Why Foucault Is Not a Neoliberalist

  • Henrik Paul Bang
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


It has almost become trendy to argue that Foucault in his later years turned into a neoliberalist who celebrates individualism as against collectivism and places spontaneous action in the marketplace and inside human communities in an opposition to the exercise of strong and rational statecraft from above. Indeed, Foucault is sympathetic toward neoliberalism, because it:
  • puts limits on raison d’état;

  • places problematization before politicization;

  • approaches the problem of political power and freedom from the inside out; and

  • conceives of democratic development as dependent on creating a virtuous circle of governance and engagement between political authorities and laypeople in their political communities.


Political Community Political Authority Virtuous Circle Connective Action Mutual Acceptance 
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Copyright information

© Henrik Paul Bang 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Paul Bang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Governance and Policy AnalysisUniversity of CanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

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