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Foucault and the promise of power without dogma

Wickham, G. and Bieganski, B.B. (2021) Foucault and the promise of power without dogma. In: Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 49-59.

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In this chapter, we discuss the reception of Foucault's work in Anglophone countries and survey the recent work done on his ideas in the twenty-first century. We highlight how Foucault gained traction in those areas, thanks to his novel tools and methods that allowed him to analyze power while distancing himself from Marxism and its followers. Foucault's work on power structures and governmentality offered concrete insights from precise historiographies that changed political and social theory since its inception. Some such analyses, including genealogy and archaeology, helped uncover the threads of power that drew scholars to Foucault's thought. We also offer some criticisms of his work, including how his conception of power and society wasn't so different from the Marxists’ line of thought, as well as how some of Foucault's historiographies tended to exclude certain specificities that endangered parts of his theory. Yet, despite this criticism, we suggest that Foucault belongs in the pantheon of thinkers who have profoundly influenced social and political thought today.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Other Information: 2nd Edition
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