Food Not Bombs, San Francisco Homeless Politics, and Liberal Regimes of Governmentality

19 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 26 Apr 2015

See all articles by Sean Parson

Sean Parson

Northern Arizona University

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This chapter is about the rise of Food Not Bombs, their role in highlighting the mistreatment of the homeless in San Francisco, and their impact on Art Agnos administration from 1988 to 1992. In this chapter, I contend that the liberal policies of Art Agnos towards the homeless follows the logic of what Michel Foucault called “governmentality.” Because the homeless often exist outside the confines of traditionally regulate politics and because they often disrupt commercial flows (especially regarding tourist dollars), I claim that Food Not Bombs and self-organized and radical homeless actions (such as public tent cities) illustrate one of the greatest threats to a biopolitical regime and liberal conceptions of governmentality. This chapter will begin a theoretical and historical discussion of homelessness followed by a narrative of Food Not Bombs during the Art Agnos’s mayoral administration and concluded with a brief discussion of liberal regimes of governmentality.

Keywords: food not bombs, homelessness, san francisco, urban politics, anarchism, radical theory, post-structuralism, foucault, governmentality

Suggested Citation

Parson, Sean, Food Not Bombs, San Francisco Homeless Politics, and Liberal Regimes of Governmentality (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451007

Sean Parson (Contact Author)

Northern Arizona University

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