In this seminal book, Michel Foucault analyses the transformations in the way people are looked over and punished in Western European states. Based on extensive archival research focusing on French writers from the 18th and 19th century, Foucault tries to understand how punishment morphed from a brutal spectacle into a measured, scientific enterprise. He opens the book by contrasting the extreme brutality of the public torture of regicide Damiens in 1757 with the time-tables of a Parisian prison eighty years later. In a nutshell, the rest of the book is about tracing this gradual but profound development. Throughout this genealogical exercise, Foucault draws on and further develops important but often complex notions such as discourse, discipline, panoptic surveillance and aforementioned normalisation. To this day, the book continues to have a noticeable impact, especially on newer interdisciplinary fields such as surveillance studies.