Instead of a union of two disciplines, historical sociology has become a project internal to the transformation of sociology itself. Rather, it is a strategic reformation of the complex relations between sociology and history that are the conditions of existence of sociology as a discipline. What has occurred is a realignment or, rather, a multiplicity of interconnected realignments, only indistinctly glimpsed in the debates over modernity and postmodernity, of the place of historical Sociology, Foucault, and the uses of history 11 analysis and historical time in sociology, and the relations between past, present, and future.
Why has this occurred, and what can we learn from it? The historical dimension of sociology may have moved from a position of supporting its central theoretical schemas to one of qualifying, opposing, or even seeking to undermine them. Theda Skocpol —17 perceptively notes that many of the practitioners of historical sociology situate themselves within the frame of reference of Marxism or structural functionalism while seeking to offer critical analyses of the presuppositions of functionalism, economism, and evolutionism.
It might be said that the historical return in sociology is a part of the resolution of what Gouldner diagnosed as the coming crisis of Western sociology. It is not necessary to participate in this prophetic mode of intellectual activity to note that sociology has manifest the features of such a crisis, if by that is meant a conjuncture which prefigures either metamorphosis or catastrophe. In any case, sociology has become a form of study without a unifying theoretical edifice, or even consensual norms of validity and meaning, a polycentric, chaotic, even if critical undertaking cf.
Smart In keeping with this, historical sociology, or what might be better described as critical historical studies, perhaps forms less a unified discipline, or even a new interdisciplinary field, than a transdisciplinary, critical, contestatory, erudite, intellectual activity.
Such a practice would privilege analytical sophistication over theoretical system, conceptual productivity over fidelity to established models, and plural and diverse intellectual adventures rather than the search for foundations. The reversal of the retreat of sociologists into the present would not lead to an end of sociology but to its metamorphosis into a new kind of critical historical-sociological practice with a diversity of theoretical trajectories.
Indeed, the renewed interest in hitherto neglected or marginalised historical-sociological thinkers, such as Karl Polanyi and Norbert Elias, the far more serious reflection on the historical writings of Max Weber, the concern to draw upon other versions of history, such as that of the Annales 12 Critical and effective histories School and, indeed, the historical writings of Michel Foucault and others in the history of knowledge and science, may all attest to the imminence of such a metamorphosis.
However, beyond the transformation of sociology lies a far more serious issue. Conventional social theory took a hyper-rationalist path. Whether Durkheimian, functionalist, or Marxist, it established a hierarchy of discursive objects in which those with the greatest levels of generality and abstraction held the strongest explanatory force. The characteristics of social systems, divisions of social labour, or modes of production, or the nature of modernity, capitalism, and industrialisation, had to be invoked in order to understand anything held to be within their purview.
One does not have to oppose hyper-rationalism to a hyper-empiricism to notice that little room existed for a form of analysis which sought to maximise the intelligibility of regional domains such as those of sexuality, madness, delinquency, poverty, and so on, and particular forms of practice and rationality, those of governing, curing, punishing, confining, etc.
Certainly, existing schemas could provide some intelligibility. Yet the encounter of the historical contents revealed by meticulous analysis with grand socialtheoretical schematas was one that was peculiarly sensitive to the claims of theoretical and hierarchising knowledges. It is certainly true that not all historical sociologies involve the contestation of the regime of grand theory and its claims to scientificity. Yet the existence of such projects suggests that the narratives and typologies deployed by such theories are in some ways problematic.
At a minimum, the emergence of historical sociologies attests to the need of global theories for a new empirical validation to establish themselves as active research programmes. If historical sociologies are an effect of the resolution, or attempted resolution, of the crisis of sociology struggling with the legacy of grand social theory, then there is little reason to seek a renewed theoretical container for them.
