all who have commented and linked here over the last few years!

Call for papers: Foucault and International Law

See below, cfp, Foucault and International Law.

­Call For Papers

Special Issue of the Leiden Journal of International Law (2011)

Foucault and International Law

Abstracts due by 12 May 2010; Complete articles by 17 September 2010

The Leiden Journal of International Law is now soliciting articles for a special issue exploring the relevance of Foucault’s oeuvre to international law and legal theory. Apart from its merits for philosophy, political theory and sociology, the importance of Michel Foucault as a legal thinker (both as a thinker of law in his own right and as a thinker whose work can be illuminating for legal studies) is increasingly being felt. With the continuing translation and publication of Foucault’s lecture courses at the Collège de France and the ongoing importance of his already published work, Foucault’s work continues to provide fertile suggestions for rethinking many of our established notions of law, right(s), sovereignty and legal subjectivity. Yet to date there have been, with some notable exceptions, few sustained treatments of Foucault’s relevance to international law and international legal theory. This is the subject of Issue 2 of volume 24 (2011) of the Leiden Journal of International Law (LJIL).

What is the relevance of Foucaultian methodologies (archaeology, genealogy, problematisation) to international law and international legal theory? What does a Foucaultian analytic of international law entail? How can we use it to analyse international legal subjectivity? How does that relate to, inter alia, sovereign statehood and/or human rights law? How can the Foucaultian toolbox contribute to our understanding of the devolution of international public law, its fragmentation and specialisation (e.g. as an instance of governmentality)? What about international law ‘from below’ (the relevance of Foucaultian models of power/resistance, anti-globalisation perspectives and critiques of neoliberalism and the global rule of law, for example). These questions are just a number of suggestions, intended as provocations for thought, within the general theme of ‘Foucault and International law’ we invite contributors to interrogate and critically engage with.

Contributors will be asked to prepare an article of approximately 10,000 words (including footnotes) for publication in the LJIL, consistent with its instructions for authors. Those interested in contributing are requested to respond to this Call for Papers by email to managing editor Christine Tremblay ( by 12 May 2010, attaching a 300-word abstract of the article you propose to contribute.

The selected authors are requested to submit the full articles by 17 September 2010. All contributions will be subject to double-blind peer review in accordance with the usual procedures of the LJIL. Please contact the LJIL (guest) editors with any further questions: Tanja Aalberts ( and/or Ben Golder (

The Leiden Journal of International Law is published with Cambridge University Press, and provides a forum for two vital areas, namely international legal theory and international dispute settlement. For further information, please visit the journal’s website:

New paper: The Birth of Political Subjects

Charles E. Scott has a new paper of interest in Research in Phenomenology (embargoed at GSU for 1 year so have not seen the actual paper here).

The Birth of Political Subjects: Individuals, Foucault, and Boundary Experiences


In a context of experiences in which events become apparent that encroach upon mainstream and reasonable good sense, this paper gives an account of the emergence of political subjects into public domains that make possible new knowledge and personal and institutional transformations. A statement by Simone de Beauvoir and engagement with Michel Foucault’s interpretation of “limit experiences” help to orient the paper. The essay ends with a discussion of certain types of power and the birth of political subjects.

There are also a couple of pieces on Heidegger in the same issue.

International conference, Pisa, 15-17 April

Daniele Lorenzini writes in with information on a major international conference on Foucault, to be held in Pisa, 15-17 April 2010.

“Historical Limits and their Critical Overcoming.”

Jeudi 15 Avril,
“Saletta” des Éditions ETS, Piazza Carrara 16
9.30-17.00: Journée internationale d’études doctorales,
consacrée à la présentation des recherches en cours
sur la pensée de Michel Foucault.

