boundaries and legitimate uses. In a legal perspective, exception was first assumed as a problem of constitutional forms. With Foucault’s and Agamben’s interventions on biopolitics, then, the concept has been gradually associated with an instrument of control
From Schmitt to Foucault
Inquiring the Relationship between Exception and Democracy
This article provides a reassessment of the Berlin socialist women's movement of the mid-1890s as a historically significant attempt to establish a new kind of gender politics. The article shows how the movement provides an entry point to a broader, richer, more complicated feminist resistance than previously recognized. The historiographical processes that have narrowed interpretations of the movement are explored through a feminist-Foucauldian lens, which reveals the more collaborative activities and fluid alliances both among the women's groups and between them and a wider circle of social democratic men. A feminist-Foucauldian approach shifts attention to the movement's formation as an effect of power, highlighting its innovative organizational style, leadership, theorists, ideas, and resistance activities.
Beyond the Conflict-Consensus Divide
Henrik P. Bang
This article examines the consensus-conflict divide within contemporary democratic theory as manifested in the works of Jürgen Habermas, Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancière, and John Rawls. It relates the democratic crisis diagnosis to the presence of this conceptual divide and suggests overcoming it by focusing on the work of Michel Foucault, especially his concept of the “rectangle of the good parrhesia.” Foucault's analysis goes beyond conflict-consensus through its positive and creative reconceptualization of political authority featuring a transformative capacity linked to the idea of telling the truth.
On the Notion of Historical (Dis)Continuity
Reinhart Koselleck's Construction of the Sattelzeit
The author contends that a transition period is conceived in terms of its continuity with preceding or subsequent periods, rather than an entirely discontinuous temporal unit. Thus, in order to conceive of a period of transition, one must assume an overarching historical continuity. This contrasts with Reinhart Koselleck's and Michel Foucault's conception of the period of transition to modernity which is at once a break and part of the modern period. By analyzing how time is experienced in terms of contemporary awareness and retrospective consciousness, the author maps out the epistemological determinations that allow for the conception of a period of transition to modernity such as Sattelzeit.
The article singles out one dimension of the history of concepts in general and of Koselleck’s work in particular, the “theory of historical times,” which at present is both contested and simply overlooked. After discussing some of the arguments for and against the necessity of such a theory for the practice of conceptual history, the article moves on to suggest an alternative context for grasping its originality, the so-called linguistic turn, manifest in French structuralist thought and especially in the works of Michel Foucault. In Koselleck’s works key structuralist ideas like structure and the diachronicsynchronic opposition are developed in ways that open them to questions of historicity and multiple times.
Queen Mathilda of Saxony and the Founding of Quedlinburg
Women, Memory, and Power
This essay examines the memorial practices at the tenth-century Saxon community of canonesses at St. Servatius, Quedlinburg, to consider what is gained—and what lost—in the remembrance of key figures of the Ottonian dynasty. A memorial foundation established by Queen Mathilda of Saxony in honor of her husband, King Henry I, this community provides a particularly effective way to explore the relationship between memory, gender, and power in Ottonian culture, since the architecture, ritual practices, institutional rules, daily and intellectual life of the inmates, and literary works possibly produced by them function together as a complex memorializing machine. Reading this community's contributions to the constitution of dynastic memory through Michel Foucault's notion of power, the essay considers the effects of memorializing practices on women in Saxony at the time, who, I argue, never come to be fully present and therefore leave their successors, women writers to come, a legacy of loss.
Getting Medieval on Steven Pinker
Violence and Medieval England
Sara M. Butler
foundation for studies of historical violence and has been reenergized through new conceptualizations multiple times since its publication in 1939. Without a doubt, the most thought provoking has been Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the
Anton Jansson, Kai Vogelsang, and Nele Kuhlmann
extensive methodology of critique inspired by Foucault, which allows him to examine the role of concepts in practices, the author tackles a desideratum in conceptual history. In addition, Vogelmann applies his method using an exemplary concept. He analyzes
From Exoticism to Authenticity
Textbooks during French Colonization and the Modern Literature of Global Tourism
-provoking reflection in that it appears, in its Marxist foundations, to be heralding the uses Michel Foucault makes of it, anchoring it in discourses. I will also draw on the writings of Edgar Morin, who links ideology to representations of reality and developed the
Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice
Democratic Theory through an Agonistic Lens
diverse and complex discipline, so too is the subfield of agonistic democracy, and this takes each thinker to a slightly different critique of liberal democracy. Drawing on Michel Foucault and Friedrich Nietzsche, Connolly's critique of our present