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Freedom and politics: a difficult relationship

Freedom and Politics: A Difficult Relationship -- film by Maiken Umbach

In this video, Maiken introduces different ways in which political thinkers have imaged the relationship between ‘freedom’ and ‘politics’. What is your view? Is politics necessary for achieving freedom, or does it get in the way of living free lives? Please share your thoughts with the educators and other learners by using the “COMMENTS” function below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts – and if you like, please explain where you are from, and whether you are referring to any specific political experiences in your own lifetime and country, or perhaps to the stories and memories of friends and family.

Suggested further readings (optional):

A good starting point for acquainting yourself with the work of Michael Foucault, which is referred to in this video, is this summary – section 4.4, on his book “Discipline and Punish”, is particularly relevant.

Further references can be found in the “resource bank” that you can find at the end of the final week of this course.

Patrick Joyce, whose work Maiken references in this video, uses a Foucaldian framework for understanding the history of the modern city. Take a look at this short (and slightly grumpy…) review of Patrick’s book “The Rule of Freedom” from The Independent.

In the fourth week, we will take a detailed look at a chapter from another one of Patrick’s books, “The State of Freedom”; if you like, you can skip ahead to step 4.9 now to download it – it is really relevant to both the freedom theme, and the theme of city and a sense of place. Be warned: the writing is a little dense, but it is worth ploughing through it!

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Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life

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