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Palgrave Macmillan

Foucault on the Politics of Parrhesia

ISBN 9781137368348
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

The late Foucault's discussions of truth-telling (parrhesia) revolve around freedom of speech and the quality of democracy: citizens' courage to speak truth to power as well as political authorities' courage to speak truthfully as to what must be done. The notion of parrhesia held particular interest for Foucault as a result of its focus on the ground for exercising political authority. It connotes truthful and trustworthy speech, which goes hand in hand with the accountability and capability of democratic government. With parrhesia we get a political take on truth, for which personal integrity, frankness, timing, courage and resolve are defining features. Foucault's discussions of parrhesia are vital for getting at his political triangulation of power, knowledge and ethics, alias techniques of governmentality, truth-telling and the shaping of the relationship to self. These ideas provide the basis for approaching his discussions on the autonomy of politics and democratic political authority.

Torben Bech Dyrberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Society and Globalization, Roskilde University, Denmark. His research focuses in particular on discourse theory, right/left orientation, power and democratic theory. He has published books and articles related to these areas including The Circular Structure of Power (1997).

1. Speaking Truth to Power and Power Speaking Truthfully
2. Power: From Productive Submission and Domination to Transformative Capacity
3. The Nature of Critique: Political not Epistemological
4. The Politics of Critique: Political Engagement and Government
5. The Nature of Parrhesia: Political Truth-Telling in Relation to Power/Knowledge/Ethics
6. The Politics of pParrhesia: The Autonomy of Democratic Politics and the Parrhesiastic Pact
7. Leadership and Community: Critique of Obedience and Democratic Paradoxes
8. Political Perspectives: Authority and the Duality of Power, Politics and Politicization


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