Foucault defines government thus: “‘the conduct of conduct'” (p. 2); in Gordon’s words “a form of activity aiming to shape, guide or affect the conduct of some person or persons.” Sounds suspiciously like Foucault’s definition of power – actions taken on actions of others – I wonder if he saw any difference. In all likelihood this is Foucault saying that power is diffuse and dispersed throughout the social body. Power and government come, not from one external source that is supra the social body but from within its very nexus (Subject and Power). Power is not violence or force and relies on a free subject – in my words it’s a two way multi-directional process. Power is an “endless and open strategic game” (p. 5).
Gordon, C. (1991). Governmental rationality: an introduction. In G. Burchell, C. Gordon & P. Miller (Eds.), The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (pp. 1-52). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.