Thörn, H.
Politics of responsibility: governing distant populations through civil society in Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa
(2016) Third World Quarterly, 37 (8), pp. 1505-1523.

DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2015.1136207

This article presents and analyses the findings of a research project on power relations in the context of development partnerships with civil society on HIV/AIDS in Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa, and engages in a critical dialogue with governmentality analysis. It argues that contemporary neoliberal government needs to be understood as context-specific articulations of three forms of power discussed by Foucault – sovereignty, discipline and biopower – and, in the global domain, a fourth form of power – (new) imperialism. Further, the analysis demonstrates how the introduction of a ‘package of (de-)responsibilisation’ shapes CSOs’ activities so that they become competitive service providers, use evidence-based methods and produce measurable results. Addressing the issue of resistance, it shows how the transfer of responsibilities may involve tension and struggle – a politics of responsibility. © 2016 Southseries Inc., http://www.thirdworldquarterly.com.

Author Keywords
civil society; development partnerships; global governance; Global governmentality; international aid; sub-Saharan Africa

Fathallah, J.
‘Except that Joss Whedon is god’: fannish attitudes to statements of author/ity
(2016) International Journal of Cultural Studies, 19 (4), pp. 459-476.

DOI: 10.1177/1367877914537589

Early internet and fan studies theorists believed the New Media context and work of the active fan would bring theories like the Death of the Author to fruition. Contemporary fan studies scholars are more reserved, acknowledging diversity in fan attitudes. Through analysis of a LiveJournal article with comments on authors’ views concerning fanfiction, this article demonstrates the paradoxical investment in various forms of authorial authority espoused across fan communities, as well as defiance and repudiation of them. I argue that while the authors quoted are denied legitimate authority through various tactics, the concept of an originating, proprietary authorship, with attendant capitalist powers and rights, retains much influence. The concept of the author holds more power than the individual figures attempting to wield it, and fans attribute or deny the power of authorship to particular figures according to their public personas and cultural politics. In this sense, fans may withhold or bestow legitimation through the operation of Foucault’s author-function, interpreting text and statements of authority through the public persona of the author. © 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.

Author Keywords
audience; author; authority; Barthes; fan studies; fanfiction; Foucault

Chang, H.-C.
The normalisation of body gifting in Taiwan
(2016) BioSocieties, 11 (2), pp. 135-151.

DOI: 10.1057/biosoc.2015.29

The Tzu Chi Foundation has made body gifting, such as body donation, bone marrow donation and cord blood donation, successful in Taiwan. Using Foucault’s theoretical framework of governmentality and normalisation, this article discusses how a Buddhist charity, the Tzu Chi Foundation, normalises body gifting in Taiwan through their campaigns, system and philosophy. It argues that Buddhist discourses of karma create a ‘benefit-all altruism’ in body gifting. Furthermore, the emergence of the Tzu Chi Foundation in the last five decades has been a process of discipline and norm construction. The Tzu Chi Foundation, with its comprehensive missions, builds up an extensive network to spread their philosophy in different fields, from environmental protection and humanity education to medical care. The practice-oriented and community-based volunteer system helps the ‘giving’ ideology take root in the communities in Taiwan. Finally, through the media and the Internet, the effect goes beyond the institutional boundaries and reaches the public. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Author Keywords
Body gifting; Foucault; Normalisation; Taiwan; Tzu Chi

Andrew Hope, Governmentality and the ‘selling’ of school surveillance devices, The Sociological Review. Volume 63, Issue 4, pages 840–857, November 2015

DOI: 10.1111/1467-954X.12279

In late modernity there has been a massive growth in ‘new’ surveillance devices situated within schools. This paper explores the reasons behind this proliferation, considering the role of key protagonists and the promises made regarding these technologies. It is suggested that there is strong connection between notions of neoliberal governmentality (Foucault, 2008; Gane, 2012) and arguments relating to increased security, improved efficiency, the desirability of techno-surveillance devices and desensitization to pervasive monitoring. In particular, it is maintained that the devolution of state power, the marketization of education, increased responsibilization and the nature of observation in the viewer society all help to explain the emergence of ‘surveillance schools’. It is concluded that failure to recognize these new dynamics may result in schools quietly, subtly becoming experimental labs and then junkyards for our surveillance futures.


One of a series of posts on Barry Stocker’s blog on Foucault’s Theories et institutions pénale. Cours au Collège de France, 1971-1972. Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2015


(Commentary on Theories et institutions pénale. Cours au Collège de France, 1971-1972. Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2015)

23rd February, 1972

Institutions of Peace

First function

Private wars are forbidden

They are forbidden by a collective or singular authority

This authority imposes what can be placed before a judicial body, that is private war or what provokes private war

Justice is now not what comes after injury, arbitration and peace. The court is under the control of an authority establishing peace.

Public authority has separated injury from justice (presumably Foucault means injury cannot be a reply to an injury, that the injury can only be punished in the public court).

Justice is confiscated by the judiciary (from the private agreements between aristocrats at war with each other)

Second Function

Establish region where taxation/state revenues are better organised, more stable, and generate more income.

The period of private wars within the aristocracy generated revenue for…

View original post 856 more words

María Alejandra Energici, Propuesta metodológica para un estudio de gubernamentalidad: Los procesos de subjetivación y los mecanismos de regulación poblacional como ejes de análisis para su abordaje empírico, Psicoperspectivas. Individuo y Sociedad, Vol. 15, No. 2 (2016)

Texto completo


En 1982 Foucault definió una gubernamentalidad como el contacto entre las tecnologías de dominación de los demás y las referidas a uno mismo. Tomando dicha definición, el objetivo de este artículo es proponer una ruta metodológica para estudiar una gubernamentalidad específica atendiendo a las tecnologías propuestas por Foucault como ejes de análisis: las tecnologías de dominación de los demás son descritas como mecanismos de regulación poblacional y las referidas al sí mismo como procesos de subjetivación. En otras palabras, se propone dos grupos de prácticas sociales, o de mecanismos y procesos, para estudiar empíricamente una sociedad en términos de su razón gubernamental. A modo de ejemplo, se presenta la publicidad como un campo de estudio posible para dar cuenta de una gubernamentalidad dada. Trabajar desde los ejes de análisis propuestos, permite desarrollar investigaciones sobre la complejidad política actual, rescatando el método crítico y genealógico utilizado por Foucault.


My latest article, ‘Gramsci and Foucault in Central Park: Environmental hegemonies, pedagogical spaces and integral state formations’, is now available online on the early view webpage of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (requires subscription).

The piece draws on the conceptualizations of power and the state by these authors to develop an explicitly political understanding of landscape struggles and the governmentalization of urban environments, using Manhattan’s Central Park as a historical  illustration of such processes. In fact the article is articulated not only through the dialogue between both thinkers, but as a more open conversation that also includes Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer, architect-in-chief and superintendent of the park, as well as other figures and institutions related to its material and symbolic construction. The Greensward project and subsequent management of the park premises under Olmsted’s attention are depicted as a pioneering example of how design mediates new local state…

View original post 292 more words


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,594 other followers

%d bloggers like this: