Security, Territory, Population Lectures at the Collège de France 1977--1978

Lectures at the Collège de France

Michel Foucault; Edited by Michel Senellart; Translated by Graham Burchell; General Editors: François Ewald and Alessandro Fontana; English Series Editor: Arnold I. Davidson

Picador

0312203608

9780312203603

Trade Paperback

464 Pages

$20.00

CAD23.00

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Marking a major development in Foucault's thinking, Security, Territory, Population derives from the lecture course which he gave at the Collège de France between January and April, 1978. Taking as his starting point the notion of  "bio-power," introduced in his 1976 course Society Must be Defended, Foucault sets out to study the foundations of this new technology of power over population. Distinct from punitive, disciplinary systems, the mechanisms of power are here finely entwined with the technologies of security, and it is to 18th century developments of these technologies with which the first chapters of the book are concerned. By the fourth lecture however Foucault's attention turns, focusing on a history of "governmentality" from the first centuries of the Christian era to the emergence of the modern nation state. As Michel Sennelart explains in his afterword, the effect of this change of direction is to "shift the center of gravity of the lectures from the question of biopower to that of government, to such an extent that the former almost entirely eclipses the former." Consequently, in light of Foucault's later work, it is tempting to see these lectures as the moment of a radical turning point at which the transition to the problematic of the "government of self and others" would begin.

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Praise for Security, Territory, Population

"The English translation of Security, Territory and Population is a major event not only for Anglophone readers of Foucault’s work, but for all those concerned with understanding our present social and political condition. These lectures show that the trenchant analysis of biopower, 'power over life,' which Foucault had begun in the first volume of the History of Sexuality and which he pursues here in terms of technologies of security, led him to a decisively deeper and more radical formulation of his guiding problematic—what he called 'the government of the self and others'—the issue that would serve as the basis for all his subsequent work. Security, Territory and Population might thus properly be called the ‘missing link’ that reveals the underlying unity of Foucault’s later thought . . . Burchell’s translation is meticulous, supple, and attentive to the nuances of Foucault’s fluid lecture style. We all stand in his debt."—Kevin Thompson, Book Review Editor, Continental Philosophy Review, Department of Philosophy, DePaul University
 
"These lectures offer the wonderful opportunity of witnessing a great mind at work. In answering the question of whether the general economy of power in our societies is becoming a domain of security Foucault is never less than erudite, insightful and challenging. Here, probably better than anywhere else, we see the nature of his thoughts on the rationality of modern government."—Jeremy Jennings, Department of Politics, Queen Mary University of London, and editor of The European Journal of Political Theory
 
"Security, Territory, Population is a stunning display of Foucault's skills of historical research and theoretical insight. Exploring the emergence of 'bio-power' and the 'techniques of security' designed to shape and regulate populations from a distance, Foucault looks beyond disciplinary power to a distinctively modern form of government through freedom. Accessible and highly readable, these lectures have much to tell us about our contemporary situation."—James Martin, Department of Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London

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Michael Foucault, acknowledged as the preeminent philosopher of France in the 1970s and 1980s, continues to have enormous impact throughout the world in many disciplines.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Michel Foucault; Edited by Michel Senellart; Translated by Graham Burchell; General Editors: François Ewald and Alessandro Fontana; English Series Editor: Arnold I. Davidson

  • Michel Foucault, acknowledged as the preeminent philosopher of France in the 1970s and 1980s, continues to have enormous impact throughout the world in many disciplines. His works include  Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, The History of Sexuality, and Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison.

    Series editor Arnold I. Davidson teaches philosophy, divinity, and comparative literature at the University of Chicago and is executive editor of the journal Critical Inquiry. The author of numerous studies on Foucault, he has been a visiting professor at the Collège de France.

    Translator Graham Burchell lives in Italy. He has written essays on Michel Foucault and was an editor of The Foucault Effect: Essays on Governmentality.
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