Volume 112, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



This paper intends to clarify the peculiarity of counter-conduct as a form of resistance and to examine its usefulness in our neoliberal era. In view thereof, it takes off with a general discussion of Foucault’s views of the relationship between power and resistance. Then the focus shifts more specifically to governmentality and its predecessor, pastoral power, as the specific type of power against which counter-conduct as a form of resistance is directed. This investigation allows in the next step to fathom the uniqueness of counter-conduct as a peculiar form of resistance and to find out whether it is appropriate to resist neoliberal governmentality. The paper concludes by pointing out a major weakness of counter-conduct, viz. its unlikelihood to develop into forms of collective resistance.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Burchell, G.(2009)Confession, Resistance, Subjectivity, Journal for Cultural Research13(2), pp. 159-177.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Braeckman, A.(2019)Beyond the Confines of the Law. Foucault’s Intimations of a Genealogy of the Modern State, Philosophy and Social Criticism(online publication ahead of print).
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Helfrich, S. & Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Hrsg.) (2012)Commons. Für eine neue Politik jenseits von Markt und Staat. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.
  4. Cornelissen, L.(2018)On the Subject of Neoliberalism: Rethinking Resistance in the Critique of Neoliberal Rationality, Constellations 25, pp. 133-146.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Dardot, P., en C.Laval(2010)La nouvelle raison du monde. Essai sur la société néolibérale. Paris: La Découverte.
  6. Dardot, P., en C.Laval(2014)Commun. Essai sur la révolution au XXIe siècle. Paris: La Découverte.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Davidson, A.(2011)In Praise of Counter-Conduct, History of the Human Sciences24(4), pp. 25-41.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Duarte, A.(2016)Michel Foucault: Autour des nouvelles communautés politiques, Chimères87, pp. 61-68.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Foucault, M.(1975)Surveiller et punir. Naissance de la prison. Paris: Gallimard.
  10. Foucault, M.(1976)Histoire de la sexualité 1: La volonté de savoir. Paris: Gallimard.
  11. Foucault, M.(1997)Il faut défendre la société’. Cours au Collège de France. 1976. Paris: Gallimard.
  12. Foucault, M. (2001a) Dits et écrits II: 1976-1988. Paris: Gallimard.
  13. Foucault, M. (2001b) L’herméneutique du sujet. Cours au Collège de France. 1981-1982. Paris: Gallimard.
  14. Foucault, M.(2003)Le pouvoir psychiatrique. Cours au Collège de France. 1973-1974. Paris: Gallimard.
  15. Foucault, M. (2004a) Sécurité, territoire, population. Cours au Collège de France. 1977-1978. Paris: Gallimard.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Foucault, M. (2004b) Naissance de la biopolitique. Cours au Collège de France. 1978-1979. Paris: Gallimard.
  17. Foucault, M.(2012)Du gouvernement des vivants. Cours au Collège de France. 1979-1980. Paris: Gallimard.
  18. Foucault, M.(2013)La société punitive. Cours au Collège de France. 1972-1973. Paris: Gallimard.
  19. Foucault, M.(2015)Qu’est-ce que la critique? suivi de La culture de soi. Paris: Vrin.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Foucault, M.(2018)Histoire de la sexualité 4: Les aveux de la chair. Paris: Gallimard.
  21. Kelly, M.(2009)The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault. New York-London: Routledge.
  22. Lorenzini, D.(2016)From Counter-Conduct to Critical Attitude: Michel Foucault and the Art of Not Being Governed Quite So Much, Foucault Studies21, pp. 7-21.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): counter-conduct; Foucault; governmentality; neoliberalism; pastoral power; resistance
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error