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When it comes to 'power', it can often feel as if everyone is talking about it, yet no one appears to have given it any thought. Well, not quite. In this original and timely book, Mitchell Dean provides a characteristically thoughtful and incisive analysis that aims to renovate the concept of power through an understanding of its signature and how it works.
Dean's erudite and relentlessly critical reading of Foucault, Schmitt and Agamben extracts from these authors new insights about the signature of power... an immensely valuable book and a major contribution to social and political thought.
Mitchell Dean starts us on a much-needed journey to enlarge and correct Foucault's genealogies of power and develop an analytics that can transcend Foucault's entrapment in bipolar analytics. Set out as captivating detective work, The Signature of Power traces the clues and mystery of power to unravel the impasses and openings in Foucault, Schmitt and Agamben and develop a more politically effective 'history of the present'. It is indispensable reading for Foucauldians and non-Foucauldians alike.
In The Signature of Power Mitchell Dean returns once again to the writings of Michel Foucault to provide a detailed forensic examination of the various texts in which a notion of power appears in his work.
The book makes a conceptual contribution to the study of governmentality by analysing how different modalities of power (legal/sovereign, disciplinary, economic) come into play in modern governing. The discussion of Schmitt and Agamben is very enlightening in this respect. In drawing on economic and political theology, the book also makes a methodological contribution to an analytics of power by illustrating the material practices that accompany the operation of sovereignty. Dean’s book is strongly recommended for all those who study power relations across disciplines.
The Signature of Power is comprised of a set of interesting readings in contemporary political theory. Its main conclusions about the study of power today demand recognition and attention.
A must-read for any researcher of power as well as for those generally interested in Schmitt, Foucault and Agamben.
A book to recommend to students to get the background on the sociological approach of crime being a social construction related to power and knowledge.
Lucid and erudite.
Prof. Dean is known as the 'master of governmentality' and with this latest book he once again reinforced that argument. His study covers great details about several perspectives on power (Foucault, Agamben, Schmitt) and manages to come up with an original claim of his own. This is an essential reading for academics working in this field and a great challenge for promising students.
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