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This book developed out of the research for Foucault's Last Decade (Polity, 2016), to which it forms a prequel. As such, many of the debts incurred in the writing of that previous book are shared with this one.

Stephen Legg and Eduardo Mendieta both generously read the entire manuscript and made several useful suggestions. I also want to thank Andrew Barry, Natalie Bouchard, Cecile Brich, Sebastian Budgen, Neil Brenner, Graham Burchell, Jeremy Crampton, Michael Dillon, Sophie Fuggle, Colin Gordon, Peter Gratton, Bernard Harcourt, Laurence Paul Hemming, Marcelo Hoffman, Morris Kaplan, Mark Kelly, Léopold Lambert, Murray Low, Steven Maynard, Felix de Montety, Adam David Morton, Clare O'Farrell, Stephen Shapiro, Kevin Thompson, Alex Vasudevan, Nick Vaughan-Williams, and Perry Zurn. I am again grateful to Daniel Defert, and thank Foucault's nephew Henri-Paul Fruchaud for a very helpful conversation at the Bibliothèque Nationale. I wrote reviews of each of Foucault's first three Collège de France courses for Berfrois journal (, and thank Russell Bennetts and the team for their interest. I also thank the readers of my Progressive Geographies blog who followed this project through its development. Some resources produced during this work are available at

Work in this book was presented to audiences in Australia (University of Melbourne; Monash University); Canada (Memorial University, Newfoundland); Italy (University of Palermo); Sweden (University of Stockholm); United Kingdom (University of Lancaster; University of East London; The Galleries of Justice, Nottingham; the Historical Materialism conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies; the London School of Economics; University College London; Institute of Historical Research); and the United States of America (Purchase College, State University of New York). The final stages of writing were conducted while a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London. I thank Tamar Garb, Catherine Stokes and their colleagues for the welcome.

For access to archival material I am grateful again to the staff at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) Richelieu, especially Marie Odile Germain and Laurence Le Bras, and the Institut Mémoires de l′édition contemporaine (IMEC) in Caen. I have also used the British Library Rare Books room and Newsroom, BNF François-Mitterrand, Senate House library, the State Library of Victoria, and the libraries of the University of Warwick, Monash University, University of Melbourne, London School of Economics and New York University. The University of Warwick supported archive visits. At Polity Press I am grateful to John Thompson and Pascal Porcheron, and the two anonymous readers of the original manuscript. Neil de Cort saw the book through production, Susan Beer copy-edited the text and Lisa Scholey compiled the index.

An earlier version of Chapter 3 was published as ‘A More Marxist Foucault? Reading La société punitive’, Historical Materialism, vol. 23 no. 4, 2015, pp. 149–68; and parts of Chapter 4 as ‘Discipline, Health and Madness: Foucault's Le pouvoir psychiatrique’, History of the Human Sciences, vol. 19 no. 1, February 2006, pp. 39–66. Parts are used with permission of Brill and Sage respectively.

Above all I thank Susan for her love and support in my life outside the archive.


To ease reference, key texts are referred to by abbreviations. For texts where one book is translated in a single book, such as the lecture courses, the French page number is given first, followed by the English after a slash. So PP 105/103 would refer to the lecture course Le pouvoir psychiatrique, p. 105 in the French text, and p. 103 in the English translation Psychiatric Power. I have frequently modified existing translations.1

Throughout this book, English titles are used for books available in translation; French for untranslated works or unpublished manuscripts, though an English translation of the title is provided the first time they are used.

