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Complicating Governmentality: Colonialism, Protestantism, and Greenland

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Chapter Summary

To theorise the relation between the individual and social structure in a way that takes the systemic role of religion seriously, Foucault's theory of governmentality and the central role of pastoral power works well, albeit with a few adjustments. Simply named "Governmentality", Foucault's essay was originally one of the lectures from the Security, Territory, Population lecture series at the Collège de France between 1977 and 1978. Foucault traces questions of government and its focus on the various engagements with Machiavelli's The Prince. The "Governmentality" essay focuses primarily on the differences between sovereignty and governmentality, and therefore does not draw out pastoral power for special emphasis. One significant exception to the compartmentalisation approach to Foucault is Danish theologian Mads Peter Karlsen, who problematises the distinction between the religious and the secular in his analysis of the Christian heritage of the Danish welfare system.

Keywords: compartmentalisation; Danish welfare system; Foucault; governmentality

10.1163/9789004273160_004
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