In the course of his exploration of the concept of governmentality, Michel Foucault comes to speak of Rousseau’s role-and this at an especially important point, in that Foucault here poses the question of what remains of sovereignty after the art of government has a new political subject. This subject is the population, whose guidance and management is the central task of modern power: the sort of power whose goal is not in an imposition of death but an intensifi cation and elevation of vital force. Foucault here refers to Rousseau’s article on “Political Economy,” where the philosopher aims at “defi ning an art of government.” He then continues:

Then he writes The Social Contract in which the problem is how, with notions like those of “nature,” “contract,” and “general will,” one can give a general principle of government that will allow for both the juridical principle of sovereignty and the elements through which an art of government can be defi ned and described. So sovereignty is absolutely not eliminated by the emergence of a new art of government that has crossed the threshold of political science. The problem of sovereignty is not eliminated; on the contrary, it is made more acute than ever. (Foucault2007: 107)

Foucault’s remarks on the particularity of Rousseau’s theory-a theory offering a place for both the art of government and the principle of sovereignty-are all too scattered and cursory.They nevertheless offer an excellent starting point for the following effort to more precisely determine the form this compromise between juridical and governmental power takes in Rousseau’s discourse, and why it can be considered exemplary for the conceptual and institutional history of modern govermentality.1 To this end I will fi rst move past Foucault’s comments to describe the fi eld in which the explosion of an art of government can be observed

in Rousseau’s writing, together with the conclusions he draws into the rendering governable of individual subjects, as applied to the connected political fi eld of the government of a people. In the second section, I will discuss what Foucault may have meant in arguing that in signifying “the emergence of a new sort of art of governing,” Rousseau’s discourse nevertheless not only fails to eliminate the problem of sovereignty but even increases its virulence. In Rousseau, Foucault indicates, the problem of sovereignty, being no longer centered around the prince but rather the collective subject, the people, “is made more acute than ever.”2 Finally, in the third section I will scrutinize Foucault’s claim that “[w]e live in the era of a governmentality discovered in the eighteenth century” (Foucault

2007: 109) against the example of what Ernst Forsthoff has termed the “new-style social orders”: those prevalent since 1945 and towards which Foucault steers his history of governmentality in the framework of his preoccupation with “model Germany.” When Foucault asserts that “this governmentalization of the state” is the phenomenon that “allowed the state to survive,” governmentality here being defi ned as something “at the same time both external and internal to the state,” (ibid.) what he is suggesting-and what needs to be shown-is that with Rousseau’s theory of government, the entire ambivalence of its relationship to the sovereign volonté générale can be described for the fi rst time.