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Clowning and mass protest
Alister Wedderburn

society itself ( Zijderveld, 1982 : 16–17). CIRCA transplanted this subject into (or onto the threshold of) specific political spaces: the police line, the kettle, the occupation, the roadblock, the ‘global justice’ march and so on. Imitating the militaristic rituals, symbols, practices and knowledges by and through which neoliberal order is maintained and secured, the Clown Army enacted and sustained encounters with the actual army (and/or the police) that asked questions of their claims to legitimacy. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s examination of the grotesque in his

in Humour, subjectivity and world politics
Humour, subjectivity and the everyday
Alister Wedderburn

cannot claim the status of ‘subject’ in the first place (cf. Butler, 2006 ). Drawing on the laugh that inspires Michel Foucault’s enquiry into the discursive production of order in The Order of Things , I suggest that humour often engages with, probes at and/or reflects these boundary-drawing processes, as well as the vectors of in- and exclusion that they produce. It thereby offers a way into understanding the construction and contestation not just of this or that subjective identity, but also of the terms of belonging through which subjective being is initially

in Humour, subjectivity and world politics
Elke Schwarz

. Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (2006a: 49) [W]hat occurred in the eighteenth century in some Western countries … was a different phenomenon having perhaps a wider impact than the new morality; this was nothing less than the entry of life into history. Michel Foucault, The Will to Knowledge (1998: 141) While

in Death machines
Anastasia Marinopoulou

, 1991), 48. 2 Cited in Jeremy Waldron, ‘Kant’s Theory of the State’, in Immanuel Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), 191. 3 Cited in Paul Rabinow (ed.), The Foucault Reader (London:  Penguin Books, 1991), 50. 4 Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (London: Routledge, 2011), 199. 5 Rabinow (ed.), The Foucault Reader, 63. 6 Cited in Rabinow (ed.), The Foucault Reader, 22. 7 Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault. Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (New York: Harvester, Wheatsheaf, 1982

in Critical theory and epistemology
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Saul Newman

between the sophistication of new surveillance technology, and the extremity and crudeness of the law, that we are increasingly trapped. The ‘micro-physics’ of power: Michel Foucault The developments and transformations of power, from the classical age to modernity and beyond, have been extensively analysed by Foucault. Foucault charted, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the emergence of the ‘disciplines’ – a new network of power relations, discourses and institutional practices – that had as their aim, function and effect the normalisation of the

in Unstable universalities
Total history and the H-Blocks in film
George Legg

progress. To be entangled in this process is to touch upon the sense of boredom that Thomas Dumm has described as arising ‘when people find experience infiltrated by a process of ordering that diminishes the uniqueness of their lives’.19 Such a view is, in turn, close to Michel Foucault’s famous conception of history as a twofold ‘questioning of the document’.20 For what is being described here is not only the construction of a seamless sense of h­ istory – ­the continuum of past into present that Foucault associates with a ‘total history’ – but also the destruction of

in Northern Ireland and the politics of boredom
Michael Loadenthal

The lack of stable, centrally-located, canonical texts in insurrectionary anarchism is mirrored in other more traditional accounts of political violence. Insurrectionary theory aligns with the critical critique of securitization, labeling the statist determinations as "narrow, inadequate and immoral in the context of 'real' security threats to the individual". The poststructural reading of power, one wherein control is disembodied from a physical site and is instead transnational, omnipresent, and yet operating invisibly, is a highly influential aspect of modern insurrectionary critique. In a more generalized viewpoint, other insurrectionary thinkers have theorized on "The Totality" of oppression drawing more from Michel Foucault's reading of power than politics. Globally, the insurrectionary tendency is situated within the larger anarchist, communist, and anti-authoritarian movements but has served to redefine the subject vis-à-vis systemic violence.

in The politics of attack
Understanding domination, empowerment and democracy
Author: Mark Haugaard

This book explores the nature and workings of social and political power through four dimensions, which throw into relief different aspects of power-related phenomena. The analysis constitutes a sophisticated new framework that builds upon contemporary theoretical perspectives of power, including the work of Steven Lukes, Michel Foucault, Amy Allen, Clarissa Rile Hayward, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Stewart Clegg, James Scott and Gene Sharp. The first dimension of power concerns agency between actors, including analysis of coercion, violence and authority. The second dimension involves structural bias, conflict and resistance, including both revolutionary and non-violent resistance. The third dimension concerns tacit knowledge, uses of truth and reification. This book moves beyond critique of ideology, developing Foucauldian theories of power/knowledge without nihilistic relativism by distinguishing different types of truth claim. The fourth dimension concerns the power to create social subjects, drawing both on genealogical theory, Norbert Elias on restraint and Orlando Patterson on social death in slavery.

Haugaard distinguishes sociological from normative claims. While the four dimensions stem from sociological theory, the book concludes with a normative pragmatist power-based political theory of democracy and rights. This has significant implications for critiques of contemporary populism and neoliberalism.

The book is theoretically sophisticated, yet written in an accessible style. Theory is explained using vivid empirical examples. Its originality makes it a ‘must-read’ for postgraduates and academics in the field. Yet, it is ideal for higher-level undergraduates and MAs, as a paradigmatic text on power. It is also indispensable for activists who wish to understand domination, resistance and empowerment.

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Alister Wedderburn

Introduction In my first chapter, I outlined a theory of humour focused on its performative contribution to the production of political subjectivity. Humour is a field of everyday practice through which people come to negotiate and occupy particular subject-positions – in which capacity it also plays an active and constitutive role in the making and unmaking of intersubjective relations. With reference to the laugh that opens Michel Foucault’s The Order of Things , however, I also noted that humour often operates across the boundary separating the ‘domain of

in Humour, subjectivity and world politics
Abstract only
Alister Wedderburn

also an ambiguous and indeterminate one) in the creation and maintenance of such distinctions, in which capacity it also helps to shape and reshape intersubjective relations both within and between political communities. Drawing on the laugh that underpins Michel Foucault’s investigations in The Order of Things , I argue that humour does not only participate in the performative production of different subjectivities, but also engages with the exclusionary terms by which a domain of the subject is initially made possible. Humour can therefore be understood

in Humour, subjectivity and world politics