To do so would not only undermine the potential for greater intelligibility they possess, but would also be inimical to the kind of politics of truth they represent. This is of course a conjectural version of the changing historical sense of sociology and to what it might lead. Far from making Foucault into a sociologist in disguise, I want here to reflect on his historical Sociology, Foucault, and the uses of history 13 sense and what it might offer the new historical sense in sociology.
It would be inexcusable to remake him a social theorist or to regard him as a sociologist in disguise. To do so is to risk exposing these flowerings between philosophy and history to the arid climate of theoretical systems and the brutal search for ultimate foundations. As such we might mobilise his achievements for an enterprise that is also between and across established disciplines and modes of thought.
They suggest a form of critical historical study that leaves behind the methods and objectives of conventional, empiricist historiography without recourse to sterile theoretical schemas. They raise again the problem of the uses and pertinence of historical study, and of the practice of history that is linked but not subservient to present theoretical, political, and ethical issues. It is a quite senseless task to be faithful to a form of thought which itself seems designed to put the most loyal follower off track.
This is a thought that, despite an internal consistency, never felt the need to be faithful to itself. It does not lend itself to a systematic theoretical elaboration. Its statement and restatement takes less the form of a progress toward increasing clarity than a vertiginous and prolix recreation, a continual renewal of itself, one which refuses to stand still, to be the same. These are terms which must be approached with care. They are the nub of the following discussion. Despite a concern with discourses as rule-governed systems for the production of thought, Foucault never sought to apply a particular system or to allow his own heuristics to congeal into a fixed, formal method.
Every statement of method, ostensibly committed to the same overall framework, reveals subtle, and sometimes gross, shifts and reconfigurations. Moreover, he left us no extended methodological statement of this genealogy. There are a series of essays, lectures, introductions, interviews, and other fragments, in which genealogical historiography is discussed but none of these settle on a fixed language and style of presentation.
The one text that discusses genealogy in considerable detail is in fact a commentary on Nietzschean genealogy. No matter how much affinity there is between Foucault and Nietzsche the assumption of an identity between commentary and methodological approach is a perilous one that has derailed several of his admirers as well as his detractors.
This again should give us cause for caution. More generally, they are united by their rejection of the pedantry of method, the notion that historical practice is reducible to the application of a methodology to a particular field. Positively, these approaches to method are united by the insight that history is above all a practice, a practice undertaken in a particular present and for particular reasons linked to that present.
For no matter how much historical writing is about dimensions or aspects of the past, and refers to events, irruptions, discourses, and social practices that can be given a particular time-space, it is in fact an activity that is irrevocably linked to its current uses. One way of getting at this idea of history as a practice within a definite present is to note that certain kinds of history arise from the rather simple Sociology, Foucault, and the uses of history 15 necessity of having to deal with the records of one sort or another produced within and across the boundaries of national societies.
This is a problem raised in the introduction to The Archaeology of Knowledge. Here, history does not merely use documents as the fortunate by-product of the past that serves as its memory. Even if history is reduced to this kind of curatorial role, it is still of its own time and place, and the needs it serves are equally of this time and place. This is not simply a repetition of the idea that all histories are written from a particular viewpoint or perspective, because it is also concerned to come to terms with history as a practice, as a particular set of actions brought to bear on a particular material.
It follows that it is not a question of advocating the adoption of a perspectival history against a positivist one but of reflecting upon the possible uses of historical studies. For the Archaeology Foucault —8 , the new kinds of historical study undertaken by both the Annales School and the French School of the history of sciences following from Bachelard and Georges Canguilhem arise precisely from the problematisation of documents. In both forms of history, the crucial question is not the relation between discontinuity and continuity but a new approach to the document.
This new approach forsakes the reconstitution of the world of which the document seeks. As early as his contribution to the Royaumont Colloquium of c , Foucault had explicity distanced himself from the nineteenth century discovery of the infinite task of interpretation in which nothing is primary since the sign itself is already an interpretation of other signs.
Foucault is clearly not a hermeneuticist.
