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Strategies of Governance

Michel Foucault on Power

Roger Deacon

How and why is it that we in the West, in our arduous and incessant search for truth, have also built into and around ourselves intricate and powerful systems intended to manage all that we know and do? This, arguably, was the key problem to which Foucault applied himself. Central to his critical, historical ontology of Western, and especially Enlightenment, reason is an investigation of the constitutive relations between the operation of power relations, the production of knowledge, and ways of relating ethically to oneself and others. This article examines Foucault’s account of the relations of power which are said to underpin contemporary thought and to regulate and subject modern individuals. Contrary to the belief that Foucault’s conception of power is dogmatic and all-encompassing, leaving no room for progressive resistance or change and flowing over into the realm of theory such that truth itself becomes questionable, it is argued here that Foucault offers us an analysis of relations of power as ‘strategies of governance’ which depend for their operation on the existence of free subjects capable not only of resistance but of positively producing effects of truth in reality.

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Colonising ‘Free’ Will

A Critique of Political Decolonisation in Ghana

Bernard Forjwuor

refers to as the ‘critical attitude’, is intimately intertwined with the Enlightenment ( Raunig 2008 ; Allen 2017 ) and Eurocentric rationalities ( Mbembe 2001 ; Serequeberhan 1997 ; Mills 2017 ); and, if the constitutive colonial impulses are also

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A Critique of Liberal Universalism

The Concept of Secular Philosophical Grounding

Jaan S. Islam

Following the Enlightenment and the post-Enlightenment period, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries the dawn of a new philosophy came into existence. Unlike the Enlightenment, which lacked the knowledge or experiences of the globalised

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Wiping away the Tears of the Ocean


Mogobe Ramose

, anxiety, danger, evil and inferiority. By contrast, to whiteness is ascribed the meaning of clarity, certainty, security, goodness and superiority. Enlightenment and modern philosophers like Kant, Hume and Locke are well-known to have given ‘philosophical

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Book Roundtable

Discussion text: Chin, C. 2018. The Practice of Political Theory: Rorty and Continental Thought.

Lasse Thomassen, Joe Hoover, David Owen, Paul Patton, and Clayton Chin

impossibility of giving our normative values a rational foundation. Rorty relishes undercutting the pretensions of Enlightenment philosophy's attempts to justify our ethics with unshakeable certainty, and in this he is clearly against a particular kind of

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A Negative Theory of Justice

Towards a Critical Theory of Power Relations

Leonard Mazzone

, enlightenment is nothing but the autonomous process of individual self-liberation from a self-imposed immaturity ( Unmundigkeit ) and it consists of the ability to use one's own understanding without another person's guidance ( Kant 2009 ). 3 A theory of

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Creating the People as ‘One’?

On Democracy and Its Other

Marta Nunes da Costa

. Therefore, equality works as the regulative ideal that guides the construction of a political and social system consistent with the enlightenment ideal of autonomy and human emancipation, but at the same time it opens the path for practical dimensions of

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Takamichi Sakurai

to this that a factor in fascist formulations is indeed explicable by means of Western Marxism, particularly by the concept of ‘dialectic of enlightenment’, which sees a fascist development in line with a contradiction in economic rationality ( Adorno

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Sunday Paul Chinazo Onwuegbuchulam and Khondlo Mtshali

. The State-Centered Approach versus the State-in-Society Approach Enlightenment and Modernist theories of society emphasise the new powerful state and its exalted agency role as the custodian of affairs in Liberal democratic societies. 8 According to

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Bernard Matolino

, she correctly points out that Eze believes that the secularisation of today’s Africans has led to their enlightenment, the myths that held people together have disappeared as life in today’s (West) Africa is remarkably different from its traditional