The consequences of Foucault's work for political theory have been subject to much reinterpretation. This article examines the reception of Foucault's work by the political left, and argues that the use made of his work is overly negative and lacks a positive political dimension. Through a discussion of the work of Judith Butler and other interpreters of Foucault I argue that the problem facing the poststructuralist left is formulated in a confusing and unhelpful manner, what I will call the 'dilemma of the left libertarian'. Once we get around this formulation of the problem a more progressive political response becomes possible. I end by discussing the political possibilities of Foucault's work in terms of an account of autonomy derived from Foucault's later work on the Enlightenment.
|Number of pages||21|
|Issue number||December 2004|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|