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João Leite Ferreira-Neto


This paper aims to understand the theoretical-political turn of Foucault constructed from 1978, which led him to a distancing from the Maoist left and to a return to the notion of subjectivity within a perspective of liberty, in the context of his governmentality studies. The historical-institutional aspects relating to his theoretical and political shift will be discussed, with basis on biographical sources and texts by the author published at that time. The conclusion is that Foucault used both Marxist and neoliberal contributions, avoiding reducing the politics to a confrontation between two projects, but considering it a complex field of plural strategies. He also began to theorize about the rights historically known as the ‘right of the governed,’ led by the question: ‘how to become subject without being subjected?’.