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Gilles Deleuze on Micropolitics - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 51
Micropolitics/Deuleuze/Guattari/Bennett: Postmodern theorizing draws attention to the socially transformative potential of micropolitical practices. It insists upon the connections between micropolitics and macropolitics.
Def Micropolitics/Deleuze/Guattari: Deleuze and Guattari use the term micropolitics to name a realm of activities that have public effect – that help to shape the tenor of collective life – but which do not fit into the traditional paradigms of political action. Micropolitical activities are not official acts of presidents or parliaments and they are often not aimed directly at elections or legislative agendas. Rather, the key agencies of micropolitics are television shows, films, military training, professional meetings, worship services, clubs, neighbourhood gangs, and Internet mobilizations; and its key targets are bodily affect, social tempers, political moods, and cultural sensibilities. The emphasis upon micropolitics issues from the belief that there is an indispensably somatic and affective dimension to political (and all other human) action, including macropolitical action. Partly a response to Marxist criticisms, the notion of micropolitics is a more intersubjective and collectivist version of Foucault’s notion of technologies or practices of the self, which he defined as the means through which humans effect ‘a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conducts, and way of being, so as to transform themselves’ (1988: 18)(1).
Moods and affects are also said to be relevant to public life in that they may provide the motivational energy required to enact intellectual commitments or political priorities – to transform them into actualities.


1. Foucault, Michel (1988) Care of the Self: The History of Sexuality, Volume III. New York: Random House.

Jane Bennett, 2004. „Postmodern Approaches to Political Theory“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Deleuze I
Gilles Deleuze
Felix Guattari
Qu’est-ce que la philosophie, Paris 1991
German Edition:
Was ist Philosophie? Frankfurt/M. 2000

Hum I
G. Deleuze
David Hume , Frankfurt 1997

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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