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A genealogy of the government of poverty


Mitchell Dean
a a

School of Behavioural Sciences Macquance University, Sydney, Australia Published online: 28 Jul 2006.

To cite this article: Mitchell Dean (1992): A genealogy of the government of poverty, Economy and Society, 21:3, 215-251 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03085149200000012

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A genealogy of the government of poverty


Mitchell Dean

Abstract
This paper contributes to a genealogy of the discourses and government of poverty. It offers a statement of what might be understood by a genealogical perspective and method, and then focuses on the emergence of a 'liberal mode of government' of poverty in the early nineteenth century, of which the reformed poor law in England is emblematic but not exhaustive. The emergence of this mode of government is followed through a series of related transformations of the older systems of the relief and administration of 'the Poor', best understood as a dimension of 'police' in its archaic sense. The conditions of the problematization of this older system of governance are discussed as are transformations in the language and practice of government in matters of population, economy, police, and so on. This emergence has implications for the formation of a national labour market, notions of self-governance and responsibility, forms of patriarchy and household, and issues of morality, philanthropy, administration, and the state. Above all, it is within this liberal mode of government that we can witness both the constitutionof poverty as a field of knowledge and intervention, perhaps for the first time, and also the various surfaces of emergence for what will become 'the social'. The implications of this liberal mode of government for our present are far from exhausted.

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A genealogy of liberal governance


T h e approach to what can be said, and what can be done, is that of genealogy. Genealogy is a form of use of statements. It is distinguished from other uses of statements: epistemology, concerned with statements as true knowledge, intellectual history, concerned with statements as ideas, and the sociology of knowledge, concerned with statements as ideologies or 'world-views' (Weltanschauungen). Genealogy seeks neither to legislate the truth of statements, to capture the movement of ideas, nor to relativize ideas against general social-historical processes, e.g. rationalization, the transition to modernity, the development of capitalism, the clash of divergent groups, classes, movements, and their interests, etc. For genealogy, whatever their value, these projects d o not exhaust the possibilities of the use of statements. For it is also possible to take as one's topic the conditions and effects of truth.

Economy and Society Volume 21 Number 3 August 1992 0Routledge 1992 0308-5147/92/2103-0215 $3.00/1

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Such a perspective examines what might be called veridical discourses, those discourses that are charged with the systematic production of truth, and by means of which statements are oganized in disciplines or sanctioned bodies of knowledge (e.g. medicine, social policy, criminology). These veridical discourses are understood as arising from and seeking to direct what might be called institutional practices or governing practices, i.e. practices that organize and codify ways of doing things such as curing, relieving, administering, punishing, etc., and that involve the government of conduct, whether of self or others. Genealogy thus examines the mutual interpenetration of 'regimes of truth' and 'regimes of practices', to invoke the language of Michel Foucault.' It places what is held to be true within the horizon of what can be done. Genealogy is the methodical problematization of the given, of the taken-for-granted. One way of doing this is by constituting lineages of those 'assemblages' - madness, criminality, sexuality, poverty, the economic, the social, etc. - of which we are all too familiar, and which define the lineaments . ~ assemblages are comprised of diverse and heterogeneof our p r e ~ e n tSuch ous elements: modes of training; forms of expertise; systems of classification; administrative practices and principles; laws and juridical practices; theories, strategies, and programmes of governance, their targets, aims, ideals, and effects; and agents and authorities. These assemblages neither form an ideal unity, follow a smooth trajectory, nor answer a determinative logic, all ofwhich would lead us back to the terrain of the taken-for-granted. If the language of Foucault is again deployed, archaeology, insofar as the discursive forms it isolates do not possess an ideal unity, might be understood as a technique concerned with the disruption of the taken-for-granted by the systematic analysis of the terrain of veridical discourses. Genealogy emplaces the contents released by this archaeology as components in continuities without definite origin or end and punctuated by events and ruptures. T o counterpose genealogy to dogmatizingphilosophy,as does Niet~sche,~ is to issue a double-sided warning. One side is now well-established: the caution issued by Nietzsche in regard to philosophies of history that place historiography in the service of monumental, antiquarian, and critical purposes. Genealogy stands against claims to a veridical history, one which exhaustively reconstructs the real, or discovers identity within tradition. It places itself against all the techniques of the colonization and invasion of historiography by the various enlightenment and post-enlightenment philosophies of history: ones of 'teleologization', totalization, synthesis, reconciliation, and promise. The other side of the genealogical warning is less well established and less well heeded. The effects of this deafness have not passed without notice by the partisans of those philosophies of history that genealogy so disrupts.4 It is one thing to develop the theme of the history of regimes of truth, and hence to put into question all values. It is quite another to claim to find the foundation of all truths in power relations or to uncover the ignoble and base

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origin of all values. It makes little sense to turn genealogy into the very opposite of the philosophical uses of history it opposes, to apply a transcendent concept that vitiates all that is intelligible and thus to proclaim a revaluation of all values. Genealogy aims at the construction of intelligible trajectories of events, discourses, and practices with neither a determinative source nor an unfolding toward finality.5As such, it is itself a technique employed by the 'history of the present'.(' This should be understood not in the sense of writing history backwards from the perspective of present-day knowledge, beliefs, or values. The concerns of the present do give such a history its pertinence. However this history deliberately and carefully rejects the present, its givenness, its characteristic features or types of identity, as a necessary endpoint or outcome of the trajectories it seeks to chart. A key aspect of the method, that may distinguish it from the tendencies of contemporary historians, concerns events. It invokes a technique described as 'eventalization', the definition and attempted understanding of an event or episode in its singularity.' The delineation of the event, which of course does not resemble the great events formerly beloved of historians such as wars, revolutions, and the rise and fall of tyrants and princes, serves as a marker for transition, and a means by which self-evidence about the nature of present social arrangements may be breached. Such an approach lends itself to a multiplication of causes, a concern for complex conditions of emergence and existence, and seeks a progressive, necessarily incomplete understanding of aspects of the past rather than a reconstruction of a social totality. This methodology proceeds, then, by case-histories or case-studies. These replace conventional historiographic criteria of exhaustiveness with those of intelligibility, and are always open to revision and extension.' In sum, 'eventalization' defines a method that uses the delineation of an event to pose questions of continuity, rupture and transition, rather than to construe events as manifestations or expressions ofthe structural principles or processes that govern a particular concrete society. It defines a method that seeks to punctuate taken-for-granted determinative logics of conventional social theory with the identification of singular assemblages of social and institutional practices and forms of knowledge and discourse, to analyse these into the elements from which they are composed, and to construct the specific processes of formation of those elements. In our case, the event is that of pauperism. As Karl Polanyi wrote: 'The figure of the pauper, almost forgotten since, dominated a discussion the imprint of which was as powerful as that of the most spectacular events in h i ~ t o r y This . ~ event is, to be sure, fairly low in the calendar of significant occurrences for many types of historical and theoretical narratives. Yet, the more its constituent elements are analysed, and the more the shifting genealogies of those elements explored, the more Polanyi's thesis is vindicated. This is a genealogy of liberalgovernanceor the liberal mode ofgovemment. The

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latter term may appear somewhat strange. It is not equivalent to the liberal state, for governance is a much broader term than state, and in principle includes any relatively calculated practice of the direction of conduct, encompassing but irreducible to political governance, to the government.10 Similarly, 'liberal' should not be confused with liberalism. 'Liberal' refers first of all to a form of practice of governance, one which sets itself against older, paternalistic, hierocratic, forms of rule, and attempts to specify some limits to that rule by means of appealing to a personal or private sphere. Here, the term 'liberal' coincides, almost exactly, with its use by conservatives in the second and third decades of the nineteenth century to describe those of advanced Whiggish or Radical views." The formation of this 'Whig-liberalism', or Radicalism, can be witnessed from the 1790s, but its governmental impact was greatest from the 1830s.12 The liberal mode of government, then, is an historically specific ensemble of discursive, legal, administrative, and institutional practices, which crosses and seeks to co-ordinate dimensions of the state, philanthropy, households, and the economy, with the objective of promoting particular forms of the conduct of life. Central to the realization of this mode of the government is how it extends the boundaries of rule by placing limits on the action of the state. Such limits are specified not foremost by a domain of inviolable rights of the person but by a division of responsibility for subsistence between categories of individual actors, the state, and other authorities. The terrain investigated is thus not the classical one explored by socialism and radical democracy, ofthe contradiction between the formal rights, justice, and equality of the liberal state and the substantive relations of inequality and exploitation. Rather it is the complex and subtle interweavings of universalist discourses, theories, and utopias, and the practical logics of governance, administration, and programmes of rule. In all of this, the central theme is less one of universal rights and freedoms and more one of particular responsibilities and dependences. The general thesis here is that the history of the treatment of poverty, and, by implication, what we call welfare or social policy, cannot properly be understood within a history of ideologies, within the evolution of morality, or even within an economic history. It must be understood, above all, in terms of governance and the 'forms of life' which are promoted by it, the latter bringing us close to Weber's concern for the rational 'conduct of life' (Lebensfihrung).13 The study sought a history of poverty, then, not as one of guilt, conscience, public opinion, and social reform, but as one of the mechanisms of rule, the forms and uses of knowledge, and the ethics of the conduct of life. The problems of poverty, in many ways paradigmatic of those of welfare and social policy, must be understood in relation to issues of morality and economy, to be sure, but their constituent domain is one of governance. The outcome of such an investigation would include a new schema for grasping transformation in modes of government, and an unexpected discovery. That discovery was that a new object of knowledge and field of

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governance was being constituted within the diverse processes of formation of a liberal mode of government, one distinct from the fixed position occupied by earlier notions of 'the Poor', that ofpoverty itself.

T h e discourse of the Poor But this has taken it too far already. It is not possible to understand the significance of this event, or the liberal mode of government it announces, or even this constitution of poverty, without, first, making intelligible the field that was displaced by all of this. But if it is practically impossible to understand this latter field in its own terms, we can seek to grasp it b y means of its own terms, of how such terms operate in concert, not in terms of that which displaced it. This is not because these terms exhaust the intelligibility of an assemblage of governmental practices, but because they form a language that is elaborated on the basis of such practices and that allows such practices to operate. Governmental practices inhabit, pass through, transform, conserve, or escape the terrain sketched by that language. The language maps the possibility of an assemblage of heterogeneous elements from within, without ever being co-extensive with this assemblage. This anti-anachronistic move has not been the rule among historians. When confronted with the problem of understanding the discourses, values, beliefs, relief practices, techniques of administration, etc., of the poor in this 'early modem' or 'mercantilist' period, say from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, certain historians have been liable to the effects of what French historians of science have called 'recurrence', i.e. the practice of employing the present state of knowledge as providing a set of norms that act as telos through which one can filter earlier concepts, beliefs, modes of knowing, and forms of discourse.14 The primary effect is to establish the normative standards of the present state of the social sciences and their antecedents as a means of characterizing and, less explicitly, judging particular groups of statements or discourses. In one version, the acceptance of these norms as a filtering framework for a history of ideas is disabling in that it is only those discourses that exhibit such norms that can be given a positive characterization. Those discourses that do not exhibit such norms can therefore only be characterized by what they lack in relation in them. For example, one otherwise extremely careful historian argues that because eighteenth-century ideas of poverty lack a 'general economic analysis', or an 'explicit application of social theory', they are unsystematic and incoherent.'' T o say that something is incoherent may be to say more about the inadequacy of the analysis to reveal its coherence than about those statements or discourses themselves. In the case of issues of poverty, this inadequacy can be further disguised by positing an isomorphism between a supposedly incoherent set of early modem discourses and the

