Foucault News

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

David McGrogan, A Foucauldian Defense of Liberalism, Law & Liberty, March 27 2023

We should not settle for the nominal freedom of a relentlessly micromanaged society.

There is a strong case to be made that Michel Foucault was the most important and influential thinker of the second half of the twentieth century. He was not a nice man. And many of his conclusions were odious. But he discerned the path on which modernity was walking better than almost anybody else.

The most useful of Foucault’s contributions were not published in book form but were delivered as lectures, posthumously compiled and translated. Those gathered in the collection Security, Territory, Population are far and away the most significant. In them, Foucault provides a complete conceptualisation of the evolution of modern governance, showing how it is characterised, above all, by “governmentality” or what has elsewhere been called the “conducting of conduct.”


David McGrogan is Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria University. He blogs at News From Uncibal.

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