Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought

Powers of Freedom offers a compelling new approach to the analysis of political power which extends Foucault’s hypotheses on governmentality in new and challenging ways. Nikolas Rose sets out the key characteristics of this approach to political power and analyses the government of conduct in new fields and in new ways. He analyses the role of expertise, the politics of numbers, technologies of economic management and the political uses of space. He illuminates the relation of this approach to contemporary theories of ‘risk society’ and ‘the sociology of governance’. Uniquely, he argues that freedom is not the opposite of government but one of its key inventions and most significant resources. He also seeks some rapprochement between analyses of government and the concerns of critical sociology, cultural studies and Marxism, to establish a basis for the critique of power and its exercise. The book will be of interest to students and scholars in political theory, sociology, social policy and cultural studies.

• Leading figure in Foucault-influenced governmentality theory draws together ideas to make invaluable introduction for students and above • Develops original ideas about relationship between government and freedom, in contemporary context • Demonstrates relevance of governmentality for other social scientific approaches, including cultural studies and Marxist sociology


Introduction: reframing political thought; 1. Governing; 2. Freedom; 3. The social; 4. Advanced liberalism; 5. Community; 6. Numbers; 7. Control; Conclusion: beyond government.


\'… well researched and rewarding. It can also serve as a good summary of the field.\' Byron Kaldis, University of Athens