Fabienne Brion – Governmentality, citizenship and dangerousness

Event Date: 3 and 4 June 2011
Clore Lecture Theatre
Clore Management Centre
Birkbeck College
Malet Street, Bloomsbury
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Centre for Law and the Humanities presents:


A Conference at Birkbeck College, University of London Reflecting on 20 years of
The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality

Fabienne BrionGovernmentality, citizenship and dangerousness

According to Ewald and Fontana, those who attended Foucault’s courses “were not only held in thrall by the narratives that unfolded week by week and seduced by the rigorous exposition; they also found a perspective on contemporary reality. (…) Foucault’s specific strength in his courses was the subtle interplay between learned erudition, personal commitment, and work on the event”. What perspective on the re‐codification of migrants and minorities along religious lines and on their criminalization can critical criminologists take from his work and to begin with, from the commentary on Oedipus the King that he offers in his Lectures on the Will to Know ? What is crime, if it is through the expulsion of the criminal – a gesture that is supposed to clean the city from the impurity that endangers it – that the formation of a social space given as the locus of monetary movement and right distribution is completed? Is dangerousness a function of citizenship, and citizenship a function of the formula of government? Is there something like criminalism that would be a layer of state racism? And if so, is this the layer that makes the forms of state racism change with the changes in citizenship?

Fabienne Brion

Professor of Criminology – Université Catholique de Louvain

Fabienne Brion is a professor of critical criminology at the Catholic University of Louvain. Her scholarship intersects philosophy, legal sociology and criminology. The author of several essays on the political uses of crime and criminology, she has repeatedly analysed how illegitimate discriminations are turned into legitimate distinctions, and taken criminalisation as a point of departure to examine what our political order is. She is the co-editor with Bernard Harcourt of Michel Foucault’s 1981 Louvain Lectures, Mal faire, dire vrai. Fonction de l’aveu en justice (forthcoming, Presses Universitaires de Louvain and University of Chicago Press), the editor of Féminité, minorité, islamité. Questions à propos du hijâb (2004), and the co-editor with Andrea Rea, Christine Schaut and Axel Tixhon of Mon délit ? Mon origine. Criminalité et criminalisation de l’immigration (2001).

Fabienne Brion, Bernard Harcourt:” Le pouvoir de la vérité. Trois lectures de ‘Mal faire, dire vrai’, de Michel Foucault” http://www.academieroyale.be/cgi?pag=1026&tab=146&rec=10279

Éthique et politique dans les sociétés libérales avancée, in J. Ch. Lemaire et P. Laclémence, Imaginer la sécurité globale, 2005, La Pensée et les Hommes, 48/57, p. 115-134

Contre la défense culturelle. De la discrimination positive à la décriminalisation, Bruxelles : Larcier, 2009

Des classes à la population ? Formules de gouvernement et détention, Chicago : Carceral.org, 2008, p. 23-44 http://www.thecarceral.org/






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