Texts by Foucault and others

A Les Anormaux: Cours au Collège de France (1974–5), eds. Valerio Marchetti and Antonella Salomani, Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 1999; trans. Graham Burchell as Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France 1974–5, London: Verso, 2003. This course is referred to as ‘The Abnormals’.
AK L'Archéologie du savoir, Paris: Gallimard/Tel, 1969; trans. Alan Sheridan as The Archaeology of Knowledge, New York: Barnes & Noble, 1972.
AL Groupe d'information sur les prisons, Archives d'une lutte 1970–1972, eds. Philippe Artières, Laurent Quéro and Michelle Zancarini-Fournel, Paris: Édition de l'IMEC, 2003.
C Daniel Defert, ‘Chronologie’, DE I, 13–64; trans. Timothy O'Leary in Christopher Falzon, Timothy O'Leary and Jana Sawicki (eds.) A Companion to Foucault, Oxford: Blackwell, 2013, pp. 11–83.
CMCA Michel Foucault, ‘The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine?’ trans. Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr, William J. King and Clare O'Farrell, Foucault Studies, no. 1, 2004, pp. 5–19.
CT Le courage de la vérité: Le gouvernement des soi et des autres II: Cours au Collège de France, eds. Frédéric Gros, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil; trans. Graham Burchell as The Courage of Truth (The Government of the Self and Others II): Lectures at the Collège de France 1983–4, London: Palgrave, 2011.
DE Dits et écrits 1954–88, eds. Daniel Defert and François Ewald, Paris: Gallimard, 4 vols., 1994 – with reference to volume number, and also includes text number for ease of reference to the two editions of this text and to bibliographies of English translations.2 Thus ‘DE#81 II, 99–104’ means text 81, in Volume II, pages 99–104.
DP Surveiller et punir – Naissance de la prison, Paris: Gallimard/Tel, 1975; trans. Alan Sheridan as Discipline and Punish – The Birth of the Prison, London: Penguin, 1976.
E Roger-Pol Droit, Michel Foucault, Entretiens, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2004.
EP François Fourquet and Lion Murard, Les équipments du pouvoir: Villes, territoires et équipements collectifs, Paris: Union Générale d'Éditions, 1976 [1973].
EW Essential Works, eds. Paul Rabinow and James Faubion, trans. Robert Hurley and others, London: Allen Lane, 3 vols., 1997–2000.
FL Foucault Live: Interviews 1961–1984, ed. Sylvère Lotringer, New York: Semiotext[e], 1996.
GEN Généalogie des équipements de normalisation: Les équipements sanitaires, ed. Michel Foucault, Fontenay-sous-Bois: CERFI, 1976.
HFA ‘Histoire de la folie et antipsychiatrie’, in Philippe Artières, Jean-François Bert, Frédéric Gros and Judith Revel (eds.), Cahier de L′Herne 95: Michel Foucault, Paris: L′Herne, 2011, pp. 95–102.
HM Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique, Paris: Gallimard, 1972 [1961]; trans. Jonathan Murphy and Jean Khalfa as History of Madness, London: Routledge, 2006.
HSu L’Herméneutique du sujet: Cours au Collège de France (1981–82), eds. Frédéric Gros, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2001; trans. Graham Burchell as The Hermeneutics of the Subject: Lectures at the Collège de France, London: Palgrave, 2005.
IN Groupe d'information sur les prisons, Intolérable, ed. Philippe Artières, Paris: Éditions Verticales, 2013.
LCP Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, ed. Donald F. Bouchard, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977.
LWK Leçons sur la volonté de savoir: Cours au Collège de France, 1970–1971, suivi de Le savoir d'Œdipe, ed. Daniel Defert, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2011; trans. Graham Burchell as Lectures on the Will to Know: Lectures at the Collège de France 1970–71, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
MD Groupe Information Santé, La médecine désordonnée: D'une pratique de l'avortement à la lutte pour la santé, Paris: GIS, 1974.
MG1 Michel Foucault, Blandine Barrett Kriegel, Anne Thalamy, François Beguin and Bruno Fortier, Les machines à guérir (aux origines de l'hôpital moderne), Paris: Institut de l'environnement, 1976.
MG2 Michel Foucault, Blandine Barrett Kriegel, Anne Thalamy, François Beguin and Bruno Fortier, Les machines à guérir (aux origines de l'hôpital moderne), Brussels: Pierre Mardaga, revised edn 1979.
MLC Michel Foucault et le membres du GIS, ‘Médecine et luttes des classes’, Vers une antimédecine? Le médecine, la malade et la société, special issue of La Nef, no. 49, 1972, pp. 67–73.
OD L'ordre du discours, Paris: Gallimard, 1970; trans. Ian McLeod as “The Order of Discourse”, in Robert Young (ed.), Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader, London: Routledge, 1981, pp. 48–78.
Œ Œuvres, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, ed. Frédéric Gros, Paris: Gallimard, 2 vols., 2015.
ONA Groupe Information Santé, Oui, nous avortons! Paris: Éditions Gît-le-Cœur, 1973.
PH Politiques de l'habitat (1800–1850), ed. Michel Foucault, Paris: CORDA, 1977.
P/K Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–7, ed. Colin Gordon, Brighton: Harvester, 1980.
PP Le pouvoir psychiatrique: Cours au Collège de France (1973–4), ed. Jacques Lagrange, Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2003; trans. Graham Burchell as Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the Collège de France 1973–4, London: Palgrave, 2006.
PR Moi, Pierre Rivière, ayant égorgé ma mère, ma sœur et mon frère: Un cas de parricide au XIXe siècle, presented by Michel Foucault, Paris: Gallimard/Juilliard, 1973; trans. Frank Jellinek as I, Pierre Rivière, Having Slaughtered my Mother, my Sister, and my Brother: A Case of Parricide in the Nineteenth Century, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.
PS La société punitive: Cours au Collège de France (1972–3), ed. Bernard E. Harcourt, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2013; trans. Graham Burchell as The Punitive Society: Lectures at the Collège de France 1972–3, London: Palgrave, 2015.
SKP Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography, eds. Jeremy W. Crampton and Stuart Elden, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.
SMBD ‘Il faut défendre la société’: Cours au Collège de France (1975–6), eds. Mauro Bertani and Alessandro Fontana, Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 1997; trans. David Macey as ‘Society Must Be Defended’, London: Allen Lane, 2003.
TIP Théories et institutions pénales: Cours au Collège de France (1971–1972), ed. Bernard E. Harcourt, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2015.

Archival material

BNF Archives et Manuscrits, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris
IMEC Fonds Michel Foucault and Fonds Groupe d'Information sur les prisons, l'Institut Mémoires de l'édition contemporaine, l'abbaye d'Ardenne, Caen,

IMEC's catalogue codes have changed over time as material is reorganized. References are correct at the time materials were consulted.

Classical texts are referred to by the usual conventions. I have generally used the bi-lingual editions in the Loeb library.