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Governing Citizens: Genealogy, Critique, Politics
Engin F. Isin presented a course on Foucault in 2003 at York University.

Engin F. Isin of York University has put together a remarkably interesting course on Foucault and citizenship. We have reproduced the reading list below for reference purposes.


The Summer 2003 theme examined the issue of governing citizens. Rather than considering citizenship as an enclosed political identity (liberal, communitarian, republican, radical), we examined it as an assemblage of strategies and technologies that aim to produce governable subjects. It is through these assemblages that citizenship becomes a 'problem' insofar as its project of producing governable subjects encounter resistances, difficulties, detours and reversals to which it responds with various different rationalities. We examined this subject by drawing upon the literature on 'governmentality' as we also investigated the limits and flaws of this literature.

Here is the reading list for the course.

1. Governmentality, Genealogy, Critique

Gordon, Colin. “Governmental Rationality”. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality. Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller (eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Dean, Mitchell. “Chapter 1” Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. London: Sage, 1999.

O’Malley, Pat, Lorna Weir, and Clifford Shearing. “Governmentality, Criticism, Politics.” Economy and Society. vol. 26, no. 4 (Nov. 1997): 501-517.

Owen, David. “Genealogy as Exemplary Critique: Reflections on Foucault and the Imagination of the Political.” Economy and Society. vol. 24, no. 4 (Nov 1995): 489-506.

2. Governmentality, Genealogy, Critique II

Nietzsche, Friedrich. “Essay II.” On the Genealogy of Morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Foucault, Michel. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984: Aesthetics, Method, and Epistemology. Volume 2. James D. Faubion (ed.). New York : The New Press, 1998: 369-391.

Geuss, Raymond. “Nietzsche and Genealogy.” In Nietzsche, edited by John Richardson and Brian Leiter, 322-340. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Foucault, Michel. “What is Critique.” The Politics of Truth: Michel Foucault. Sylvere Lotringer and Lysa Hochroch (eds.). New York: Semiotext(e), 1997: 23-82.

Foucault, Michel. “Governmentality.” The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality. Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller (eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

3. Liberalism & the Sovereign Self

Nikolas Rose. “Chapter 4: Advanced Liberalism.” Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Burchell, Graham. “Peculiar Interests: Civil Society and Governing ‘The System of Natural Liberty’”. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality. Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller (eds.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Larner, Wendy. “Neo-liberalism: Policy, Ideology, Governmentality.” Studies in Political Economy. no. 63 (2000): 5-26.

4. The Sovereign Self

Foucault, Michel. “Technologies of the Self.” Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michel Foucault. Luther Martin, et. al. (eds.). Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988: 16-49.

Burchell, Graham. “Liberal Government and Techniques of the Self.” Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism. Neoliberalism, and Rationalities of Government. Barry, Osbourne & Rose (eds.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Cruickshank, Barbara. “Chapter 1: Democratic Subjects” and “Chapter 4:Revolutions Within: Self-Government and Self-Esteem.” The Will to Empower: Democratic Citizens and Others. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999.

5. Governing Citizens

Melanie White & Alan Hunt. “Citizenship: Care of the Self, Character and Personality.” Citizenship Studies. vol. 4, no. 2 (July 2000): 93-116.

Hindess, Barry. “Neo-liberal Citizenship.” Citizenship Studies. vol. 6, no. 2, 2002: 127-143.

Engin Isin and Patricia Wood. Citizenship and Identity. London: Sage Publications. 1999: Ch. 2.

Turner, Bryan S. “Outline of a Theory of Citizenship”in Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Community. Chantal Mouffe (ed.). London: Verso. 1992: 33-62.

6. Governing Others

Isin, Engin. Chapter1. Being Political: Genealogies of Citizenship. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota press, 2002.

Rose, Nikolas. “Governing Cities, Governing Citizens” in Democracy, Citizenship and the Global City. Engin F. Isin (ed.). London: Routledge, 2000: 95-109.

Wekerle, Gerda. “Women’s Rights to the City: gendered spaces of a pluralistic citizenship” in Democracy, Citizenship and the Global City. Engin F. Isin (ed.). London: Routledge, 2000: 203-217.

Holston, James. “Spaces of Insurgent Citizenship” in Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural Planning History. L. Sandercock (ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. 1998: 37-56.

Mariana Valverde (1991) "The City as Moral Problem," in The Age of Light, Soap, and Water, Toronto: McLelland and Stewart,129-154.

7. Security and Territory I: Securitizing Government

Dillon, Michael. “Sovereignty and Governmentality: From the Politics of the ‘New World Order’ to the Ethical Problematic of the World.” Alternatives. no. 20. (1995): 323-368.

Foucault, Michel. “Society Must be Defended” in Michel Foucault: Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. Paul Rabinow (ed.). New York: New Press, 1997: 59-66.

