Foucault Studies Lectures <p>Foucault Lectures: A series published by Foucault Studies. <br><br>This special series of Foucault Studies will provide a volume for each year of Foucault’s lectures at the Collège de France. Over time, minimally 4 volumes are planned to be published. Scholars interested in contributing to the series can contact our managing editors: Asker Bryld Staunæs ( and Signe Macholm Müller ( All articles are peer-reviewed by two external reviewers.</p> en-US <p>Authors retain copyright to their work, but assign the right of the first publication to Foucault Studies. The work is subject to a <a href="">CC BY-NC-ND 4.0</a> license, but despite these restrictions, authors can take for granted that Foucault Studies will permit articles published in Foucault Studies to be translated or reprinted in another format such as a book providing a full reference is made to Foucault Studies as the original place of publication.</p> (Asker Bryld Staunæs & Signe Macholm Müller) (Claus Rosenkrantz Hansen) Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 Editorial <p>The editors of Foucault Studies are pleased to publish this volume of <em>Foucault Lectures</em> containing three articles, each devoted to discussing one of Foucault’s yearly series of lectures at the <em>Collège de France.</em></p> Sverre Raffnsøe et al. Copyright (c) 2020 Sverre Raffnsøe et al. Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Biopower, Governmentality, Liberalism and the Genealogy of the Modern Subject <p>We are very pleased to guest edit and publish this special edition of <em>Foucault Studies</em> entitled <em>Michel Foucault’s Lectures at the Collège de France 1978-1980. Security, Territory, Population; The Birth of Biopolitics; On the Government of the Living.</em> As pronounced in the editorial, this special edition contains three articles, each devoted to discussing one yearly series of Foucault’s lectures at the <em>Collège de France</em> in the period ranging from 1977 to 1980.</p> Sverre Raffnsøe, Knut Ove Eliassen Copyright (c) 2020 Sverre Raffnsøe, Knut Ove Eliassen Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 The Beginning of a Study of Biopower: Foucault’s 1978 Lectures at the Collège de France <p>While Foucault introduced the 1978 lecture course Security, Territory, Population as a study of biopower, the reception of the lectures has largely focused on other concepts, such as governmentality, security, liberalism, and counter-conduct. This paper situates the lecture course within the larger context of Foucault’s development of an analytics of power to explore in what sense Security, Territory, Population can be said to constitute a study of biopower. I argue that the 1978 course is best understood as a continuation-through-transformation of Foucault’s earlier work. It revisits familiar material to supplement Foucault’s microphysics of power, which he traced in institutions like prisons or asylums and with regard to its effects on the bodies of individuals, with a genealogy of practices of power that target the biological life of the population and give rise to the modern state.</p> Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson Copyright (c) 2020 Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 The Appearance of an Interminable Natural History and its Ends Foucault’s Lectures on The Birth of Biopolitics at the Collège de France 1979 <p>While the analysis of liberalism fills much of <em>The Birth of Biopolitics, </em>the focus of Foucault’s discussion is on the dynamic, equivocal and enigmatic contemporary condition at the intersection of welfare governance, biopolitics and neo-liberalism of the late seventies. This article examines <em>The Birth of Biopolitics</em> as a prolongation of <em>Security, Territoriality and Population</em> by analyzing how Foucault frames liberalism in the wider historical context of governmentality.</p> <p>In Foucault’s view, governmentality should be understood as a secular rationalization of the art of government. While the pastoral power of the Catholic Church was wielded against the backdrop of eschatology and the imminence of the end of worldly power, the early modern concept of reason of state brought with it the idea of an interminable history. Governmentality and reason of state spring from an undecided and precarious European balance of power between competing states. In order to measure up to external competition, individual states are required to develop a system of policing that collects detailed knowledge of the body politic. Insofar as the logic of the population as a collection of living beings comes to the fore as a primary target of government intervention, the imperatives of biopolitics and the politics of health arise.</p> <p>Liberalism forms an important modification of the double heritage of reason of state and biopolitics. This is a rationalization of government that, rather than breaking with the fundamental assumptions of governmentality, critically addresses the basic criteria for good government. Stressing the necessity for good government to acknowledge and incorporate the self-regulation of the population it governs, liberalism thus articulates a new kind of naturalness intrinsic to the population springing from the interaction between individuals motivated by self-interest. As a basic principle for its understanding of governing, liberalism embraces a natural history without any transcendental horizons, a secular and tragic natural history in which freedom can never be taken for granted insofar as its participants constantly constitute a danger for one another. It is also a mode of history in which the art of government is constantly called upon and forced to organize and secure the conditions for the exercise and development of freedom. For Foucault, thus, the liberal art of government is not a position to be affirmed or denied. Rather, the liberal art of government draws the outline of an experience of historicity that is an experience of an ongoing and unsettling, but also unending, crisis.</p> Sverre Raffnsøe, Knut Ove Eliassen Copyright (c) 2020 Sverre Raffnsøe, Knut Ove Eliassen Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Anarcheology and the Emergence of the Alethurgic Subject in Foucault’s On the Government of the Living <p><em>On the Government of the Living</em> plays a pivotal role in the evolution of Foucault’s thought because it constitutes a “laboratory” in which he forges the methodological and conceptual tools—such as the notions of anarcheology and alethurgy (or, better, what I call here the “alethurgic subject”)—necessary to carry on his study of governmentality independently from his <em>History of Sexuality</em> project. In this paper, I argue that Foucault’s projects of an anarcheology of the government of human beings through the manifestation of truth in the form of subjectivity and of a genealogy of the subject of desire, albeit essentially linked to one another, are conceptually autonomous. These projects are both part of a genealogy of the modern subject but should be treated independently insofar as it is the former, elaborated in <em>On the Government of the Living</em>, that provides us with the key to understanding Foucault’s interest in the care of the self and <em>parrhesia</em> as an integral part of his analyses of governmentality and the critical attitude from the late 1970s.</p> Daniele Lorenzini Copyright (c) 2020 Daniele Lorenzini Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000