Archaeology is not yet another mode of interpretation rendering into discourse the unsaid. It is this affirmation of the reality of discourse as something to be analysed, described, and organised that prevents archaeology from retracing the interpretative spiral of hermeneutics.
In this sense, archaeology undertakes a move parallel to that of Emile Durkheim. Major-Poetzl —5. This may be an unfortunate name in two respects of which Foucault showed himself to be aware in an interview a Archaeology sought neither to reconstitute the arche or primary origin or deep foundation of forms of knowledge nor excavate or exhume the buried remnants of the past.
Perhaps this concern for the facticity of statements, their relations with each other, the rules under which they are formed and transformed, is best captured in the metaphors Foucault uses at the beginning of the Archaeology Rather, history has become, he suggests, that which transforms documents into monuments, into a mass of elements to be described and organised. If archaeology had once aspired to become a form of history, he suggests that now history aspires to the condition of archaeology, concerned as it is with the intrinsic description of the monument.
However, it retains a certain positivism, admitted by Foucault a and detected Sociology, Foucault, and the uses of history 17 by Deleuze , that is unhelpful from the point of view of a concern for the uses of history in the present. Thus, contrary to certain prevailing views, Foucault, at least in his archaeological methods, was neither a relativist nor a nihilist arguing that all is interpretation and denying the existence of facts or primary data.
Indeed, for archaeology discourse has a specific density, solidity, and facticity, and constitutes a level of reality that is irreducible to the subjective attributes of those who participate in it. Instead of seeking to use documents to reconstruct the historical reality that lies behind and beyond them, Foucault asserts that the problem is to bring the positive reality of discourse into focus and attempt the description of its systems of formation. I would want to resist all the hasty claims that Foucault found himself enclosed in a structuralist account of discourse as fundamentally self-referential, and thus felt the need for a more adequate theorisation of what had remained the non-discursive background of discourse e.
Dreyfus and Rabinow Against such views, it is necessary to assert the unassailable discovery contained in The Archaeology of Knowledge and related texts of the positive and irreducible existence of discourse. Such a discovery remains fundamental throughout his work and, more importantly, is fundamental to any rethinking of the place of the study of discourse and rationality within historical sociology. Far from resorting to a notion of discourse as an ideal unity like a Weltanschauung or ideology, archaeology marks the advent of a materialist approach to the analysis of knowledge and belief if by that is meant an approach that respects the being of discourse, its materiality, its location in time and place, and seeks to account for it in terms of its conditions of existence.
The fundamental deficiency of archaeology is not therefore its account of the relation between discursive and non-discursive practices. Rather, it is the way it conceives the rootedness of historical study in present problems and necessities. The Archaeology gives no explicit account of how the historical description of the positivity of discourse is to be mobilised in terms of current purposes and issues. Here, the terms which stand out are ones drawn from Nietzsche. Beyond the reaches of this philosophy of history lies a Foucauldian-Nietzschean domain of effective history that contains more than a clue as to the possible directions of a critical historical sociology.
In short, an effective history historicises that which is thought to be transhistorical, grasps rather than effaces the singularity of events and processes, and defines levels of analysis that are proper to its objects. An effective history both refuses to use history to assure us of our own identity and the necessity of the present, and also problematises the imposition of suprahistorical or global theory.
In so far as archaeology had engaged in a polemic against the subsumption of historical study to a philosophy of history that posits an ideal continuity of history around the story of its subject, it fulfilled this role as an effective history. The account of archaeology could reflect upon its own theoretical effects e. Genealogy is far better placed to do so.
Here, Nietzsche had discerned three fundamental uses of history: the monumental, devoted to the veneration of great events and deeds ibid. The first is parodic, directed against reality, and opposes the theme of history as reminiscence or recognition; the second is dissociative, directed against identity, and opposes history given as continuity or representative of a tradition; the third is sacrificial, directed against truth, and opposes history as knowledge.
