chapter  1
22 Pages

Introduction: Beyond Neoliberalism

Distinctive to Foucault’s approach to liberalism is not to view it as a theory, or ideology, but as a practice, or as he puts it, as “a ‘way of doing things’ directed towards objectives and regulating itself by continuous refl ection” (p. 318). As he continues, “[l]iberalism . . . is to be analyzed as a principle and method of the rationalization of the exercise of government, a rationalization which obeys-and this is what is specifi c about it-the internal rule of maximum economy” (Foucault, 2008: 318). “It starts from the premise”, says Foucault, “that government . . . cannot be its own end” (p. 318). Hence, “the maximization of government should not be its regulative principle” (p. 318). Further, Foucault defi nes “the fundamental question of liberalism [as]: What is the utility value of government and all actions of government in a society where exchange determines the true value of things?” (2008: 46).