Vendredi 16 avril,
Aula Barone, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Via Paoli 15
9.00 Ouverture: Simonetta Bassi
(Directrice du Département de Philosophie, Università di Pisa)
9.30 Introduction au Colloque: Arnold I. Davidson
(The University of Chicago, Università di Pisa)
9.45 Patrick Singy (Columbia University)
A Tergo: Taking History from Behind
10.30 Andrea Cavalletti (Università IUAV, Venezia)
Souci de soi et résistance
11.30 Piergiorio Donatelli (Università La Sapienza, Roma)
Ethical thought and conceptual reflection. Foucault meets morality
12.15 Discussion (réponse Paolo Savoia)
14.30 Frédéric Gros (Université Paris XII-Val de Marne)
“Il faut être pauvre pour dire la vérité“ (Foucault et les cyniques)
15.15 Laura Cremonesi (Università di Pisa)
La lecture foucaldienne du christianisme:
enjeux philosophiques et politiques
16.00 Discussion (réponse Orazio Irrera)
17.00 Présentation des nouvelles ressources des études foucaldiennes: le portail “Michel Foucault”
( et le projet
“Materiali foucaultiani” (site web et revue).

samedi 17 avril,
Aula Barone, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Via Paoli 15
9.00 Ouverture: Alfonso Iacono
(Doyen de la Faculté des Lettres et Philosophie, Università di Pisa)
9.30 Judith Revel (Université Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Historiciser, problématiser: de l’archéologie à l’actualité
10.15 Florence Caeymaex (Université de Liège)
La biopolitique et les nouveaux “pouvoirs sur la vie”
11.15 Carlos Manrique (Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotà)
Attitude, Critique, Rupture: The reconfiguration of the “public” sphere in Foucault’s Le gouvernement de soi et des autres
12.00 Discussion (réponse Silvia Chiletti)
14.30 Philippe Artières (IAC, CNRS/EHESS, Paris)
et Jean-François Bert (IAC, CNRS/EHESS, Paris)
Sur la table du philosophe
15.15 Daniel Defert (Université Paris VIII-Saint Denis)
Présentation du premier Cours de Michel Foucault
au Collège de France de 1971: “La volonté de savoir”
16.00 Discussion (réponse Luca Paltrinieri)
17.00 Table ronde:
Mauro Carbone (Université Jean Moulin-Lyon 3),
Arnold I. Davidson, (The University of Chicago, Università di Pisa)
Miguel De Beistegui (The University of Warwick)
Frédéric Worms (Université Lille III – ENS, Paris).

Here are the brochure and the program (pdf).

New book: Foucault’s Monsters and the Challenge of Law

Andrew Sharpe’s book Foucault’s Monsters and the Challenge of Law is now available as an e-book and a regular text. This book examines the notion of monster through a number of legal cases.

In contrast to other figures generated within social theory for thinking about outsiders, such as Rene Girard’s ‘scapegoat’ and Zygmunt Bauman’s ‘stranger’, Foucault’s Monsters and the Challenge of Law suggests that the figure of ‘the monster’ offers greater analytical precision and explanatory power in relation to understanding the processes whereby outsiders are constituted.

The book draws on Michel Foucault’s theoretical and historical treatment of the category of the monster, in which the monster is regarded as the effect of a double breach: of law and nature. For Foucault, the monster does not simply refer to a particular kind of morphological or psychological irregularity; for the body or psyche in question must also pose a threat to the categorical structure of law. In chronological terms, Foucault moves from a preoccupation with the bestial human in the Middle Ages to a concern over Siamese or conjoined twins in the Renaissance period, and ultimately to a focus on the hermaphrodite in the Classical Age. But, although Foucault’s theoretical framework for understanding the monster is affirmed here, this book’s study of an English legal history of the category ‘monster’ challenges some of Foucault’s historical claims.

In addition to considering this legal history, the book also addresses the contemporary relevance of Foucault’s theoretical framework. Structured around Foucault’s archetypes and the category crises they represent – admixed embryos, conjoined twins and transsexuals – the book analyses their challenge to current distinctions between human and animal, male and female, and the idea of the ‘proper’ legal subject as a single embodied mind. These contemporary figures, like the monsters of old, are shown to threaten the rigidity and binary structure of a law that still struggles to accommodate them.