Disciplinary power, subjectivity and liberalism: a Foucauldian approach to the study of democracy and authoritarianism

Teimoori, Fereidoon (2018) Disciplinary power, subjectivity and liberalism: a Foucauldian approach to the study of democracy and authoritarianism. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In his work, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Michel Foucault enhances discipline from a simple and straightforward concept to one of the fundamental and constitutional elements of economic and political modernity. While Foucauldian scholars have dedicated a fair amount of research to explore the role of discipline in the advent of economic modernity, the role of discipline in the emergence of modern political forms in general and liberalism, in particular, has remained relatively undertheorized. In this thesis, I attempt to fill this lacuna by providing a Foucauldian account of the relationships between discipline and liberalism. I argue that discipline has contributed to the possibility of liberal politics by constructing self-governed political subjectivities. After analyzing the role that discipline has played in the emergence and success of liberal politics in Western societies, I examine the implications of this analysis for societies that are governed by authoritarian regimes. By taking Iran as a case study, I show how the failure of disciplinary projects in shaping self-governed political subjects has contributed to the persistence of authoritarianism in this country.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13552
Item ID: 13552
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-81).
Keywords: Disciplinary Power, Liberalism, Foucault, Democracy, Authoritarianism, Iran
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: July 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984. Surveiller et punir. English; Discipline--Political aspects; Liberalism; Iran--Politics and government--Philosophy.

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