Authority, experience and the life of power

Claire Blencowe (Editor), Julian Brigstocke (Editor), Leila Dawney (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Abstract

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 and 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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages160
ISBN (Print)9781138809369
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014

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    Blencowe, C., Brigstocke, J., & Dawney, L. (Eds.) (2014). Authority, experience and the life of power. Routledge. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138809369/