chapter  4
19 Pages

A Foucauldian perspective on the ethics of EU(rope): genealogies of liberal government


Inspired by Foucault’s method, ethico-political orientation and his recently published lectures on liberal government (2008), the broad-brush story of EU(rope) offered in this chapter identifies two rationalities of government at play in the contemporary EU and two associated ideal subjects: first a prevalent ‘market’ rationality of government, which promotes and even requires competitive ‘entrepreneurial’ subjects and second a ‘legal’ rationality, which promotes and requires solidarist ‘citizens’. It seeks to describe how these two rationalities variously overlap and are in tension with reference to certain realities of contemporary liberal government in/of EU(rope). It argues, in particular, that the ambiguous relationship between these rationalities offers the space for resistance or contingent and repeated efforts to re-politicise government in/of EU(rope).