The Will to Empower: Democratic Citizens and Other Subjects
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The Will to Empower: Democratic Citizens and Other Subjects

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  17 ratings  ·  3 reviews
How do liberal democracies produce citizens who are capable of governing themselves? In considering this question, Barbara Cruikshank rethinks central topics in political theory, including the relationship between welfare and citizenship, democracy and despotism, and subjectivity and subjection. Drawing on theories of power and the creation of subjects, Cruikshank argues t...more
Paperback, 149 pages
Published May 27th 1999 by Cornell University Press
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Sam Grace
Sep 10, 2011 Sam Grace rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sam by: Brian Silverstein
I read the Intro and the chapter on "welfare mothers" and both were totally spot on. I also browsed the other chapters. I'd like to go back and take more time with them because this book is fantastic.

The starting premise is that Toqueville's distinction between citizens and subjects describes power in ways that may actually obscure how people interact with the state. Instead, she argues for a view of citizen-subjects, produced through technologies of citizenship that make room both for the volu...more
A Foucauldian analysis of the production of citizenship that critiques democratic theory and creates straw men out of democracy theorists, lumping progressive reform with neoliberalist destruction of social services under the rubric of "empowerment", and is a lot of hog wash.
Cruikshank blew my mind vis a vis the limits of democracy.
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