Genova 2016 ; Dzenovska 2013 , 2018 ). Desire for the political The “desire for the political,” as we are positing it, is shaped by two sets of tensions: first, the desire to criticize power via forms of action conventionally characterized as “politics
Desire for the political in the aftermath of the Cold War
Dace Dzenovska and Nicholas De Genova
Ethnographic Engagement with Bureaucratic Violence
Erin R. Eldridge and Amanda J. Reinke
decisions are made, knowledge is created, and power is exerted in ways that affect the everyday lives of citizens. Ethnography is thus well suited for unveiling the “humanness” and everyday realities of bureaucratic practice and interactions (2011: 7). In an
‘Everyday Diplomacy’ in Field Relations during the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
manipulation in Russia. They also came hot on the heels of what was seen as a novel and rare Russian success in the field of deploying ‘soft power’ through the successful hosting of the Olympics. This adoption of a strategy to ‘attract and co-opt’ (soft power
Forms of Submission and Top-Down Power in Orthodox Ethiopia
Diego Maria Malara and Tom Boylston
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians consider top-down power a fact of life. In religious, political, and domestic spheres (and in the articulations and overlaps between them), showing proper deference to power is a critical social skill, alongside
Reconceptualizing Power and Resistance in Rwanda
A theory of power and resistance is always, at root, a theory of what a person is, entailing an account of how people can be mobilized for some purpose and why such mobilization might fail ( Arens and Karp 1989 ). This is evident from any definition
The Politics of Ethnic Minorities in British and French Cities
Romain Garbaye, Getting into Local Power: The Politics of Ethnic Minorities in British and French Cities (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005).
The Cosmopolitics of an Apparently Non-religious Practice
Sergio González Varela
problem of definition to a description of the practice and its political meaning. In it, I describe the substance of politics ethnographically by focusing on the expression of individual power and its links to magic and spirituality in capoeira. I argue
Are Helplines Useful?
’ sexuality are deeply embedded, I examine the interplay of culture and power dynamics in the use of the helpline particularly with reference to girls’ sexuality. The Potential of Helplines to Enhance Child Protection and SRH Rights Children are among the most
This is the second of two special issues on freedom and power to be published seriatim in Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory. The contributors to this issue analyse the relationship between freedom and power in fascinating ways. Issue 131 was arranged in terms of intellectual historical chronology, focusing on the work of Hobbes, Spinoza, Hegel, Adorno and Arendt, amongst others. This time the contributors are concerned less with intellectual history and more with conceptual, exegetic and contemporary matters.
Ever since Livy proclaimed that ‘freedom is to be in one’s own power’, if not from long before and in other contexts, the relationship between freedom and power has been an enduring concern of social and political theorists. It has withstood even Isaiah Berlin’s sharp distinction between seemingly irreconcilable forms of freedom and much of the subsequent theoretical and philosophical debates that it spawned. The history of political thought is littered with thinkers who have opposed freedom and power, arguing that liberty can only be truly attained free from power and domination (republicans) or in the absence of external impediments imposed by other human beings (liberals); but there are also many examples of arguments that identify a close and intriguing link between them, especially in the sphere of politics, that emanate from radicals and conservatives alike, thinkers such as Machiavelli, Montaigne, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Arendt and Foucault. Moreover, those in the former camp tend to think of freedom in formal and abstract terms, while proponents of the latter eschew this now normal tendency in political philosophy and instead think of freedom in fully substantive, concrete and even materialist terms. Hobbes is an unusual and unique figure as his account of freedom inspires members of both parties, that is those concerned with the formal character of freedom and those troubled by its more substantive components and conditions, which is why it is only right that we start this special issue on freedom and power with an analysis of Hobbes’ account of freedom.