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Governmentality and sovereignty. Some reflections on European integration from a Foucauldian point of view

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Dietmar Köveker (Université de Montréal)

One of the most palpable characteristics of European integration consists certainly in the delegation of various national “sovereign” rights to the level of “communitarian” institutions. In his “genealogical” writings on the evolution of the more or less balanced relationship between European nations, Michel Foucault asserts however that the concept of sovereignty does not allow to an appropriate analysis of the mechanisms and key-issues which determine that process. The present article takes the Foucauldian critique of sovereignty as a starting point for the introduction of his counter-position connected with the term of “governmentality”. It ends with a discussion of the question of the extent to which this concept might help to better understand European integration.