They imply a use of history that severs its connection to memory, its metaphysical and anthropological model, and constructs a counter-memory—a transformation of history into a totally different form of time. Foucault b Foucault thus found in these parodic, dissociative, and sacrificial uses of history three doubles of the monumental, antiquarian and critical modalities.
Genealogy thus follows conventional uses of history with sufficient awareness of their foibles and pitfalls. It is able to laugh at the buffoonery of greatness and the great, to reveal the heterogeneity masked by presumed continuity of identity, and to turn its critical capacity from the past to the subject of knowledge. This is an untenable charge for several reasons. The restive force of criticism, turned to the subject of knowledge, will deny knowledge any secure foundation in that subject.
Nietzsche represents a pole that is capable of wresting historical thought from its complacency and from 20 Critical and effective histories its typical moves, of inducing the effects necessary to examine our own purposes in historical study. Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that Foucault did not regard the critical use of history as problematic as did Nietzsche. If archaeology displaces the delirium of interpretation with an analysis of the positivity of discourse, then genealogy displaces both the search for ultimate foundations and its opposite, nihilism, with a form of patient criticism and problematisation located in the present.
In seeking to establish such a practice of history, I would argue, Foucault had already begun to chart the very same presuppositions that historical sociologies, in roughly the same period, would find in the social theories they had inherited: tendencies toward totalising abstraction, teleology, suprahistorical generalisation, universalist conceptions of human existence, and confirmation of identity. No, if one means by that writing a history of the past in terms of the present. Yes, if one means writing the history of the present. The general context for a consideration of genealogy and archaeology is, then, a third term which they both serve, that of a history of the present.
ykoketomel.ml: Critical And Effective Histories: Foucault's Methods and Historical Sociology (): Mitchell Dean: Books. Critical And Effective Histories: Foucault's Methods and Historical Sociology. Front Cover. Mitchell Dean. Routledge, - Social Science - pages.
Such a definition, if possible, must be broad enough to encompass projects that range across intellectual methods, styles, schools, traditions, and disciplines. Indeed, rather than reduce it to a comparative method or new hybrid discipline, I would prefer to regard historical sociology as any reflexive attempt to develop and elaborate socialtheoretical concepts within a field of positive historical analysis. Such a history renews a quest for methodologies adequate to the problems of division, dispersion, and difference within history, and seeks to prevent anachronistic understandings of the past that make the present a necessary outcome of a necessarily continuous past.
Such a history is geared toward the critical use of history to make intelligible the possibilities in the present and so can yield to neither universalist concepts of rationality and subjectivity nor metanarratives of progress, reason, or emancipation. It is this latter move that makes his critical history an effective tool for historical sociologies. I have argued so far as if there was a clear-cut division between two discrete intellectual movements. This, of course, is not the case. The history of the present has been one contributor to the changing historical sense in sociology, at first no doubt minor, but one which has become increasingly active.
The solution for historical sociology has often been a comparativist empiricism fuelled by theoretical, often classical, references, and so open to the charges of neglect of the historiographical use of sources Goldthorpe The histories of the present, by contrast, have shown a much greater willingness to focus on the problems presented by historical 22 Critical and effective histories resources, of the purpose of historical ventures, of their pertinence, and of the presuppositions inherited from the synthetic philosophies of histories with which the social and moral sciences have been entangled from their birth in the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.
Chapter 2 Presentist perspectives Implicit in what I have argued in the first chapter are two key propositions.
First, history as an intellectual practice has no special, self-evident, merit or justification. In fact, there is good reason to be suspicious of the various rationales for history and the uses to which it is put. Secondly, there is nothing about the nature of social or historical reality that can compel sociology—if we are to continue to take the perspective of that discipline—to take history seriously.
