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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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The Birth Of Radical European Politics Of Left And Right

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A particular phenomenon, which should be considered in the discussion of contemporary biopolitics and the attempts to, contrary to neoliberal hegemony, reaffirm the political, is the emergence of divergent processes which are growing in different European countries. This is to say that simultaneously with manifestations which have exemplified that the crisis of the European union is not simply economic but that we are facing a systemic crisis which, in a significant sense, is a political and social crisis, it has become clear that the same, seemingly contradictory impulse, of simultaneous strengthening of mechanisms of control and domination, and gathering which confronts it, is also taking place on European grounds. Moreover, Europe is becoming the exemplary area of such developments. Because, to the extent in which in previous times European citizens were faced with the growth of consciousness that the EU practically has nothing in common with its own proclaimed slogan about equality of the people and equality in difference, they are becoming aware now of the gap between the EU crypto-elites and the values such as democracy and freedom. The gap – which we can call the gap between EU forms and European realities – is growing in its multiplication and expansion. And so we have found ourselves in medias res of contemporary biopolitics.

First – as Ranciere already noted as early as in 2005, explaining why the French will say “No!” at the referendum on European constitution – the EU appeared as an exemplary case of simulation of politics,...

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