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Posts tagged ‘Michel Foucault’

Police power, all the way to heaven

Cujus est solum and the no-fly zone
by / RP 182 (Nov/Dec 2013) / Article

What is a no-fly zone? Formally, it is a prohibition on flying in order to call a halt to hostilities in the region, usually enacted in aid of a group or groups which might otherwise suffer violence. When the Libyan civil war broke out in early 2011 one of the first demands made by several political actors of varying political persuasions was for a no-fly zone. The debate surrounding this […]


Smells like Gezi spirit

Democratic sensibilities and carnivalesque politics in Turkey
by / RP 182 (Nov/Dec 2013) / Commentary

A small protest in Istanbul, which began by aiming to protect the urban greenery, was rapidly turned into a full-blown nationwide resistance. The protests should be regarded as the most important outcry of the Turkish people since the 1980 coup, and herald a new period in the history of Turkey. But it would be a mistake to try to understand their defining features simply with reference to the so-called Arab […]


Debt society: Greece and the future of post-democracy

Dossier: The Greek Symptom: Debt, Crisis and the Crisis of the Left
by / RP 181 (Sept/Oct 2013) / Article

The passage from early to late modernity is generally associated with a gradual process of democratization, in both political and economic realms. Politically speaking, representative democracy has enjoyed an unprecedented global spread. In the West, especially, political and social rights seemed to have flourished until quite recently. Economically speaking, we have witnessed a ‘democratization of consumption’ with the gradual spread of a consumerist culture of ‘luxury’: having emerged with the […]


The walled city

Cannot one dream of a ‘computer hypothesis’?
by / RP 175 (Sep/Oct 2012) / Article

This essay is in many ways a companion piece to Gary Hall’s ‘Pirate Radical Philosophy’ in RP 173 (May/June 2012). Consider it a prequel, or something akin to a video game’s expansion pack, extending and elaborating on the original’s materials. It is a story of the spatial history of escape routes, secret countries, renegade zones and lines of flight and circulation, and so it begins with an other-worldly, fairytale conceit: […]


Thought of the outside

Foucault contra Agamben
by / RP 175 (Sep/Oct 2012) / Article

It is gladly believed that a culture is more attached to its values than to its forms, that these can easily be modified, abandoned, taken up again; that only meaning is deeply rooted. This is to misunderstand … that people cling more to ways of seeing, saying, doing, and thinking, than to what they see, what they think, say or do… In the twentieth century things have taken an unusual […]


Friedrich Adolf Kittler, 1943–2011

‘Switch off all apparatuses’
by / RP 172 (Mar/Apr 2012) / Obituary

It is a mark of how far Kittler’s reputation had spread in the English-speaking world that he had acquired his own cutely alliterative epithet: ‘the Derrida of the digital age’. It was probably an inevitable moniker for a figure who brought his own brand of poststructuralist thinking to bear on media technologies, but it is misleading for those coming to his work for the first time. Certainly, Kittler’s work would […]


David Macey, 1949-2011

Biographer of the French intellectual Left
by and / RP 171 (Jan/Feb 2012) / Obituary

David Macey died from complications of lung cancer on 7 October. He embodied the paradox of being a fine public intellectual while remaining an intenselyprivate person. He was one of the best intellectual historians of his generation and added appreciably to scholarly knowledge, yet did his most significant work as a freelance writer outside the confines of the conventional academy. To an editor concerned with making serious work accessible to […]


Also Sprach Zapata

Philosophy and resistance
by / RP 171 (Jan/Feb 2012) / Article

Each strives by physical force to compel the other to submit to his will: each endeavours to throw hisadversary, and thus render him incapable of further resistance. (Clausewitz, On War, 1832) Receive our truth in your dancing heart. Zapatalives, also and for always in these lands. (Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee ZNLA, ‘Votan-Zapata or Five Hundred Years of History’, 1994) 2011 may well be remembered as the year of resistance.* The uprisings […]


The Chilean winter

by / RP 171 (Jan/Feb 2012) / Commentary

Since the beginning of 2011, student mobilizations in Chile have occupied the centre of public debate. On the one hand, most of the population, along with most of the political parties currently opposed to Sebastián Piñera’s government, agree on the crisis of secondary and higher education in a country that has been widely praised for fostering democratization and economic prosperity after the dark decades of Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973–89). On the […]


