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Keith Hyams awarded Leverhulme funding on Global Catastrophic Risk

Keith Hyams has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Project grant for his project ‘Anthropogenic Global Catastrophic Risk: The Challenge of Governance’. The project looks at long term threats to humanity arising from advances in emerging technology, aiming to identify the political obstacles that stand in the way of progress on governing these risks, and ethical guidelines within which new governance solutions for specific risks will be advanced. The project focusses on three case studies, in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence, and will be undertaken in collaboration with Co-Investigators in the departments of biology, chemistry and computer science.

Stuart Elden’s Foucault books reviewed and discussed

fld.jpgStuart Elden two books Foucault’s Last Decade (Polity 2016) and Foucault: The Birth of Power (Polity 2017) have recently been reviewed and discussed in a number of places.

A review of both books can be found in The Nation by Bruce Robbins and in 3am Magazine by Peter Gratton (along with Foucault’s The Punitive Society).

A review of Foucault’s Last Decade by Kurt Borg is in Foucault Studies; and one of Foucault: the Birth of Power at the LSE Review of Books by Syamala Roberts.

He has also taken part in discussions with Dave O’Brien for the New Books in Critical Theory series on both books – Foucault’s Last Decade here and Foucault: The Birth of Power here.

Foucault: The Birth of PowerAmong earlier discussions of the books there is one with Peter Gratton, Eduardo Mendieta and Dianna Taylor in Symposium; and with Antoinette Koleva in Foucault Studies, also in Bulgarian translation in Sociological Problems [Социологически проблеми]. There is also a longer piece about the writing of the books at Berfrois. All the above links are open access.

Stuart is currently writing a book on The Early Foucault, and updates on its research and writing can be found at his blog, Progressive Geographies.

Thu 09 Nov 2017, 12:57 | Tags: Staff, PhD, Political Theory, Research

Adam Swift discusses Family Values on New Zealand radio

On May 31st, Professor Adam Swift was interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Jesse Mulligan afternoon show about his work on Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships (Princeton UP, 2014).

You can hear the interview here:

Thu 01 Jun 2017, 09:53 | Tags: Front, Staff, Political Theory

Stuart Elden's book Foucault: The Birth of Power published

Foucault: The Birth of PowerStuart Elden's book Foucault: The Birth of Power has just been published by Polity Press. This book is a prequel to Foucault's Last Decade which was published last year.

In 1969 Foucault published The Archaeology of Knowledge, a theoretical and methodological treatise which summarised the work he had been doing throughout the 1960s. Six years later he published Discipline and Punish, a politically-charged work of history. This period saw a major development in his work, in which the vocabulary of power is elaborated and put to work in genealogies of health, madness and the disciplinary society. Foucault: The Birth of Power studies that pivotal period in Foucault’s career.

The Archaeology of Knowledge was published shortly after the tumultuous events of May 1968, and was, given the time, a curiously apolitical book. That was soon to change. At the time Foucault was a Professor at the experimental University of Vincennes, and was shortly to be elected to a chair at the prestigious Collège de France. Foucault gave courses there on classical and medieval knowledge, peasant revolts in seventeenth century France, the emergence of modern penal systems and psychiatric power. At the same time he was involved in political activism, from the famous Prison Information Group to a parallel group on health which ran campaigns on immigrant health, industrial accidents and was involved in the abortion rights struggle.

Foucault: The Birth of Power, like its companion study Foucault’s Last Decade, makes use of all the available material from this period of Foucault’s work – lecture courses and archival materials alongside his published works. It also makes extensive use of Foucault’s reading notes and other materials newly available at the Bibliothèque National de France in Paris. The book is divided into six chapters, treating the development of the new theoretical tools of genealogy and power through to their utilisation in the studies of health, madness and prisons. As well as these being themes of his own writing, and collaborative research projects in his Collège de France seminar and beyond, they are also the focus of his political activism.

Foucault: The Birth of Power is therefore a work of intellectual history, resituating Foucault’s famous Discipline and Punish within the wider context of its intellectual and political genesis. A roundtable discussing Stuart's two books will be held at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin in March at the 'Foucault in Ireland' symposium. Stuart is now turning his attention to the very earliest works by Foucault.

Fri 06 Jan 2017, 13:41 | Tags: Front, Staff, PhD, Political Theory, Research

Special lecture - 'MI5: Spies, Lies and Whistle-blowers' Thurs 3rd Nov, 17.15, OC1.05 with Annie Machon

 Annie Machon

“MI5: Spies, Lies and Whistle-blowers"


Thursday 3rd November

5.15 in OC1.05 – Oculus - New Teaching Building


As a former intelligence officer with MI5, Annie Machon has a rare perspective on the inner workings of governments, intelligence agencies and the media, as well as the wider implications of calls for increased openness and accountability in public and private sectors. In her lecture, Annie will consider the place of Whistle-blowers and explore the tensions between democracy, security and intelligence.

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