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localism, ad hoc nature, and lack of central supervision, of the system of poor relief itself. An alternative version is, on the face of it, superior, in that it seeks a positive characterization of that which is overtaken by the rationality of the social sciences, in particular, economics. This second form of recurrence does not characterize discourses by what they lack, but turns them into the polar opposite of that which is thought to displace them. The unfamiliar can be reconstructed as the absolute Other of the familiar. In this case, the familiar is the location of poverty as a concept which must be understood in relation to economic analysis of the production and distribution of scarce resources. The favoured Other here is morality. From Elie HalCvy, R. H. Tawney and Karl Polanyi, to E. P. Thompson and Gertrude Himmelfarb, a profoundly discontinuist schema along these lines is adopted.'" T o put it bluntly, these authors all propose that policies and practices concerning the poor, once conceived within a moral-political framework, come to be thought ofwithin an economic one. Such a historical schema is typically combined with the humanist theme of the effective loss of human control over vital matters of subsistence and the provision of work. Within this schema, moral economy, paternalism, and the right to subsistence, are displaced by political economy, the contract, and the laws of market society. By contrast with both these moves, it is possible to show that, as far as issues of the administration of the poor is concerned in this period, the pertinent statements possess an unusually high degree of systematicity, such that they constitute a 'discursive formation', i.e. a regular system of dispersion of statements." The key to understanding this discursive formation is not its absolute otherness to an emergent economic rationality, but the very 'regime of practices' concerning the poor in which it is embedded. This regime includes diverse practices of relief, confinement, philanthropy, make-work, punishment, arrest, transportation, and so on. Despite this, it is helpful to begin with the form of discourse. It can be called the discourse of the Poor. The architectonics of this discourse can be constructed through its 'governing statement': 'Who are the numbers of our Poor?' or, to make all things explicit, 'Who constitute the numbers of the nation's Poor?''' The notion of the numbers of the Poor should be stressed. 'Numbers' is a central term here because it links the address on the Poor to concerns about populousness, itself an index or sign of the prosperity, military strength and comparative greatness of nations. There are three categories on which possible answers can be based, and only three (the reasons for this become clear presently). They are the 'industrious Poor', the 'idle Poor', and the 'impotent Poor' -those who will labour, those who won't labour, and those who cannot labour. Hence Daniel Defoe railed: "Tis the Men that won't work, not the men that can get no work, which makes up the number of the Poor.'19 This is but one answer to the question that is the governing statement, not necessarily the most common. The discourse of the Poor is a practical form of knowledge (a savoi?0), so

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that each of the possible answers are linked to a prescription: the idle are to be restrained and then set to work, the industrious are to be encouraged in their exertions and provided with work, and the impotent relieved. Thus we can cite two examples provided by Eden at the end of the eighteenth century." First, Dunning in 1685 defined the duties of the parishes to provide 'work for those that will labour, punishment for those that will not, and bread for those that cannot'. Similarly the jurist, Burn, in his History of the Poor of 1764 described the classes of the Poor and the objective of their respective types of legislation as: servants, labourers, and artificers, for whom employment should be provided; rogues and vagabonds, who are to be encouraged to labour; and the impotent, who are to be objects of maintenance. This discourse ofthe Poor must be made intelligible, however, as a practical form of knowledge that unites different orders of discourse, principally forms of knowledge such as political oeconomy - with its 'distributional' problematic of the wise administration of the state by the sovereign, its circulatory conception of wealth, and its patriarchalist, householding conception of 'oeconomy' - with the aims of what Weber called 'national mercantilism', which sought, among other things, to harness the numbers of the Poor to the wealth, strength, and greatness of the nation.22The key means of thinking this link was not so much population, in the modern, i.e. post-Malthusian, sense, but the 'populousness' of the nation. Political oeconomy and political arithmetic, from William Petty to Adam Smith, relies on an identification of populousness and the wealth of nations. This in part stems from the householding or stewardship conception of ' o e c ~ n o m and ~ ' ~the ~ circulatory metaphor of wealth. The augmentation of population was a result of the 'wise administration' of the state, and the numbers of people themselves were a sign of the wealth and greatness of the nation. By increasing the numbers of people, one could increase the circulation of money and goods in trade, and thus augment the national treasury. Hence one finds the repeated insistence throughout the literature of this period that 'the people are the riches and strength of the country', as Barbon put it in 1690, a position held by Thomas Mun in 1664, by John Bellers in 1669, and by Henry Fielding in the middle of the eighteenth century.24 Hume's essay on the populousness of ancient, as compared to f modern, nations, might also be cited." So too might Adam Smith's Wealth o Nations, in which we find the following: 'Whatever encourages the progress of population and improvement, encourages that of real wealth and greatne~s'.'~ The discourse of the Poor, which stands in a position of interchange between such propositions and the practical problems ofthe governance ofthe Poor, is led to qualify this statement. One could cite the influential early advocates of workhouses, such as Chief Justice Matthew Hale, and Josiah Child, Chairman of the East India Company, or those who opposed all forms of make-work, even Defoe, to the effect that 'for want of due regulation of things, the more populous we are, the Poorer we are; so that, that wherein the Strength and Wealth of a Kingdom consists, renders us the weaker and the

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poorer'.27 This 'due regulation of things' entails that the numbers of the population, the greatest of whom are the Poor, are harnessed to the goals of the strength and wealth of the nation. The practical way to do this is to 'set the Poor to work', and, thus, to transform the idle Poor into the industrious Poor. This can be done in two major ways: the provision of employment with or without confinement. The former is exemplified by the poor law's provisions for the raising of funds to establish a parish stock (of flax, hemp, etc.) for the Poor to work on, perhaps even in their homes. The latter is done primarily by the workhouse, which would establish a patriarchal form of governance which resembled, and thereby increased, the number of the nation's industrious households, and replicated the patriarchalist order of the state itself.28 The workhouse would place its inhabitants in a 'regular course of life' within relations of patriarchal discipline, instruct the young, provide for the sick, and prevent idleness, beggary, and disorder lines^.^^ It did resemble the manufactory, and has a place in the genealogy of nineteenth-century manufactures, but its function and conception was entirely different. It housed forced - not 'formally free' - labour, and most definitely was not an institution for expropriating surplus value. The highest ambition of the proponents of the workhouse was not the production of profits, but the rendering of the greatest numbers of the Poor self-subsistent, and thus no longer a drain on national resources.30Despite the fact that the workhouse will fail in this, its most elementary function, and in its other goals, its rootedness in the 'governmental rationality' of national mercantilism will ensure Needless to say, this rationality is not one that it was not easily aband~ned.~' of Weberian 'rational capitalism'. But there is another problem contained in the paradox which was confronted by the discourse of the Poor, that of the conversion of the industrious into the idle, by what Defoe called the 'taint of slothfulness' or Locke 'the relaxation of discipline and corruption of morals', or, if we were to identify a less lofty target, by the mechanism of the alehouse.32 Here the problem is the idleness that is ingrained in the habits and customs of the Poor. The strategies to combat this are legion: anti-recreational campaigns, that include tactics such as withholding fairground !icences, the 'vagrantization' of performers, and the withdrawal of access to commons and wastes in the name of public security and decency; the campaigns against licentiousness and slothfulness; the committees for the reform of manners; and the regularization of the working week and routinization of the working day.33But the most favoured strategy is a simple one, and rests on the principle of the utility of low wages (or high prices).34The doctrine of low wages as a spur to industry did not receive universal assent - Adam Smith is one notable exception in favouring a 'liberal reward for labour7, but his work is exceptional in many ways -but it inspired many political techniques. These included the use of public granaries to withhold plentiful grain and excises on foodstuffs, and many measures to increase population and the supply of

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labour, such as allowances for large families, the relaxation ofimmigration and naturalization laws, and even religious t~leration.~' T o summarize, the terrain upon which matters of the administration and relief of the Poor were discussed and debated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries possessed an unusual degree of systematicity which allows us to talk of a singular discursive formation, the discourse of the Poor. The coherence of this discourse of the Poor, moreover, can be approached through the statement, 'who make up the numbers of the nation's Poor?' The possible responses to this statement indicate the threefold system of classification of the Poor. This classification can only be understood in terms of a distinctive form of governance. It is the characterization of the latter to which we now turn.

The police of the Poor


How should we characterize this mode of government, in which this discourse of the Poor was inscribed, and which grants that discourse its intelligibility? The solution to this is starting perhaps, not the least because it invokes a term with a vast literature on continental Europe and well-known to the Scots but only rarely found among the English until the end of the eighteenth century, that ofpolice. The exclamation of one French visitor to London in 1720 should suffice to make this plain: 'Good Lord! How can one expect Order among these People, who have not such a Word as Police in their Language.'36 T o speak of a police of the Poor in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England may seem a reckless move, one that risks transgressing the careful use of historical sources characteristic of genealogy. The use of the term 'police' to describe the governance of the Poor does need to be argued for, but first we must be clear about what we are arguing against. What is rejected is an account that views the treatment of the Poor as fundamentally a matter of moral concern. It is, above all else, a matter of governance, i.e. the way in which the life-conduct of specified categories of actor are directed. The term 'police' is used here to circumscribe a very broad form of that governance. The followingwill demonstrate that there are ethical considerations within this governance, and definite relations with the trajectories of religious ethics, but there is no 'moral economy' of the Poor, no 'foundationalist' morality that regulates the relation between the rich and the Poor.37E. P. Thompson's popular schema cannot be applied in this context it illuminates elements within the government ofthe Poor but does not grasp it as an intelligible ensemble of relations. It would be also mistaken to invoke a Weberian interpretation. This would argue that the governance of the Poor of 'national mercantilism' after the Civil War (as opposed to the 'royal mercantilism' of the Stuarts) represents the application of the social and ethical consciousness of Protestantism and its new valorization of labour to the This would be evidenced by the

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condemnation of begging, indiscriminate almsgiving, and even the Poor themselves, by the Puritans. The thesis is, first, anachronistic in that it assumes that the governance of the Poor can be understood as a feature of an early or proto-capitalist state. Second, it ignores the fact that the problem of idleness and aim of 'setting the Poor to work' was a European-wide phenomena, as were workhouses, and not simply the preserve of Protestant countries. Finally, it disregards the centuries-long trajectory of the suppression of mendicancy and the attempts to regulate the various classes of the Poor. The furthest we can go with Weber in this regard is to say that the trajectory was perhaps intensified by Puritanism. If one looks for an immanent characterization of this long trajectory, particularly in continental Europe, one does not find it in religion, morality, or ethics, but in the complex genealogy of police. Of course, it must be said that the archaic sense of the term is quite different from its more familiar namesake, where today it is identified with a body of officers, a police force, whose rationale is the prevention and detection of crime, or 'keeping the peace'. In fact, this archaic police is not an institution or a technique, but a condition to be achieved - good police being akin to the good order of a community - and the regulations by which this condition is attained. From the end of the Middle Ages, this police encompassed a wide range of concerns. It started with 'sumptuary' problems of the blurring of distinctions between estates, the wearing of extravagant clothing, the appropriate behaviour at church or during festivals, the performance of trades and occupations, and the behaviour of servants and journeymen towards their masters.39 Later were added concerns over monopolies, unseemly vendors, weights and measures, usury, extravagance in all areas, fires, public buildings, and streets. Police had, at least in continental Europe, a municipal focus, but despite that, it knew few limits, especially those of a private sphere, and extended to matters, morals, and the minutiae of everyday life. Adam Smith may have defined police as a matter of 'the inferior parts of government', i.e. concerned with local oeconomy, but Catherine the Great's Instructions in 1768 included a police of public decency and morality."' The agencies of police are diverse: in the later medieval period, the multiple sources of police regulation included 'municipalities, guilds, charities, principalities, ecclesiastical and seigneurial authorities as much as from royal ~ommand'.~' The emergence of the sovereign state saw not simply a take-over of police prerogatives exercised by the estates, but the concentration of some police functions and a sublimation of others onto an emergent private sphere around issues of social morality. The result of this is that police had slowly become identified with the distinctive political sphere, the sovereign state, and the estates became depoliticized. This is how police became linked to the pervasive Enlightenment calls for an effective, clear, and simple body of sovereign-made law.42 This too is how it is possible to understand the definition of police given by Von Justi at the end of this long evolution as 'the enlargement of the internal power and strength of the state'.43

