Governmentality, a concept which originates from the work of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, primarily relates to an analytics of power which highlights the artificiality of government. The term refers to a way of understanding the functioning of power as that which emanates from diverse societal institutions rather than one centralized, top‐down source, such as the sovereign state. Over the last 20 years studies in governmentality have gained impetus and have led to the development of a variety of approaches across multiple disciplines, all of which use the concept in some way as a theoretical tool. Understood as such, governmentality can be viewed as a bundle of useful methods for understanding and unraveling how power functions in different social and historical contexts, and how different societies think about power. This entry discusses developments in the field.
|Research areas and keywords
- General Literature Studies
- literary theory, philosophy, poststructuralism, sovereignty
|Title of host publication||The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies|
|Editors||Sangeeta Ray, Henry Schwarz|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|