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The Dream of Genocide. Foucault’s Introduction of Biopolitics

Branko Romčević orcid id ; Univerzitet u Beogradu, Fakultet bezbednosti, Gospodara Vučića 50, RS–11040 Beograd

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 337 Kb

str. 625-645

preuzimanja: 21



In this paper, we discuss Foucault’s formulation of the notions of biopolitics and biopower against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public reaction to it. For this purpose, we first identify his body of work relevant to the issue of biopolitics, since this issue – unlike the subject areas represented in Foucault’s earlier work – has not been the subject of a separate study. We narrow the focus to the period between 1974 and 1976, when he wrote five crucial texts for understanding biopolitics. The final one – “Right of Death and Power over Life”, the only one with biopolitics as the sole subject – provides what could be understood as Foucault’s definitive interpretation of the genesis and position of biopolitics in modern technologies of power. In the second part of the paper, we analyze the conceptual structure of biopower and the position of discipline and biopolitics within this structure. We then turn to Foucault’s final determination of biopolitics as thanatopolitics to raise the question of whether this whole perspective is dystopian. We find that it is not, because this perspective depends on Foucault’s understanding of power relations, according to which resistance is primary and power is derived. Finally, we argue that his conceptualization of biopolitics cannot be used to justify any of today’s antibiopolitical tendencies.

Ključne riječi

Michel Foucault; biopolitics; biopower; resistance; power

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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