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Twenty-First Century Biopolitics

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Bogdana Koljevic

What are phenomena of contemporary biopolitics in the twenty-first century? Foucault’s theory of biopolitics as neoliberalism is opposed to post-political theories developed by Agamben, Hardt and Negri and as such – more instructive. Because microstrategy of power is not Foucault’s final word on politics, political genealogy opens the space for creative and local critique of biopolitics. And if military interventions, terrorism and wars against terrorism are exemplary phenomena of biopolitics, bellum justum is a contradictio in adjecto. In response to such biopolitics, the relation between sovereignty and democracy is re-examined and we are entering a time of small revolutions.
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Twenty-First Century As The World Of Biopolitics

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In previous investigations we have reflected on some relevant phenomena of contemporary biopolitics – such as international terrorism, bioterrorism, new international institutions, neoliberal “humanitarian” interventionism, the question of international tribunals and the blurring between the public and the private. However, in spite the insights coming from such examinations, it still has not appeared as plausible that the world of the twenty-first century arises as the world of biopolitics par excellence i.e. that biopolitics is the name of the time that is ours. This means that, in a yet unseen change in the flow of time in the era of (post)globalization, in the theoretical, but even more in the political sense, a specific turn has manifested itself and, moreover, one in which new shapes of biopolitical concepts and practices unfold and multiplicate themselves. These newborn processes are reflected in the world economic crisis as the crisis of neoliberalism per se and they are demonstrated in the growth of class differentiation, as well as in many attempts to control and govern entire populations. They are equally visible in a series of new wars and interventions, in the concentration of forces of different “friends” and “enemies” and, not less significantly, in the growth of simulation of politics in many governmental and discursive mechanisms and in the weakening of democratic capacity for key Western projects such as the EU. On the other hand, practically simultaneously with this dominance of biopolitics, completely opposite events, which testify to a silent but incisive return of...

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