Politics and Resistance As Power

  • Alen Toplišek
Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)


This chapter seeks to reconceptualise our understanding of resistance in radical politics through the notion of power. Rejecting a romanticised view of resistance in radical politics, the author argues that resistant practices cannot operate outside of the network of power relations since they form a structural part of it. Through a critical juxtaposition of Michel Foucault’s and Hannah Arendt’s conceptions of politics and power, the author problematises the conventional understanding of power as something that is necessarily repressive and negative. Using Foucault’s concept of counter-conduct, the chapter further elucidates the circularity of power between extra-institutional resistance and institutional politics. It concludes that ruling and governing is an inescapable component of radicalising democracy against neoliberal governmentality.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alen Toplišek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and International StudiesSOAS University of LondonLondonUK

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