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Mark Potocnik: People/Population
(p. 155 – 168)

Mark Potocnik

The Problem of Site in Foucault

PDF, 14 pages

  • politics
  • potentiality
  • justice
  • change
  • emancipation / liberation
  • ethics

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Mark Potocnik

Mark Potocnik

holds a research position at the Collaborative Research Centre 626 at the Freie Universität Berlin. He earned his Ph.D. with a thesis on »Mediocrity: Poetics of the Average Man«.

Other texts by Mark Potocnik for DIAPHANES
Mark Potocnik (ed.), Frank Ruda (ed.), ...: Beyond Potentialities?

Nearly the whole history of political thought is spanned between two poles: one of founding, establishing, and justifying a stable and just order on one side and of justified transformation and necessary break with that same order on the other side. Between institution and emancipation, reform and revolution, the question of possibility is always arising for politics. Are there possibilities to change the order of society? Are there possibilities for a different justice? Where to find them and how to define them? Are they already present in the situation, or do they have to be actively created? Or does one have to rethink collective emancipation in a way that it does not rely upon given possibilities?

The question of possibility is raised in philosophy itself in different terms: as a question of potentiality and potentials but also as a question of the impossibilities of changing political order. In recent political discussions this question is more present than ever and is newly posed in fundamental ways by thinkers such as Agamben, Badiou, and Deleuze, or Lacan and Žižek. The present volume assembles articles that investigate this question and the new guise it took from different perspectives and highlight its relevance for contemporary political thought.