Security, Territory, Population (Michel Foucault: Lectures at the Collège de France) Paperback – 28 Mar 2007
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'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, USA
'Foucault, and this book, has enriched and extended our understandings of the field which Foucault made his own: the history of systems of thought.' - Roger Deacon, The European Legacy
First publication of Foucault's lectures, spanning from 1977-1978, focusing on the institutionalization of power in governmentSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The subject matter is rather more interesting than first appears. What Foucault was primarily talking about was the history of governmentality (governementalité), and the move from the medieval dynastical state to the early modern administrative state, elaborating on the relationships of power and the bodies of knowledge that were debated and formulated to allow this change.
Foucault's notions of biopower and biopolitique also loom large and the book allows you to get to grips with those concepts. Things may not be clear in the first couple of chapters (each lecture is a chapter), but as you progress towards the end of the book you will feel much better for it.
I recommend this book.
The wonderful thing about these transcribed lectures is the amount of legwork that has gone into supplying extra information through footnotes and endnotes, clarifying seemingly off-the-cuff remarks Foucault makes, which often relate to works of other great thinkers. This is perhaps a bit too advanced for a total beginner when it comes to Foucault, and I would therefore recommend those unfamiliar with his work to begin with Discipline and Punish or History of Sexuality Vol 1; they are by far his most readable works.
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This volume is critical to any student of Foucault or government in general. To the Foucault student, it refines his concept of power and signifies a break from power as "domination" to power as the "conduct of conduct." This is the first printing of the full lecture series, of which only two portions were available previously, and shows the full empirical range of his study of governmentality.
To the more general student of government, this work is equally valuable. It clearly situates government as a practice contingent upon durable forms of thought and action in western history. It is primarily concerned with the shift from governing territory to governing populations with the emergence of liberalism and the collapse of feudalism. More advanced students may find this work especially useful because of its contraposition to marxism, critical theory, and mainstream liberal critiques of government. In this respect, it offers a genuinely alternative voice to the problems and prospects of modern politics - a very rare achievement.
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