Reviewing Rancière. Or, the persistence of discrepancies

Dossier: The Althusser–Rancière Controversy
by / RP 170 (Nov/Dec 2011) / Article

In the nearly four decades since its original publication, Althusser’s Lesson has acquired a certain mythical aura as the dark precursor of things to come. Even with the wealth of translations of Jacques Rancière’s work that have been published at an increasingly feverish pace over the past few years in the wake of the author’s worldwide success as a bestselling thinker of politics and aesthetics, this book – in my eyes […]


Demonomics

Leibniz and the antinomy of modern power
by / RP 168 (Jul/Aug 2011) / Article

The critical ethos that stands behind much of the most impressive and important work on modern forms of power seems to have constructed its own prison. A free and open concept of power – the concept that has guided so many enlightening histories of the present – has revealed itself as yet another technology of foreclosure. Two apparently opposed approaches to power in political philosophy – political theology and biopower […]


The gender apparatus

Torture and national manhood in the US ‘war on terror’
by / RP 168 (Jul/Aug 2011) / Article

Feminist protest against US torture practices, including outcries over the use of sex, sexuality and sexual identity in the torture of prisoners at US detention sites from Guantánamo to Abu Ghraib, have understandably tended to focus on what the abuse destroys – the victim and his or her community. Here, though, I ask what the torture produces. Borrowing and revising a question that Catharine MacKinnon posed about genocide (‘What is […]


History (Problem with)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article

If the philosopher’s role is to forge concepts, the historian’s function is to provide proof of their pertinence. However, this presupposes that the historian uses the concept correctly, taking into consideration the conditions that formed it. A truly transdisciplinary approach makes this possible, thanks to its rigorous method, whereas an interdisciplinary approach is merely a juxtaposition of approaches drawn from various disciplines. In his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France […]


Theory (Madness of)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article

Forty years or so after it initially rose as a rather new name for a rather new thing, theory is still an obtruse signifier, troubling and floating, requiring we go back to basics. Theory as we most often understand it today is the name given by the English-speaking intellectual community to a certain type of contemporary Continental (largely French) philosophy. It is the name both of a transdisciplinary form of […]


Subject (Re-/decentred)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article

1 Modern French thought, ‘structuralism’, ‘poststructuralism’, ‘postmodernism’, Marxism as well, are currently associated with the so-called ‘death of the subject’. Foucault’s ‘anti-humanism’, the celebrated ‘death of Man’, the declining popularity of the rational, Kantian, transcendantal subject, reigning over what Lyotard called ‘metanarratives’,1 are all parts of the process. Foucault’s rejection of the subject is unequivocally linked to his views on history, more precisely to his criticism of the role played […]


Risked democracy

Foucault, Castoriadis and the Greeks
by / RP 166 (Mar/Apr 2011) / Article

The delay involved in the publication of lectures or seminars has strange effects: what comes late and in a different time to its own is research and words which were caught up – more so than the books – in the historical circumstances of their elaboration; and the text that is finally published, with the reflections of the author and the remarks of the audience, carries something of the historical […]


Neither theocracy nor secularism

Politics in Iran
by / RP 158 (Nov/Dec 2009) / Commentary

On Saturday 13 June this year, hours after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Ministry of the Interior announced his landslide victory as Iran’s president and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the religious head of state, prematurely and unconstitutionally embraced these results, Tehran and several other major cities became the stage for spontaneous, sporadic and widespread protests. Despite the government’s arrest of most senior opposition figures, campaign activists and journalists, the shutting down of mass communications, […]


After life

De anima and unhuman politics
by / RP 155 (May/Jun 2009) / Article


The jargon of finitude

Or, materialism today
by / RP 155 (May/Jun 2009) / Article


153 Reviews

by , , , , , and / RP 153 (Jan/Feb 2009) / Reviews

Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979 Mark Kelly Lin Ma, Heidegger on East–West Dialogue: Anticipating the Event Andrew McGettigan Samuel Weber, Benjamin’s -abilities Matthew Charles Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture within and against Capitalism Douglas Spencer Mastaneh Shah-Shuja, Zones of Proletarian Development John Michael Roberts Daniel Heller-Roazen, The Inner Touch: Archaeology of a Sensation Gerald Moore Leo Bersani […]