Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Kevin Scott Jobe, Foucault and ancient polizei: a genealogy of the military pastorate, Journal of Political Power, Vol. 8, No. 1, 21, 2015

Full PDF here


While Foucault claimed that biopower, as a form of political pastorate, did not exist in ancient Greece, he did take the view, following Hegel, that the ancient ‘ethical community’ [sittlichkeit] constituted a kind of ‘political technology of the individual’, an ancient form of ‘police’. In this paper, I trace Foucault’s conception of ‘police’ in his Tanner Lectures to Hegel’s analysis of politeia as the origin of the modern polizei. Through an examination of politeia in ancient political and military literature, I uncover a military–pastoral technology, founded on the relation not between shepherd–flock, but between leader [hegemon] and follower [epistatae]. I suggest two forms that a military–pastoral technology has taken shape, both in the politeia of the Spartans and in the early American Republic. This line of inquiry, I conclude, would not only suggest that a political pastorate existed in ancient Greece, but would also force us to re-consider modern forms of ‘police’ through the lens of a military–pastoral technology.

One thought on “Foucault and ancient polizei: a genealogy of the military pastorate (2015)

  1. stuartelden says:

    Reblogged this on Progressive Geographies and commented:
    This looks interesting, with link to the full piece.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: