Foucault News

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

Burchardt, M.
Governing religious identities: law and legibility in neoliberalism
(2018) Religion, pp. 1-17. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/0048721X.2018.1482611

This article explores from a Foucauldian perspective how, in the neoliberal age, religious diversity has become a new form of governmentality that is based on practices of classifying and categorizing people according to religious criteria. Contributing to studies on religion and marketization, the article explores how religious diversity is promoted as a category of social order and coexistence and develops two ideas: first, religious diversity is a legal-political form of governmentality geared towards rendering complex populations legible for administrative purposes. Second, religious diversity reflects an economic form of governmentality, in that its legal doctrinal cognates (subjective definitions of religion, sincerity of belief, etc.) call forth liberal notions of consumer choice. While both are premised on the idea that people have identities, there are potential tensions between both forms, as the first tends to favor collectives and the second favors individuals. The article is based on research in Spain and Canada. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Author Keywords
Foucault; governmentality; law; marketization; neoliberalism; Religious diversity; religious identity

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