What is governmentality?

governmentality is a blog, podcast and newsletter about power, politics and ideas by journalist Allen McDuffee.

Why governmentality? 

As clever a name as governmentality is, it’s borrowed. The innovative concept about power originated with the French historian-theorist, Michel Foucault.

For the sake of brevity, think about governmentality as a kind of “governmental rationality” — the idea that there is an internal logic to the ways that governments and other institutions of power organize people in such a way that maximizes the efficiency of governing. This is a stealthy capability that makes power not just hierarchical or taking the form of brute force, but also the ways in which power controls narratives, categorizes peoples, and normalizes the illogical.

governmentality is still a blog about politics as we know it (elections, policies, lobbying, speeches, corruption, scandals, etc.), but also economics, global affairs, business and culture — all with an eye toward the context of the many forms that power takes.

About Allen McDuffee

Gisele Duprez Photography
Gisele Duprez Photography

Allen McDuffee is a politics and policy reporter, investigative journalist and blogger. He is currently working on a book about the power and influence of think tanks in Washington.

Most recently, Allen wrote for The Atlantic. Previously, he covered national security for Wired, where he wrote about the Pentagon, military affairs and the defense industry. From 2011 to 2013 he covered policy, politics, ideas and think tanks for The Washington Post, where he broke the story about the Koch brothers suing for control of the Cato Institute, reported on the 2012 elections and covered Google’s international gathering of 80 former violent extremists in Dublin, Ireland.

Allen has also written for The New Republic, The Nation, The American Prospect, Huffington Post, the New York Observer, among others. He has been awarded funding from The Nation’s Investigative Journalism Fund and has twice been a fellow at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism.

Allen’s work is often covered by media outlets such as The New York Times, msnbc, Politico and Slate. He is a regular radio show guest, including WNYC’s The Takeaway and NPR’s All Things Considered.

For more than seven years, Allen worked at Washington, DC think tanks and private political consulting firms. He has also spent time in Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Palestine for work and for pleasure.

He lives in New York and Washington, DC.