University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > The slow death of Victorian liberal governmentality

The slow death of Victorian liberal governmentality

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This talk considers the fate of nineteenth-century technologies of urban government and the essentially liberal vision of a ‘benign panopticon’. It raises the place of the state (particularly the local state) in theories of governmentality, and, in particular, the ‘state phobia’ of Foucault’s account of power. Revisiting discussions of the Victorian information state, information society, and inspection state, we might wonder whether we are living in the ruins and with the relics of a liberal governmentality? In neoliberal times, should we be less complacent about the ‘siren song of civil society’, and more bullish about the state’s role in promoting affirmative biopower?

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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