Foucault, Power and Participation

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights


In this paper, I argue that Foucault's work on power offers a distinctive and original perspective with the potential to afford insights into the nature of participation. I begin by providing a brief exegesis of Foucault's conceptualisation of power in his middle to late work. The notion of governmentality is drawn out as a potentially useful tool in understanding participation as a profoundly ambiguous phenomenon. I conclude by outlining some of the possible implications of Foucault's thinking about power for studying children's participation.

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