Oriented around the theme of a ‘politics of philosophy’, this book tracks the phases in which Foucault’s genealogy of power, law, and subjectivity was reorganized during the 14 years of his teaching at the College de France, as his focus shifted from sovereignty to governance. This theme, Sandro Chignola argues here, is the key to understanding four features of Foucault’s work over this period. First, it foregrounds its immediate political character. Second, it demonstrates that Foucault’s "Greek trip" also aims at a politics of the subject that is able to face the processes of the governmentalization of power. Third, it makes clear that the idea of the "government of the self" is – drawing on an ethics of intellectual responsibility that is Weberian in origin – an answer to the processes that, within neoliberal governance, produce the subject as an individual (as a consumer, a market agent, an entrepreneur, and so on). Fourth, the theme of a ‘politics of philosophy’ implies that Foucault’s research was never simply scholarly or neutral; but rather was characterized by a specific political position. Against recent interpretations that risk turning Foucault into a scholar, here then Foucault is re-presented as a key figure for jurisprudential and political-philosophical research.
To the English reader
Chapter 1. The impossible of the sovereign. Governmentality and liberalism
Chapter 2. Body Factories. Foucault, Marx
Chapter 3. The politics of the governed. Governmentality, forms of life, subjectivation
Chapter 4. Koinōnikon zôon. Stoics and the other modernity
Chapter 5. ‘Phantasiebildern’/‘histoire fiction’. Weber, Foucault
Chapter 6. The courage of truth. Parrhēsia and critique
A core legacy of the Continental juridico-political tradition is the methodological commitment to the idea that law and politics are inextricably tied to one another. On the one hand, law has to be studied in the light of the concrete political dynamics, social forces, and societal movements that make law what it is. On the other hand, the analysis of political processes should be coupled with the study of the legal techniques through which politics exerts its effects on social reality.
The series aspires to promote works that use the nexus 'law & politics' as a prism that allows understanding societal dynamics beyond the deep-seated borders separating purely legal from purely political methodologies. It welcomes theoretically informed and empirically grounded analyses that foster the development of theory in the study of juridico-political processes.
The qualifier 'Continental' signifies not so much a geographical or socio-historical feature as a methodological one. The approach that the series aims to promote, regardless of the nationality of prospective authors, materializes at the intersection between the vocabularies and methodologies of legal and political theories. In other words, the starting point of this approach is that the interplay between legal and political processes provides a precious lens to observe and comprehend contemporary societal phenomena.
More specifically, submissions exploring the following themes are welcomed:
This interdisciplinary series welcomes monographs and edited volumes that engage with the conceptual and empirical questions detailed above and discussions of how the contamination of jurisprudential and theoretical-political approaches helps illuminate current national and global processes.