William Walters, Governmentality

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Progressive Geographies

Just out with Routledge, a short book entitled Governmentality: Critical Encounters. Impressive back cover endorsements from Thomas Lemke, Barry Hindess, Wendy Brown, Marieke de Goede and Grahame Thompson.

It’s not quite a textbook, but I think it would work well for students. Much of it provides a good survey of the state of the field. I thought the connection to politics and international relations debates was good, as was that of postcolonial studies (making use of Stephen Legg’s work) and there were some useful references to follow up. I liked the final chapter linking governmentality to genealogy, suggesting that additional work in this register would be useful. More might have been done with the collaborative projects Foucault was involved with in the 1970s that explored a number of governmental strategies; or the work of his colleagues that developed these themes – some of which are glimpsed in The Foucault…

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