The Government of Life

9780823255962: Hardback
Release Date: 5th April 2014

9780823255979: Paperback
Release Date: 5th April 2014

9780823255993: EPUB
Release Date: 5th April 2014

9780823256006: PDF
Release Date: 5th April 2014

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 304

Series Forms of Living

Fordham University Press

The Government of Life

Foucault, Biopolitics, and Neoliberalism

An examination of Foucault’s last thought, centered on his ideas about biopolitics, governmentality, and subjectivity. This volume aims to explain why the politics and policies of neoliberalism are best understood as a “government of life” whose effects and consequences still remain to be fathomed.
Hardback / £70.00
Paperback / £20.99
EPUB / £24.00
PDF / £24.00

Foucault’s late work on biopolitics and governmentality has established him as the fundamental thinker of contemporary continental political thought and as a privileged source for our current understanding of neoliberalism and its technologies of power. In this volume, an international and interdisciplinary group of Foucault scholars examines his ideas of biopower and biopolitics and their relation to his project of a history of governmentality and to a theory of the subject found in his last courses at the College de France.

Many of the chapters engage critically with the Italian theoretical reception of Foucault. At the same time, the originality of this collection consists in the variety of perspectives and traditions of reception brought to bear upon the problematic connections between biopolitics and governmentality established by Foucault’s last works.

Vanessa Lemm is Professor of Philosophy at the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She is the author of Nietzsche’s Animal Philosophy: Culture, Politics, and the Animality of the Human Being (New York: Fordham University Press, 2009), Nietzsche y el pensamiento politico contemporáneo (Santiago: Fondo de cultura económica, 2013) and several articles on Nietz sche, biopolitics, and contemporary political theory. She has also edited volumes on Hegel and Foucault..

Miguel Vatter is Professor of Political Science at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is the editor of Crediting God: Religion and Sovereignty in the Age of Global Capitalism (New York, 2010) and author of The Republic of the Living: Affirmative Biopolitics and Civil Society (New York, 2014). He is a founding member of the biopolitics research network BioPolitica.cl.

“The Government of Life does not simply analyze Foucault’s ideas about governmentality. It reconsiders Foucault’s thought from the standpoint of recent developments in continental and especially Italian philosophy with philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben, Roberto Esposito, and Toni Negri.”

—Michael Behrent
Appalachian State University

We are facing an explosion of research on biopolitical questions today, and this volume certainly represents a welcome addition to this growing literature.

—Nicolae Morar, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Over the last twenty years, few concepts have been more investigated and used than the one of "biopolitics". However, only rarely has it been attempted to compare these uses in their variety and in their contradiction. This volume has the merit of offering a subtle and rich, complete and articulate view on what "biopolitics" means today, and in this way contributes to establish a political grammar for the start of this century.

—Antonio Negri

An extraordinarily incisive and comprehensive collection of essays by an internationally distinguished list of contributors, Foucault, Biopolitics and Neoliberalism brilliantly discloses how Foucault’s thinking continues to challenge and provoke 30 years after his death. No memorializing of Foucault, these essays think with and against his work in a spirit of critical engagement which could provide no better tribute to him.

—Michael Dillon
Professor Emeritus, Lancaster University

The Government of Life reminds us of how prescient Foucault was. We have so few guides in our present age of unbridled neoliberalism and biopolitics; Foucault was one of the few who saw what was coming. The authors in this volume richly plumb Foucault's work in order to make sense of our predicament, to recuperate from the maw of biopolitics a more affirmative way of life. These authors speak to one another and to Foucault through a focus on common texts. In doing so they engage in critical questions about sovereignty, bodies and human life that make for essential reading for anyone interested in the underlying fabric of our time and our politics.

—James Martel
San Francisco State University