An excerpt from Paul-Francois Tremlett’s recent article in Culture and Religion, “Two shock doctrines: From Christo-disciplinary to neoliberal urbanisms in the Philippines.”

According to Foucault, panopticism is a form of knowledge and a form of power. Also, according to Foucault, it is ‘a type of power that is applied to individuals in the form of continuous individual supervision, in the form of control, punishment, and compensation, and in the form of correction, that is, the moulding and transformation of individuals in terms of certain norms’ (2001, 70). It is, at the same time, an architecture and thereby a spatial and environ-mental arrangement that Foucault claims marks the emergence of the ‘disciplinary society’ (1991, 209). This work on the individual is spatially and architecturally constituted and also thereby implies ‘an event in the “history of the human mind”’ (Foucault 1991,216). In other words, Spain’s urbanising colonialism was not only a solution to the technical problem of administering and Christianising the Philippines and spatially dispersed population clusters, but also an attempt to create a new kind of subject and a new type of environment.


Image: Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture:, via