The Emotional Life of Governmental Power

  • Elaine Campbell Newcastle University


This paper explores the emotional life of governmental power through the affective domains of confidence and respect in criminal justice, in the context of a climate of insecurities and uncertainties with existing modes of governance. The paper problematises some of the key tenets of the governmentality thesis and questions its core assumptions about forms of rationality, processes of subjectivation and the conditions of possibility for ethical conduct. It also prompts us to reconsider the tenets of contemporary neo-liberal governance, its “rationalities of rule,” technologies and apparatuses, how these work to capture hearts as well as minds, and how these may promote an “emotionalised” art of government such that we might properly speak of “emotionalities of rule.”

Author Biography

Elaine Campbell, Newcastle University
How to Cite
Campbell, E. (2010). The Emotional Life of Governmental Power. Foucault Studies, (9), 35-53.