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This book proposes an original interpretation of the French philosopher Michel Foucault's late work on rights and human rights and relates this interpretation to current developments in contemporary political theory.
On the Use and Abuse of Foucault for Politics provides an accessible interpretation of Foucault's political philosophy, demonstrating how Foucault is relevant for contemporary democratic theory. Brent Pickett lays out an overview of Foucault's politics, including a comprehensive overview of the reasons for various conflicting interpretations, and then explores how well the different "Foucaults" can be used in progressive politics and democratic theory.
A reevaluation of how rights liberate and constrain human behavior
Re-reading Foucault: On Law, Power and Rights is the first collection in English fully to address the relevance of Michel Foucault's thought for law. Foucault is the best known and most cited of the late twentieth-century's 'theory' academics. His work continues to animate a range of different critical work across intellectual disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences. There has, however, been relatively little examination of the legal implications and applications of Foucault's work. This book fills that gap, providing an in-depth analysis of Foucault's thought as it pertains to a range of different legal themes, such as: the opposition between 'law' and 'the juridical'; the problem of moral and legal judgment; the historical basis of rights; and the political dimensions (and limitations) of contemporary human rights discourse. Including contributions from acknowledged experts on Foucault's work, as well as pieces by younger scholars, Re-reading Foucault: On Law, Power and Rights will be of considerable interest across a range of disciplines, including law, philosophy, political theory, sociology, social theory and criminology.
Foucault saw the notion of parrhesia (truth-telling) as the most important factor for how governments could and should communicate with their people and vice versa. This important collection compiles and analyses Foucault's views on parrhesia to shed new light on his ideas on the importance of truth-telling in democracies.
Combining the most powerful elements of Foucault's theories, Clifford produces a methodology for cultural and political critique called "political genealogy" to explore the genesis of modern political identity. At the core of American identity, Clifford argues, is the ideal of the "Savage Noble," a hybrid that married the Native American "savage" with the "civilized" European male. This complex icon animates modern politics, and has shaped our understandings of rights, freedom, and power.
Why does Foucault's work continue to be of central importance in current debates in sociology, political science and philosophy? Why do we still read him as a guide to contemporary social and cultural life? Foucault's work presents a provocative challenge to orthodox, habitual forms of belief and practice. The Later Foucault," "with an impressive interdisciplinary focus, argues that one of the keys to understanding Foucault is his political thought. It is this which he expressed clearly in his last writings and which pulled together his earlier interests in power, agency and subjectivity. In this volume a distinguished array of Foucauldian scholars and commentators on politics explore the significance of these last writings. They examine such key issues as the question of Foucault and human rights; his relationship to ethical thought, power and freedom; his relationship to feminism; and comparisons of his work with Levinas and Rawls.

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