These thirteen lectures on the 'punitive society,' delivered at the Collège de France in the first three months of 1973, examine the way in which the relations between justice and truth that govern modern penal law were forged, and question what links them to the emergence of a new punitive regime that still dominates contemporary society.
“[Foucault] has an alert and sensitive mind that can ignore the familiar surfaces of established intellectual coded and ask new questions. [He] gives dramatic quality to the movement of culture.”—The New York Review of Books
“Delivered shortly after the dissolution of Group d’Information sur les Prisons, Foucault’s third lecture course at the Collège de France coincided with a significant change in his thinking about prisons, as he began to reflect on the disciplinary power at work in prisons and in society more generally.”—A. D. Schrift, Choice, Vol. 53 (9), May, 2016
“[Editor Bernard Harcourt] provides us with countless erudite references to Foucault’s unacknowledged as well as acknowledged sources and supplies a clear, fair-minded and modest commentary.”—Mariana Valverdem, British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 57 (1), January, 2017
“Ideas spark off nearly every page of this book, as Foucault manages to reinvigorate questions of power and violence that might have seemed well-worn. The words may have been spoken in 1976, but they seem as alive and relevant as if they had been written yesterday.”—Bookforum
“These lectures offer important insights into the evolution of the primary focus of Foucault's later work the relationship between power and knowledge.”—Library Journal