However, it is clear that these grounds cannot be found in a putative ontology of a socio-historical reality as a process of structuring or structuration. Despite these propositions, I argue for critical historical studies in general and historical-sociological studies in particular. Rather these studies constitute an endeavour which is perspectival and strategic, rooted in present-day concerns even as they reject the present as a necessary end-point of historical trajectories. Whatever that term may be taken to mean, it is certainly right to suggest that the present is at the heart of the critical historical studies of Foucault.
This is so in a double sense. On the other, they are concerned with the present configuration and organisation of knowledge. These studies remain theoretical—in the sense of operating within the contested field of ideas and concepts—without ever creating a totalising theory. It is in this latter sense that they are strategic. Rather than seeking an absolute foundation, they give explicit acknowledgement of the fact of their own immersion within an existing, mobile field of knowledge. The two thinkers represent quite different attitudes toward the present from those of Foucault, that, none the less, remain instructive in themselves.
An excursus on the mutual relations of Foucault and the Annales school is appended to the chapter. They both conceive the present as a development of the past and the studies in which they are engaged are unifying or synthetic of the human or social sciences. In this sense, they form part of the mid-twentieth century historical consciousness that repudiated the legacy of nineteenth century narrative history unified by reference to political events— the history of Ranke and his followers Burke There are, however, important differences.
Such different attitudes toward the present stem less from the idiosyncrasies of each author than their position in relation to the contingencies of their respective disciplines.
To start with Braudel. But how can this be so, how can the science of the past be also one of the present? This formula is certainly not a self-evident equation presupposing as it does a fundamental relation of identity of present and past. To understand the relation, at least as Presentist perspectives 25 Braudel conceives it, it is necessary to understand his conception of history and historical time.
Braudel argues for a highly sociologised version of history. In fact he wrote on the unity of the human sciences even with the full acknowledgement of the practical and institutional reasons for their diversity especially Braudel — For Braudel, if not for the major Annales practitioners, such unity would appear to come from historical time itself rather than the object of the human sciences.
It is well known that Braudel introduces the possibility of a multiplicity of temporalities, working at different speeds and in different directions e. Secondly, he distinguishes a conjunctural history, such as that most often studied by economists, a history of economic crises, cycles and intercycles, following a broader and slower rhythm than that of events. This latter history and its time are not simply one level, but the all-embracing totality of historical time itself. However, he argues ibid. History is thus an activity which is bound by an historical time that cannot be reduced to regularity and synchrony.
The present is shot through with a multiplicity of historical temporalities, proceeding at their own pace and in different directions. The connection of present to past is thus not a univocal one. On the one hand, the present can be temporalised at different levels. On the other, the significance of the present and the rupture it introduces recedes in the face of this deep history. It is only within such a history that the present can be situated. If history raises questions about society as a whole and the movement of time which ceaselessly carries life along, then the present cannot escape it, even if as an instant on the surface of a deeper movement, that present is always destined to be erased before it occurs.
The writings of Norbert Elias start from the opposite problem, the involvement of sociology in the present, its lack of engagement with historical materials and appreciation of historical process. He regards this retreat as a symptom of a double problem: first, the politicisation of social theory, and, secondly, its isolation from the legion empirical inquiries of this period. He suggests that this situation is in many ways analogous to earlier struggles e.
For Elias, this involvement is a sign of the immaturity of the social sciences as compared to the natural sciences. It is also, more fundamentally, a result of the nature of the social or human sciences in which the objects of study persons are also its subjects Elias a This, of course, is a variant on the familiar neo-Kantian theme of the ontological basis of the separation of the natural and social sciences. According to Elias a: 14—16 , social scientists, by virtue of their position in relation to a world of groups engaged in struggle for position and survival, face the limits to detachment imposed by their own participation in collective social life.
Elias is, of course, not arguing that sociologists should retreat from the present but simply that a certain degree of detachment and autonomy is necessary before sociology can contribute to the handling of social and political problems. However, because this detachment is limited by the peculiar nature of sociology, Elias draws the conclusion that the involvement and participation of sociologists is a condition of sociological knowledge.
