The Biopolitical Imperative

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In view of the so-called biopolitical turn, this chapter traces the genealogies of the critical understanding of biopolitics in human geography, and more specifically in political geography. It highlights two routes for such genealogies – one via Foucault's legacy as well as Agamben's recent readings of biopolitics, while the other originates from the Geopolitik tradition. Covering the well-known route via Foucault and Agamben, the chapter goes beyond this conventional narrative, to introduce the genealogical accounts of biopolitics offered by Italian political philosophers as well as the German sociologist Lemke. It then seeks to explore the multiple “new” geographies inspired by the “biopolitical imperative.” The chapter ends by reflecting on the essential link between the “bio” and the “geo,” recalling the historical concept of living/vital space and the geopolitical ontologies of the Third Reich.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Companion to Political Geography
EditorsJ.A. Agnew, V. Mamadouh, A. Secor, J. Sharp
Number of pages568
ISBN (Print)9781118725887
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    Minca, C. (2015). The Biopolitical Imperative. In J. A. Agnew, V. Mamadouh, A. Secor, & J. Sharp (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Political Geography (pp. 165-186). Wiley-Blackwell.