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2017/2018  KAN-CSPKO1003U  Power and Communication

English Title
Power and Communication

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Social Sciences
Course coordinator
  • Mitchell Dean - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Political leadership and public management
Last updated on 23-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: Power and Communication:
After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
  • understand and begin to use Foucault and other's concepts of power and governmentality
  • analyse how organizations seek to shape the action of others in a wide variety of cases
  • to understand the strengths and limits of second order analysis of power in Foucault and others
  • to reflect on the differences between key thinkers such as Foucault, Agamben, Zizek and Luhmann in relation to the analysis of power
Course prerequisites
Bemærk at prøven i faget samtidig er en prøve i fagene " Teknologi og ledelse", "Refleksiv Intervention og Kommunikation" og "Projekt i Refleksiv Ledelse og Strategisk Kommunikation", hvorfor at tilmelding til faget forudsætter at man også er tilmeldt fagene "Teknologi og ledelse", "Refleksiv Intervention og Kommunikation" og "Projekt i Refleksiv Ledelse og Strategisk Kommunikation".
The course shares exams with
Course content and structure

Magt og Kommunikation:

The course focuses on and compares major frameworks for thinking about power and communication in our society: from Foucault’s genealogy of power and government, to Agamben’s economic theology to Luhmann’s power-analysis and Zizek’s critique of ideology. The course thematizes how each of these perspectives can be applied to different and varied cases and to different and varied forms of communication: as governmental rationality and discourse, as technologies of power, as political ritual and truth-telling, as economic marketing etc.

The overarching aim is to give the students an overview and insight in relation to the concept and phenomenon of power in such a way as to maintain and expand the insights of post-structuralism and second-order analysis. The purpose is to see that the students build their competences in analysing the characteristic problematics and practices that a power perspective focuses on, including the role of political and governmental communication in liberal democracy, and the persistence of power formations such as biopolitics and sovereignty. Contemporary examples will be employed to illustrate the analytical strategies.


Teaching methods
Magt og kommunikation:
Undervisningsformen veksler mellem forelæsninger, plenumdiskussioner, caseøvelser og studenterbårne øvelsestimer.
Feedback during the teaching period
As this course is not directly assessed, feedback consists of ongoing in-class feedback from listening to students on level of understanding of texts and lectures and the use of in-class exercises to give students an overview of whether they are following the expected learning curve.
Student workload
Undervisning 24 hours
Undervisningsforberedelse 72 hours
Expected literature

NB! vejledende litteratur

Magt og kommunikation


M. Dean (2010) Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. Sage, London, 2nd edn. (or if you prefer, see 2006 Danish Translation of the first edition). Especially Chapter One.

M. Foucault (1991) 'Questions of method', in C. Gordon et al. (eds) The Foucault Effect. Studies in Governmentality. University of Chicago Press, pp. 73-86.

Last updated on 23-06-2017