This set of essays engages with some aspects of Foucault's notion of governmentality,particularly at the junction where law/regulation meets 'the social'. 'The social', as a special sphere of government, is a special area of concern for those working within broad intellectual spaces of the 'governmentality approach'. Is it the basis of modern liberal systems of government? Is it dead, or even feeling unwell? Has it spawned hybrid forms of government like neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, or even neo-socialism? In making their presence felt in the debates that have flourished around such questions, especially by highlighting the subtleties of the roles played by law and regulation in the governance of the social, the authors of the essays - David Brown; Jo Goodie; Russell Hogg and Kerry Carrington; Jeff Malpas; Pat O'Malley; George Pavlich; Annette Pedersen; Kevin Stenson; William Walters - range widely. There are pieces on liberal government and resistance to it, some on particular targets of this government, like unemployment, crime, 'law and order', even Australian geography, environment and cultural products, and some that delve into philosophical/methodological issues.
Gary Wickham is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Murdoch University in Western Australia. George Pavlich is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta.
Transforming images - society, law and critique, George Pavlich. Part 1 Genealogical entries - governance, the social and the colonies: genealogy, systemization and resistance in "advanced liberalism", Pat O'Malley; governing images of the Australian police trooper, Annette Pedersen; governing rural Australia -land, space and race, Russell Hogg and Kerry Carrington; governing unemployment -transforming "the social", William Walters. Part 2 Law, crime and the politics of co-social governance: the invention of the environment as a subject of legal governance, Jo Goodie; reconstructing the government of crime, Kevin Stenson; governmentality and law and order, David Brown. Part 3 Reframing ontology and critique: governing theory - ontology, methodology and the critique of metaphysics, Jeff Malpas; the art of critique or how not to be governed thus, George Pavlich.