Foucault, Sovereignty, and Governmentality in the Roman Republic

  • Dean Hammer Franklin and Marshall College
Keywords: Res publica, sovereignty, governmentality, liberty, neo-Romanism

Abstract

The originality of Foucault’s work lies in part in how he reverses the question of power, asking not how power is held and imposed, but how it is produced. In both his discussion of sovereignty and governmentality, though, Foucault skips over the res publica; a form of political organization that fits neither Foucault’s characterization of sovereignty nor the care of the self. I extend Foucault’s discussion to identify a ratio of government around the discipline of ownership by which the res publica was made intelligible, its relations understood, and its logic organized. I end by suggesting some implications for neo-Roman interpretations of liberty as non-domination.

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Published
2017-01-06
Section
Special Issue on Foucault and Roman Antiquity: Foucault's Rome