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Thus the term takes on many different connotations in the context of the devolution of authority from local to regional and central state structures, particularly in German regions, from the late Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, where finally it is constituted as a science of police (Polizeiwissenschafi), a science concerned with the objectives of the state and the form of state activity. In the context of this long devolution, one could distinguish between two general phases or aspects of police, a 'conservative' and a 'biopolitical' one.44The former concerns the re-forming of feudal relations and codes, and aims at the conservation of a society of orders and estates (StandegesellschaJi).45The notion of 'biopolitics', on the other hand, was advanced by Foucault to address the development of a concern with the conduct and conditions of life of both the human individual and the species which has pervaded European political thought and practice since the seventeenth century.46An early, if now primitive, form, of this biopolitics was the mercantilist problematic of governance as that of the utilization and fostering of the population to augment national wealth, power, and security. This problematic was perhaps most clearly evidenced in the emergence of census-taking and the extraordinary secrecy and sensitivity surrounding census data in this period.47 Many instances of a police of the Poor can be found in the vast continental literature ofpolice. A few examples only need be cited: a regulation of beggars (Bettleordung) among the medieval police regulations of Nuremburg; the parliament of Normandy's police of the Poor (policedespauvres) of 1521, which led to Rouen's office of the Poor (bureau des pauvres) of 1534; two sixteenth-century French pamphlets on the police of the Poor and of almsgiving, La police des pauvres de Paris of 1544 and La police de l'amonse de Lyon of 1530; the sections relating to begging and almsgiving in the police ordinance of 1628 for the free imperial city of Strasbourg; the detailed police of the Poor in Catherine's Instructions of 1768; and the separate chapter on the Poor in Duchesne's 1757 Code de la Police.48 In England, however, there was a police of the Poor for all this period, but there was no, or very little, use of the term 'police'. The absence of a notion of police may be due to the comparatively early development of its central state and the effective securing of police functions by local agents, above all, the justices of the peace.49This meant that what in German and French regions were called police regulations were in England issued from the fourteenth century as laws and statutes, and that they were issued in the knowledge that there existed local agents for their enforcement. From the Statute of Labourers of 1350 to the long list of Vagrancy Acts, the central state issued statutes of a conservative police nature, and invariably the justices would be their agents. The latter had powers to 'keep the peace' - to arrest, commit to gaol, demand good behaviour sureties, and to exercise powers of summary conviction (after 1388), and try most crimes in quarter sessions. They were given the power to compel labourers to work at statutory rates under the Statute of Labourers of 1350, and to intervene in master-servant relations in

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textile manufactures under laws of 1467. In 1601 the Poor Law and its immediate agents, the overseers of the Poor, were placed under the justices' charge, and the settlement laws after 1662 empowered them to issue warrants for the removal of paupers.50With such an early co-ordination of central and local agencies and powers, there was, one might say, little need for a reflection on the means of securing police. Those means were well established. Despite this absence, the Tudor poor and vagrancy laws can best be understood as the first central state application of a concerted strategy for the police of the Poor, and they are descended from and resemble the municipal police regulations in their aims, as well as methods. T o set the Poor to work, to relieve the sick, to educate the young, to suppress beggary and vagabondage these objectives of the English centralized system are the hallmarks of the local system of police applied to the Poor throughout Europe in early modern times. But what is gained by the use of this term, police, is not simply the placement of the English poor laws in the context of comparative state formation. What is more important is that the term provides a means for understanding the characteristic themes, preoccupations and techniques of the governance of the Poor in the period. T o illustrate this we might focus on the practice of confinement, and Foucault's thesis that 'the house of confinement constitutes the densest symbol of that "police" which conceived itself as the civil equivalent of religion for the edification of the perfect city'." The emphasis on confinement continues the conservative dimension of police, not because it returns the body politic to its original shape but because it seeks to arrest disturbances to that body. Having immobilized the agents or symptoms of this disorder, it does not return them to their 'proper places' (of work, obedience, and residence) but attempts to duplicate an ideal politicalfamilial order within the walls of the workhouse. Confinement can be placed in a long series of tactics in which the political ideal is held to be a happily settled and properly ordered kingdom or city, and in which the movements of persons without proper station or place of residence represent multiple sites of disorder, upheaval, and crime. Yet the workhouse is more than merely another instrument in the long battle that had taken place against vagrancy. Its widespread use has profound links with the biopolitical aims of mercantilist practices and technologies of governance, and the representation of the nation within the distributional framework of political oeconomy. The workhouse may well aim to herd the vagrant micro-populations (the 'rogues, sturdy beggars, and vagabonds') off the streets and highways, but it also attempts to enhance the process of circulation by augmenting the numbers of trading households of the nation. The suppression ofvagrancy combined three distinct actions: the arrest of the mobile population, typified by the putting of vagrants in stocks; the recording of them within hierarchical relations by brandings and other inscriptions on the body; and the reinsertion of the idle within the political order by transporting them to their 'proper' place, usually of birth or residence. The workhouse, by contrast, manages to combine these in a single action. It is able

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to demobilize the idle, recode their status, and reinsert them, within a new economy of governance which also aims to contribute to the wealth of the nation by placing the (formerly) idle within a replica of the patriarchal household. The mercantilist workhouse does not operate according to a nostalgic vision of the proper status and residence of the Poor in a hierarchical political order but by the educative and disciplinary functions of a certain 'course of life', formed under patriarchal authority and organized around labour, which is necessary to the fulfilment of newly formulated national goals. The ethical valuation of labour underlying this institutional form may have been utopian, but it was clearly rooted in everyday mercantilist concerns with increasing the numbers of the trading households in the nation, and converting the idle into the industrious Poor. Several concluding points should be made with respect to this police of the Poor.52First, this mercantilist police was neither the reformatory police of the period of the decline of feudal relations or of the order of estates, nor the preventive police force of the liberal mode of government, although it shares with both the problem of securing the good order of the state. Where the earliest police concerned the conservation and re-formation of relations of servitude, obedience, and custom, its successor began to formulate new biopolitical objectives of establishing and maintaining national power and prosperity through the wise administration of the population. Second, while certainly the densest instrument of this mercantilist police, it should be remembered that the workhouse formed only one node within a network of techniques and strategies (described in the previous section) projected onto the labouring population to promote work-discipline by increasing the motivation for a continuous and regular course of labour. The workhouse should be regarded, then, as more the emblem of this police than its essential or representative element. Third, this form of police had many features which can be described as non-capitalist, including the forms of labour it exhorted and compelled the Poor to do, and its notions of profitability. This should not preclude us from regarding these great strategies of formation of the population as among those resources which would be drawn upon - and turned to different ends - as conditions of capitalist social and property relations and the liberal revolution in government which sought to secure them. Fourth, this police of the Poor does make a fundamental contribution to the trajectory ofwhat would later be called social policy by constituting the Poor as an object of observation, comparison, and information collection. Through such a process it begins to assess the modes of life of labourers and poor families in terms of the benefits or burdens they represent to the cause of national welfare. T o do this is already to take tentative steps in the direction of the delineation of a domain of personal conduct and familial and selfresponsibility as crucial in the consideration of poor policy, and toward a redefinition of the relationship between state and patriarchy. It must be said in conclusion, however, this same framework which sought

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to usefully employ the Poor to link them to national goals meant that the Poor could never be abandoned to the vagaries of the labour-market.53 The post-Tudor poor police could distinguish between different categories of Poor and different behaviours, customs, and habits of the Poor that were beneficial or detrimental to national goals. It could not rescind, however, either the desire to render the Poor useful to the nation or the implication that it was the duty of the rich, articulated through the national and local arms of the state, to see to it that the Poor were made to work and live within patriarchalist relations. It would be a mistake, nevertheless, to view, in this ensemble of discourse, law, and administrative practice, the recognition of a right to subsistence or a right to work, or the evidence of a primitive form of state socialism or a moral economy of rich and poor. Such an impression is given only retrospectively from the vantage-point of the liberal mode of government which would displace this police of the Poor. We shall now attempt to state the conditions of the liberal transformation of the police, and so to specify the nature of the transition concerned.
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The liberal break


At the end of the eighteenth century this discourse and governance of the Poor was in disarray, and within less than half a century a fully formed new mode of government would have displaced it completely. Why? This is a difficult, if not impossible, question, one that is relatively fruitless, or at least, one that would lead to the repetition of the answers as found in classical social theory (e.g. the rationalization of poor relief according to the requirements of capital accumulation). In any case, the genealogical emphasis is on how, rather than why. If 'why' refers to a general causal explanation which effaces careful and meticulous analysis, 'how' poses the challenge of establishing a coherence out of that detail. The principal strategy, here, is not to work retrospectively from current practices, discourses and beliefs in order to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar precursors of present social arrangements. Rather, to attain an understanding which respects unfamiliarity and particularity, genealogy works prospectively. In the present case, the classical liberal mode of government of poverty is not rendered intelligible from the viewpoint of current social policies and practices (the welfare state and its decline) but from the viewpoint ofwhat it displaces. Our approach thus begins by following each of the diverse threads of this police of the Poor as that great tapestry of governance unravels. T o begin, some background. The considerable fear of Jacobinism and insurrection among the peasantry on the part of their masters should without doubt be mentioned. So too should the agrarian scarcities of the eighteenth century, that had taken their toll on the capacity of poor relief to provide subsistence. Indeed, the final decade was one of particularly harsh and

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repeated rural distress, near famine, and intermittent but regular revolt. But these factors alone would not account for the transformation of the governance of the Poor. There had been a history of agrarian revolt throughout the eighteenth century, but it is only in the final decades that the whole ensemble of poor police was called into question. In order to make intelligible the transformation, it is necessary to look very closely at the charges levelled at the old system. Here, one discovers that this system of poor relief was subject to a threefold problematization in the second half of the eighteenth century: the pervasive disenchantment with the workhouse and the goal of setting the Poor to work; the emergence of contributory alternatives; and the example of philanthropy. The workhouse comes to be criticized by Jonas Hanway and others as a costly scourge, breeding physical and moral disease and degeneration, and a source of epidemics, rather than an institution of profitable employment and the suppression of beggary and vagrancy.54It is effectively abandoned as an instrument for the able-bodied Poor in Gilbert's Act of 1782 which enabled the union of parishes for the purposes of encouraging outdoor relief to the able-bodied and reforming workhouses to provide humane treatment for the aged, sick, and children.55 Co-terminous with this, insurance and annuity schemes, together with the friendly societies of the labourers themselves, begin to provide alternatives to the poor law and establish the principle of present self-provision for the future.56If the disenchantment with the workhouse confounded the solution for those able to work, the principle of these 'contributory alternatives' put the legitimacy of relief to the sick and aged on the agenda for the first time. But most important is the third element of this problematization, one occasioned by the example of philanthropy in the eighteenth century which, through subscriptions, had established charity schools, hospitals, almshouses, and benevolent societies.57This philanthropy was able to represent itself in terms of an alternative system of moral relations to that of the poor law. Its advocates argued that philanthropy, due to its voluntary nature, inculcated relations of kindness, respect, benevolence, and gratitude, between the various ranks of society, while the poor law, as a result of its compulsion, only destroyed the benevolence of the rich and the gratitude and respect of the poor. As Eden argued in 1797 the ultimate consequence oflegal provision was to remove the 'emulative spirit of exertion', and encourage debauchery by allowing mothers to throw their unwanted children upon the parish.58Indeed, Thomas Alcock had already made the point in 1752 that 'the very law which provides for the Poor, makes Poor'.59 Is this, then, the elusive moral economy, one might ask, which underlay the rights and obligations of the rich and the Poor? It is true that from the second half of the eighteenth century arguments about the poor law begin to be constructed in terms of a foundationalist morality, i.e. a system of thought which presupposes specific moral relations between the parties to society as the primary criteria for the evaluation of legal, political, and administrative

