Foucault's Struggle: Birth of the Subject of Government

HAKODA Tetz September 20, 2013 Keio Unievrsity Press, 320p.

Foucault's Struggle Front Page

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Note from the author Table of Contents

■Note from the author

"We must hear the distant roar of battle." Michel Foucault

Foucault's theory on power reached its heights around mid 1970s with the publication of Discipline and Punish and The Will to Knowledge, while the atmospheres in French society during the period of post May 68 and rapid decline in leftism could not appreciate its potential. His reflections, though deeply connected to his contemporary social contestations, were quickly translated into an abstract power-resistance dichotomy: Omnipotence of power and limited possibility of resistance, which has been said to put him into an "impasse." However, at the same moment, Foucault began to study the genealogy of "government" beyond the Western history of Christianity. Around the concept of government, he placed a series of notions such as ethics, freedom, subjectivation, and parrhesia, and reorganized his theory on power, which brought about a unique theory on subject together with the "subject of government."
In this vain, the later Foucault sees the importance of a kind of freedom which might exist as a prerequisite of power relations, where the subject of government is in the network of government of self and others. That subject, using freedom, directs self and others or conducts their conducts, and is conducted by others by way of "subjective" truth, something which subjects can refer to and make their own style of existence from.
For the later Foucault, there are always and already struggles that challenge and change existing ways of conducts. It is timeless revolts against conducts by others as well as the conducted self as such. Thus, later Foucauldian notions of aesthetics of existence, ethics of self, and exercise of freedom are all considered in the light of governmental actions on self and others. And these attempts amount to the fundamental question: "How are we not governed like this?" We can read his philosophy of present, even criticism against contemporary governmentality from this governmental perspective.

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■Table of Contents

Introduction: The Later Foucault and Government Theory
1 General Introduction
2 Reviews on Secondary Literatures
3 Overview of The Book

Chapter 1 Power Is Not Seductive But Seduced. 1 Impossible Location of The Concept of Resistance in Foucauldian Thought
2 Groupe Information de Prison and Politics of Intolerable
3 Seduced Power in "Lives of Infamous Men"
4 From Resistance and Power to Government

Chapter 2 Discipline and Ars Erotica: Christian Spiritual Direction and Its Other
1 General Typology of Power Apparatus
2 Scientia Sexualis and Ars Erotica: Two Types of Truth and Subjectivation
3 Ars Erotica and Subjectivation of Self
4 Government, Conduct, Direction: Christian Invention of Government of People
5 Inseparability of Scientia Sexualis and Ars Erotica: Double Aspect of Government

Chapter 3 Genealogy of Pastoral Power: Beyond Criticism Against Neoliberalism
1 History and Prehistory of Pastoral Power
2 Raison d'Etat as "Secular" Pastoral Power
3 Birth of Political Economy and Liberal Governmentality
4 Neoliberal Governmentality: Intervention in and Constitution of Society
5 General Perspective of Government

Chapter 4 Islamic Government - There Is No Such Thing: Political Spirituality as Counter-Conduct
1 "Iranian Revolution" as Event
2 Foucauldian "Journalism" on Iran
3 Islamic Government and Political Spirituality
4 Islamic Government as Counter-Conduct
5 There Is No Such Thing As Islamic Government

Chapter 5 One Who Use and A Thing That is Used Are Different: Development of Government Theory in the 1980s
1 From Pastoral to Government and Conducts
2 Care of the Self as Practice of Government: Plato Alcibiades
3 Self as An Ethical Subject: Foucault's reading of Hellenistic Philosophy (Stoics and Epicurus)
4 Care of the Self at the Intersection of Theories of Subject and Power
Final Chapter From Resistance and Power to the Self that Governs
1 Government Theory Beyond Split Theories on Power and Self
2 Revolts against Self and Enlightenment
3 Ethical Turn and Ethical Politics in Exercises of Parrhesia

Literature Cited

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