Biopolitics and human reproduction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter on biopolitics focuses on how the life sciences and law enter into conflict or conversation in Germany, when classifying forms of life, making the facts of life and the normative consequences at once. The chapter reflects on what kind of politics the notions of Entwicklungsfähigkeit and totipotence help German policy makers and scientists to perform. It expresses that labelling entities as capable of development are political moments par excellence: they set the ground for one mode of politics rather than another. The chapter describes the bio-legal imaginary and focuses on how this came into being and how this arrangement was solidified. It discusses the major tenets of the Embryo Protection Act, which the German Parliament enacted in 1990. The chapter also briefly explores debates on another bio-object, the 'induced pluripotent stem cells'. The Embryo Protection Act formulated a range of abuses of reproductive technologies and in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos, defining them as punishable offenses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Biopolitics
EditorsSergei Prozorov, Simona Rentea
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315612751
ISBN (Print)9781472449641
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this