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Political Life beyond the Biopolitical?

Leonie Ansems de Vries

Michel Foucault's genealogy of the entry of life into politics provides an incisive account of the manner in which life came to be governed on the basis of its understood biological capacities and requirements. Foucault problematises biopolitics as a mode of governance through which life's potentialities are both produced and immobilised via the continuous (re)production of circulations, or the constitution of the milieu. The question is whether governance can be (dis)ordered such that this problem of biopolitical foreclosure is overcome. This problematique will be broached in this article by staging an encounter between Foucault's problematisation of biopolitical life and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's biophilosophy, which offers the promise of an ontological movement to think political life anew. Engaging Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the milieu, the article explores whether a shift of focus to an understanding of political life in terms of its potentialities of mobile and relational becoming within a wider play of forces can offer a viable strategy to counter the problematic foreclosure of politics to which Foucault draws attention.

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Reviews

Anton Jansson, Kai Vogelsang, and Nele Kuhlmann

to exemplify the historical transformation of power strategies and their specific productivity. Furthermore, analyzing along the axis of knowledge means tracking the historical processes of veridiction and materialization of knowledge in dispositifs

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From Schmitt to Foucault

Inquiring the Relationship between Exception and Democracy

Sara Raimondi

) . Foucault explicates the relational character of power, which, while operating, simultaneously generates micro-level oppositions across a complex network of dispositif (1978: 93). Power, thus, plays an ambivalent role in both taming and nurturing

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Book Roundtable

Discussion text: Chin, C. 2018. The Practice of Political Theory: Rorty and Continental Thought.

Lasse Thomassen, Joe Hoover, David Owen, Paul Patton, and Clayton Chin

” to engage in ontological legitimation’ (35). Rorty views vocabularies in the singular as bound up with sets of practices, in a manner that broadly resembles Michel Foucault's talk of apparatuses or ‘ dispositifs ’ that combine social practices with