Foucault on parrhesia: The Autonomy of Politics and Democracy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia provide fertile ground for raising a number of classical and pertinent issues in political theory related to critique, citizenship, and political authority. Foucault situates parrhesia in his analytical grid of power/knowledge/ethics, which maps political participation and experience, and he looks at how those who pursue or contest political power articulate and integrate these three facets of politics, which might well pull in opposite directions. Power concerns the ability and the audacity to face up to important political tasks and to take action at the right time authoritatively and with resolve. Knowledge is vital for telling the truth from a partisan viewpoint and for making informed and balanced decisions. Ethics concerns the trustworthiness of those who either exercise or criticize political power and touches upon their dedication, sense of judgement, and personal integrity. The personal integrity of the citizen acting politically as well as his or her responsibility to the political community are among the main issues to be raised in relation to these themes. The same goes for the issues related to the nature of the political community, its institutional set-up and its culture, and whether it is authoritarian and marked by hierarchy and obedience or democratic and egalitarian. Thus, parrhesia captures some of the most vital dimensions of political life of how to exercise the political power of authority in a way that is both truthful and trustworthy. Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia shed light on the democratic challenges and possibilities related to political power as governmentality
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Theory
Volume44
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
ISSN0090-5917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • Foucault
  • parrhesia
  • autonomy of politics
  • power/knowledge/ethics
  • democracy
  • public reason

Cite this

@article{ecff999efa724271b3c4db99e5e2b75c,
title = "Foucault on parrhesia: The Autonomy of Politics and Democracy",
abstract = "Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia provide fertile ground for raising a number of classical and pertinent issues in political theory related to critique, citizenship, and political authority. Foucault situates parrhesia in his analytical grid of power/knowledge/ethics, which maps political participation and experience, and he looks at how those who pursue or contest political power articulate and integrate these three facets of politics, which might well pull in opposite directions. Power concerns the ability and the audacity to face up to important political tasks and to take action at the right time authoritatively and with resolve. Knowledge is vital for telling the truth from a partisan viewpoint and for making informed and balanced decisions. Ethics concerns the trustworthiness of those who either exercise or criticize political power and touches upon their dedication, sense of judgement, and personal integrity. The personal integrity of the citizen acting politically as well as his or her responsibility to the political community are among the main issues to be raised in relation to these themes. The same goes for the issues related to the nature of the political community, its institutional set-up and its culture, and whether it is authoritarian and marked by hierarchy and obedience or democratic and egalitarian. Thus, parrhesia captures some of the most vital dimensions of political life of how to exercise the political power of authority in a way that is both truthful and trustworthy. Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia shed light on the democratic challenges and possibilities related to political power as governmentality",
keywords = "Foucault, parrhesia , autonomy of politics, power/knowledge/ethics, democracy, public reason, Foucault, parrhesia , autonomy of politics, power/knowledge/ethics, democracy, public reason",
author = "Dyrberg, {Torben Bech}",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1177/0090591715576082",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "265--288",
journal = "Political Theory",
issn = "0090-5917",
publisher = "Sage Publications, Inc.",
number = "2",

}

Foucault on parrhesia : The Autonomy of Politics and Democracy. / Dyrberg, Torben Bech.

In: Political Theory, Vol. 44, No. 2, 07.03.2016, p. 265-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Foucault on parrhesia

T2 - The Autonomy of Politics and Democracy

AU - Dyrberg, Torben Bech

PY - 2016/3/7

Y1 - 2016/3/7

N2 - Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia provide fertile ground for raising a number of classical and pertinent issues in political theory related to critique, citizenship, and political authority. Foucault situates parrhesia in his analytical grid of power/knowledge/ethics, which maps political participation and experience, and he looks at how those who pursue or contest political power articulate and integrate these three facets of politics, which might well pull in opposite directions. Power concerns the ability and the audacity to face up to important political tasks and to take action at the right time authoritatively and with resolve. Knowledge is vital for telling the truth from a partisan viewpoint and for making informed and balanced decisions. Ethics concerns the trustworthiness of those who either exercise or criticize political power and touches upon their dedication, sense of judgement, and personal integrity. The personal integrity of the citizen acting politically as well as his or her responsibility to the political community are among the main issues to be raised in relation to these themes. The same goes for the issues related to the nature of the political community, its institutional set-up and its culture, and whether it is authoritarian and marked by hierarchy and obedience or democratic and egalitarian. Thus, parrhesia captures some of the most vital dimensions of political life of how to exercise the political power of authority in a way that is both truthful and trustworthy. Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia shed light on the democratic challenges and possibilities related to political power as governmentality

AB - Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia provide fertile ground for raising a number of classical and pertinent issues in political theory related to critique, citizenship, and political authority. Foucault situates parrhesia in his analytical grid of power/knowledge/ethics, which maps political participation and experience, and he looks at how those who pursue or contest political power articulate and integrate these three facets of politics, which might well pull in opposite directions. Power concerns the ability and the audacity to face up to important political tasks and to take action at the right time authoritatively and with resolve. Knowledge is vital for telling the truth from a partisan viewpoint and for making informed and balanced decisions. Ethics concerns the trustworthiness of those who either exercise or criticize political power and touches upon their dedication, sense of judgement, and personal integrity. The personal integrity of the citizen acting politically as well as his or her responsibility to the political community are among the main issues to be raised in relation to these themes. The same goes for the issues related to the nature of the political community, its institutional set-up and its culture, and whether it is authoritarian and marked by hierarchy and obedience or democratic and egalitarian. Thus, parrhesia captures some of the most vital dimensions of political life of how to exercise the political power of authority in a way that is both truthful and trustworthy. Foucault’s discussions of parrhesia shed light on the democratic challenges and possibilities related to political power as governmentality

KW - Foucault, parrhesia , autonomy of politics, power/knowledge/ethics, democracy, public reason

KW - Foucault

KW - parrhesia

KW - autonomy of politics

KW - power/knowledge/ethics

KW - democracy

KW - public reason

U2 - 10.1177/0090591715576082

DO - 10.1177/0090591715576082

M3 - Journal article

VL - 44

SP - 265

EP - 288

JO - Political Theory

JF - Political Theory

SN - 0090-5917

IS - 2

ER -