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practices. However, a foundationalist morality, and its corollary of a right of subsistence, are first invoked to contest, not to uphold, the legitimacy of the poor law, to pronounce favourably on the merits of voluntary charity over those of poor relief, and to deny the existence of such a right. Only when the poor law is under sustained attack toward the end of the eighteenth century, is a right of subsistence derived from moral philosophy asserted. Only with the arguments of R. Woodward, Bishop of Cloyne in Ireland, in 1768, William Paley in 1786, Ruggles in 1793 and Sherer in 1797, do we find a justification of the poor law in a moral philosophy which held that the right to relief was a corollary to the right to property.60 In the writings of the divines in the second half of the eighteenth century, and in those of Coleridge and Southey in the early nineteenth century, there are the constituents of a moral economy of poor relief. However, this moral economy did not form the grounds on which poor relief was legitimated and evaluated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As we have seen, the problem ofpoor relief and administration did presuppose patriarchalist moral relations between rich and Poor and moral judgements were involved in the categorization of the Poor. However, such moral relations and judgements were not foundational but subordinate to the problem of the wise administration of the Poor in the interest of national goals, that is, to the requisites of mercantilist police. It is only with the breakdown of this police toward the latter part of the eighteenth century that poor relief becomes the object of moral legitimation and contestation. It is only after these three fundamental breaches in the old system had been made that critics and defenders ofthe poor laws began to cast their arguments in terms of the moral foundations of relief. It is only in the debate over the comparative effects of forms of relief, of 'voluntary charity' and 'compulsory legal provision', that anything resembling a 'moral economy' first arose. We might wish to say that the question of morality and poor relief becomes independent of frameworks of governance for the first time in several hundred years and is thus potentially foundational. But we should also say that such a moral economy of poor relief is never established, and that a new dependency of moral issues will soon be established. This point is emphasized here not because of an antiquarian wish to contest the fine details of historical interpretation. It is not made simply because the notion of a 'moral economy' does not establish a sufficiently coherent framework for understanding the post-Tudor system of poor relief and treatment. The significance of this point is that to interpret the administration of the Poor in terms of a 'moral economy', even as a 'traditional platonic ideal',6' draws attention away from the secular trajectory of governance and its worldly goals, in which morality plays an important but not founding role, as the framework for understanding practices and discourses on poverty. Moreover, to cling to a notion of moral economy would be to conceal the particular configuration of economy and morality that is constituted by the liberal transformation of this police, and that has provided the twin axes of

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discussion of poverty over the last two centuries. It is difficult to overestimate how important is this little dispute over historical interpretation in our grasp of present-day realities. But which of the threads of this classical form of governance should be followed as they unravel? The methodological option was not to follow what today, retrospectively, is considered important, but to follow the descent of those dimensions which were constitutive of the older form of governance: population oeconomy, the Poor, and police. The first three will now be addressed separately. The transformation of police will be addressed in a concluding section which focuses on some of the principal lines of practice, administration, and knowledge, which make up the new, liberal mode of government of poverty, and its centre-piece, the reformed poor law.

a) Population
It is no accident that the first discursive transformation wrought by the collapse of the Tudor system of police concerned the notion of population. Population was the means by which political oeconomy had assembled its object and the discourse of the Poor conceived its practical imperatives. Malthus's famous first Essay on the Principle ofPopulation of 1798 contained a fundamental break with earlier conceptions of population, one not hinted at even by Joseph Townsend in his choleric Dissertation on the Poor Laws of the previous decade.62 Pre-Malthusian conceptions of population, those of Montesquieu, Hume, Wallace, Smith, and Townsend, conceived of the relations between population and subsistence in the form of an unstable, but self-adjusting, equilibrium.63 The most pessimistic of these writers, such as Townsend, added that hunger and misery were indeed necessary to this equilibrium. But Malthus radicalized this whole schema by inaugurating the possibility of a fundamental disequilibrium at the heart of the natural order, an insurmountable situation of scarcity. In his arithmetic and geometric ratios of subsistence and population, Malthus had discovered a principle that would not only disconcert all the dreams of Condorcet, Godwin and the philosophers ofperfectibility, but also galvanize the movement of the abolition of the poor law, and establish an axiom for the new economic discourse. In doing so he found a rationale for marriage among the propertyless in the limitation of state responsibility. Such an understanding of the importance of the Malthusian intervention into the question of the governance of the poor cannot be thought within the limitations of the vague and capricious notion of 'influence'. The policy options for Malthus were a choice from among the various checks on population, which were resolved, by the second edition of his famous essay in 1803, into vice and misery, on the one hand, and moral restraint - the deliberate delay of marriage on the part of the adult male after the calculation of its potential burdens - on the other.64The poor laws were

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bound to expand the misery they sought to eradicate by increasing population without increasing its means of subsistence. If it had been established by the critics of the poor laws that they disturb the moral relations of rich and poor, and create greater numbers of poor, it could now be argued that this moral disturbance was an abomination of the laws of nature itself. For Malthus, the morality of the poor was central but not foundational. Such morality had become the obedience or transgression of a 'bio-economic' necessity. Historians have typically questioned the influence of Malthus upon the poor law and its reform. The weight of received opinion was on the side of massive and overwhelming i n f l u e n ~ e But . ~ ~ modern opinion is more mixed, some of it tending to deny the influence. For it, Malthus was not influential on the poor law because it was not abolished, but reformed, and reform was not in response to a perceived population problem.66 The latter part of this view is simply mistaken, for Malthus did not diagnose an imminent population crisis in Britain in any of the editions of the Essay or his writings. The first part is, of course, quite correct, but it ignores several things that reveal the limitations of this 'too magical' notion of influence.67First, Malthusianism - to divorce the intervention from the author - did structure the terms of the philanthropic, religious, and public debate about poor relief in the decades after its p ~ b l i c a t i o n .It ~~ occasioned a massive shift in articulate opinion and its prescriptions were encapsulated in the abolitionism of the 1817 Report ofthe Select Committee, which, although not acted upon, placed the radical reorganization of the poor laws on the parliamentary agenda for the first time. By the end of two decades of Malthusian abolitionism, measures had been introduced to curtail expenditure and restore the independence of the labouring poor, including restrictions on the justices and small ratepayers in favour of the largest property owners (the 'Select Vestry Act' of 1819). Second, the central objectives of the post-1834 Poor Law were Malthusian even if its means were rather less dramatic that total abolition. These objectives were defined in relation to the establishment of a domain of 'natural' economic responsibility around the category of the male breadwinner. This was the express aim of the 1834PoorLaw Repor? and the effect of the reformed law, as Karel Williams has shown.69The objective ofMalthusian abolitionism was to remove the barriers to the operation of a man's economic responsibility for his children and their mother as a natural condition, and thus to establish an absolute limitation of the responsibility of the state. The reformed post- 1834poor law operated effectively to exclude able-bodied men from relief, and to offer relief to those construed as their dependants, i.e. their wives, whether they lived with them or not, the mothers of their children, and their children, only within the deterrent, 'less-eligible' institution of the workhouse. Karel Williams's ground-breaking analysis of the official statistics on relief before and after the 1834 reforms shows that 'in the last thirty years of the old poor law before 1834, able-bodied men were consistently included among the classes obtaining relief .70 In direct and dramatic contrast he finds that after

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1834 a 'line of exclusion' was drawn against relief to able-bodied men and those construed as their natural economic dependants.71Malthusianism was a form of discourse which could establish the 'ethical ideal' of a new form of governance of the Poor without establishing the means to do it. In this sense, it may be understood as a governmental rationality in search of a political technology. It must be remarked that when the latter was found, it would be a particularly effective

b) Political economy
Malthus's principle of population is less important for its supposed influence in the history of ideas, than as a marker of an important transformation of not only a revolution in poor policy but also the possibility of an economic discourse. Of course these two events are related. But to grasp the link between the two, it is necessary to distinguish between different forms of discourse and their policy prescriptions in the course of this discursive transformation from which 'the economic' emerged. For political oeconomy, the Poor are among those things which are subject to the wise administration of the state by the sovereign or statesman. The discourse of the Poor is a savoir concerned with linking the general propositions of political oeconomy with the practical problems of the governance of the Poor. It addresses the Poor as an object to be classified, about which information can be had, and ultimately, as a terrain to be governed. Poverty can only perform a limited discursive function in these discourses: it is possible to talk about the poverty of a nation, or a city, or even of the Poor themselves. But it is not possible to make poverty into a concept, or to theorize about it, or to undertake strategies for its overcoming or even amelioration. If wealth is the outcome of wise administration, poverty is a sign of the failure of policies. It is, however, neither an object of knowledge nor terrain of governance and policy. It is 'the Poor' which fills both these positions, and the Poor is a static and eternal entity, a permanent rank within a fixed hierarchy, a perpetual object of governance by the sovereign or statesman. Smith's Wealth ofNations introduces a disturbing inflection withii political oeconomy. It autonomizes the sphere of exchange, wrenching it from the political and legislative framework of ~overeignty.'~ But it does not constitute an economic discourse, an analysis of the mechanisms of production and distribution, nor does it exemplify the new, 'demoralised political economy', as Thompson argues.74Indeed, it would be more appropriate to apply the term 'moral economy' to Smith than to either his forebears or descendants. Exchange becomes a moral sphere, one that co-ordinates the self-interested activities of sympathetic individuals. The wealth of nations thus comes to be thought in terms of the happiness of these individuals, the degree of liberty, equity and justice they are accorded. In this moral economy, the labouring Poor make up the greatest numbers, and they face other individuals as equals,

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as rational owners of labour facing owners of land and capital. As a result, Smith's major prescriptions toward the labouring Poor are found in his chapter on wages: the encouragement of a progressive, rather than stationary, state of society, one that provides a 'liberal reward' for labour; the establishment of a minimum wages rate 'consistent with common humanity'; and 'the improvement of the circumstances of the lower ranks' according to the principle of equity.75The Poor enter into and are transformed by Smith's moral economy of exchange, not by virtue of a right to subsistence, but as bearers of labour and juridicial subjects of the wage-contract. But it is not Smith's moral economy which establishes the ethical ideal for the new mode of government. Classical political economy, instanced by Mathus and Ricardo, is left to do that. Smith annexed the sphere of exchange from the political framework of political oeconomy, only to turn it into a morally founded order. Classical political economy connects this sphere of exchange to different mechanisms, those of production and distribution. It is often said that what distinguishes this classical political economy is the bifurcation of labour, at once a commodity like others, but also that which In the latter sense, labour may ground regulates the value of all commoditie~.~~ the mechanisms analysed by classical political economy. But the constitution of this new discursive form depends on a prior entity not of its own creation, one that grounds, if one likes, labour itself. In Malthus, it is the fundamental disequilibrium between population and subsistence which drives labour in a constant and unremitting, but ultimately, vain attempt to bridge that gap. In Ricardo, labour is intensified and capital improvements made because the increase in population means that inferior lands of progressively decreasing fertility are brought into cultivation. Indeed, the differential fertility of lands provides the centre-piece of the Ricardian theory of distribution, its theory of rent.77In both cases, then, it is a natural scarcity, an ontological lack, which drives the economic mechanisms, a scarcity not found in Adamite moral economy or the old political oeconomy. Where rent had derived from the free bounty of nature, it now signified nature's paucity. The name for this lack, this scarcity, this fundamental insufficiency, insofar as it enters the sphere of humanity, is poverty. The maxim of illimitable wants and limited resources places poverty at the heart of economic discourse and its rationality. Classical political economy - and perhaps all economic discourse depends on a concept of poverty that it did not produce but without which it could not exist. Poverty is both that fundamental necessity under which all humans are placed and the manifestation of that necessity among various and varying individuals and groups within the human population.

