Foucault’s Postfoundationalism

  • Henrik Paul Bang
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


Before I continue to discuss the younger Foucault’s problematization of modern science and morality, I will say a bit more about the problematization method that establishes the connection between decoding and recoding in his political discourse of truth. Foucault’s political and historical analyses of the ethics and technology of governing are often called deconstructive (Alcof 1988, Hekman 1996, Mouffe 2013) or founded on micro-power (Bevir 2003) or as moving from micro (discipline) to macro (governmentality) (Dean 1999, Jessop 2007). This is somewhat puzzling, because his texts from day one have revolved around the questions of how to connect deconstruction and reconstruction and micro and macro. Already in Madness and Civilization (MC) he addresses this ‘both-and’ issue of how the political under various conditions is decoded and recoded as government by truth. His focus is on how the alliance between the ancient king and modern science decoded the juridical foundation of politics and then recoded politics by its new conception for what can be considered normal, and thereby generally acceptable, to do in, and through, the multiple discursive practices that constitute modern society. From the outset, his political investigations revolved around the question of how political authorization and normalization are coded and recoded in time-space through the interconnection of micro (subject), meso (institution) and macro (system) forces and relations.


Civil Society Public Choice Political Power Political Community Political Authority 
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Copyright information

© Henrik Paul Bang 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Paul Bang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Governance and Policy AnalysisUniversity of CanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

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