History becomes the ground from which these models arise, and by which they are refined and tested. The present may be understood more clearly by comparison with the conditions of the past, but contemporary social requirements and structures of self-restraint form an obstacle if they are projected into the past ibid.
Elias thus argues for a degree of detachment from political and emotional investments in the present in order to understand the universal features of humanity that are revealed in the framework of developmental history. Elias, like Braudel, suggests that an understanding of present problems and issues can only be had within the project of a total history of humanity.
Yet, where Braudel seeks to turn history toward our involvements in the present, Elias renounces that involvement to establish the historical credentials of sociology. There are indeed fundamental tensions and problems in both these conceptions of history and its relations to the human sciences. For Elias, there is the call for detachment together with the recognition that involvement is one of 28 Critical and effective histories the conditions for social scientific knowledge.
In both cases there is the supposition that only some version of a total or global history can be of assistance in understanding the present. This is a stance that rejects a globalising perspective and a unifying instance of historical time and does not seek to suppress the involvement in the present which all parties accept is a condition of historical study itself.
For the moment, however, let us examine how it poses the problem of the relationship between such involvements and the practice of historical writing. Despite relentless changes in formulation and the development of new methodologies and approaches, it is possible to discern a coherent conception of history and its relation to the present. In one account Dreyfus and Rabinow , he thematises a problem common to all historians. For example, the notion and practice of police as a condition achieved within a well-governed polity in seventeenth and eighteenth century continental Europe cannot be understood through a twentieth century understanding of police as a force of officers charged with the maintenance of law and order.
Here, he undertakes something rather more than a methodological move. Presentism is thus diagnosed as a historiography which cannot break free of the vicious circle Presentist perspectives 29 of its own forms of consciousness and can only function to provide assurance of contemporary forms of identity. However, this criticism holds, because genealogy is the relativist unmasking of the truth-claims of all knowledge, it is forced to instrumentalise the past in terms of the needs of the present ibid.
It thus becomes a species of the presentism it seeks to avoid. The problem of presentism is undoubtedly a methodological danger. More importantly, it is an ethical and political question concerning the various uses to which history is put. We have shown that Foucault sought to raise these problems in his engagement with the uses of history isolated by Nietzsche. If, then, we are to understand how a self-styled history of the present can avoid presentism, we must turn to the relation of archaeology and genealogy.
Indeed, historical thought can be responsible to the future by issuing warnings concerning the dangers inherent within certain modes of thought and institutional practice, including ones which present themselves as progressive, utopian, or even, simply, modern. Secondly, the characterisation of genealogy as an unmasking of truth claims is highly dubious, as I argue throughout this work and particularly in Chapter 7. If Foucault is first making a methodological critique of presentism, then what is its basis?
An indication of this can be had from the distinction he draws between different types of the history of the sciences in The Archaeology of Knowledge Foucault has often been loosely grouped with the French school of thought concerned with the history of the sciences e. Gutting —54; Descombes — Indeed, as he noted Foucault d: 52 in his essay on the thinker of this school with whom he has the closest filiation, Georges Canguilhem, there had been in France since World War II a line of division between two varieties of philosophical reflection, one grounded on experience, meaning, and the subject, the other on knowledge, rationality, and the concept.
The archaeological methodology Foucault developed and employed throughout the s can be understood within this latter horizon of the history of science and knowledge, of rationality and concepts. However, unlike the writings of other thinkers of this genre, archaeology sought to define a method capable of dealing with forms of knowledge which were both of increasing prestige but of a relatively low level of formalisation, the human sciences. Viewed as a methodology designed with this field of study in mind, archaeology is a form of history that suspends the norms of particular disciplines or established sciences as the filter through which to treat particular bodies of knowledge.
