Authority, Experience and the Life of Power

1st Edition

Claire Blencowe, Julian Brigstocke, Leila Dawney

Routledge
Published September 10, 2018
Reference - 150 Pages
ISBN 9781138379466 - CAT# K398266

USD$56.00

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Summary

Taking up the challenge of understanding power in its complexity, this volume returns to and revitalises the concept of ‘authority’. It provides a powerful analysis of the ways that relationships of trust, attachment, governance and inequality become possible when subjectivities and bodies are invested in the life of power. The collection offers a vibrant new analysis of the biopolitical, arguing that ‘experience of life’ has become equated with ‘objectivity’ in contemporary culture and has thus become a primary basis of authority. ‘Biopolitical’ or ‘experiential’ authority can be generated through reference to a variety of experiences, performances or intensities of life including creativity, radicalism, risk-taking, experimentation, inter-relation, suffering and proximity to death. The authority-producing capacities of community and aesthetics are key issues, pointing to vexed relationships between politics and policing, inventiveness and violence.

The contributors develop their theoretical analyses through discussion of a range of specific sites including mental-health service user and survivor politics, biological knowledge, refugee activism, stories of suffering, urban art, anarchism, neo-liberal community politics and marketization. Authority, Experience & the Life of Power challenges thinking on what ‘the political’ is and isn’t, pushing against the all too easy equivocation of revolutionary break and empowerment.

This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Political Power.

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