Over the past two decades the term ‘governance’ has found a new lease of life. Scholars using the term usually offer some acknowledgment of its source for their work. While explanations for this vary with the discipline, an increasing number of scholars spanning diverse disciplines have attributed the idea of ‘governance’ to the work of Michel Foucault. This paper explores the alleged link between ‘governance’ and Foucault's ideas. It is argued that attributing this concept to Foucault is misplaced for two reasons. First, such attributions assert a degree of commonality for discourses that may have little else in common besides the use of the term ‘governance’. Second, it is doubtful that Foucault ever used the term ‘governance’, either directly as a distinct term or indirectly as an un-named cluster of ideas that are now understood as ‘governance’. The presumed Foucauldian basis for ‘governance’ rests on a confusion of discourses.