Such a method is germane to the human sciences not only because of their lower epistemological status but also because of their immersion in other non-scientific, political, and ethical discourses, and the close relation between their contents and a whole range of institutional practices and the wider social and political field in which they are located. They are: a threshold of positivity, when a single system of forming statements can be discerned; a threshold of epistemologisation, when a dominant way of validating and verifying statements is achieved; a threshold of scientificity, when this dominant function fulfils formal criteria for the construction of propositions; and a threshold of formalisation, when that discourse is able to define its own axiomatic structure Foucault —7.
Corresponding to a science that has achieved formalisation, Foucault argues, there can be a recurrential form of historical analysis. This is a history, such as one that mathematics might recount about itself, of a highly formalised science from the viewpoint of the current epistemological structures of that science. Bachelard, for example, spoke of a recurrential history that takes the certainties of the present and writes the past as the progressive formation of the truth Gutting Foucault then distinguishes an epistemological history of the sciences for which Bachelard and Canguilhem have provided models.
Here, located at the threshold of scientificity, history is concerned with how a discourse was constituted as a science, the obstacles overcome, the breaks made, and the acts performed.
It is thus written from the norms of present-day science but is not a completely internalist history. This is because such a history must distinguish between the relationship of scientific knowledge to its outside. It may be noted in these passages that for Foucault as for the history of the sciences it is quite legitimate to engage in a recurrential or epistemological history, to distinguish between what lies forever at the margins of science and what is valid in terms of the internal norms of the presently constituted Presentist perspectives 31 sciences.
In this sense, this tradition may be described as positivist, in so far as it does not bring philosophically conceived standards of truth and meaning to bear on scientific knowledge. It accepts a subordinate role, if one likes, for philosophy, in terms of the clarification and internal development of the concepts at work in any particular science or domain of knowledge.
If, however, Foucault places himself within this positivist domain, it is to discover a level of analysis which is indifferent to the norms and validity claims of science. Governmentality : Power and Rule in Modern Society. Mitchell Dean. Dean's book should become required reading not just for those interested in the work of Michel Foucault, but for all those who are concerned with the dilemmas of contemporary politics. The url here is a link to Stanford University Press page, with cover, endorsements, contents and Introduction of this book published January 6, Publication Date: Jan 6, View on sup.
The Signature of Power: sovereignty, governmentality and biopolitics more. Governmentality: power and rule in modern society 2nd edn more. View on uk. Governing societies: political perspectives on domestic and international rule more. More Info: There are two essay reviews of this book here. View on mcgraw-hill. The Constitution of Poverty: toward a genealogy of liberal governance more.
More Info: Based on the author's PhD and first published in View on routledge. Governmentality: power and rule in modern society more. Government , Power social , Governmentality , and Governance. Governing Australia: studies in contemporary rationalities of government more. More Info: coedited with Barry Hindess. There is a copy of Dean and Hindess introduction and Dean chapter here.
View on cambridge. Critical and Effective Histories: Foucault's methods and historical sociology more. Publisher: Routledge Publication Date: View on revalvaatio. Statsfobi og Civilsamfund. More Info: coauthored with Kaspar Villadsen. Publisher: Nyt fra samfunds videnskaberne Publication Date: View on information. Our present is not lacking in novel and alarming characteristics and diagnoses: of a post-truth politics and the spread of fake news; of the dark arts of the internet; of populism as movement, politics , and incompetent policy; of Our present is not lacking in novel and alarming characteristics and diagnoses: of a post-truth politics and the spread of fake news; of the dark arts of the internet; of populism as movement, politics , and incompetent policy; of explicitly illiberal democracies and regimes; of collusions and meddling in high politics; of antiglobalism, trade wars, and the making and remaking of state enemies such as Russia.
It would be tempting to imagine that this present is a time like no other, a hinge moment of epochal significance. Above all, it would be easy, and all too careless, to imagine that liberal democracies, and the neoliberalism that has played a major part in public governance for the last forty years, have made a sudden and unexpected authoritarian lurch.
