A Foucauldian Interpretation of Modern Law

From Sovereignty to Normalisation and Beyond

Jacopo Martire

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Addresses a surprisingly overlooked Foucauldian conundrum: what is the logical relationship between modern law and power?

Jacopo Martire investigates the development of modern law in conjunction with what Foucault termed biopolitical forms of power. He gives you a much-needed genealogical analysis of the modern legal phenomenon opening new avenues for Foucauldian approaches to law.

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1. An Outline for a Foucauldian Interpretation of Modern Law Introduction Foucault and the law: an indigestible meal? Foucauldian responses An alternative approach: back to Foucault’s "toolbox" A framework of analysis

2. A Genealogy of Modern Law I: The Political Truth of the Individual Introduction From medieval theology to secularisation The new foundations of politics The dilemma of democracy The features of a new politics

3. A Genealogy of Modern law II: The Political Truth of Society Introduction Three revolutionary declensions of a paradigm shift The long English Revolution: Government as an institution The American Revolution: Government as a process The French Revolution: Government as a program The Normalising Constitutional Horizon of Modernity

4. The Normalising Complex and the Challenges of Virtualisation Introduction The illocutionary effect of modern law: the creation of the universal subject Law and other apparati: The normalising complex Liquid modernity and the biopolitics of control: a tale of virtualisation The collapse of the normalising complex? The normative and functional crisis of modern law

Conclusions The current status of legal theory The blockage of the liberal The blockage of the critical camp An opening towards new avenues

Bibliography Index

Taking radical legal theory in a wholly novel direction, Martire argues that contemporary biopolitics, marked indelibly by the emergence of the virtual subject, liquid institutions and an increasingly xenomorphic social body has exploded the utility of modern law and the most specifically the concept of rights. Painstakingly reconstructing the history of legal categories, A Foucauldian Interpretation of Modern Law returns to the roots of critique and excoriates the repetitively liberal foundations of critical legal thinking.
Peter Goodrich, Cardozo School of Law, New York
Jacopo Martire is Lecturer in Law at the University of Stirling. His main research interests are in legal and political philosophy, jurisprudence, constitutional theory and European Law.

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