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Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977--1978 Paperback – February 3, 2009
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“Foucault must be reckoned with by humanists, social scientists, and political activists.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Foucault has an alert and sensitive mind that can ignore the familiar surfaces of established intellectual codes and ask new questions.... [He] gives dramatic quality to the movement of culture.” ―The New York Review of Books
“Foucault is quite central to our sense of where we are. . . . [He carries] out, in the noblest way, the promiscuous aim of true culture.” ―The Nation
About the Author
Michael Foucault, acknowledged as the preeminent philosopher of France in the 1970s and 1980s, continues to have enormous impact throughout the world in many disciplines.
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"Security, Territory, Population" is a stark reminder that Foucault's thought was even more transformative than was already considered at the time. Here, he introduces the widely-influential concepts of "biopolitics" and "governmentality," now concepts that have sprung careers of scholarship for political theorists, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers and researchers in other disciplines. Although his lectures are by far more lucid and accessible than his earlier books, I wouldn't recommend reading this for anyone who hasn't read Foucault yet. Though if you've read classics like "Discipline and Punish" and "The History of Sexuality," these lectures are simply indispensable.
They're a reminder of the specter of Foucault that still haunts theorists everywhere.
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.