Power is traditionally viewed as something that subjects exercise over objects, and it is a critical political vector with obvious social and historical significance. In our own world, we ignore power at our peril. Yet all too frequently today power is understood to be exercised by male subjects over a multitude of increasingly powerless objects: objects including things, plants, and animals, but also women, minorities, and the less privileged. How then do we approach the subject of power when working within a relational and posthumanist frame that rejects the notion of clearly defined and bounded subjects and objects and seeks to critique the notion of human exceptionalism? What is power if it is not something that humans exercise over less powerful others?

Posthumanist and relational approaches have attracted criticism and critique for their perceived failure to engage with power and, as a result, the political. We hear people ask: How can we demonstrate care and compassion for less privileged humans if we are busy extending agency and power to non-humans? Posthumanism, with many of its roots in feminist theory, calls us to pick up Foucault’s baton and explore alternative ways to understand power. By opening up new understandings of power, we make space to imagine not only new pasts but also new presents. This chapter explores what it means to talk about power and to be political through posthumanist philosophy.