Law, Objectives of Government, and Regimes of Truth


  • Leila Brännström University of Lund



Law, neoliberal governmentality, justiciable rights, EU, the internal market


Drawing on Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitics, this article aims, firstly, to consolidate our understanding of Foucault’s engagement with law by fleshing out his approach to law and by clarifying that he distinguishes between different kinds of law on the basis of the objectives that law serves and the regime of truth that it embodies.  Secondly, using this understanding, the article proceeds to illustrate how the objectives and the regime of truth of the EU internal market law have been displaced in the last few decades.  It is argued that this body of law has increasingly come to perform the tasks of law in neoliberal government as pointed out by Foucault in these lectures, namely of expanding the domain of market values and mechanisms, and of restricting the exercise of legitimate government by opposing the rule of law to planning.  In this regard, particular attention is paid to the way in which justiciable rights function as a technology of neoliberal rule within the internal market.




How to Cite

Brännström, L. (2014). Law, Objectives of Government, and Regimes of Truth. Foucault Studies, (18), 173–194.