Reconciling Foucault and Skinner on the state: The primacy of politics?

Walter, Ryan (2008) Reconciling Foucault and Skinner on the state: The primacy of politics?. History of the Human Sciences, 21 3: 94-114. doi:10.1177/0952695108093955

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Author Walter, Ryan
Title Reconciling Foucault and Skinner on the state: The primacy of politics?
Journal name History of the Human Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0952-6951
Publication date 2008-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0952695108093955
Volume 21
Issue 3
Start page 94
End page 114
Total pages 21
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, U.S.
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Subject 16 Studies in Human Society
1606 Political Science
Abstract Foucault and Skinner have each offered influential accounts of the emergence of the state as a defining element of modern political thought. Yet the two accounts have never been brought into dialogue; this non-encounter is made more interesting by the fact that Foucault's and Skinner's accounts are at odds with one another. There is therefore much to be gained by examining this divergence. In this article I attempt this task by first setting out the two accounts of the state, and then some of the methodological strictures each thinker has suggested. I argue that the divergence between Foucault's and Skinner's accounts of the state is indeed driven by differences in method, as we might expect; but I also argue that these differences in method can themselves be well explained by the differing political motivations each thinker has at times articulated. Thus it is possible to make politics, and not method, the privileged point of this reconciliation.
Keyword Cambridge School
Michel Foucault
Quentin Skinner
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 05 Jan 2010, 14:46:49 EST by Tara Johnson on behalf of Faculty of Arts