Foucault News

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

Re-reading Foucault: On Law, Power and Rights
Ben Golder, Editor
(New York: Routledge, 2013. 264 pages.)

Reviewed by—Irina Ceric, (Criminology Faculty member, Kwantlen Polytechnic University),
Vancouver, October 2014

Re-reading Foucault is an ambitious and mostly successful attempt to answer the question “Where is the law in Foucault and what has he done with it?” and the contributors’ creative responses demonstrate the breadth of the interdisciplinary analyses emerging in the wake of the translation of Foucault’s later lectures into English. The collection is dedicated to the “interpretive work of re-imagining law in, and through, Foucault’s work” but the key themes—the politics of rights, surveillance, biopolitics and Foucault’s gestures towards the juridical in his lectures on history, knowledge and power—reflect a broader orientation of likely interest to readers in disciplines other than law. To some extent, however, this potential is belied by the book’s initial focus on the so-called expulsion thesis, the notion that “Foucault had expelled law from any significant role in modernity.” Initially straying into the minutiae of the existing literature, the authors taking up the expulsion thesis ultimately succeed in locating this debate within the context of Foucault’s broader political and theoretical development.

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