Foucault News

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

The Analytics of Power Today: A Masterclass with Mitchell Dean

Date: Monday, Dec. 14th, 2015
Time: 8:45am—6:00pm
Place: TBA, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

PDF of flyer

About the Masterclass
Over the last thirty years, we have witnessed three broad movements regarding power. The first is the displacement of the state from the centre of political analysis in favour of governance, networks and the energies found in civil society. The second is the rejection of sovereignty and its models, and notions of social structure, to stress the local, heterogeneous and contingent nature of power (Foucault and Deleuze). The third emphasizes the agency of the non-human, material and vital forces and actors (from Latour to Karen Barad). These three movements deconstruct the idea of power in different ways, denying that it has a source or can be possessed, and even depriving it of any explanatory value at all. In his recent book, The Signa-ture of Power, Mitchell Dean argues that such analyses only capture one pole of that which marks power relations. He proposes ways to analyse both governing and reigning, governmentality and sovereignty, different forms of life and the orders and laws of life, and how we can understand biopolitics, through four different analytical approaches. These might be called an analytics of government, a genealogy of order, an archaeology of glory, and an analytics of sovereignty. The challenge is to convert these into analytical frameworks capable of addressing empirical materials.

Mitchell Dean is Professor of Public Governance at the Copenhagen Business School. He is author of eight books, including Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society, The Constitution of Poverty: Towards a Genealogy of Liberal Governance, The Signature of Power and State Phobia and Civil Society: the Political Legacy of Michel Foucault (forthcoming) He describes his work as at the nexus between political and historical sociology

No Cost: This masterclass has been fully supported by the ARC Governing Performance Project and the School of Social Science, University of Queensland.

RSVP: Alison Gable ( by Thurs, 15th October 2015 to register your interest to attend

Participation in the Masterclass
This Masterclass will dialogically engage with questions of analyzing power today in conversation with Professor Dean and other senior academics. A small number of preparatory readings will be made available prior to the day. The masterclass is of course open to anyone. As the event is limited to 25 participants, it is essential to register your interest early. Preference is given to PhD students and early career academics who are invited to present their own work for collegial discussion and feedback.

Participants who wish to present should submit up to two pages outlining their research, their theoretical approach to power, and their main analytical or conceptual challenges. Twelve papers will be selected and circulated to all participants in anticipation of their presentation and discussion at the Masterclass.

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