The course is organized as follows.
1. The first part, which has a more general focus, deals with those processes whereby, starting from the 18th Century and parallel to the rise of market economy, new forms and new power technologies take shape, which aim at the governance of territories, of population and, more generally, of natural phenomena such as health, sanitation, birth, etc. Such processes are generally described as the emergence of “bio-politics”, that is, the advent of politics in the governance of life and bodies.
2. In these processes a crucial role is played by institutions such as law and medicine. The second part of this course deals with these institutions, focusing on one hand on 19th Century codifications and, on the other hand, on the shaping of modern medicine and criminal institutions. Special attention is given to the human body between law, punishment and medicine, and the debate on functions and limits of these institutions.
3. This last topic – functions and limits of law and medicine – will be addressed during the third part of the course. Some spheres of human existence, which have become the object of both law provisions and medical practice, will be analyzed in their historical development and in the present debate.