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    Foucault and Hobbes on politics, security and war

    Spieker, Jorg (2011) Foucault and Hobbes on politics, security and war. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 36 (3), pp. 187-199. ISSN 0304-3754.

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    This article engages and seeks to develop Michel Foucault’s account of the nexus between modern politics, security, and war. Focusing on his 1976 lecture series Society Must Be Defended, the article considers Foucault’s tentative hypothesis about how the logic of war becomes inscribed into modern politics through the principle of security. Contra Foucault, it is suggested that this nexus can already be found in the proto-liberal political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. In order to make this argument, the article focuses on the ontological dimension of Hobbes' thought. It suggests that the relationship between the state of war and political order in Hobbes is more complex and more ambiguous than Foucault thought. Rather than being transcended, the Hobbesian state of war is appropriated by the state, and converted into the fundamental antagonism between reason and passion. The latter gives rise to a regime of security through which a relationship of war is inscribed into the Hobbesian commonwealth.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Foucault, Hobbes, liberalism, security, war
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2013 17:25
    Last Modified: 04 Nov 2013 17:25


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