Coda: Governance without Governmentality

  • S. M. Shamsul Alam


In his problematique of governmentality, Foucault identifies the historical and epistemological shifts in ways of thinking about deploying power in specific societies. His primary concern is early modern Europe, which emphasized the “well-being” of the population to render it more “docile,” “manageable,” and “productive” (Foucault, 2003). Europe also employed biopolitics, a crucial ingredient of governmentality characterized as the governmentalization of life—including both individual and collective bodies as well as health, poverty, growth, and population control. This book contains several chapters on the governmentalization of Bangladesh in its colonial and postcolonial manifestations. We also analyze the technology of power in this historically specific period through the lens of Foucault’s governmentality. The question of resistance (i.e., counter-governmentality) remains undeveloped and undertheorized in Foucault’s work, however. To address this lacuna, we draw on the scholarship of Antonio Gramsci. This is not a rejection of Foucault but rather a reading of Foucault through Gramsci and vice versa.


Crucial Ingredient Specific Society Collective Body Firm Believer Totalitarian State 
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© S. M. Shamsul Alam 2015

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  • S. M. Shamsul Alam

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