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Pierre Dardot, Christian Laval & Melinda Cooper

In: The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism

Chapter 15: Foucault, Neoliberalism and Europe

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Foucault, Neoliberalism and Europe
Foucault, Neoliberalism and Europe
Pierre Dardot Christian Laval Melinda Cooper

Readings of Foucault are a battleground in which high-stake political conflicts are continuously being played out. The cleavages generated here cannot be reduced to ‘conflicts of interpretation’ that might arise from an equivocation of meaning present in the text, but are rather connected to the very manner in which Foucault repeatedly redefines his object of study in a critical light. This is particularly the case for the lectures contained in the Birth of Biopolitics (Foucault, 2008). Foucault himself was perfectly aware that his approach to neoliberalism in terms of governmentality ran directly counter to the habitual interpretative matrices that ...

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