The question of juridical rights is often considered to be a weak point in
Michel Foucault's conception of power. Michel Foucault constructed his
theory of power in opposition to the juridical and political theory of
"sovereignty", an opposition which, for some commentators, can be
interpreted as a criticism of rights in general (Zarka 2002, 266).
According to Foucault's theory, law and rights do not provide a good
description of how power is actually exercised in modern societies.
When we talk about power, we are always referring to political power
and to the State. But political power only functions on a base of preexisting
power relations. There is a whole hidden world lurking behind
the golden splendour of our political rights: for Foucault, new extra-legal
types of power appear throughout the 19th century, in particular what he
calls disciplinary power and