Governmentality is the discourses by which a few control a country from the center and manage its relations with the rest of the world. Roland Barthes defines governmentality as those discourses that make the government seem like an effective agent: "Fruit and vegetable prices go up because of the government" (1957, 30).
Michel Foucault (1991) sees governmentality as a form of power that is exercised through an ensemble of institutions, procedures, analyses, and reflections and which results in the formation of specific governmental apparatuses, and of a whole complex of power. Foucault goes on to show there is a historical movement that brings about the emergence of the population as datum, as a field of intervention, and as an objective of governmental techniques.
Foucault identifies three movements, government, population, and economy, which constitute, from the eighteenth century onward, a solid series, one which even today has not been dissolved (Foucault 1991). Foucault contends that this series has contributed to the formation of "a specific albeit complex form of power, which has as its target population, as its principal form of knowledge political economy, and as its essential technical means apparatuses of security" (Foucault 1991, 102).