C)

Poverty

The 'constitution of poverty' begins to assume a dual sense: the constitutional position of the poor in the state, of the 'contract' between the propertyless and

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the nation; and of the formation of poverty as both an object of knowledge, and field of governance. The emergence of a definite concept of poverty, necessary to both economic discourse and a liberal programme of government, is dependent upon the transformation of the constitutional position of the Poor from within the mercantilist order. The appropriation ofthis concept by economic discourse was, none the less, a selective one. T o grasp the emergence of a definite conception of poverty, it is necessary to make intelligible its sudden and massive constitution or, even, invention, in the 1790s. The decade is perhaps a paradoxical one. On the one hand, it displays legislative paralysis in the face of the collapse of the older systems of police and the agrarian crisis, perhaps as result of Tory reaction against Jacobinism and the 'profound discredit' into which the Whig opposition had fallen.78On the other, programmes, schemes, histories, and local initiatives of all types proliferate: the famous practice of the granting of allowances in aid of wages (somewhat dubiously identified with the 'Speenhamland' system), the founding of philanthropic societies (the Society for Bettering and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor), Count Rumford's dietaries (which popularized soup as appropriate fare for the poor), Arthur Young's policies of allotments and cow money, Whitbread's failed minimum-wage legislation, Pitt's illdrafted and labyrinthine Poor Bill, and, of cou. se, Bentham's elaborate system of Pauper Management.79It is among all this activity, its minor successes and its massive failure, that the invention of poverty can be glimpsed, and a new compact between the propertyless individual and the state is doubtless forged. This is an invention without an inventor. Quite simply, the concept of poverty is a particular condition of individuals and groups (and hence, in principle, separable from them) that results from the general condition of humankind, subject as it is to the bio-economic forces of population, subsistence, and capital. Suddenly, this concept is everywhere, and from all sides. Classical political economy would develop the latter dimension by naturalizing this concept of poverty and making it necessary to the functioning of the economy, but others would dissociate the concept of poverty from its bearers, and with strange and dispersed effects. T o cite only the most famous. Edmund Burke in 1795 thunders over the 'political canting language' of the 'labouring poor' because it is 'trifling with the condition of mankind'; the next year he argues 'it is the common doom of man . . . that he must eat by the sweat of his body, of the sweat of his Burke may well be the 'first to interpret political economy as a purely conservative orthodoxy', as HalCvy suggested," and to thus argue against relief to the labouring population, but he is able to do this only after first dissociating the notion of the poor from that of the labouring population. Another, more interesting, example is F. M. Eden. 'The only disciple of Adam Smith during the eighteenth century that produced any work of importance' was Marx's verdict.82 His major work was a meticulous three-volume history of the labouring population,83that tries to show, in fact

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the very opposite to Burke. Eden dissociates the term poor from that of the labouring population in order to argue that the terms are historically coincident. The poor are not possible under 'a state of servitude' since they would always have recourse to their masters for their maintenance; it is only with the 'introduction of manufactures and the consequent emancipation of those who were dismissed by their masters7that there appeared a 'new class of men henceforth described by the Legislature under the denomination of the Poor'.84 This account was of course already anachronistic for 'the Poor7 formed a domain of state administration, and was not equivalent to a new class of historical subjects. Perhaps it is Eden who inaugurates the social history of poverty as we know it today, prefiguring the analysis of poverty found in Mam's genealogy of capitalism in which the 'historical process of divorcing the producer from the means of production7 was 'written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire'.85Eden gave the term 'the poor' historical content for the first time not because he had discovered the key to the legislation and governance of the Poor in former times but because that governance had already fallen into disarray. What he discovered was not the intelligibility of the fixed juridical taxonomy of the Poor but the vista opened with the collapse of that edifice, that of the history of poverty. If Burke could dissociate the labourers from the poor and Eden could give the latter term a particular historical content, it is because the poor, and the labouring population, were no longer the objects of taxonomic knowledge and correct governance. Poverty had become a site of theoretical and historical argumentation and conceptual elaboration. Malthus himself would immediately lament the lack of what we might think of as a comparative historical demography of the 'manners and customs of the lower part of mankind'.86Not only was there thus a 'reversal in the axis of individualization7,revealed by Foucault, but what might be called a reversal of the axis of 'historicization', if by the latter is meant that the privileged 'subjects' of history are no longer those whose deeds and greatness are to be commemorated, but those at the bottom of the social hierarchy, their everyday lives, habits, conditions of existence and so on.87 The elaboration of the concept of poverty is most sharply instanced not by the Tory reaction but by the Radicals, principally Patrick Colquhoun, a magistrate who established both a Chamber of Commerce in Glasgow, and put the science of police on a new footing, and Bentham himself, especially in his essays on the poor laws with their definitions of poverty and indigence. Between them, they would establish the axioms and principles of the techniques of the liberal governance of poverty, that Edwin Chadwick, Nassau Senior, James Kay (later, Kay-Shuttleworth), and other Radicals and Whig-liberals would adopt, develop, and seek to implement in the first half of the nineteenth century. The magistrate from Glasgow is justly famous for linking what might be called 'a poverty theory of labour7 to a 'labour theory of value', and thus making clear the interdependence of the presuppositions of the new economic

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discourse and the administrative conditions for the operation of a national labour market.88His argument went beyond that of the utility of low wages characteristic of the eighteenth century in that it established poverty as a natural condition that is general to the great body of humankind, and necessary to the production of wealth and the development of civilization: Without a large proportion ofpoverty, there could be no riches, since riches are the offspring of labour, while labour can only result from a state of poverty. Poverty is that state and condition in society where the individual has no surplus labour in store, or, in other words, no property or means of subsistence but what is derived from the constant exercise of industry in the various occupations of life. Poverty is therefore a most necessary component of society without which nations and communities could not exist in a state of civilisation. It is the lot of man. It is the source of wealth, since without poverty there could be no riches, no refinement, no comfort, and no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth, in as much as without a large proportion of poverty surplus labour could never be rendered productive in procuring either the conveniences or luxuries of life.89 If such an understanding of poverty created the possibility of a conception of poverty freed from the fixed taxonomic space of the Poor, it also opened up a new taxonomic form of knowledge, one of far greater detail and with a new object, pauperism. Bentham clearly distinguished between poverty as the state of having to labour to procure subsistence and pauperism or indigence as 'the state of him, who, being destitute of property . . . is at the same time, either unable to labour, or unable, evenfor labour, to procure the supply of which he happens to be in want'.90 The same distinction would be used in the epochal 1834 PoorLaw Report to define indigence as the legitimate area of relief, and in the writings of its principal architect, Edwin C h a d ~ i c k . ~ ' Such a distinction allows a fundamental kinship between the new economic logic and administrative rationality. The former presupposes a necessity binding poverty to labour; the latter targets an entity, pauperism, that is both cause and effect of the transgression of the laws of that necessity. If nature, necessity, obedience, poverty, labour, subsistence, and civilization form a series which embodies the logic of economic liberalism, then anti-nature, contingency, transgression, pauperism, dependency, idleness, inertia, and abyss, form the domain of pauper administration. This, indeed, is the exact language of Bentham's system of pauper management and it is used in a quite rigorous way in his unpublished Essays on thePoorLaw of 1796. If the objective expression of the adherence of moral subjects to bio-economic necessity was manifest in the act of the exchange of their only property, labour, for subsistence, then pauperism was a constant (willing or unwilling) transgression of the laws under which humankind is eternally placed. But it is crucial to note that it is not labour itself to which pauperism is opposed, but the self-provision of subsistence afforded by labour. Labour does not possess an intrinsic moral worth for Bentham but is a form of economic activity that
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permits self-sufficiency and therefore independence. Pauperism is not the opposite of labour, but to the life-conduct of the independent labourer. Both Bentham and Colquhoun produced Tables of Pauperism of all the different cases calling for relief, their causes and their modes of relief, that which Bentham called a 'general Map of Pauper-Land, with all the Roads to While poverty is unclassifiable as the general and unalterable state of humankind, necessary to labour, civilization, and history, the Table of Pauperism deals with that which is outside the life-conduct of productive labour, that which falls outside history and threatens its dynamism, that 'which inertia alone, that force which acts without relaxation, makes the lot of every Table e seeks to bring an exhaustive order to that region mortal g r a ~ i t a t e ' . ~ v h of the body politic which is shrouded in obscurity and opacity, the abyss of indigence.94Against the chaos ofpauperism, the Table classifies by means of a determination of efficient causes, locates each class in respect of labourcapacity, and thereby deduces the mode of relief or prevention ne~essary.~' Bentham's 'administrative imagination' reached unparalleled heights with this new object of knowledge and field of governance. For him, there was to be an adequation between knowledge and administrative response both for each individual case, and between the Table of Pauperism as a whole and the practice of pauper management.96 His panoptic 'industry houses' were not simply pragmatically designed administrative enclosures. They were to be the practical equivalent of the knowledge of pauperism, the manifestation of such knowledge in concrete form. If the Table was to bring to light the manifold and hidden forms of pauperism, the pauper Panopticons would form a series of chains across the kingdom, a 'net-work' which would forever remove administrative particularity, dispersion, and disc~nnection.~' Within them, paupers were to be located and grouped according to their work-capacity in the same manner as they were laid across the Table. Their sequestration would mirror its closed space. They would be subject to strict modes of 'separation' and 'aggregation' in the same way that each pauper was treated as a separate case with characteristics that determine its relations with other cases. And finally, just as the totality of cases were spread out across the Table before the rational subject of knowledge of pauperism, so too, in the house, paupers were to be subject to the 'censorial' eye of their governors, or at least to its omnipresent possibility, under the principle of central inspection. Bentham's scheme instances the way in which the governance of pauperism could be both an administrative programme, designed to create the conditions of wage-labour, and hence act as a deterrent to potential paupers, and a utopia, insofar as the space ofpauperism, once demarcated, becomes a field of the realization of all sorts of projects and dreams.98The 'industry houses' are multi-functional institutions, employing techniques of disciplinary normalization, but also combining elements of the quarantine station, prison, school, hospital, nursing home, manufactory, and research institute. They are like menageries for the semi-humanized, hyper-natural, paupers, who are perhaps closest here to domesticated animals, 'that part of national live stock

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which has no feathers to it and walks with two legs'.99 They are extraordinary laboratories, turning the dross of pauperism into the sterling of human achievement. Bentham's dream not only projected the ambitions of the classical workhouse onto a utopian scale, employing all the disabled, but also instituted a finely calibrated 'semiotechnique' of penalties and rewards for both inmates and governors, encouraged banking, established educational programmes, and provided health care."'" As an instance of its extreme illiberality, the pauper institutions would also act as sites of experimentation in fields such as medicine, both therapeutic and dietic, mechanics, chemistry, domestic economy, technical economy, husbandry, meteorology, bookkeeping, logic, and in the optimization of sexual relations in regard to health."' Bentham wrote: 'Fiat lux were the words of the Almighty: Fiat experimentum,were the words of the highest genius he ever made. 0 chemists: much have your crucibles shown us of dead matter; but our industry house is a crucible for men.'lo2 Bentham's scheme belongs to a series of programmes of political management which brought available techniques and institutions into contact with the dystopia, contingency, contagion, and chaos of pauperism. Because pauperism represented all that was alien, opaque, and obscure in the ideal kingdom, a systematic mode of combating it would have to discover and represent an ideal of total illumination and clarity. Bentham's utopia is hence one of complete transparency, visibility, and inspectability. Yet, what is most significant about Bentham's scheme is that in the course of describing such a utopia it was able to evince a particular form of administrative rationality which was flexible enough to adapt to more concrete situations, while rigorous enough to establish protocols for the reorganization of the administration of poor relief. Despite the elaborate utopian dreams Bentham held for his system of pauper management, he sought to make it consistent with the principles of a liberal political economy. We have to go no further than the very principles enunciated by Smith to understand how Bentham could arrive at his exceedingly illiberal, authoritarian, and repressive administrative regime, which would amount to an alternative, fully regulated economy within a wider state operating under principles of economic liberalism. Bentham, unlike Smith, recognized one set of circumstances in which it is possible for the propertyless rationally to choose not to exchange their labour. This exceptional set of circumstances was summed up by him in this statement: If the condition of persons maintained without property b y the labour o f others were rendered more eligible than that of persons maintained by their own labour then, in proportion as the existence of this state of things were ascertained, individuals destitute of property would be continually withdrawing themselves from the class of persons maintained by their own labour, to the class of persons maintained by the labour of others: and the sort of idleness, which at present is more or less confined to persons of

