The Cartography of Power

Foucault & Bourdieu

Written by Anders Fogh Jensen 

Painter: Rasmus Svarre Hansen

Magtens kartografi, Foucault og Bourdieu
Copenhagen: Unge Pædagoger, 2006.


A map is a representation of reality seen from above which is used for navigation from below. The two French thinkers Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu are both engaged on drawing maps of social reality – but in each their way. Their common point of departure is the idea that social reality is never a void, it always takes some kind of form and always has certain relations of power. Social forms can be slack, but they are unstable and dynamic because people constantly want something from each other and, through their activities, they interfere with existing power relations. The games that occur when people invest their energy in the prevailing forms of thought and control may be referred to as power. In this regard, the task of the cartographers of power is to map the logic and the dynamics of these games. This has produced two comprehensive, but diverse worlds of ideas which have both left a tremendous impact on a broad range of sciences.

The Cartography of Power is a picture book which recounts Foucault and Bourdieu’s theories in a simple language supported by inspired drawings. Anders Fogh Jensen’s imaginative expressions is accompanied by Rasmus Svarre Hansen’s expressive images, and together they have created an original guide which takes the reader by the hand and leads her through a great diversity of ideas across a broad range of subjects. With its pedagogical explanations and visual richness the book addresses itself to students and teachers at all levels.


Anders Fogh Jensen (Ph.D., D.E.A.) is a Danish philosopher who graduated in philosophy from Sorbonne and the University of Copenhagen. He is also the author of the books Metaforens magt (The Power of Metaphor), 2001, Mellem ting, Foucaults filosofi (In-Between Things, Foucault’s Philosophy), 2005, Projektsamfundet and Projektmennesket 2009 (The Society of Projects 2012) and Epi-demos, En lille bog om store epidemic (Epi-demos, Little Treaty on Great Epidemics)  and the play Kapitalen (The Capital), 2004.

Rasmus Svarre Hansen has a Master of Education degree and works as a freelance illustrator and a painter.

Together they have published The Cartography of Power (2006) and Epi-demos, Little Treaty on Great Epidemics (2011).