Freedom can also be productive: The historical inversions of “the conduct of conduct” (2018) Journal of Political Power, pp. 1-21. Article in Press.
The Foucauldian conception of power as ‘productive’ has left us so far with a residual conception of freedom. The article examines a number of historical cases in which ‘relationships of freedom’ have potentially come into existence within Western culture, from ‘revolution’ and ‘political truth-telling’ to ‘cynicism’ and ‘civility’. But the argument is not just about demonstrating that there have in fact been many historical inversions of ‘the conduct of conduct’. It is about theorizing how freedom can be ‘productive’ or give rise to cultural norms if any such inversion can only come into being as an event in itself.
Foucault; Judith Butler; Arendt; parrhesia; performativity