HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
KISTNER, Ulrike. The 'political society' of the governed? Marginalia beyond 'marginalisation'. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp. 01-06. ISSN 2072-8050. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/HTS.V70I1.2618.
Between the sphere of civil society associated with the idea of active, democratic citizenship, and the governance of precariously living populations 'in most of the world' (i.e. not simply 'in the margins'), lies the domain, famously outlined by Partha Chatterjee, of 'the political society of the governed'. This article investigates the concept of 'the political society of the governed', starting with its current definition, social and political contexts and a conceptual history. The article then proceeds to problematise the corollary of a bio-political 'governmentality from below', theoretically questioning the extent of its capacity to inform political agency, and practically examining the forms of such political agency, with special reference to studies on insurgent citizenship in South Africa.