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:

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This epilogue briefly considers where the preceding analyses take and leave us with respect to the War on Terror and the broader problems of relations between life, war, and politics of which this war is an expression. In the context of a war in which liberal regimes are attempting to convince their publics that it is no less than the future survival of the human species which is at stake in a conflict against an enemy stripped of all ordinary attributes of humanity, it is of necessity that we continue to question as rigorously as possible the relations between life, war and liberal modernity. It is of necessity that the problem of liberal modernity no longer be understood as that of how to free life from its subjection to a historical and politically contingent condition of war, but how to free life from its subjection to the means of liberal solutions to the problem of war. There is today not so much a problem with war as such, but more pressingly with prevailing liberal solutions to war. That is to say in the limitations of the ways in which liberal regimes construe social conditions conducive to peace. Understood thus, the imperative question of politics which Foucault specified for us, which the other theorists in this book all seek to respond to, and which nevertheless continues to plague us, is that of how to disengage from the biopolitical techniques and processes through which life comes to be pacified and mobilised as logistical life.

Keywords: War on Terror; life; politics; liberal regimes; liberal modernity; Foucault

Chapter.  2990 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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