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Lecture 13

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Michel Foucault, Governmentality

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
Course Notes
From the VOC Charter
“In recognition of this license and the above terms the representatives from the
above mentioned company shall pay us the sum of 25,000 pounds of 40 flemish
groats each. We shall invest this amount in the preparations and risks accruing
from this shall be for the benefit or liability of the states general, the same
applying to all the other participants who may benefit or be liable”
The increased number of shareholders is also a way of spreading risk, since, as
one analyst says, if I own 1/10 of ten ships instead of an entire ship, i have
mitigated my losses in case a ship sinks
Michel Foucault
French philosopher and social theorist
Combination of government control and rationality/rationalization
Organization of knowledge (accounting, documentation, publication, archives....)
In older forms of power, the sovereign (king, prince, etc.) exercised his (her) will
over the people under penalty of death
In modernity, the law also operates by engendering new forms of conduct within
the population
People become managed”, also by a bureaucracy
The VOC presence in and around monsoon asia resulted not only in warehouses
packed with spices, textiles, porcelain and silk, but also in shiploads of
From the Charter of the VOC
...that this shipping trade and commerce be maintained and allowed to increase
through application of an appropriate general organisation of its policy, our
mutual relations and administration”
That is, a focus on organization”, policy, administration”
...there is a general audit ten years” (p.2)
Within the month that follows, the residents of this land shall be informed of
these developments by means of public posters posted in those places where they
are usually posted, from the first of April next, that they will be admitted into this
Company with an investment that may be paid in three instalments one month
after being invoiced by the directors, that is, about one-third for the equipping in
the year 1603, another third for the investment of the year 1604, and the
remaining third of outgoing ships in the year 1605 (p.3)
The accounts concerning the crew and equipment of the ships and all that is
related to this shall have been recorded three months after the ships have sailed
out. One month after that a copy shall be sent to the respective Chambers and the
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