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Marcel Mangold

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Marcel Mangold
Doctoral Student
Alfred Nobels allé 7
Södertörns Högskola
Phone: +46 8 608 4972
Fax: +46 8 608 4200
ME 127 Moas Båge

My main areas of interest are ways to theorize the political and the political history of from the 1980s until today. I have engaged with mainly French philosophical and political-historical theory in order to shift the focus of Political Theory away from the normative theoretical frameworks and its ethical concerns to a focus on language, representations, polemics, aesthetics and the inter-relations of knowledge forms and domination. I am here specifically interested debates on how the social sciences themselves are invested in and have effect on how ideological configurations and political agency. Also, debates on "de-politicization"; on what it is, what is causing it or what it causes is an area of interest, as well the dynamics of popular political agency and radical democratic theory.

In my dissertation, I investigate a number of Swedish State Commissions since 1985 and their shifting modes of using social scientific knowledge forms and concepts to frame what political objects that are relevant to consider, how they can be considered and how these dominant ways to consider the possibilties and scopes of the present time are consolidated or made natural. I am specifically interested in totalizing narratives that addresses and tries to pre-empt contingency. I am specifically interested in how necessity constructions and the creation of unalterable frames to consider contemporary issues relate to the political and its dynamics; i.e. how political determination is becoming key phenomena today and how knowledge forms and political practice beyond polemics is becoming a dominant model for governance.


I claim that such a phenomena can best be analyzed from its operations of determination, which are found in the mergings of social scientific knowledge forms and de-politicized political practice. To relate the analysis to a Political Theoretical debate, I here, first, engage with the French philosopher Jacques Rancière to create analytical concepts from his way of conceptualizing the interrelations between knowledge forms and polemical staging of popular politics and, secondly, I relate the gains and possibilities of the Rancièrian approach to the presumtptions and concerns of political science.


I started as a Ph.D. Student in the fall of 2011, in a four-year program that can be extendend one year through teaching. However, during the year of 2014-2015, I have been accepted as a candidate for the Fulbright Grant and will spend one year as a visiting student researcher working with specialists on similar approaches of re-thinking political theory and the inter-relations of knowledge forms and dominance, and the changning landscapes of the political in present time.



The working title of the dissertation is Swedish State Commissions and knowledge forms: shifting stakes of the political


I have a background as a student in political science at Stockholm's University. My interest in problematizing the relations between political theory and practice, knowledge forms and how the possible is framed began during my Bachelor thesis, in early 2008. I then conducted a field study in Mali on conflicting views on democracy, both local and more general, but also on the concepts, theories and models to consider democratic activity and "democratization". The study both investigated resistance to "Western" conceptualizations of change and success but also tensions between corruption and power, living and practicing democracy and the political scientific models for understanding what democracy is or should be.



My master thesis continued in this direction by investigating alternative conceptualizations of the political and democracy in the french-theoretical works of the philosopher Jacques Rancière and the political-historian Pierre Rosanvallon. I here focused on the methodological aspects of their work and which possibilities to the study of politics they bring about. This work included a widened interest in cross-disciplinary studies of politics, involving art, literature, aesthetics, history, history of sciences and ideas, and more.


My interest in French philosophy has been widened by translating some of the texts on politics and democracy by the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy into Swedish.


Key words: knowledge forms, domination, the political, state commissions, political theory, democracy.