1st Edition

Foucault and Law

Edited By Peter Fitzpatrick, Ben Golder Copyright 2010

    Few thinkers can have had a more diverse or a more contested impact on theorizing law than Michel Foucault. This diversity is reflected in the wide range of Foucault's work and of the intellectual fields it has so conspicuously influenced. Such diversity informs the present collection and is signalled in the headings of its four sections:

    • Epistemologies: archaeology, discourse, Orientalism
    • Political philosophy: discipline, governmentality and the genealogy of law
    • Embodiment, difference, sexuality and the law
    • The subject of rights and ethics.

    Whilst the published work selected for this collection amply accommodates this diversity, it also draws together strands in Foucault's work that coalesce in seemingly conflicting theories of law. Yet the editors are also committed to showing how that very conflict goes to constitute for Foucault an integral and radical theory of law. This theory ranges not just beyond the restrained and diminished conceptions of law usually derived from Foucault, but also beyond the characteristic concern in Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy to constitute law in its difference and separation from other socio-political forms.

    Contents: Introduction: the laws of Michel Foucault; Part I Epistemologies: Archaeology, Discourse, Orientalism: Women's Resolution of Lawes Reconsidered: epistemic shifts and the emergence of the feminist legal discourse, Maria Drakopoulou; Legal orientalism, Teemu Ruskola. Part II Political Philosophy: Discipline, Governmentality and the Genealogy of Law: Foucault's expulsion of law: toward a retrieval, Alan Hunt; Norms, discipline, and the law, François Ewald; Between governance and discipline: the law and Michel Foucault, Victor Tadros; Governed by law?, Nikolas Rose and Marina Valverde; Political power beyond the state: problematics of government, Nikolas Rose and Peter Miller. Part III Embodiment, Difference, Sexuality and the Law: Foucault and the paradox of bodily inscriptions, Judith Butler; Foucault, rape, and the construction of the feminine body, Ann J. Cahill; Structured like a monster: understanding human difference through a legal category, Andrew N. Sharpe; Beyond the privacy principle, Kendall Thomas. Part IV The Subject of Rights and Ethics: Sexual ethics and postmodernism in gay rights philosophy, Carlos A. Ball; Power and right in Nietzsche and Foucault, Paul Patton; The 'paradox' of knowledge and power:Foucault on the bias, Thomas Keenan; Name index.


    Ben Golder is Lecturer in Law, University of New South Wales, Australia. Peter Fitzpatrick is Anniversary Professor of Law, University of London, UK.