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The postanarchist, an activist in a 'heterotopia': building an ideal type

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posted on 12.02.2018, 13:24 by Teresa X. Fernandes
The Postanarchist, an activist in a heterotopia : building an ideal type is the theme of this doctoral thesis. The main aim is to elaborate a design for the postanarchist figure, picking up its main characteristics from the work of the postanarchist Saul Newman. The argument also bears on two other authors: the post-structuralist Michel Foucault, considered a strong influence of postanarchism, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first author who labelled himself as anarchist and the first to embrace anarchy positively. Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari are introduced as mediators to provide deeper understanding of the main authors. The dissertation offers a novel theoretical revision of postanarchism through Michel Foucault and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. It notes the close similarities between Foucault and Proudhon - in terms of concepts of space, struggle, movement, necessity and consequently anarchy; establishes a conceptual net around them and uses Proudhon s thinking to fill the bibliographic gaps in Foucault s writings. The goal is to better understand the thought and the activist practice of Foucault in terms of anarchism and, in the last instance, to better grasp the postanarchism of Saul Newman in order to carve the postanarchist ideal type. Postanarchism is understood as the constitution of autonomous spaces; the notions of space and heterotopias - the Foucauldian space - are central in the dissertation. Accordingly, the thesis is structured by three hypotheses: (i) postanarchism is space constitution; (ii) the constitution of space is a struggle; (iii) to establish space is to survive. The sub-concepts of the dissertation are: movement, necessity, struggle, power subject, body, sign, truth and utopia. The thesis provides an interpretative analysis of primary sources - books, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets and manifestos - of the three main authors supported by secondary commentaries. It departs from conventions by adopting a theoretical approach inspired by Foucault s solar and circular worldview (and Tommaso Campanella s City of the Sun). This facilitates the fluid organization of the argument and avoids imposing linearity on the content, thus highlighting the interrelation between content and the structure of the argument. This thesis is an exposition, an interpretation that develops new knowledge through the connections and methods that enable us to better know who the postanarchist activist is.



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies


© Teresa Xavier Fernandes

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.