Chapter

The Generalised Biopolitical Border: Security as The Normal Technique of Government

Nick Vaughan-Williams

in Border Politics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780748637324
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652747 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637324.003.0004
The Generalised Biopolitical Border: Security as The Normal Technique of Government

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This chapter traces Giorgo Agamben's engagement with and development of Michel Foucault's understanding of the biopolitical structures of the West in order to explore the possibilities of his approach for developing alternative border imaginaries. It begins with an exegesis of Agamben's work. Building upon Agamben, the chapter develops the concept of the generalised biopolitical border as an alternative to the geopolitical concept of the border of the state. Thinking in terms of the generalised biopolitical border unties an analysis of the limits of sovereign power from the territorial confines of the modern state and relocates such an analysis in the context of a global terrain that spans and decentres notions of ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ space.

Keywords: biopolitical structures; Giorgo Agamben; Michel Foucault; border imaginaries; biopolitical border; sovereign power

Chapter.  12699 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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