Foucault’s Boomerang: the New Military Urbanism (2013)

Foucault News

Stephen Graham, Foucault’s Boomerang: the New Military Urbanism

This article was originally published on OpenDemocracy on 14 February 2013. Republished International Relations Security Network, 24 January 2014.

According to Stephen Graham, a new set of ‘Foucauldian boomerang effects’ are shaping how states apply ‘tactics of control’ over everyday urban life. Today, he traces the emergence of what he calls a new military urbanism, which applies to cities both in the Global North and South.

On 4 February 1976, Michel Foucault, the eminent French social theorist, stepped gingerly down to the podium in a packed lecture at the Collège de France in the Latin Quarter on Paris’s South Bank. Delivering the fifth in a series of 11 lectures under the title ‘Il faut défendre la société’ (‘Society must be defended’), for once Foucault focused his attention on the relationships between western societies and those elsewhere in the world. Moving beyond his…

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