, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 333-336
Date: 18 Dec 2009

Foucault on Law

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In the 1970s and 1980s, Michel Foucault was an intensely studied philosopher. An area of particularly focused debate was Foucault’s position on law. One model through which to interpret this position was offered by Hunt and Wickham (1994). Hunt and Wickham were only the most recent of a sizeable group of theorists wishing to marginalize law in Foucauldian philosophy. Most of these theorists consider Foucault to be, first, a sociologist of power and, second, a sociologist of law. They argue that Foucault expelled law in itself from his conceptual curiosity, showing interest only in sociological issues around power and control. Against this background, Golder and Fitzpatrick’s brief volume Foucault’s Law, appearing 25 years after the death of the French thinker, proposes an original, philosophical rereading of Foucault on law. The central theses of the book are markedly poststructuralist. I shall summarize them briefly before commenting upon them.

The central purpose of the book is to off ...