The problem of agency in the politics of victimhood: Nietzsche, Arendt, and Foucault
Sayar, Egesu (2019) The problem of agency in the politics of victimhood: Nietzsche, Arendt, and Foucault. [Thesis]
Victimhood as socio-political construction of a collective identity and as a rising phenomenon in politics especially in democracies has been problematized by many scholars in regard to the problem of agency. Although the politics of victimhood corresponds to a search for political recognition and correspondingly signifies political agency, the specific kind of relationships it produces carry the risk to result in undercut of agency. There are a number of researches on the functions and consequences of the politics of victimhood, however there is a gap in the literature in terms of examining it in Political Theory at length. In this thesis, the problem of agency in the politics of victimhood is examined under the theoretical framework of Nietzsche, Arendt, and Foucault in order both to investigate the relevancy of the problematizations about the functions and consequences of the politics of victimhood as dangers of undermining agency and to generate new approaches to overcome victimhood and the problem of agency. The analyses present creative values and political action along with different understandings of power, identity, and freedom as to enhance agency and to overcome victimhood.
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