Foucault News

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

Jürgen Portschy, Times of power, knowledge and critique in the work of Foucault, Time and Society
Volume: 29 issue: 2, page(s): 392-419
Article first published online: May 7, 2020; Issue published: May 1, 2020

DOI: 10.1177/0961463X20911786

While Michel Foucault is commonly considered as a thinker with a primary interest in space and spatiality, his use of temporal categories, tropes and metaphors has until recently been only partially reconstructed. Working through different phases of his writings and lectures, this paper argues that Foucault opened a complex and interesting – yet to be acknowledged – analytical perspective on historically dominant, but fundamentally contested forms of social time-regimes, which accounts especially for contingent ruptures, silent continuities and the power-structured contexts of their emergence. Elucidating conceptual tools designed towards the analysis of rationalities and practises of temporal government and approaching social time regimes along the axes of power, knowledge and subjectivity, the aim of this paper is twofold: on the one side, it tries to further contribute to a ‘temporal turn’ in Foucault studies; on the other, it attempts to develop a Foucauldian vocabulary of temporal analysis as an alternative or supplement to established approaches in the field of critical social time studies.

Keywords Time, temporality, Foucault, power, governmentality, subjectivity, knowledge, political philosophy

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