Neosocial Market Economy

In Foucault Studies 14 (2012), 115–137.
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Although the governmentality literature has occasionally acknowledged the importance of the concept of a liberal truth-regime, there has never been a thorough investigation of the role it plays in Foucault’s governmentality lectures. Therefore, this paper begins with an examination of the lectures’ »archaeological dimension« that leads to two claims: First, it shows that the crucial conceptual tool in the lectures is the question about the relation to truth that a particular political rationality possesses. Only by looking at the changing truth-regimes of the liberal governmentalities will their differences and continuities come into full contrast. The article’s second claim is that this conceptually sharpened understanding of the political rationalities is required for a diagnosis of the present, which reveals that today’s dominant governmentality is no longer neo-liberalism but a new liberal rationality: neosocial market economy.