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Twenty-First Century Biopolitics


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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Time Of Small Revolutions, Biopolitics And True Democracy


Different contemporary phenomena we have turned to here – the new world images and manifestations we have attempted to articulate and conceptually define – the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement and the birth of radical left and right European politics – suggest, in a multiplicity of aspects, some major questions. Is the twenty-first century a proper biopolitical time or, conversely, are the silhouettes and shades of the end of neoliberalism appearing in our epoch? Or, more explicitly, if we see the first traces of the manifestation of political subjectivities on the horizon, is this enough to suppose that the ruptures in the system have grown to the extent that one can speak of an irreversible process?

Prevailing theoretical and practical conditions suggest that, en generale, we still live in the world of biopolitics. Because, in contemporary biopolitics, on the level of technology and sexuality everything is possible and everything is allowed in all spheres – so long as it does not infiltrate the heart of politics and economy and thus threatens the system itself. This is to say that political virtuality, as well as the simulation of economic sustainability of structurally unsustainable paradigms, with expansive roles of crypto-elites. still enables the hyper-production of the status quo in the Western and some parts of the non-Western world. Through multiplicity of techniques of power, domination and intervention, in Arab countries the influence of imperial and colonial forces is still present and visible; the OWS movement, at this moment, is not going through...

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