By Vanessa Lemm, Miguel Vatter
This quantity makes a speciality of the relation that Foucault validated among the guidelines of biopower and biopolitics and the experiences of governmentality in his final classes on the Collège de France and in his occasional writings of this era. The essays during this quantity undertake and give a contribution to Foucault's research of biopolitics as a guiding thread to appreciate why liberalism and neoliberalism is a 'government of life'.
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Extra resources for The government of life : Foucault, biopolitics, and neoliberalism
This continuity and equalization entail the effacement of figures such as the worker, the citizen, the patriot, and so forth. All of them disappear for the benefit of the living individual whose vital nucleus must be secured, and nothing exists outside of the great community of living bodies, the security of which will be the responsibility of private organisms acting with the blessing of the state. To conclude, I will propose two figures that to my mind incarnate this new biopolitical age of security, which one could also call the global age of security, and which, one day, will need to be opposed to the total age of security where there will be no more discussion of the state’s interests in an international milieu, but instead solely of the circulation of The Fourth Age of Security 27 flows in a globalized world.
The doctrine of human security instead proclaims insistently that living populations and individuals ought to constitute the new object of security. They are what must be protected: what is sacred is no longer the sovereignty of the state, but the life of the individual. , by a bloodthirsty state), this constitutes a breach of security as human security. As soon as the state is no longer the first and final object of security, everything that is 24 Frédéric Gros involved in the life of civil populations becomes an object of security.
In Becker’s work, “homo oeconomicus is an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur of himself,” charged with both the care and valorization of “ser vices in the self” (BB, 226). Whatever the ambivalence of its effects, Foucault recognized that this was a formation of power that no longer worked through the dissemination of norms or the pathologization The Law of the Household 43 of difference. In Becker’s work, deviations from the norm appear instead as an expanding horizon of market opportunities to be included, as far as possible, within the terms of contract: What appears on the horizon of this kind of analysis is not at all the ideal or project of an exhaustively disciplinary society in which the legal network hemming in individuals is taken over and extended internally by, let’s say, normative mechanisms.