chapter  7
11 Pages


This ethos of politicization emerges from a Foucauldian perspective on power, discourse and government. By regarding power and knowledge as intimately connected, freedom as a technique of modern government, and rule as exercised through extensive sites and actors, Foucault argued that ‘the political’ extends beyond the state and formal institutions to include the multiplicity of techniques by which the conduct of conduct is attempted (2000f: 345). Sustainable development therefore is not simply an objective or instrumental concept for reconciling human development with environmental limits, but is a constellation of rationalities and practices which have political effects. Likewise summits are not merely neutral institutional techniques for facilitating consensus, nor are they simply sites of material conflict and inter-state realpolitik. They are also assemblages of power and knowledge which work to govern global politics in particular ways.