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Governmentality

  • By: W. Chad Futrell
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Governmentality is a concept coined by Michel Foucault in the late 1970s to describe and analyze the “art of government” or the “conduct of conduct.” Governmentality, along with related Foucauldian concepts such as power/knowledge, the gaze, biopower, and technologies of the self, has become influential in social sciences such as sociology, geography, political science, and anthropology. Foucault used these and other concepts to show the coevolution of forms of government, political rationalities, and individuals as political subjects through history. He was especially concerned with how modernity and modern institutions enable novel relationships between government and policy and subject formation and subjectivity. Social scientists have increasingly applied Foucault's concept of governmentality to the creation of environmental subjects through regulation of social interactions with the biophysical ...

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