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independent fortune, would thus extend itself sooner or later to every individual . . . till at last there would be nobody left to labour at all for anybody.lo3
The Adamite regard for the labourer as rational subject of exchange becomes, when poor relief is taken into account, a problem of the relative eligibility of conditions of labourer and pauper. It is this problem that was to guide the conditions under which relief could be granted. If relief was to appear more comfortable, desirable, or suitable than the situation of the ordinary labourer, then the poor, as rational subjects, will choose relief over labour. If one assumes labour as necessary to the creation of subsistence, wealth, and civilization, it follows that relief should only be offered under conditions which preserve the rational preference for labour. This can be done, argued Bentham, by granting relief to the poor person in such a way that 'public provision should appear less eligible to him than the provision resulting from his own labour'.lo4 This principle became the first principle of the reformed administration after 1834.15The new administration represented a return to the workhouse as a technique of relief. This was not because it sought to fulfil the aspirations which Bentham had inherited and blown up into utopian proportions, but because it found in this principle of less eligibility, and the distinction between poverty and indigence on which it depended, a way of defining the field of its administration, the objectives of that administration, and a deterrent technique which could achieve them. In the history of poverty, the names Bentham and Malthus act as inverted mirror images. On the one side, an administrative utopia, replete with an advanced practical knowledge and a multiplicity of techniques that in principle know no limits to implementation. On the other, a governmental rationality, grounded in theoretical knowledge, with ethical ideals, but which seeks to abolish the sphere of state assistance and administration of the poor. A totalized governance and an anti-governance, a biopolitical dream and a bioeconomic necessity, face one another as the dual utopian solutions to pauperism. Malthusianism and Benthamism could be the two names we give to the anti-administrative and hyper-administrative dimensions of this new liberal mode of government of poverty. Yet in the practical sphere of governance it is Benthamism, precisely because it has the highest quotient of administrative imagination, that can reconcile the two poles, and make illiberality consistent with a liberal mode of government. Bentham's pauper management and Malthus's abolitionism were, of course, neither completely realized as governmental programmes in that both were not implemented in any strict sense. The reformed poor law, and the 1834 Report, would draw on many other resources, including the remedies tried by various poor-law unions in the early decades of the nineteenth century and the eighteenth-century uses of the workhouse. Indeed one could cite a continuity between the reformed law and the use of the workhouse in the early

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eighteenth century as a deterrent institution, which had achieved legislative endorsement in 1723 (Knatchbull's 'Workhouse Test7 Act). But it must be said that it is the unique assemblage of Benthamism and Malthusianism that characterizes the poor-law reform and the liberal mode of government of which it is a pivotal element. And in this both are victors. Benthamism is a victor in that it announces the triumph of the centralized, professional forms of state administration of relief and welfare over localism, parochialism (in an exact sense), particularity, dispersion, and even abolition. Malthusianism and the new economic form of governance, more generally - is the victor in that it sets both the ethical ideal of that mode of government and the limits to it, that provided by the category of the 'independent labourer', the selfresponsible male breadwinner together with his natural dependants.

Conclusion It should not be overlooked that this reformed law itself acts in concert with a wider network of measures, both within the state and outside it, including those of public health, police, and public education, and the practice of philanthropy. In the hands of Colquhoun and Chadwick, for example, the science and practice of police will take on its modern role of the 'prevention and detection of crimes', as the former put it.'06 'Preventive police', to cite the title of Chadwick's article in the London Review of 1829, sought to co-ordinate a series of techniques in a systematic, effective, and economical strategy for the prevention of crime. These techniques included the use of a vigilant body of officers, its governance by a central board, intelligence agencies, a ministry, the use of spies and informers, and the systematization of rewards.lo7 Police might now be thought to be an 'adjacent' set of practices of government, with its own rationality and technologies, in that the government of the poor is not among its defining concerns. However, it is striking that one key, overlapping, rationale remains for this police that is the same as that of the reformed poor law, the fear of the moral descent ofpoverty into pauperism.'08 If pauper management sought an institutional partition that sealed off poverty from pauperism, the new police would attempt to seal off poverty from the temptations of crime that undermined the life-style of the wage-labourer by providing an alternative, and perhaps more eligible, means of subsistence. In Bentham's definition of indigence cited above, the pauper and the criminal are morally equivalent in that they both live off the labour of others. Indeed Colquhoun produced his table as the 'Table of the Indigent and Criminal Classes of Great Britain7.109 The programmes of the new forms of administration, whether in police, or poor relief, or, for that matter, public health, would negatively define and seek to promote a form of life through a signifying chain which linked pauperism, indigence, mendacity, vice, crime, and disease. The transformation of modes of governance is signalled by the rearrangement of the relations between economy, polity, and household, and

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the corresponding conceptual history of terms such as political economy and police. Indeed, the latter terms appear to change in contrary fashion. On the one hand, 'oeconomy', as the art and techniques of patriarchalist governance practised first in a household and then in the state, was displaced by 'the economy', a quasi-autonomous reality to which political intervention must submit. On the other, 'police' ceased to be a positive condition of welladministered states, a political reality to be achieved within the state, and became merely a technique of governmental security. In these moves, governance is no longer conceived on a familial model, although the family and household becomes a conduit and site of application of political programmes. Police is now but one political technology within the new liberal mode of government. It is not difficult to find others. One could cite the role of public health and the delineation of its domain in the work of Chadwick and sanitarian doctors such as Kay, Arnott, and Southwood Smith."' Public health measures would seek to regulate urban conditions within a preventive framework much like that of police or poor law reform, one which targets those conditions, circumstances and behaviours of the labouring poor which render them indigent."' Even the miasmatic theory of the aetiology of epidemics clearly linked contagion to those pauperizing conditions and behaviours. Epidemics were propagated by a compound, miasma, given off by decaying animal or vegetable matter and conveyed by a smell. The conditions favourable to miasma were the atmospheric impurities created by the dampness and lack of ventilation of buildings, the effluvia and refuse which accumulated in the street and houses, the open sewers, the lack of proper drainage, the lack of cleanliness, poor domestic economy, and filthy habits and ignorance of the poor.l12 The professional biographies of doctors, civil servants, and reformers, are often ones of the linkage between various modalities of knowledge and techniques of government. Certainly Chadwick is the most well known. But James Kay, who would be instrumental in the founding of the Manchester Statistical Society, combined a career which stands at the intersection of the 'statistical idea' with the 'educational idea' with the 'sanitary idea'.Il3 At the same time, the sphere of philanthropy itself was being rewritten in accordance with the new requisites of government. Philanthropy would be reorganized as 'sacrament of moralising intervention' that would convert the issue of relief into one of personal economic morality.ll4 With Thomas Chalmers, for example, philanthropy would find a complementary moralizing and relieving role among the labouring population, and begin to delineate the field of activity that would be undertaken by the Charity Organisation Society among London's casual poor in the 1870s.l15 In concert with this immense activity, the liberal mode of government also generated much in the field of the organisation of information. One could mention the vital statistics pioneered by William Farr in the Registrar General's Department, the Statistical Movement, and the statistical societies

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from the 1830s. The establishment of these societies did not reflect a rejection of political economy but an increasing concern about the conflicting policy conclusions drawn from it.ll6 The problem that preoccupied the London Statistical Society from the start was the integration of the statistics of poverty with the operation of the economy. The new mode of government also gave rise to forms of knowledge: the discipline of 'social economy' in France with Buret, Villermt, and Frtgier, or with the English literature on the 'conditions of the labouring cla~ses'."~ These knowledges would fulfil the role Buret envisaged for l'iconomde sociule in relation to political economy. They would 'provide a test, a critique, and means of verifying it'."' There are transformations and subtle shifts of emphasis in this domain of knowledge, and in the techniques it recommends. In England the 1834 poor-law reform is pivotal, as Polanyi saw, because it marks the transition beyond a phase in which the problem of governance is preoccupied with creating the conditions for the operation of a national labour market, freed from the obstacles of ancient systems of relief and local practices shoring up ~ focus on pauperism before the 1834 the supply of agricultural l a b ~ u r . "The reforms concerns the production of the conditions of the generalization of wage-labour, at least among the adult male propertyless class. After this has been achieved, with ruthless effectivity, as Williams shows,120 the partition of pauperism and poverty comes to be understood in much more relative terms. The conditions of pauperism inhere in the lives of the labouring population, their working and living conditions, their habits and domestic economy, their propensities and temptations. Interventions and reforms - such as those of public health, policing, and educational measures - define an increasingly complex form of life for the wage-labourer and his family, addressing not only the question of economic responsibility and dependency through the agency of the male breadwinner, but also the specific content of the position of housewife and mother. If the first phase of liberal governance drew upon the workhouse, and the older semiotechnique of less-eligibility, to enforce wage-labour, the second would increasingly find the need for an ensemble of measures that actively sought to encourage the ethic of personal and familial responsibility and to target women as its agents. It is only toward the end of the nineteenth century, with Booth and Rowntree, that the forms of knowledge of poverty characteristic of the emergent liberal mode of government (i.e. the Table of Pauperism, classical political economy, and Benthamite administration) would finally be displaced, and relegated to the pre-history of a new conception of poverty as relative deprivation. Or so we would often like to imagine. But it is not clear that this is so. If it would now be asserted that poverty is relative, not absolute, and social rather than natural, if later some will talk of a culture of poverty, it is because there already exists the possibility of a fissure between poverty as the fundamental relation of humans and nature and that which describes the life-conditions of specific groups and individuals. Indeed, in a more general

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sense, the displacement of 'the Poor' by the the liberal conception of poverty was surely necessary before a concept of relative deprivation would be thinkable. Further, to talk of relative deprivation is to say that that scarcity which is the ontological condition of economic activity is never present to human existence itself. Such scarcity is experienced only through the mediation of the social relations between groups and individuals, of classes and minorities. The social sciences and economics will henceforth merely presuppose this ontological lack and confine themselves to the discussion of poverty in relation to social and historical norms, to life-cycles and life-styles, to the form and conduct of life. In a sense, their object would be like that foreshadowed by Buret, whose concern was not poverty itself, but distress (la misire) which he defined as 'poverty felt morally'.'21 Perhaps we can say that bioeconomic necessity remains both constitutive of the means by which poverty is conceived and governed to our very present yet undetectable by our present-day social and moral sciences. It is necessary to return briefly to the notion of morality that has befuddled historians, imagining it to be a relic of a former, perhaps even happier, regime, a resource to be revisited as we strive to undermine the hegemony of the economic at the end of the twentieth century. As far as morality and poverty are concerned, a new schema is necessary. It may be stated thus: the opposition between moral and economic conceptions of poverty is a result of the transformation in modes of government it seeks to explain. The liberal transformation ofpolice displaces oeconomic governancewithin patriarchalist households, and the state as household, with a legally specified 'private' sphere of the family constituted by patriarchal relations of responsibility and economic dependency that is located at the intersection of the twin axes of morality and economy. But this image of two equal intersecting axes is not sufficient. For the ethical sphere is subordinate, even as it complements, the economic rationalization of poverty and is displaced onto the entirely different domain of personal morality that had been previously only suggested by the sphere of poor policy. The government of poverty has promoted and shaped key aspects of the forms of life that have characterized liberal-capitalist societies. It has had moral consequences, but it does not answer to, nor has it answered to, the dictates of a foundational morality. This is doubtless why moral principles such as social justice are never sufficient means to oppose the regime of our political rationality. It is perhaps why that rationality appears to found its own personal morality, one that it never ceases to extol, and one that seems to be inscribed in the contours of our life-conduct. The principal political question today may be not to make our structures of welfare more accountable to certain moral precepts and principles, or even to continue to establish that poverty is an effect of social and economic structures and not a matter of personal failure. Rather, it may be the need to rethink the political rationality that makes such discussions necessary and their oppositions predictable and stale. It may be that we need to problematize

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that rationality that constitutes poverty as a necessary part of our forms of life.

