A brief genealogy of governmentality studies: the Foucault effect and its developments. An interview with Colin Gordon by Fabiana Jardim, Educação e Pesquisa, vol.39 no.4 São Paulo Oct./Dec. 2013
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This interview approaches the intellectual context within the areas of philosophy and social sciences, in the 1970s United Kingdom, and also looks back to Colin Gordon’s work as a translator and editor of Michel Foucault’s researches on power and politics into English. Finally, it attempts to assess the developments of this strange notion of governmentality within the English-Speaking intellectual world and its relations to present times. The interview has taken place during Colin Gordon’s visit to Brazil for the “International Seminar Max Weber and Michel Foucault: possible convergences” (May, 2013). It aims to revisit the context in which the governmentality studies have appeared as a specific field of interest and research, in order to put in perspective the progressive spread of this field since the appearance, in 2004, of both Foucault’s lectures at Collége de France (Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitics) where the notion is introduced. The possibility to know Colin Gordon’s ideas about these themes seemed timely not only because of the range of governmentality studies in education in Brazil (something that can be testified by the number of articles, thematic issues and books that are appearing since the 1990s), but also because of the manner in which the notion of governmentality has been taken by the post-colonial studies. In this sense, the notion still seems to be a very useful tool to confront the task of understanding the problems and problematizations that constitute the specificity of our Brazilian modernity.
Keywords: Governmentality – Governmentality studies – Michel Foucault – Political culture.