Foucault News

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

Danielle Guizzo and Iara Vigo de Lima

“Foucault’s contributions for understanding power relations in British classical political economy”, Journal EconomiA, 2015, Volume 16, Issue 2 (in press)
doi:10.1016/j.econ.2015.06.002

Abstract
This paper analyzes the strategic role played by British classical political economy in constructing new technologies of power. Michel Foucault drew attention to a change that political economists promoted concerning the role of the state, which has been overlooked by historians of economic thought. This paper explores the main arguments provided by the most important British political economists of the 18th and 19th centuries on what concerns population management, State’s role and economic dynamics in order to examine Foucault’s considerations. Although British classical political economy consolidated the mechanism of markets and economic individuality, thus creating a system of truth that changed economic norms and practices, its discourse also established a political conduct that was responsible for creating mechanisms of control that disseminated new forms of power relations.

Key Words: British classical political economy; Genealogy of power; Liberal art of government; Biopolitics.

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