School ofBehavioural Sciences Macquarie University, S y d n q , Australia

Notes
This paper was first presented at the London meeting of the History of the Present Research Network on 22 January 1992. I would like to thank the participants of that seminar for their discussion of the paper, particularly Nikolas Rose, Peter Miller, and Barry Hindess, whose later elaborations proved especially helpful. 1 The terms 'regimes of practice' and 'regimes of truth' are used by Foucault respectively in 'Questions of method', I C5 C, viii (1981), pp. 3-14, and 'Truth and power', Power/Knowledge, ed. C. Gordon (Brighton, 1980). While Foucault's work has incited my own explorations, the use of these and other concepts does not, however, imply a complete fidelity to their source. By juxtaposing the two terms I sought to suggest that a key domain of genealogy concerns the interdependence between the mode of organization of an institutional practice (e.g. of punishment, of curing, of treating the poor etc.) and the organization of statements in disciplines or sanctioned bodies of knowledge (e.g. criminology, medicine, social policy, etc.). The present paper draws upon, elaborates, clarifies, and qualifies the research fully stated in my recent book, The Constitution of Poverty: toward a genealogy of liberal governance (London, 1991). The introduction of that book discusses what I mean by the term genealogy. For Foucault's most sustained reflection on genealogy and historical method, see his essay, 'Nietzsche, genealogy, history', in Language, Counter-memory, Practice, ed. D. B. Bouchard (Oxford, 1977). The locus classicus of Foucault's use of the complementary methodology, archaeology, is The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith (London, 1972). 2 The term 'assemblage' is found in G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, 'Rhizome', I 6 C viii (1981), pp. 49-71. It is a translation of agencment, as pointed out by the translator of this piece, Paul Patton, in his 'Notes for a glossary', I C5 C viii (1981), p. 40. In the present context an assemblage is an ensemble of heterogeneous discursive and nondiscursive practices, and regimes of truth and conduct, which possesses an overall coherence without answering to any determinative principle or underlying logic. Foucault himself used the more obscure and perhaps untranslatable term, dispositif: 3 In the preface of F. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. R. J. Holingdale (Harmondsworth, 1973), pp. 13-14. 4 I am thinking here of the ill-considered diatribe against Foucault as genealogist of transcendental power in J. Habermas, The Philosophical Discourse ofModmity (Cambridge, 1987), that seems to have wholly missed the point that genealogy is not simply an inversion of the enlightenment philosophies of history. See my forthcoming Foucault's Histories and Historical Sociology (Routledge). 5 Cf. J. Minson, Genealogies ofMorals:Nietzsche, Foucault, Donzelot and the Eccentricity ofEthics (London, 1985), p. 108. 6 On the 'history of the present', see M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, trans. A. Sheridan (London, 1977), pp. 30-1. Again see my forthcoming book, Foucault 5 Histories etc. 7 Foucault, 'Questions of method', pp. 6-11. 8 M. Cousins and A. Hussain, MichelFoucault (London, 1984), pp. 3-4. 9 K. Polanyi, The Great TransJomation (Boston, 1944), pp. 83-4.

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10 M. Foucault, 'Governmentality', I S C, vi (1979), pp. 5-21. C. Gordon, 'The soul of the citizen: Max Weber and Michel Foucault on rationality and government', in S. Whimster and S. Lash (eds), Max Weber, Rationality andModmity (London, 1987). 11 R. Williams, Keywords (London, 1976), pp. 148-50. 12 On 'Whig-liberalism' and nineteenth-century government, see P. Corrigan, 'State formation and moral regulation in nineteenth-century Britain: sociological investigations', (University of Durham Ph.D. thesis, 1977), pp. 147-60 and passim. The classic intellectual history of Radicalism remains E. HalCvy, The Growth of Philosophic Radicalism, trans. M. Morris (London, 1928). 13 See M. Weber's seminal programmatic statements of his sociology of religion, the Introduction to 'The Economic Ethic of World Religions', and the 'Intermediate Reflections', published under somewhat obscure titles in H. H. Gerth and C. W. Mills (eds), From Max Weber (London, 1948), pp. 267-301 and pp. 323-59 respectively. This concern is evident throughout his justly famous The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. T. Parsons (London, 1985). For a lively and provocative discussion of the latter text which emphasizes the importance of the problematic of the formation of the Lebensfihrung, see W. Hennis, 'Max Weber's "central question"', Economy and Society, xii (1983), pp. 135-80. For a comparison of Weber and Foucault on rationality, government, and life-conduct, see Gordon, 'The soul of the citizen'. 14 See G. Gutting, Michel Foucault's Archaeology of Scient6c Reason (Cambridge, 1988), pp. 19-20, on the use of 'recurrrential history' (l'historiericurrente) in the work of Gaston Bachelard and Georges Canguilhem. Here the history of science deliberately starts from the certainties of the present and discovers the 'progressive formation of the truth'. Foucault's archaeological history distinguishes itself from the history of science in rejecting the possibility of such a move for the relatively unformalized forms of knowledge of les sciences humaines,Archaeology, pp. 189ff. Such a move is not simply an anti-Whiggism. It is an attempt to distinguish the forms of history, and methodology, appropriate to particular types of discourse. See, also, K. Tribe, Land, Labour, and E~onomicDiscourse (London, 1978), pp. 18-23. 15 J. R. Poynter, Society and Pauperism: English Ideas on Poor Relief 1795-1834 (Melbourne, 1969), pp. 21-2. 16 HalCvy, Philosophic Radicalism, p. 205 ff.; R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (Harmondsworth, 1938); Polanyi, Great Transfornation, passim; E. P. Thompson, 'The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century', Past and Present, 2 (1971), pp. 76-136; G. Himmelfarb, The Idea ofpoverty: England in the Early IndustrialAge (New York, 1984). 17 Foucault, Archaeology, pp. 37-8. 18 On the notion of a 'governing statement' as one lies at the root of the tree of derivation of a discourse, see Foucault, Archaeology, p. 147. I have capitalized the 'p' of the 'Poor' to identify both the discursive form and the object of discourse as distinctive and coherent entities, even where they appear as subsets or intersecting other such entities, e.g. with the discipline of political oeconomy, as we shall see below. 19 D. Defoe, GivingAlms No Charity and Employing the Poor a C h a n c e to the Nation (London, 1704), p. 27, original emphasis. 20 G. Procacci, 'Social economy and the government of poverty', Ideology and Consciousness, iv (1978), p. 60. The piece defines a savoir as a form of discourse mediating between scientific and theoretical knowledge, governmental programmes, and direct social intervention. A more formal account of the concept in the context of a discussion ofthe conditions and relations of science and ideology is given by Foucault, Archaeology, pp. 181 ff. 21 Cited in F. M. Eden, The State of the Poor: a Histoy of the Labouring Classes in England, abridged and ed. by A. G. L. Rogers (London, 1928), p. 36, p. 64. One might be tempted to add a fourth category after the provisions of the Elizabethan legislation, the infant Poor, as does D. Marshall, The English Poor in the Eighteenth Century

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(London, 1926), pp. 24-6. However, insofar as children were regarded as being either yet unable to work or ready for employment or for training an> apprenticeship in a trade, they could be resolved into the categories of the imvotent or industrious Poor. , OfPoveny, pp. 3 0 3 ; Weber, ~eneial~conomic~istory, p. 350. I 22 ~ e a nConstitution here follow Tribe. Land, Labour and Economic Discourse, pp. 80-109, in his general description of this discursive formation and the title he gives it. It is possible, however, to supplement his account, by drawing on the following: T . Bruland and K. Smith, 'Economic discourse and the capitalist order', Economy and Society, x, pp. 467-80; Foucault, 'Governmentality', pp. 5-21; M. A. George, 'The concept of industrial revolution: textile history and the "histories" of discipline', (Griffith University M.Phil. thesis, 1985), pp. 205-10; C. Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-revolutionary England (London, 1964), ch. 12. On patriarchalism in the seventeenth century, political thought and social life, see G. J. Schochet, Patriarchalism andPolitical Thought (Oxford, 1975), especially, ch. 4, and, of course, C. Pateman, The Sexual Contract (Oxford, 1988). 23 For example, Sir J. Steuart, An Inquiy into the Principles ofPolitica1 Oeconomy, 2 vols, ed. A. S. Skinner (Edinburgh, 1966), i, pp. 15-16. 24 E. S. Furniss, The Position of the Laborer in a System ofNationalism: a Study in the Labor Theories ofthestate ofthe Late English Mercantilists (New York, 1957), pp. 16-17, 22-3. 25 D. Hume, 'On the populousness of ancient nations', in Philosophical Works,3 vols, ed. T. H. Green and T. H. Grose, (Berlin, 1964, reprint of 1882 edn), iii. 26 A. Smith, An Inquiy into the Nature and Causes ofthe Wealth ofNations, 2 vols, ed. R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner (Oxford, 1976), ii, p. 566. 27 Sir M. Hale, A Discourse Touching Provision for the Poor (London, 1683); Sir J. Child, A New Dircourse on Trade (London, 1669); Defoe, GivingAlms no Charity. The quote is from Hale's unnumbered preface. 28 I have sought to base my understanding of the rationale of the seventeenthcentury workhouse, briefly summarized in this and the following paragraph, on a close examination of the arguments of Hale and Child. This has been supplemented by William Petty's arguments for outdoor make-work schemes in his Treatise on Taxes and Contributions, in The Economic Writings ofSir William Petty, 3 vols (New York, 1963), i pp. 29-31, and Sidney and Beatrice's Webb's account of the early workhouse movement in England, in English Poor Law History, Part One: the Old Poor Law (Hamden, 1963), pp. 106-21. An account which emphasized the patriarchalist conception of the relations of obedience and command within the workhouse, and its position as but one in a series of other similar projects, such as the earlier houses of correction and industry, and the later labour colony, is to be found in George, 'The concept of industrial revolution', pp. 242-50. 29 On this 'course of Life', Hale, Discourse, pp. 1, 11. 30 On notions of 'profitability' and a 'profitable life', see Hale, Discourse, pp. 12-15. The meaning of these terms for Hale combines a notion of a self-sustaining course of life with a lowering of taxation, and the possibility of the establishment of import-replacing domestic manufactures which would increase the balance of trade. Child's list of the benefits of workhouses leaves out the criterion of profitability altogether! See his Discourse on Trade, pp. 72-4. 31 From the time of his course of 1977-8, Foucault proposed the notion of 'governmentality' or governmental rationality as the general heading of his own studies into the formation of modem forms of power in Europe since the sixteenth century, and the imbrication of forms of knowledge within the exercise of the power. See M. Foucault, Resumides Cours 1970-1982 (Paris, 1989). Since Foucault's proposal there has developed a significant literature on the investigation of governmentality and modes of government and the production of concepts adequate to them. The following represent important examples: Gordon, 'The soul of the citizen'; P. Miller and N.

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Rose, 'Governing economic life', Economy and Society, xix (1990), pp. 1-31; N. Rose and P. Miller, 'Political power beyond the state: problematics of government', British Journal of Sociology, forthcoming; and the various contributions to G. Burchell, C. Gordon, and P. Miller (ed.) The Foucault Efect: Studies in Governmental Rationality (Heme1 Hempstead, 1991). For the present purposes a 'governmental rationality' is a way of knowing or rendering the real in order to act within or upon it with the aim of the direction of conduct of specified social agents. The means of that action or intervention are referred to as political 'technologies' or political techniques. Although government is a fundamentally programmatic domain, this does not preclude the setting of various 'ethical ideals' which animate its aims and objectives. 32 Defoe, Giving Alms no Charity, p. 27; John Locke's 1697 Report to the Board of Trade, as cited by Webb, English Poor Law History Part One, p. 109. 33 R. W. Malcomsen, Popular Recreations in English Society 1700-1850 (Cambridge, 1973); George 'The concept of industrial revolution'; E. P. Thompson, 'Time, work-discipline and industrial capitalism', Past and Present, xxxviii (1967), pp. 56-97. 34 Furniss, The Position of the Laborer, ch. 6; R. North, A Discourse of the Poor (London, 1753); A. Young, A SixMonths Tour through the North ofEngland, 4 vols, 2nd edn (London, 1771), and A Six Weeks Tour through the Southern Counties (London, 1768). 35 Smith, Wealth of Nations, i, p. 99; Fumiss, The Position of the Laborer, pp. 134-6, 140-4. 36 Cited in L. Radzinowicz, A History of English Criminal law and its Administration from 1750,3 vols (London, 1956), iii, p. 1. 37 I follow the use of Minson, GenealogiesofMorals, p. 149, for whom foundationalism 'views ethical considerations as always grounding and therefore overriding other considerations'. 38 Weber, Protestant Ethic, pp. 177-8, General Economic History, pp. 347-50. Aside from the following objections to this thesis we have on the considerable authority of Dorothy Marshall, English Poor in the Eighteenth Century, p. 20, that the 'religious motive . . . was not strong enough, and lacked driving force to make it a real and effective incitement to the relief of the Poor'. 39 F-L. Knemeyer, 'Polizei', Economy andSociety,ix (1980), pp. 172-96; L. J. Hume, Bentham and Bureaucracy (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 33-4. See also the list of the items covered by the big police ordinance of Strasbourg of 1628 in G. Oestreich, Neostoicism and the Early Modern State (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 157-9. 40 A. Smith, Lectures onJustice, Police, Revenue andArms, ed. E. Cannan (New York, 1956), p. 154; Hume, Bentham and Bureaucracy, pp. 34-5. 41 Minson, Genealogies ofMorals, pp. 104-5. 42 There are two excellent case-studies of continental absolutism and the emergence of the sovereign state, Oestreich, Neostoicism, especially Part 2, which situates police in this context, and H. E. Strakosch, StateAbsolutism and the Rule ofLaw (Sydney, 1967), which touches on the changing late eighteenth-century concept of police and police practices in the context of Austrian legal codification, pp. 131-7, 183-5. Also on police and legal codification, is Hume, Bentham and Bureaucracy, pp. 34-40. 43 Knemeyer, 'Polizei', p. 181. 44 Minson, Genealogies ofMorals, pp. 102-6. 45 P. Pasquino, 'Theatricum politicum: the genealogy of capital - police and the state of prosperity', Ideology and Consciousness,iv (1979), p. 47. 46 M. Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. I: an introduction, trans. R. Hurley (London, 1979), p. 135 ff. 47 D. V. Glass, NumberingthePeople: the Eighteenth-century Population Controversy and the Development of Census and VitalStatisticsin Britain (Famborough, 1973), pp. 13-17. 48 The sources for these examples are: Pasquino, 'Theatricum politicum',

