This is the first study of Michel Foucault's political thought to be published in a single volume. Jon Simons explores Foucault's politics and ideas about the political across the whole body of his writing, including his most recently published work. Foucault's impassioned critique of the limitations of contemporary society and his affirmation of new forms of subjectivity have made his work vital to many areas of important new political thinking; thinking often taking place outside of conventional political categories. Simons places Foucault's work in the context of contemporary political theory - including that of Michael Walzer, Charles Taylor and Jurgen Habermas - and in relation to the rise of alternative models for politics - such as those found in the work of William Connolly and Judith Butler. The political ramifications of Foucault's thought and the question of his personal politics have recently shaken up the way in which his work is understood. His concern with limits, as both constraining and enabling emerges - the possibility of transgression both as a theoretical and personal project is seen by Simons to be ever present for Foucault, both in his work and his life.
Simons has included concise explanations of key concepts in Foucault's work such as power/knowledge, subjectification, aesthetics of existence and political rationality to help readers new to Foucault's thought. Foucault and the Political will appeal to both the student and the more advanced reader in philosophy and politics, whether they are interested in Foucault or contemporary political thought.