Dillon, Michael. “Introduction” in The Politics of Security: Towards a Political Philosophy of Continental Thought. London: Routledge, 1996.

Connolly, William. “Democracy and Territoriality.” Millennium. vol. 20, no. 3 (winter 1991): 463.

8. Security and Territory II: Refugee Regimes

Peter Nyers (TBC) (University of Toronto) and William Walters (Carleton University). Nyers, Peter. “Emergency or Emerging Identities? Refugees and Transformations in World Order.” Millennium. vol. 28, no. 1 (1999).

Walters, William. “Deportation, Expulsion, and the International Police of Aliens”. Citizenship Studies. Volume 6. Number 3. September 2002: 265-292.

Lippert, Randy. “Governing Refugees: The Relevance of Governmentality to Understanding the International Refugee Regime.” Alternatives. vol. 24, no. 3 (1999): 295-329.

Didier, Bigo. “Security & Immigration: Toward a Critique of the Governmentality of Unease.” Alternatives. no. 27 (Feb. 2002): 63-92.

Xenos, Nicholas. “Refugees: The Modern Political Condition”. Challenging Boundaries: Global Flows, Territorial Identities. Michael J. Shapiro and Hayward Alker (eds.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 233-246.

Honig, Bonnie. “The Question of the Foreigner.” Democracy and the Foreigner. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

9. Punishment

Hunt, Alan. “Chapter 5.” Governing Morals: A Social History of Moral Regulation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Foucault, Michel. “The Carceral” in Discipline & Punish. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Shearing, Clifford. “Punishment and the Changing Face of Governance.” Punishment and Society. vol. 3, no. 2 (April 2001): 203-220.

Fitzsimmons, Patrick. “Michel Foucault: Regimes of Punishment and the Question of Liberty.” International Journal of the Sociology of Law. vol. 27, no. 4 (Dec. 1999): 379-399.

10. Law

Rose, Nikolas & Mariana Valverde. “Governed by Law?” Social & Legal Studies. vol. 7, no. 4 (Dec. 1998): 541-551.

Ivison, Duncan. “The Technical and the Political: Discourses of Race, Reasons of State.” Social & Legal Studies, vol.7, no.4, Dec 1998): 561-566.

Derrida, Jacques. “Force of Law: The Mystical Foundation of Authority”. Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice. Cornell, et al. (eds.). New York : Routledge, 1992.

Foucault, Michel. “Truth & Juridical Forms.” Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984: Power, volume 3. James D. Faubion (ed.). New York : The New Press, 2000: 1-89.

Motha, Stewart. “The Sovereign Event in a Nation’s Law”. Law and Critique. Vol. 13 (3). 2002. 311-338.

Dorsett, Shaunnagh and Shaun Mcveigh. “Just so: ‘The Law which Governs Australia is Australian Law”. Law and Critique. Vol.13 (3). 2002. 289-309.

11. Risk

Rigakos, George and Richard Hadden. “Crime, Capitalism and the 'Risk Society': Towards the Same Olde Modernity?” Theoretical Criminology. vol.5, no.1 (Feb 2001): 61-84.

O’Malley, Pat. “Discontinuity, Government and Risk: A Response to Rigakos and Hadden.” Theoretical Criminology. vol.5, no.1 (Feb 2001): 85-92.

Kelly, Peter. “Youth at Risk: Processes of Individualization and Responsibilisation in Risk Society.” Discourse. vol. 22, no. 1 (April 2001): 2333.

12. Biopolitics

Weir, Lorna. “Recent Developments in the Governance of Pregnancy.” Economy & Society. vol.25, no.3 (Aug. 1996): 373-392.

Foucault, Michel. “The Right of Death and Power over Life” in The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, Volume 1. New York: Vintage, 1990.

Rose, Nikolas. “Medicine, History and the Present.” Reassessing Foucault: Power, Medicine and the Body. Clin Jones & Roy Porter (eds.). London: Routledge, 1994.

Armstrong, David. “Foucault and the Sociology of Health and Illness: A Prismatic Reading.” Foucault: Health and Medicine. Alan Peterson & Robin Bunton, (eds.). London: Routledge, 1997.

Derksen, Maarten. “Discipline, Subjectivity and Personality: An Analysis of the Manuals of Four Psychological Tests.” History of the Human Sciences. vol. 14, no. 1 (2001): 25-47.

Galvin, Rose. “Disturbing Notions of Chronic Illness and Individual Responsibility: Towards a Genealogy of Morals.” Health. vol. 6, no. 2 (April 2002): 107-137.

Foucault, Michel. “Lecture 11” in Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the College de France, 1975-76. New York: Picador, 2003.


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Date Added: 12/22/2004 Date Revised: 12/22/2004 1:29:28 AM

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