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Biopolitics for philosophers

journal contribution
posted on 2010-11-01, 00:00 authored by Maurizio MeloniMaurizio Meloni
Roberto Esposito is an influential Italian political philosopher engaged in a renewal of the Foucauldian project of an ontology of the present. In his recent book Bíos, he rereads biopolitics through the lens of his paradigm of immunization (Esposito, 1998, 2002) and tries to explain how, in modernity, a politics of life ‘continually threatens to be reversed’ into a politics of death. His philosophical analysis is profound, and his genealogical reconstruction of the modern superimposition of politics and life innovative. However, his claims are weakened by his usage of a very abstract notion of biopolitics, which fails to take note of the current impact of scientific programmes on the human condition and the emergence of new biopolitical figures. The review suggests that lack of any interest toward the history of science as well as toward more empirically-oriented analyses remains a serious shortcoming of influential political philosophers.

History

Journal

Economy and society

Volume

39

Pagination

551-566

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

0308-5147

Language

eng

Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article

Copyright notice

2010, Taylor & Francis

Issue

4

Publisher

Taylor & Francis