The power of safe resistance

Bloom, Peter (2013). The power of safe resistance. Journal of Political Power, 6(2) pp. 219–239.



This paper seeks to critically reimagine the relationship between power and resistance. The aim is to better understand how resistance aids in the construction, exercise and often reproduction of power. These efforts open the space for a new perspective of power linked to the production of the resistance subject. Specifically, it is argued that hegemonic power relations create in their wake dominant forms of resistance, which ironically provide individuals with a stable social identity. Power operates, in turn, by creating a ‘safe’ resistance that preserves the ontological security individuals’ gain as resistance subjects within these dominant power relations. Yet, while all resistances are to an extent ‘safe’, this does not mean they are necessarily ‘safe’ to an existing hegemony.

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