File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2000/foucault.0006, message 18

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 17:02:37 +0200
Subject: Re: On Governmentality

Hej Maria!

You should definitely check out Foucault's (1984) ´The Ethics of the Concern of
the Self as a Practice of Freedom´, and (1983) ´On the Genealogy of Ethics: an
Overview of a Work in
Progress´ in Rabinow (ed.) "Michel Foucault: Ethics, the essential works 1.",
London: Allen
Lane. Despite their brevity I feel they are landmarks of his later work and
very relevant for anybody studying issues focusing on subjectivities (surely
human rights fits in). It is interesting to note that Foucault upon discussing
the role of "Discpline and Punish" as an "element in a genealogy of the modern
'soul'," notes that this soul "has a reality, it is produced permanently
around, on, within the body by the functioning of a power that is exercised on
those punished - and in a more general way, on those one supervises, trains and
corrects, over madmen, children at home and at school, the colonized, over
those who are stuck at a machine and supervised for the rest of their lives"
(p. 29, Penguin 1991). I have more than a suspicion that the strategies of
democratization, training, education (enlightenment?), empowerment,
participation, etc. so important to developmental/governmental agencies dealing
with human rights in the so-called "third world", are part of this
supervisory/tutelary complex.

In terms of governmentality, I have found all work concerning technologies of
citizenship, agency and performance (Rose, Dean, Cruikshank, etc.) highly
useful and more than relevant in "third world" contexts, again, especially with
specific reference to human rights. O'Malley's (1998) `Indigenous Governance',
in Dean and Hindess (eds), "Governing Australia: Studies in Contemporary
Rationalities of Government", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, although
concerning a nation as "developed" as Australia, is also worth having a look

And finally, perhaps you are already more than aware of the increasing number
of governmentality studies finding their way into the field of International
Development Studies, but I can in any case warmly recommend Timothy Mitchell's
"Colonizing Egypt" (beautiful reading) and Arturo Escobar's "Encountering
Development" as examples of how these issues have previously been used in
relation to the "third world".

Cheers - Ayo

> Hi,
> I'm a danish master student, present doing my master degree on
> Governmentality and Human Rights: My approach is on governmental agencies
> way of using different human rights and democracies conditions in their
> relationsship with the 3. world.
> In the analysis of this aspect, the later work of Foucault is to be used. I
> have read most of the later work of Foucault and is attentive to the work
> of such writters as Nicolas Rose and Colin Gordon on the aspects of
> governmentality.
> But I would be very gratefull if anyone could help me with references if
> any concerning Governmentality, Human Rights and the 3. World or something
> which could be interessting for my approach. Since I am present living in
> Paris and have access to the Michel Foucalut Center the references could
> also be from conferences or non-published papers available at the center.
> Thanks in advance.
> Maria Blankensteiner


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