Foucault's and Arendt's 'insider view' of biopolitics : a critique of Agamben
Blencowe, Claire. (2010) Foucault's and Arendt's 'insider view' of biopolitics : a critique of Agamben. History of the Human Sciences, Vol.23 (No.5). pp. 113-130. ISSN 0952-6951Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0952695110375762
This article revisits Arendt’s and Foucault’s converging accounts of modern (bio)politics and the entry of biological life into politics. Agamben’s influential account of these ideas is rejected as a misrepresentation both because it de-historicizes biological/organic life and because it occludes the positivity of that life and thus the discursive appeal and performative force of biopolitics. Through attention to the genealogy of Arendt’s and Foucault’s own ideas we will see that the major point of convergence in their thinking is their insistence upon understanding biological thinking from the inside, in terms of its positivity. Agamben’s assessment of modern politics is closer to Arendt’s than it is to Foucault’s and this marks a fascinating point of disagreement between Arendt and Foucault. Whereas Arendt sees the normalizing force of modern society as being in total opposition to individuality, Foucault posits totalization and individuation as processes of normation, which casts a light upon the relative import they place upon politics and ethics.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||History of the Human Sciences|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Official Date:||December 2010|
|Page Range:||pp. 113-130|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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