Foucault, Freedom and Sovereignty

Foucault, Freedom and Sovereignty

Sergei Prozorov

Language: English

Pages: 180

ISBN: 0754649083

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Against the prevailing interpretations which disqualify a Foucauldian approach from the discourse of freedom, this study offers a novel concept of political freedom and posits freedom as the primary axiological motif of Foucault's writing. Based on a new interpretation of the relation of Foucault's approach to the problematic of sovereignty, Sergei Prozorov both reconstructs ontology of freedom in Foucault's textual corpus and outlines the modalities of its practice in the contemporary terrain of global governance. The book critically engages with the acclaimed post-Foucauldian theories of Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri, thereby restoring the controversial notion of the sovereign subject to the critical discourse on global politics. As a study in political thought, this book will be suitable for students and scholars interested in the problematic of political freedom, philosophy and global governance.

















marked by the blissful absence of any project, to which human existence must be sacrificed. In the meantime, the task for today’s political thought is the liberation of freedom from the unbearable weight of normative discourses that threaten to bury this experience for good. On Being Foucauldian: The Freedom of Unfaithful Interpretation Although this book engages in detail with Michel Foucault’s thought on freedom, it is not an exercise in exegesis. It is not meant to say definitively what

reading Foucault can be a ‘life-changing experience’, the consequence of this experience must surely be distinct from a pious conformity of a convert. Since the life-changing force of Foucault’s work consists precisely in thought freeing itself from all that constrains it and ultimately from its own identity, being Foucauldian must also mean being unfaithful to Foucault, ruthlessly pushing his insights to the limit, probing their implications at most unfamiliar sites and ultimately playing these

an outside. Any order is contaminated at its foundation by something heterogeneous to it yet essential to its emergence and continuing existence. Rather than having its positivity threatened by a variously construed exterior ‘other’, any diagram is always plagued by the other within. Any foundation is, necessarily, according to the logic of Schmitt’s thought, an instance of resistance to the absolute immanence, insofar as the absolute immanence implies either a pure non-order (anarchism) or an

irreducibly potential beings: ‘That manner is ethical that does not befall us and does not found us but engenders us.’ (Agamben 1993b, 28) It is precisely the experience of our continual being engendered by ourselves, of our taking place, entirely without regard for the positive properties of what takes place, that marks freedom as a moment of transcendence within the immanence of the diagram that expropriates the linguistic being of human beings by turning it into a foundation of identity

its pure form of sovereignty, and not, as the authors claim, by eliminating the sovereign excess from the immanent plenitude of biopolitical production. Sovereignty cannot be emptied out, since it is always already devoid of all positive content. Any resistance to biopower must therefore abandon all valorisation of production and productivity. Hardt and Negri’s concept of biopolitical production as anterior and exterior to biopower, and hence capable of autonomous self-rule, is therefore

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