For almost two decades now, critical studies of the development of advanced capitalist societies have been stimulated by what has been called the “Foucault effect.”1 According to the editors of a volume which, back at the beginning of the 1990s, set out the state of the art in the emerging fi eld of “governmentality studies,” the Foucault effect in the social sciences consists in “the making visible, through a particular perspective in the history of the present, of the different ways in which an activity or art called government has been made thinkable and practicable” (Burchell, Gordon and Miller 1991: ix). When talking of “Government” in Foucauldian terms, there is much more at stake than the operations, rules, and procedures of states, political executives and public administrations. Colin Gordon argued that with the rise of the “governmentality school,” the analytical perspective had been widened well beyond the classical political science notion of the concept: “Government” was conceptualized as an activity that could concern the whole of social relations constituting modern “society”—“the relation between self and self, private interpersonal relations involving some form of control or guidance, relations within social institutions and communities and, fi nally, relations concerned with the exercise of political sovereignty” (Gordon 1991: 2-3; emphasis added).