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pp. 41-54; Webb, English PoorLaw Histoy Part One, pp. 30-5; Oestreich, Neostoicism, p. 158; and Hume, Bentham and Bureaucracy, pp. 34-5. 49 P. Carrigan and D. Sayer, The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution Oxford, 1985),passim. This view seems to be supported by E. M. Leonard, The Early Histoy ofEnglish PoorRelief (Cambridge, 1900), pp. 267-94, in its discussion of the distinctiveness of the English system of poor regulation and relief and its movement beyond its sixteenth-century municipal form. 50 Corrigan and Sayer, Great Arch, pp. 38-40. Also, Leonard, Early Histoy, pp. 165-83. 51 M. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation: a Histoy of Insanity in the Age of Reason, trans. R. Howard (London, 1965), p. 63. 52 These points are discussed at length in my Constitution ofpoverty, pp. 60-7. 53 J. 0 . Appleby, Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Centuy England (Princeton, 1978), pp. 150-3. 54 Webb, English Poor Law Histoy Part One, 134-44; Marshall, English Poor in the Eighteenth Centuy, pp. 125-60. 55 Webb, English Poor Law Histoy Part One, p. 110; Marshall, English Poor in the Eighteenth Centuy, pp. 159-60. 56 Poynter, Society and Pauperism, pp. 35-9; Eden, State of the Poor, pp. 67-8, pp. 75-7. 57 D. Owen, English Philanthropy 1660-1 960 (Harvard, 1964), pp. 11-96. Leonard, Early Histoy ofEnglish PoorRelief; p. 204, notes, by way of contrast, that there was 'little distinction' made between charity and the poor rates in the seventeenth century. 58 Eden, State of the Poor, pp. 92-4. 59 Poynter, Society and Pauperism, p. 41. 60 Poynter, Society and Pauperism p. 34; Eden, Stale of the Poor, pp. 86-7; W. Paley, The Principles ofMoral and Political Philosophy, 2 vols, 10th edn (London, 1794), i, pp. 241-7. 61 Thompson, 'Moral Economy', p. 79 ff. 62 T . R. Malthus, A n Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement ofsociety (London, 1798);J . Townsend, A Disseflation on the Poor Laws by a Well-wisher ofMankind (Berkeley, 1971). There were six editions of Malthus's essay published in its author's lifetime. 1shall quote from the first edition, and also from the first posthumous edition, A n Essay on the Principle ofPopulation etc., 7th edn (London, 1872). 63 See K. Smith, The Malthusian Controversy (London, 1951); J. Schumpeter, A Histoy ofEconomicAnalysis (New York, 1954), pp. 255-77. 64 Malthus, Essay on Principle ofPopulation (1872 edn), p. 8, defines moral restraint 'to mean the restraint from marriage from prudential motives, with a conduct strictly moral during this period of restraint'. This might sound gender-neutral, yet his examples of the practice almost always concern men of various ranks, e.g. the discussion of the preventive check in first Essay (1798 edn), pp. 63-7, and the discussion of the obligations of marriage in the final edition, Essay (1872 edn), pp. 403-4. 65 E.g. W. Otter, 'Memoir', in T. R. Malthus, Principles ofPoliticalEconomy, 2nd edn (London, 1836), p. xix; J. Bonar, Malthus and his Work, (London, 1885), pp. 304-5; S. Webb and B. Webb, English Poor Law Histoy, Part Two: the Last Hundred Years, 2 vols (Hamden, 1963), i, pp. 21-5; Smith, Malthusian Controversy, pp. 296-7. 66 E.g. the work of W. D. Grampp, 'Classical economics and its moral critics', Histoy of Political Economy v (1973), pp. 359-74, and 'Malthus and his contemporaries', Histoy ofPolitica1 Economy, vi (1974), pp. 278-304. 67 Foucault, Archaeology, p. 2 1. 68 R. G. Cowherd, Political Economists and the English Poor Laws: an HistoricalStudy of the InJuence of Classical Economics on Social Welfare Poliq (Athens, Ohio, 1977).

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J. J. Spengler, 'Introduction', in Population Problems in the Victorian Age, 2 vols (Farnborough, 1973), i. Poynter, Society and Pauperism, passim. 69 S. G. Checkland, and E. 0. Checkland, The Poor Law Report of 1834 (Harmondsworth, 1974), p. 156. K. Williams, From Pauperism to Poverty (London, 1981). 70 Williams, Pauperism to Poverty, p. 5 1. 71 ibid.,pp.69-75. 72 See note 3 1 on the language of the analysis of government. 73 Tribe, Land, Labour and Economic Discourse, pp. 100-45; K. Tribe, Genealogies o f Capitalism (London, 1981), pp. 121-52. 74 Thompson, 'Moral Economy', pp. 88-91. 75 Smith, Wealth ofNations, i, pp. 82-104. 76 M. Foucault, The Order of Things: an Archaeology of the Human Sciences, trans. A. M. Sheridan (London, 1970), p. 253. 77 D. Ricardo, 'Essay on the Influence of a Low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock', The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, 10 vols, ed. P. Sraffa and M. Dobb (Cambridge, 1951), iv, pp. 9-41. 78 E. Halevy,A History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, 6 vols (London, 1961), i, pp. 18,172. 79 Poynter, Society and Pauperism, pp. 45-106; Webb, English Poor Law History Part One, pp. 168-89; J. Hammond and B. Hammond, The Village Labourer 1760-1830 (London, 1913), pp. 123-65; Owen, English Philanthropy, pp. 104-9. 80 E. Burke, The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, 16 vols (London, 1826), vii, p. 377; viii, p. 368. 8 1 Halevy, Philosophic Radicalism, p. 230. 82 K. Mam, Capital: a CriticalAnalysis of Capitalist Production, i, trans. S. Moore and E. Aveling (Moscow, 1974), p. 680. 83 F. M. Eden, The State of the Poor: or a History of the Labouring Classes in England, from the Conquest to the Present Time, 3 vols (London, 1797). 84 ibid., i, pp. 56-7. 85 Mam, Capital, i, pp. 686 and 693. 86 Malthus, Essay on Population (1798), pp. 32-3. 87 Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp. 192-3. Here, Foucault poses the problem of
what he calls 'a reversal of the political axis of individualisation' between sovereign and disciplinaryforms of power. Whereas the former undertakes an 'ascending individualization' of those located at the point of the exercise of power, the latter presupposes a 'descending individualization'. 'Memorable man', the product of 'historico-ritual' techniques of sovereignty, gives way to 'calculable man', the product of 'scientificodisciplinary' mechanisms. I would suggest that a reversal of the axis of 'historicization' is a similar and related phenomenon. If social history has replaced such a commemorative history, it may be more to do with the pervasiveness of a new biopolitics, and its disciplinary forms of power, than with the advance of historical knowledge and perspective. It may be noted that genealogy trenchantly refuses such a reversal: it suspends a social history in favour ofa history ofthe forms of knowledge and modes of governance which are the conditions of social history. 88 P. Colquhoun, A Treatise on Indigence (London, 1806), p. 7. 89 ibid. 90 Cited by L. C. Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed (Berlin, 1984), p. 98. 9 1 Checkland, Poor Law Report, p. 334; E. Chadwick,A n Article on the Prin&les and Progress of the Poor Law Amendment Act, reprinted from Edinburgh Review (London, 1837), p. 18. 92 J. Bentham, Works, 11 vols, ed. J. Bowring (Edinburgh, 1843), viii, p. 361; Colquhoun, Treatise on Indimce, pp. 38-43. cited in ~orilevi,. Bentham and the Oppressed, p. 99. 93 -~entham,

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94 C. Bahmueller, The National Charity Company:Jeremy Bentham S Silent Revolution (Berkeley, 1981), pp. 5-6. 95 Bentham, Works, viii, 'Table of Cases Calling for Relief. 96 ibid., p. 365. 97 Bahmueller, National Charity Company, p. 5. 98 Foucault, Power/Knowledge, p. 159. 99 Bentham, Works, viii, pp. 366-7. Foucault makes a brief but illuminating
comparison between Le Vaux's royal menagerie at Versailles and the Panopticon in Discipline and Punish, p. 205. 100 Foucault uses the term 'semiotechnique' to describe a theory and practice of punishment (and, ultimately, of all forms of governance) in which penalties and rewards act as signs to which the assumed hedonistic individualwill respond by seeking to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. See Disnpline and Punish, pp. 93-103. 10 1 Bentham, Works, viii, p. 425. 102 ibid., p. 437. 103 Cited in Poynter, Society andPauperism, pp. 125-6. 104 ibid., p. 126. 105 Checkiand, Poor Law Report, p. 335. 106 P. Colquhoun, A Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis, 6th edn (London, 1805), preface, no page number. 107 Radzinowicz, History ofEnglish Criminal Law, iii, pp. 448-74. 108 Colquhoun, Treatise on Police, p. 365. 109 Colquhoun, Treatise on Indigence, pp. 3 8 4 3 . 110 M. Flinn, 'Introduction', in E. Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain of 1842 (Edinburgh, 1965). 111 Chadwick, Report on Sanitary Conditions, pp. 254-7; J. P. Kay, The Moral and Physical Condition of the Working Classes Employed in the Cotton Manufacture in Manchester (London, 1832), pp. 28-43. 112 S. E. Finer, The Life and Times of Sir Edwin Chadwick (London, 1952), p. 218; M. Pelling, Cholera, Fever and English Medicine 1825-1865 (Oxford, 1978); Flinn, 'Introduction'. 113 Corrigan, 'State formation and moral regulation', Ph.D. thesis, pp. 197-237. 114 Procacci, 'Social economy and the government of poverty', p. 68; J. Donzelot, The PolicingofFamilies, trans. R. Hurley (New York, 1979), p. 55. 115 See, for example, T. Chalmers, Problems of Poverty (London, 1912), and On Political Economy, in Connerion with the Moral State and Moral Prospects of Society (New York, 1968). On Chalmer's scheme for the Tron parish, A. F. Young and E. T. Ashton, British Social Work in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1956), pp. 70-1. On the CSO in London in the 1870s, G. Stedman Jones, Outcast London: A study in the Relationship between Classes in Victorian Society, 2nd edn (Harmondsworth, 1984), pp. 271-80. 116 P. Abrams, The Orgins of British Sociology 1834-1915 (Chicago, 1968), pp. 13-23. 117 L. Chevalier, Labouring Classes and Dangerous Classes in Paris in the First Halfof the Nineteenth Century, trans. F. Jellinek (New York, 1973); P. Gaskell, The Manufa~luring Population of England, its Moral Social and Physical Conditions (London, 1833); Kay, Moral and Physical Condition of the Working Classes; Chadwick,Report on the Sanitary Conditions; F. Engels, The Condition ofthe Working Class in England, (MOSCOW, 1973). -, 118 Buret, cited by Chevalier, Labouring Classes and Dangerous Classes, p. 144. Also, Procacci, 'Social economy'. 119 Polanyi, Great TransJomation,pp. 77-89. 120 Williams, Pauperism to Poverty, pp. 69-75. 121 Chevalier, Labouring Classes and Dangerous Classes, p. 142.

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