Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Gøtzsche-Astrup, Johan. “The Political Signification of Riots: A Dispositive Perspective on the 2011 England Riots.” Journal of Sociology, (August 2021). https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833211037399.

Abstract
This article suggests a new perspective on the political signification of riots, using the 2011 England riots as a case. The sociological literature tends to look for the political signification of riots in the riots themselves. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s notion of the dispositive, the article develops a new approach that analyses the optical grids in which riots are made visible as objects for thought and action that can be either political or apolitical. By analysing the case of the 2011 England riots, the article shows how the dispositives that made the riots visible make it possible to ascribe a both obscure and radical political signification to the riots. The article opens up a new line of inquiry about the relation between riots and politics, and allows us to reconsider the political signification of riots.

Keywords
disorder, dispositives, Foucault, protest, riots

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