What follows are two intertwined stories concerning neoliberalism and its authoritarian dimension. One is conceptual and theoretical and concerns a small domain of academic and intellectual activity: that of Michel Foucault, his influence in what has been called "governmentality studies" Sen nelart , and this field's status in a present in which there has been a belated rediscovery of the political. The second is the story of a different scale: of frameworks of governing and politics in contemporary liberal democracies, with a particular emphasis on the extent to which these forms of governing have been liberal, in the sense that they operate primarily in relation to the freedom of the governed and only occasionally resort to measures that are coercive or illiberal.
At stake in the latter is the question of sovereign power, the nation, the state, and the territory. For some time, we have been exercised with the irrationality of the rationalities of neoliberal government. Today we are forced to turn to the rationality of irrational neoliberal politics.
Oath and Office more. The oath pertains to law, sovereignty, and office. A public servant takes an oath. A witness and a juror at a trial swear an oath. The British monarch swears a coronation oath and the president-elect of the United States an oath of The British monarch swears a coronation oath and the president-elect of the United States an oath of office. And while the oath invokes God, it would be an error to assume that it is merely an atavism, a retroversion, or a vestige of a more religious past.
But what it is and what it does is far from clear, including to those who swear oaths. This essay draws on classical political thought and contemporary work in comparative religion, public administration, history of ideas, linguistics and social philosophy, and using multiple examples, to understand the conundrums concerning the oath and, in particular, its relation to office.
Publication Date: Publication Name: Telos View on telospress. Barry Hindess: On the personal and the theoretical more. This is more a personal and partial remembrance of my friend and colleague, Barry Hindess, than a formal obituary, but it does address the nature of his intellectual inspiration. What is Economic Theology? A New Governmental-Political Paradigm? Countering claims of its impossibility, this paper argues for economic theology as an intelligible figure of contemporary political rationality and organization, and a distinctive analytical strategy in relation to forms of liberal and Countering claims of its impossibility, this paper argues for economic theology as an intelligible figure of contemporary political rationality and organization, and a distinctive analytical strategy in relation to forms of liberal and neoliberal governmentality and the contemporary management of social life.
As an analytical strategy, it has two arms: an institutional one, drawing upon Michel Foucault's work on the pastorate; and a conceptual one, following from Giorgio Agamben on oikonomia, order and providence. Economic theology was the arcana of twentieth-century debates on both political theology and governmentality and a condition for their emergence. It formed the horizon of Carl Schmitt's intervention of a political theology in response to Max Weber, and, as the pastorate, it was for Foucault the historical background of the emergence of the liberal arts of government.
While appearing as a new paradigm, it thus has a measure of priority over our more established ones. Furthermore, to the extent that economic theology comes to occupy the place of political rationality of contemporary liberal-democratic societies, the political becomes less a rational public sphere and more a form of public liturgy. Doi: Did Foucault reinvent his History of Sexuality through the prism of neoliberalism?
View on lareviewofbooks. Three Forms of Democratic Political Acclamation more.
There are three such ways. In the first, typified by direct democracy of an authoritarian kind and certain assemblies in liberal democracy, political acclamation is performed though the actual presence of the people as assembled public and by hand gestures, waving and chants. Foucault and the neoliberalism controversy more.
Cooper, M. Konings, and D. Primrose eds , The Sage Handbook of Neoliberalism.
London: Sage, pp. It includes reviews of It argues that there are three specific elements of what might be considered neoliberalism to which Foucault had an affirmative relationship: 1. Office and Agamben's Genealogy of Economy and Government more. In part, it is a response to Ian Hunter's paper in the same issue of the journal. The Dark Arts Reach the Internet more.
The article addresses the significance of the current Cambridge Analytica and Facebook "scandal" in relation to what Michel Foucault called "modes of veridiction" and the "liturgical unfolding of truth.