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Family Squabbles

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.

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Jonathan Friedman and the "insurrection of subjugated knowledges"

Stephen Reyna

This article analyzes certain aspects of the work of Jonathan Friedman, especially as they are relevant to an "insurrection of subjugated knowledges" that Foucault imagined began in the 1960s. The article traces Friedman's critique of Marvin Harris's cultural materialism and of Edmund Leach's interpretation of highland Burma's socio-political systems. It discusses Friedman's pioneering development of global systems theory based on an integration of Marxist and Lévi-Straussian structuralism. Finally, it argues the insurrection that Foucault spoke of was febrile, and suggests how Friedman's work might be employed to help develop a fiercer struggle against subjugation.

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The Chronopolitical Order of Things

Technologies of the Quantified Self in Andrew Niccol's In Time and Michael Anderson's Logan's Run

Sidneyeve Matrix

As a film about a science fictional future in which genetic engineering is used to guard against the threat of overpopulation, Andrew Niccol's In Time (2011) bears a remarkable resemblance to Michael Anderson's environmental dystopia Logan's Run (1976). This article traces the narrative similarities of these two dystopian ecocinematic Hollywood productions, while demonstrating how they succeed as social critiques of technoscientific social regimes that wreak havoc on the Earth and its inhabitants. Borrowing from Michel Foucault's theories of a biopolitics of the population, this article argues that both film-makers' works contribute to our understanding of the potentially culturally and environmentally devastating implications of genetic engineering. Seen through the lens of Foucault's ideas about the disciplinary technologies of the self-regulated subject, the article suggests that Niccol's In Time is particularly noteworthy for its creative problematizing of the increasing normalization of high-tech bodily modification, enhancement, and digital quantification.

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Introduction

Rhetoric and the Workings of Power—The Social Contract in Crisis

Elisabeth Kirtsoglou

As social, cultural, and political subjects, we are all constituted in power. Power is not something external to the subject, but rather a context and an idiom of subjectivity. It is creative and generative, as Foucault (1977) would argue, and also relational insofar as it is manifested in relationships (Etzioni 1993; Kritzman 1988; Wolf 1999). It has long been argued that resistance itself, as Foucault ([1976] 1990: 95) put it, “is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (see also Abu-Lughod 1990; Mitchell 1990; Reed-Danahay 1993; Williams 2008). In a recent article on autonomy and the French alter-globalization movement, which also builds on Donald Moore’s (1998) argument, Williams (2008: 80–81) claims that “[r]esistance … emerges not from an originary site but from oppositional practices, which … are always relational and dynamic.”

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Post-Development Theory and the Discourse-Agency Conundrum

Jon Harald Sande Lie

Through its post-structural critique of development, post-development provides a fundamental dismissal of institutional development. Drawing on the work of Foucault, post-development portrays development as a monolithic and hegemonic discourse that constructs rather than solves the problems it purports to address. Yet post-development itself becomes guilty of creating an analysis that loses sight of individuals and agency, being fundamental to its development critique. This article discusses the discourse-agency nexus in light of the post-development context with specific reference to the grand structure-actor conundrum of social theory, and asks whether an actor perspective is compatible with discourse analysis and what—if anything—should be given primacy. It aims to provide insight into social theory and post-development comparatively and, furthermore, to put these in context, with Foucault's work being pivotal to the seminal post-development approach.

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Book Reviews

The Authority of Reason, by Jean E. Hampton (ed. by Richard Healey). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Reviewed by Douglas Farland

Religion and Culture by Michel Foucault, edited by J.R. Carrette. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999, with a Foreword by James Bernauer. Reviewed by Roger Deacon

Discourse Theory and Political Analysis: Identities, Hegemonies and Social Change, edited by David Howarth, Aletta J. Norval and Yannis Stavrakakis. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. Reviewed by Torgeir Fjeld

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Book Reviews

Fixing Men: Sex, Birth Control, and AIDS in Mexico, Contemporary South Africa, by Matthew Gutmann Marc Epprecht

The Political Philosophy of Needs, by Lawrence Hamilton David James

Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power, by Derek Hook Grahame Hayes

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory, 2nd edition, by Bhikhu Parekh Joleen Steyn-Kotze

The Plot to Kill God: Findings from the Soviet Experiment in Secularization, by Paul Froese Gerald West

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Interiors

Sex and the Body in Dickens

William A. Cohen

Not so long ago, the topic of Dickens and sex might have seemed entirely entailed by Foucault's inquires in the first volume of the History of Sexuality. In that work, Foucault argues that sex is not a biological donnée but is instead an effect of discourse, a culturally variable vehicle for the exercise of power in many different directions. Emerging out of Foucault's studies of social institutions such as prisons and madhouses, the History of Sexuality emphasises the disciplinary imperative of sexual knowledges; it argues that individual subjects internalise surveillance mechanisms, experiencing them through and as their sexuality. One of the beneficiaries of the Foucauldian paradigm, which dominated Victorian literary studies from the late 1980s until recently, was queer theory. Queer theory interrogates rather than presuming identity categories (such as homosexual, lesbian and gay), but it has always sat in an uneasy relation to identity politics, simultaneously relying on and deconstructing stable notions of gender and sexual identity. Some critics have employed queer theory to discover lesbian, gay or queer characters and practices in Victorian literature (not to mention finding more properly nineteenth-century types, such as the hysteric, the onanist and the sodomite). Such projects have often understood the function of sexual representation as part of modernity's more general disciplinary structure.

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Editorial

Some years ago, at a meeting of the Groupe d’études sartriennes in Paris, one of the editors made the claim that to understand Sartre one had to view him as a person who constantly measured himself against the leading lights of the past, of his age, and that at the same time, he foreshadowed the coming age. The contributions in this issue reveal the extent to which recent Sartre scholarship illustrates this point since they emphasize to what enormous degree Sartre remains pivotal to the understanding of ethical questions, postmodernism and such thinkers as Marcuse, Foucault and Fanon, but also such stellar figures from the past as Goethe and Nietzsche.

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Book Reviews

Ian Birchall, Steven Hendley, and Phyllis Morris

Noureddine Lamouchi, Jean-Paul Sartre et le tiers monde, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996, 346 pp. ISBN 2-7384-4179-3, Ffrs.180.50 Review by Ian Birchall

Thomas R. Flynn, Sartre, Foucault, and Reason in History, Volume 1: Toward an Existentialist Theory. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1997, 340 pp., ISBN 0-226-25468-2, $18.95 (paper). Review by Steven Hendley

William L. McBride, ed., Sartre and Existentialism: Philosophy, Politics, Ethics, The Psyche, Literature, and Aesthetics, Garland Publishing. 8-volume set $583/or by volume. Toll-free (U.S.) 800-627-6273 Review by Phyllis Morris