Through Foucault to a political geography of mediation in the information age
- Institut de Géographie, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Abstract. Drawing on Michel Foucault's understanding of power and governmentality, this paper advances an initial reflection aimed at developing a "political geography of mediation'', concerned with the question of what "makes'' and what "happens within'' the imbrications of power and space. This discussion is structured into three main parts. Firstly, the paper considers two levels on which Foucault addresses the question of how (through what means) power is exercised and constituted, relating to the techniques of power on the one hand and to the discursive regimes underpinning and shaping these techniques on the other. Secondly, two ideal typical spatial logics of power are discussed, relating to what Foucault calls apparatuses of discipline and apparatuses of security. This will show how thinking about mediation in a Foucauldian sense allows for a conceptualisation of the imbrications of space and power. Thirdly, the paper advances one specific proposition of how to further pursue from a contemporary geographical perspective Foucault's "technical'' approach to the functioning of power. In so doing, the paper develops a programmatic reflection on power, space and regulation in the information age.