Defiant life: the seductions of Terror amid the tyranny of the human

Julian Reid

in The Biopolitics of the War on Terror

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780719074059
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701676 | DOI:
Defiant life: the seductions of Terror amid the tyranny of the human

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This chapter explores the strategies with which Terror is seeking to refuse the impositions of biopolitical order through the development of Jean Baudrillard's account of Terror as defiant life. Defiant life is a life which, in contrast to nomadic life, refuses the powers of movement and possibility of alternative modes of communication, guarding its capacities to be obdurate, secretive and obscure. Faced with a form of power the strategy of which functions by governing life relationally, making it communicate and move efficiently, defiant life responds with a strategy of no negotiation, and with the outright refusal of insistences for communication and movement. Baudrillard's theories have received barely any serious attention in domains of International Relations in spite of the fact that much of his recent work has been concerned directly with issues of war in relation to political and social transformation. Most recently, he has written explicitly on the phenomenon of Terror and its relations to the developing global order. Similar to Deleuze and Guattari, his broader theory of modernity and the development of societies and modalities of governance developed in the form of an interlocution and antagonism with Foucault's account.

Keywords: terror; biopolitical order; Jean Baudrillard; defiant life; power; international relations

Chapter.  10400 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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