Introduction: 40 Years after Discipline and Punish


  • Jörg Bernardy Zeppelin University & The School of Life Berlin
  • Frieder Vogelmann University of Bremen, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies



power, discipline, panopticon, surveillance, prison, digital control


This introduction diagnoses two tendencies among Foucaultian scholars with regard to Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: While the book was initially enthusiastically embraced and its central concepts – above all “discipline” and “panopticism” – were used almost too frequently, these very concepts were often thought to be superseded by Foucault’s own development in the governmentality lectures and beyond. The articles in the special issue, however, demonstrate that Discipline and Punish, read carefully with neither uncritical enthusiasm nor progressivist dismissal, has still a lot to offer for today’s critical theory and cultural analysis. 


Artières, Philippe, Jean-François Bert, Pierre Lasoumes, Pascal Michon, Luca Palterinieri, Judith Revel und Jean-Claude Zancarini (Hg.) 2010: Surveiller et Punir de Michel Foucault. Regards critiques 1975–1979. Presse Universitaires de Caen.

Ball, Kirstie, Kevin D. Haggerty und David Lyon (Hg.) 2012: Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies. London/New York: Routledge.

Barry, Andrew, Thomas Osborne und Nikolas Rose (Hg.) 1996: Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-liberalism and Rationalities of Government. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bartky, Sandra Lee 1988: Foucault, Femininity and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power, in: Lee Quinby und Irene Diamond (Hg.): Feminism and Foucault: Paths of Resistance. Northeastern University Press, 61–86.

Bauman, Zygmunt 2000: Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Breuer, Stefan 1987: Foucaults Theorie der Disziplinargesellschaft. Eine Zwischenbilanz, in: Leviathan 15, 319–337.

Burchell, Graham, Colin Gordon und Peter Miller (Hg.) 1991: The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Butler, Judith 1989: Foucault and the Paradox of Bodily Inscriptions, in: Journal of Philosophy 86, 601–607.

Connolly, William E. 1983: Discipline, Politics, and Ambiguity, in: Political Theory 11, 325–342.

Dean, Mitchell 2010 [1999]: Governmentality. Power and Rule in Modern Society. London/Thousand Oaks/New Delhi: Sage.

Deleuze, Gilles 1992 [1990]: Postscript on the Societies of Control, in: October 59, 3–7.

Droit, Roger-Pol 2004: Michel Foucault, entretiens. Paris: Odile Jacob.

Foucault, Michel 1977 [1975]: Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books.

Fraser, Nancy 1989: Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Fraser, Nancy 2003: From Discipline to Flexibilization? Rereading Foucault in the Shadow of Globalization, in: Constellations 10. 2, 160–171.

Garland, David 1985: The Criminal and His Science. A Critical Account of the Formution of Criminology at the End of the Nineteenth century, in: British Journal of Criminology 25. 2, 109–137.

Goldstein, Jan 1979: Book review: Foucault, Michel: Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan, in: The Journal of Modern History 51. 1, 116–118.

Habermas, Jürgen 1998 [1985]: The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. Twelve Lectures. Cambridge: Blackwell.

Haggarty, Kevin D. 2006: Tear Down the Walls. On Demolishing the Panopticon, in: David Lyons (Hg.): Theorizing Surveillance. The Panopticon and Beyond. Cullompton: Willan Publishing, 23–45.

Honneth, Axel 1997 [1985]: The Critique of Power. Reflective Stages in a Critical Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hoskin, Keith W. und Richard H. Macve 1988: The genesis of accountability: The west point connections, in: Accounting, Organizations and Society 13. 1, 37–73.

Lemke, Thomas 1997: Eine Kritik der politischen Vernunft. Foucaults Analyse der modernen Gouvernementalität. Berlin: Argument Verlag.

Lemke, Thomas 2003: Comment on Nancy Fraser, in: Constellations 10. 2, 172–179.

Rose, Nikolas 1999: Powers of Freedom. Reframing political thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schrift, Alan D. 2013: Discipline and Punish, in: Christopher Falzon, Ted O'Leary und Jana Sawicki (Hg.): A Companion to Foucault. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 137–153.

Shearing, Clifford und Phillip C. Stenning 1984: From the Panopticon to Disneyworld: the Development of Discipline, in: Anthony N. Doob und Edward L. Greenspan (Hg.): Perspectives in Criminal Law: Essays in Honour of John LL.J. Edwards. Aurora, ON: Canada Law Book Inc., 335–349.

Taylor, Charles 1984: Foucault on Freedom and Truth, in: Political Theory 12. 2, 152–183.




How to Cite

Bernardy, J., & Vogelmann, F. (2017). Introduction: 40 Years after Discipline and Punish. Foucault Studies, (23), 4–9.



Special Issue on Discipline and Punish Today