Reconstituting the Political: Foucault and the Modern University

21 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 5 Sep 2009

See all articles by Michael Laurence

Michael Laurence

University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Social Science

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

The notion that the modern university is not a political institution, that it exists outside of the realm of the political, is a notion that needs to be reconsidered. In developing a conception of power as relational and totalizing, Michel Foucault reveals a complex institutional network that subjugates individuals to regimes designed to create them as conforming citizens. In the context of Foucauldian power relations, the university can be understood as a complex, regulating, and normalizing institution that exercises disciplinary control in a similar manner to that of the modern prison. In this paper, I will explore the ways in which the university functions as a factory that manufactures and regulates specific discourses. In articulating the mechanics of power/knowledge that operate within the university context, the case can be made for the reconstitution of what is termed ‘political’.

Keywords: Foucault, University, Political

Suggested Citation

Laurence, Michael, Reconstituting the Political: Foucault and the Modern University (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1450011

Michael Laurence (Contact Author)

University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Social Science ( email )

London, Ontario N6A 5B8
Canada

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