Postanarchism and power

Saul Abraham Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article develops a postanarchist conception of power by using Foucault to reveal some of the tensions and limitations within classical anarchist theory. As a Foucauldian poststructuralist analysis shows, the operation of power is more complex and constitutive than was allowed in classical anarchist theory, which tended to focus on state sovereignty. The revealing of the pervasiveness of power makes problematic any sort of ontological separation between society and power. However, rather than this insight undermining the possibility of anarchism–a form of radical politics that I argue is becoming more relevant today–it necessitates a certain modification of classical anarchism into postanarchism. Postanarchism might be seen as a new way of thinking about a politics of autonomy based on practices of freedom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-274
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Power
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Anarchism
  • Autonomy
  • Foucault
  • Freedom
  • Power
  • The state


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