Beyond Biopolitics

Essays on the Governance of Life and Death

Beyond Biopolitics

Book Pages: 400 Illustrations: 12 illustrations Published: October 2011

Cultural Studies, Sociology > Social Theory, Theory and Philosophy

Under the auspices of neoliberalism, technical systems of compliance and efficiency have come to underwrite the relations among the state, the economy, and a biopolitics of war, terror, and surveillance. In Beyond Biopolitics, prominent theorists seek to account for and critically engage the tendencies that have informed neoliberal governance in the past and are expressed in its reformulation today. As studies of military occupation, the policing of migration, blood trades, financial markets, the war on terror, media ecologies, and consumer branding, the essays explore the governance of life and death in a near-future, a present emptied of future potentialities. The contributors delve into political and theoretical matters central to projects of neoliberal governance, including states of exception that are not exceptional but foundational; risk analysis applied to the adjudication of “ethical” forms of war, terror, and occupation; racism and the management of the life capacities of populations; the production and circulation of death as political and economic currency; and the potential for critical and aesthetic response. Together, the essays offer ways to conceptualize biopolitics as the ground for today’s reformulation of governance.

Contributors. Ann Anagnost, Una Chung, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Steve Goodman, Sora Y. Han, Stefano Harney, May Joseph, Randy Martin, Brian Massumi, Luciana Parisi, Jasbir Puar, Amit S. Rai, Eugene Thacker, Çağatay Topal, Craig Willse


“Again, this is a highly recommended work, and will challenge readers to think beyond the set categories of politics and ways in which biopolitics can provide insights, and subsequently take further our research on power and the order of the neoliberal state.” — Rob Imre, Somatechnics

Beyond Biopolitics marks a significant contribution to the flourishing field of biopolitics. Clough and Willse have assembled a collection that speaks from the heart of a US radical tradition.” — Lorna Weir, Canadian Journal of Sociology

Beyond Biopolitics explores new forms of life emerging while modern strategies for the governance of populations mutate and metastasize into strange new configurations—biosecurity, biocapital, thanato-politics, speculation, risk, and violence. The contributors document the myriad ways that the old racisms and colonial power relations are re-energized by state and market tactics to govern terrorism, environmental catastrophe, and the global flows of information, people, genes, and viruses. In its prescient identification of these dynamics, Beyond Biopolitics gives us a map of life’s near-future.” — Catherine Waldby, coauthor of Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs, and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism

“These essays by some of today’s most exciting and innovative theorists interrogate the connection between biopower and governance from an extraordinarily wide range of perspectives. Together they give us a complex and multifaceted view on the contemporary nature and functioning of power.” — Michael Hardt, coauthor of Commonwealth


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Patricia Ticineto Clough is Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the editor of The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, also published by Duke University Press.

Craig Willse has a doctorate in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction. Beyond Biopolitics: The Governance of Life and Death / Patricia Ticento Clough and Craig Willse 1

Part I. Unexceptional Control: Governance, Race, and Population

1. National Enterprise Emergency: Steps Toward an Ecology of Powers / Brian Massumi 19

2. Human Security/National Security: Gender Branding and Population Racism / Patricia Ticento Clough and Craig Willse 46

3. "The Turban is Not a Hat": Queer Diaspora and Practices of Profiling / Jasbir Puar 65

4. Strict Scrutiny: The Tragedy of Constitutional Law / Sora Y. Han 106

Part II. Preemption: Death and Life-Itself

5. Necrologies; or, the Death of the Body Politic / Eugene Thacker 139

6. Mnemonic Control / Luciana Parisi and Steve Goodman 163

7. Thanato-tactics / Eyal Weizman 177

Part III. Transforming Value: The Measure of Life Capacities

8. Strange Circulations / Ann S. Anagnost 213

9. Necropolitical Surveillance: Immigrants from Turkey in Germany / Çagatay Topal 238

10. From the Race War to the War on Terror / Randy Martin 258

Part IV. Technological Investments: Temporality, Media, and Methodologies

11. "Seeing" Spectral Agencies: An Analysis of Lin+Lam and Unidentified Vietnam / Una Chung 277

12. Here We Accrete Durations: Toward a Practice of Intervals in the Perceptual Mode of Power / Amit S. Rai 306

13. Fascia and the Grimace of Catastrophe / May Joseph 332

14. Blackness and Governance / Fred Moten and Stefano Harney 351

Bibliography 363

Contributors 381

Index 385
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5017-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5003-3
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