Freedom can also be productive

the historical inversions of 'the conduct of conduct'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Foucauldian conception of power as ‘productive’ has left us so far with a residual conception of freedom. The article examines a number of historical cases in which ‘relationships of freedom’ have potentially come into existence within Western culture, from ‘revolution’ and ‘political truth-telling’ to ‘cynicism’ and ‘civility’. But the argument is not just about demonstrating that there have in fact been many historical inversions of ‘the conduct of conduct’. It is about theorizing how freedom can be ‘productive’ or give rise to cultural norms if any such inversion can only come into being as an event in itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-272
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Political Power
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


  • Michel Foucault
  • Judith Butler
  • Hannah Arendt
  • parrhesia
  • performativity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Freedom can also be productive: the historical inversions of 'the conduct of conduct''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this