biopolitics and necropolitics

Malthusianism, based on the underlying principle that finite resources and high fertility rates pose a ‘crisis’ to the depletion of the earth’s resources, has shaped neo-Malthusian approaches to birth control as a means to achieve population control. Another example is slavery as a biopolitical experimentation, in which the human slave is kept alive only as commodity, living in a state of permanent injury and loss. He thus reminds us that Necropolitics is not only a matter of the, say colonial, past, but very much a characteristic of the present. In other words, who is disposable and who isn’t, and how is the power to decide on this matter enacted. Mariana Lopez discusses. Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control. ‘From population control to reproductive rights. Archives of United Nations agencies, the World Bank, International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Ford Foundation, and the Population Council reveal how some of the most draconian population control measures deployed during the 1950s and 1960s were in fact designed not only with the complete cognizance but under the direction of these agencies (See: Connelly, 2006 and Cream, 1995). Notify me of follow-up comments by email. US international development and foreign policy continue to leverage US biopower in implementing neo-Malthusian intervention. Necropolitics is basically about the power of death in the most literal way, either killing people or reducing them to what Mbembe calls ‘the living dead’ who populate ‘death worlds’ – spaces with living conditions which allow one to barely survive. Biopolitics and necropolitics of population policies, as a distinct modality within neo-Malthusianism, has an implicit sentence of social death within current global and foreign policy. Purewal., 2017. Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis can also be unpacked through the logics of survival and martyrdom described in the chapter. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. I find it particularly revealing how essential workers, such as nurses or grocery shop workers, are constructed as heroes, bordering on martyrs, whose bodies become the weapon against the “invisible killer” (see speech) in this war imaginary that the government construed for us to process death. While we do not doubt the authoritarian nature of Chinese biopolitics and its excesses, in this historical moment, the Asian superpower was able to protect its citizens from the worst, not only by containing the immediate biological threat to their lives posed by the virus, but also by sustaining the material reproduction of life through securing production and redistribution of the basics required for human sustenance. The rapidity of spread of the virus and its severe health implications mark disposable bodies, cornered by military (see here or here) keeping them away from their livelihood based on informal economies, earning an income that only allows daily survival. What the pandemic shows is that the boundaries between the zone of being and the zone of non-being that Grosfoguel (2016) insightfully highlights as the dividing line between raced subjects, are shifting and situational, and can, under specific historical conditions, cut through historical privilege too. ‘Women on trial: a private pillory?’ in N. Thrift and S. The Mexico City policy, also known as the ‘Global Gag Rule,’ which was first introduced by US President Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocked US federal funding to non-governmental organisations which provide abortion counselling or referrals, advocate for the expansion of access to abortion, or campaign for the decriminalization of abortion. People in high-risk groups have become the newly designated disposable bodies of the pandemic. Coercive leveraging of biopolitical intervention over gendered and racialised bodies of formerly colonised populations found new modes and methods. Clarifications. ( Log Out /  Abbamonte, J., 2019. Sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) is under siege, again. His current research focuses on race & class, discourse, and media in the Caribbean and the Atlantic World. Somatosphere. Africa remains the “dark continent” where talks of the potential damage of the pandemic are muted, by the unspoken perception that African lives are valued differently from Western ones – after all, when did the world stop to fully acknowledge the millions of African deaths caused by HIV/AIDS or malaria? The spectre of a health dictatorship often ends in implicit or explicit references to China, and its allegedly draconian measures in containing COVID-19. 2020. (accessed November 12, 2020). Three elements of the Irish referendum demonstrate broader patterns applicable to countries with similar conditions: the influence of colonialism on the country’s history and perception of foreign support (as in Brazil); the requirement to return to vote in person (as in Israel); and the enduring influence of strategic, grassroots-driven communications (as in Northern Ireland). Kuumba, M.B., 1993. This is reinforced through a history of justification for European colonialism, eugenics policies of Western countries towards indigenous and racialised groups, and subsequently a logic of international development discourse projected on the global South. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. With its recent votes against the inclusion of ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ and ‘sexual education’ in the resolutions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), Brazil is breaking with its foreign policy tradition of the last 25 years. The Invention of Infodemics: On the Outbreak of Zika and Rumors, Compassion and sacrifice during COVID-19 | Somatosphere, Toxicity, Waste, and Detritus in the Global South: Africa and Beyond, Being Psychotically Adept— Placing Change, the Poetic Self, and Community Arts Together, Global Mental Health: a special issue of Transcultural Psychiatry, Indigenous Mental Health: a special issue of Transcultural Psychiatry (OA), Loneliness: a special issue of Transcultural Psychiatry, The Third Choice: Suicide Hotlines, Psychiatry, and the Police, Where Has SARS Gone? All of a sudden, the elderly of European welfare states that had for long benefited from the accumulation and extraction of wealth from cheap labour and raw materials from the Global South, find themselves to be disposable bodies, rather than privileged pensioners enjoying the spoils of post-WWII well-resourced social democracies. This can be seen in the Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB), approved by parliament on 11 December 2019, which seeks to exclude Muslims from eligibility for citizenship through the hyping up of the supposed threat of illegal immigration and a growing Muslim population. The liberal principles of ‘rights’, justice, equality and liberty which had informed the pro-choice, women’s and reproductive rights movements are insufficient for a feminist understanding of biopolitical intervention in contemporary times. The idea of the alive human, with potentially newly found bonds to other humans, surfaces on the horizon of possibilities in the conclusion of the book as well. With each Republican president’s inauguration, the Gag Rule has been reinstated, which has not only threatened access to safe abortion but has cut funding for frontline, essential healthcare services in many countries. Available online at Modi warned about a population explosion - but demographic data show declining trend. 15 (1), pp. ‘Necropolitics’ is his seminal treatise of the notion of bio- and necro-power, a reconsideration of Foucault’s take on biopolitics, initially published as an article in Public Text in 2003. Learn how your comment data is processed. 12 May. Despite making up half of the population, women and their requirements are often overlooked and neglected, sometimes even deliberately ignored. The market is the ultimate sovereign, with the power to bestow life or death upon its subjects. In attempting to prove to the US that it was tackling its ‘‘population problem,’’ Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s government embarked on a highly unpopular forced sterilisation campaign during the 22-month ‘‘state of emergency’’ between 1975 and 1977.

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