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The political economy of modernity: Foucault's College de France lectures of 1978 and 1979

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Michel Foucault's 1978 and 1979 lecture courses at the College de France were first published in 2004, and have recently been published in English translation. Their chief theme is the political economy of modernity, and this article examines the manner in which Foucault constructed his conception of governmentality in two phases: the political economy of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and the origins of twentieth-century German ordoliberalism and American neoliberalism. In the case of the twentieth century, particular emphasis is given to the sources upon which Foucault drew, seeking to determine how Foucault constructed his lecture presentations, and hence identify the particular originality of his arguments.
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Keywords: Foucault; neoliberalism; political thought

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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