Thomas Biebricher

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The governmentality perspective is one of the more recent additions to the field of interpretive theories originating from the work of Michel Foucault at the end of the 1970s. This chapter will begin by situating the governmentality perspective in Foucault’s broader oeuvre and by recounting the unusual history of the emergence of the so-called governmentality studies inspired by Foucault’s work. The main section will discuss some of the core tenets of the governmentality perspective with reference to Foucault’s lectures on the “history of ‘governmentality’” (Foucault 2007: 108). In addition, it will take a cursory look at some work that is done in governmentality studies to provide an overview of some of the developments and focal points in the way that the governmentality perspective is being used in various contexts. Moreover, this section will also problematize some of the “biases” and resulting blind spots in both Foucault’s lectures on governmentality and the work by others building on these lectures. The chapter concludes with a look at the future of governmentality as a distinct research perspective and makes some recommendations regarding the direction of its further development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science
EditorsMark Bevir, R. A. W Rhodes
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9781317533610 , 9780415657143
ISBN (Electronic)9781315725314
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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