micropolitics

The concept of “micropolitics” originated in the late 1960s in American political and organizational theory, on the one hand, and French post-structuralism, on the other. American political theorists used the concept to refer to the political practices of individuals and/or small groups. For Foucault, micropolitics referred to the various socio-political configurations in which subjectivation takes place. Deleuze and Guattari employed the term to refer to the metamorphoses that occur in the way social space is organized and occupied. All of them, however, used the concept to articulate a critique of the traditional conception of power as well as to account for the social spaces engendered within the framework of contemporary capitalism.

Traditional theories of power have left important aspects of these spaces unaddressed. The micropolitical perspective aimed to bring these aspects to light and to provide a method for their analysis. Over the last decades, micropolitical analysis has been used in different areas of scientific research. The larger conceptual field, however, remains uncharted and its philosophical foundations and implications unexplored.

The main objective of this research is to deepen our understanding of micropolitics as an innovative axis for analyzing social and political practices. Specifically, I am interested in exploring the philosophical underpinnings of micropolitics to better grasp its implications for praxis, and how the micropolitical perspective is inscribed in today’s political thought.

My research focuses on the point at which micropolitics intersects with the politics of identity and the notion of praxis. For this purpose, I have examined the phenomenological-anthropological framework that supports the constructivist approach to identity. Special attention has been given to how the ‘I’ intersects with both language and practice. I have also included in my research how the radical democratic project, as it has been envisioned by Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, William Connally, Judith Butler, and others, extends its reach when micropolitics is incorporated to radical democratic theory and practice.

Publications

Mansbach, Abraham. 2011. “Drifting Away from Democracy: A Micropolitical Critique of the Relation between the ‘I’ and the ‘We.’” Israeli Studies Review 26(1): 130-145.

Mansbach, Abraham. 2011. “Whistleblowingas Fearless Speech: The Radical Democratic Effects of Late Modern Parrhesia,” in David Lewis and Wim Vandekerchove (eds.), Whistleblowing and Democratic Values, pp. 13-29. London: International Whistleblowing Research Network.

Mansbach, Abraham. 2010. “La Lógica de la Micropolítica,” Afinidades: Revista de Literatura y Pensamiento, 4, pp. 60-72.

Mansbach, Abraham. 2009. “Keeping Democracy Vibrant: Whistleblowing as Truth-Telling in the Workplace.” Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory 16(3): 363-376.

Mansbach, Abraham. 2007. “The Globalization of Israel: A Commentary.” Hagar: Studies in Culture, Politics and Identities, 7(1): 138-143.

Mansbach, Abraham. 2007. “The Political Surplus of Whistleblowing: A Case Study.” Business Ethics: A European Review 16(2): 124 –130.

Mansbach. Abraham. 2005. “Criticism without Fear: A Critical Perspective on Social Work – Karl Marx and Michel Foucault,” Society and Welfare 25(2): 167 – 183 (Hebrew).

Mansbach, Abraham. 1998. “Heidegger: Philosophical Enemy/Political Enemy”, Iyyun- The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, vol.47, pp. 419-427 (Hebrew).

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