Foucault News

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

Luca Provenzano, Foucault 8/13 epilogue: Foucault and neoliberalism conference report

Foucault and Neoliberalism: A Report from American University of Paris

On Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, participants in Foucault 13/13 went to Paris to present at (and report from) the conference “Foucault and Neoliberalism” organized by the Center for Critical Democracy Studies at the American University of Paris. Organized by Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins and Stephen W. Sawyer, the goal of the conference was to take an inventory of the current scholarship on Foucault and neoliberalism and promote an exchange of views at a time when “The question of neoliberalism and particularly its ostensible triumph remains as vexing as ever” (Sawyer).

In his introduction on Friday, Stephen Sawyer noted that in a sense, conference participants came ‘après la bataille’: much of the most acrimonious debate in the immediate aftermath of Critiquer Foucault volume by Daniel Zamora (2014) and Penser le néolibéralisme by Serge Audier (2015) appears to be behind us, though perhaps the English publication of Critiquer Foucault will interrupt the calm. Nevertheless, Sawyer noted that recent works have raised more questions than answers about how the lectures on neoliberalism fit into Foucault’s oeuvre. In particular, Sawyer asked about how Foucault’s neoliberal moment relates to his later turn to the issue of democracy via his final lectures on the Greeks.

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