Dispositiivi eli valta strategisena kykyjen verkostona

Dispositive: Power as a strategic network of potentialities

The article explores Michel Foucault’s concept of dispositive (dispositif) through which Foucault conceptualized relations of power in their practice as networks of potentia­lities and attempted to map their shifting historical strategic and tactical intentions. It shows how the concept emerged from the web of French theoretical discussions in the late 60’s and early 70’s and from the new networks of radical practical social research and action. Then it traces the strategic and tactic role of this conceptualization in those discussions and actions and in Foucault’s own new conceptualization of the power. It reveals the historical fields of thought and the networks of potentialities which made the new conceptualization itself possible and shows how the concept functioned in these fields and how it was transformed together with them. It shows how it was constantly renovated and in the end abandoned following the alterations in Foucault’s own strategic and tactic intentions. In this way the article makes a new reading of Foucault’s thought and its transformations from the perspective of the changing power relations and their practice. Lastly, the article demonstrates the influence of this conceptualization in contemporary thought and asks, does it still have a relevance that might even be quite the opposite of the expected.

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