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By Thomas Lemke, Monica Casper, Lisa Moore

ISBN-10: 0814752411

ISBN-13: 9780814752418

ISBN-10: 081475242X

ISBN-13: 9780814752425

ISBN-10: 0814752993

ISBN-13: 9780814752999

The organic positive aspects of people at the moment are measured, saw, and understood in methods by no means ahead of proposal attainable, defining norms, constructing criteria, and deciding on general values of human lifestyles. whereas the concept of “biopolitics” has been associated with every little thing from rational decision-making and the democratic association of social lifestyles to eugenics and racism, Thomas Lemke deals the first actual systematic assessment of the heritage of the inspiration of biopolitics, exploring its relevance in modern theoretical debates and offering a far wanted primer at the subject. Lemke explains that existence has develop into an self sufficient, aim and measurable issue in addition to a collective fact that may be separated from concrete residing beings and the singularity of person adventure. He indicates how our knowing of the methods of existence, the organizing of populations and the necessity to “govern” participants and collectives result in practices of correction, exclusion, normalization, and disciplining. during this lucidly written ebook, Lemke outlines the stakes and the debates surrounding biopolitics, delivering a scientific evaluation of the historical past of the proposal and making transparent its relevance for sociological and modern theoretical debates.

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The concept of biopolitics was linked to ecological considerations and became a reference point for various ideological, political, and religious interests. One of the most curious responses to the “ecological question” is the idea of a “Christian biopolitics” put forward by theologian Kenneth Cauthen in his book Christian Biopolitics: A Credo and Strategy for the Future (1971). The author asserts the emergence of a “planetary society,” which comes into existence once the biological frontiers of Earth are exceeded.

The ecological interpretation of biopolitics was in this respect locked into a naturalistic logic, as it strove to thematize the interaction between natural and societal processes and so to determine the correct political answers to environmental questions. Central to the technocentric version of biopolitics, however, is not the adaptation of “society” to a separate “natural environment” but rather the environment’s modification and transformation through scientific and technological means. Of course, these interpretive threads are difficult to tease apart historically or systematically.

First, the object of investigation is primarily political Life as the Basis of Politics 17 behavior, which—and this is the underlying assumption—is caused in a substantial way by objectively demonstrable biological factors. Within these explicative models, (inter)subjective motivations or reasons play no more than a minor role, as do cultural factors. Second, the objective of the approach is not the interpretation of symbolic structures or the provision of normative critique; it is much more oriented toward describing and explaining observable behavior in order to draw conclusions for a rational politics, that is, a politics consistent with biological exigencies.

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Biopolitics: An Advanced Introduction (Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the 21st Century) by Thomas Lemke, Monica Casper, Lisa Moore


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