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The concept of biopolitics has emerged as one of the key terms of contemporary attempts to understand the present political condition. It is used to discuss phenomena as diverse as the way that biological knowledge has come to guide our sense of who we are, various aspects of global capital, governmental policies worldwide that intervene in different ways in the constitution of populations and their wellbeing, as well as military interventions and modes of warfare. This essay focuses on two key attempts to theorize the term, by Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben. It also considers several responses to their work, including Roberto Esposito s account of the immunization paradigm, and the empirical approach of Nikolas Rose and Paul Rabinow. Finally, it considers the implications of theories of biopolitics for ethics, including bioethics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Ethics
EditorsHugh LaFollette, John Deigh, Sarah Stroud
Place of PublicationChichester West Sussex UK
Pages1 - 10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781444367072
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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