Given the limitations of a short commentary, this article is restricted to an attempt to summarize the argument of a relatively small book, Discourses of Power. We should note the title of Barry Hindess’s book, Discourses of Power.1 This power?” it also does not attempt to provide a history of discourses of power. Discourses of Power From Hobbes to Foucault. Barry Hindess Police and Pastoral Power: Governmentality and Correctional Forensic Psychiatric Nursing.

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We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. Hijdess using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days When will my order arrive? Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. From Hobbes to Foucault. Description In this accessible yet provocative text Barry Hindess provides a new interpretation of concepts of power within Western social thought, from Hobbes’ notion of “sovereign power” to Foucault’s account of “government”.

This book will be welcomed as an important contemporary contribution to one of the key debates in social and political theory.

Barry Hindess, Discourses of Power From Hobbes to Foucault – PhilPapers

The Best Books of Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of Looking for beautiful books? Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. Back cover copy In this accessible yet provocative text, Barry Hindess examines keyWestern discourses of power, ranging from Hobbes’ discussionof sovereign power to Foucault’s account of government.


Hindess identifies two conceptions of power which have dominatedmodern political thought: The book explores the assumptions hinress both of theseconceptions, and draws out the implications of these for the mannerin which the exercise of power, and government, have beenunderstood.

It includes and examination of Foucault’s radicalcritique of conventional approaches to the study of power, takingup the question of whether Faucault himself escapes the problemsand presuppositions which hkndess identifies in the work of others.

Elucidating and dissecting existing discourses of power, Hindessconcludes that these obscure fundamental problems with contemporaryWestern understandings of society and politics. Discourses of Power will be welcomed as an importantcontribution to one of the major debates in social and politicaltheory. Table of contents Acknowledgements. Hobbes on Power and the Sovereign. A Right of Making Laws: Locke on Political Power and Morality.

Discourses of Power From Hobbes to Foucault

The Supreme Exercise of Power: Lukes and Critical Theory. Foucault on Power, Government and Domination. Review quote “The combination of impeccable scholarship and original insight makes this book indispensable to all who wish to explore the complex field of modern power. Through bold and invigorating investigations of the central texts of modern political thought, Barry Hindess uncovers their conceptual anatomy and reveals the pervasive implications of flawed understandings of power from Locke to contemporary liberalism and critical theory.

Through a lucid exploration of the arguments of Michel Foucault, Hindess poses us urgent and challenging questions about how one might think beyond these limited visions of political sovereignty and political community.


He offers both a clear account of what discoudses at stake in these debates and a sharp critical sense of how they could develop.

He unravels the confusion of power as capacity and power as discourxes which has dogged modern political theory from Hobbes and Locke onwards, and sets out clearly the presuppositions of contemporary theories of power. On this basis, he is able to locate Foucault squarely in the mainstream of modern political thought, and to demonstrate the radicality of his attempts to refocus the analysis of power onto the nature and forms of government.

In a brief concluding chapter, Hindess sums up both the strengths and limits of Foucault’s challenge to political theory, and points to the fictions of political community as constraints upon political thought which remain to be critically examined. A model of clear powe effective writing, this book should be read by all students of political and social thought. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews.

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