The work of twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault has increasingly influenced the study of politics. More broadly, Foucault developed a radical new conception of social power as forming strategies embodying intentions of their own, above those of individuals engaged in them; individuals for Foucault are as much products of as participants in games of power. Scholars disagree both on the level of consistency of his position over his career, and the particular position he could be said to have taken at any particular time. This dispute is common both to scholars critical of Foucault and to those who are sympathetic to his thought.
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Michel Foucault: Biopolitics and Biopower
Foucault's theories primarily address the relationship between power and knowledge , and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Though often cited as a structuralist and postmodernist , Foucault rejected these labels. After several years as a cultural diplomat abroad, he returned to France and published his first major book, The History of Madness After obtaining work between and at the University of Clermont-Ferrand , he produced The Birth of the Clinic and The Order of Things , publications which displayed his increasing involvement with structuralism , from which he later distanced himself. These first three histories exemplified a historiographical technique Foucault was developing called "archaeology. From to , Foucault lectured at the University of Tunis before returning to France, where he became head of the philosophy department at the new experimental university of Paris VIII. Foucault subsequently published The Archaeology of Knowledge
The foucault effect essays on governmentality
The concept has been elaborated further from an "Anglo-Neo Foucauldian" perspective in the social sciences, especially by authors such as Peter Miller, Nikolas Rose , and Mitchell Dean. Governmentality can be understood as:. This term was thought by some commentators to be made by the " To fully understand this concept, it is important to realize that in this case, Foucault does not only use the standard, strictly political definition of "governing" or government used today, but he also uses the broader definition of governing or government that was employed until the eighteenth century. In the work of Foucault, this notion is indeed linked to other concepts such as biopolitics and power-knowledge.
Michel Foucault was a major figure in two successive waves of 20th century French thought—the structuralist wave of the s and then the poststructuralist wave. By the premature end of his life, Foucault had some claim to be the most prominent living intellectual in France. At the first decade of the 21st century, Foucault is the author most frequently cited in the humanities in general.