29quite different social conditions. We suggest that this reveals the uneven butcombined nature of international relations, where some societies may not producesuch forms of governmentality themselves, but are nonetheless exposed to themthrough their global interconnections. We will see how the documents of internationalorganisations like the World Bank resonate with the kind of ideas discussed in thefirst part of the book – new forms of governance, networks, risk, social capital,globalisation, reflexivity and so on. And we will also see that these ideas can often bequite inappropriate outside of their advanced liberal social context – at least as far asthe governance of local populations is concerned. But to make this point, we need tosituate governmentality within a wider social ontology capable of explaining how and why techniques of governmentality can work in some societies but not in others.
It is tempting to see governmentality as a concept that marks a rupture with old waysof thinking just as it is tempting to view Foucault’s work on power generally as arejection of traditional understandings of power as top-down, hierarchical, centralised,repressive and possessed by a particular group, social body or institution. It is morefruitful, however, to see Foucault’s work as complementing and supplementing, rather than displacing altogether, these conceptions, or as qualifying and giving nuance toour understanding of how power works. When looking at the specific form of power that Foucault calls governmentality, we should note that Foucault talks not of the end of sovereignty or state power, but the emergence of the triangle sovereignty-discipline-government with its new concerns for population and the optimisation of health, welfare, happiness and labour productivity. Rather than rejecting the idea of