Philo, C. (2019). Doing space and star power: Foucault, exclusion– inclusion and the spatial history of social policy. In Whitworth A. (Ed.), Towards a Spatial Social Policy: Bridging the Gap Between Geography and Social Policy (pp. 41-68). Bristol: Bristol University Press.
Foucault as spatial historian of social policy
Heeding the central purpose of the present collection, I position Michel Foucault (1926–84), the French intellectual, as a spatial historian of social policy. Casting Foucault as a researcher of social policy is not necessarily how many see him, but, if ‘social policy’ refers to how different agencies – including formal state institutions and other civic bodies – operate upon ‘the social’ to shape, order or control it, then he can surely be so characterised. In this connection, it is instructive to recall Titmuss’ description of social policies as ‘concerned with the right ordering of the network of relationships between men and women who live together in societies’ (Titmuss, 1974: 28).