New Forms of Governing

A Foucauldian inspired analysis


By elaborating the conceptual framework and methodological guidelines suggested by Michel Foucault, Peter Triantafillou analyzes the ways in which public organizations over the last few decades have become the target of numerous interventions which, for better or for worse, have sought to improve their efficiency and quality. The author exposes how various political and social science theories were adopted in often unpredictable ways in the process of reforming the public sector. By focusing on Britain, France and Denmark, Triantafillou examines changes and developments in the governing of life, labour and learning, showing that across different political regimes, the development of particular forms of freedom played a crucial role in enabling these political interventions. This volume will be of interest to those scholars and students interested in using Foucault's concepts and methodological principles to critically analyze political interventions.

  • Palgrave Macmillan; August 2012
  • ISBN 9781137284594
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: New Forms of Governing
  • Author: Peter Triantafillou
  • Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan

In The Press

'Peter Triantafillou demonstrates the usefulness of an open-minded approach to reading Foucault, enabling a non-dogmatic interpretation regarding matters of governing. The Foucauldian must be ever vigilant of taken-for-granted presuppositions – especially about Foucault. Triantafillou's integrates into his conversation systems theory, the Frankfurt school, literature on democratic participation and the recent governance literature, turning diverse concerns into an intelligent and edifying reflection. Not content to merely rehearse the mainstream consensus, Triantafillou takes a Foucauldian-style critical approach that surprises the intellect, delights one's critical sensibilities, and even confronts – at least for me – my own understanding of Foucault. Many new and interesting questions are put on the table, but its foremost question laid out a new problematic which I will put this way: Why has the jumbled neoliberal narrative on government been so difficult to contest?'

-Hugh T. Miller is Professor in the School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University. He is author of Governing Narratives: Symbolic Politics and Policy Change, published in 2012 by University of Alabama Press.

'Peter Triantafillou's book explores a number of Michel Foucault's conceptual devices with unusual clarity. He also demonstrates a strong command of the empirical details of certain new modes of managing/governing shared by many regimes 'with quite differing polities and policymaking traditions', such as public-private partnerships and performance management, in, for example, the fields of public health and education.
The two elements by themselves are deftly handled, but it is the manner in which Triantafillou blends them into a distinctive style of investigation that should prove particularly attractive to scholars, students, and practitioners.'

Gary Wickham, Professor of Sociology, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150

About The Author

PETER TRIANTIFILLOU is Associate Professor of Politics and Administration, Roskilde University, Denmark. His research deals with the exercise of power and freedom in public organizations and welfare policies. He has co-edited (with Eva Sørensen) The Politics of Self-Governance and (with Jacob Torfing) Interactive Policymaking, Metagovernance and Democracy.