Foucault scholars interested in current events may find it
interesting to explore and comment on
The blog that comes from explores emerging forms of
warfare and organization in the context of globalism
and with particular attention to organizations that operate
outside of and against the nominal framework of the Westphalian
state. For example, it explores the modes of military,
political, ideological, and economic organization being
pursued by al-Qaeda.
Of particular interest to Foucault scholars, in the post
linked above, is the basis on which the Islamic State of
Iraq ("ISI", a government in western Iraq, declared by al-Qaeda)
claims legitimacy and attempts to claim power. (It may
also be worth reading the report linked to from that blog
What struck me, and led me to post the link here, is the
analysis that points to use ISI is making of juridical processes,
backed by arms, instituted by confessions of faith and loyalty,
and referring to Muslim religious texts. This would seem
to be, among other things, a current and empirical validation
of some of Foucault's ideas (at least insofar as I, a complete
amateur, understand them). The juridical, and the penal (mostly
in the form of death penalties), are being used as a lever to
lift an alternative to the state as a primary mode of social
organization and control.
I would not wish to be seen to try to drag this rarified list
into a debate of US policy or other questions that are better
addressed in other forums. Still, my understanding is that
Foucault saw his analytic process as, essentially, a "toolbox".
If, in ISI, we see some of those tools being applied (not obviously
with a conscious connection to Foucault, of course) -- the question
arises of what the toolbox offers as possibilities for resistance
against an ISI imposed caliphate. Thoughts?