1st Edition

Biopolitical Disaster

Edited By Jennifer Lawrence, Sarah Marie Wiebe Copyright 2018
    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    Biopolitical Disaster employs a grounded analysis of the production and lived-experience of biopolitical life in order to illustrate how disaster production and response are intimately interconnected. The book is organized into four parts, each revealing how socio-environmental consequences of instrumentalist environmentalities produce disastrous settings and political experiences that are evident in our contemporary world.

    Beginning with "Commodifying crisis," the volume focuses on the inherent production of disaster that is bound to the crisis tendency of capitalism. The second part, "Governmentalities of disaster," addresses material and discursive questions of governance, the role of the state, as well as questions of democracy. This part explores the linkage between problematic environmental rationalities and policies. Third, the volume considers how and where the (de)valuation of life itself takes shape within the theme of "Affected bodies," and investigates the corporeal impacts of disastrous biopolitics. The final part, "Environmental aesthetics and resistance," fuses concepts from affect theory, feminist studies, post-positivism, and contemporary political theory to identify sites and practices of political resistance to biopower.

    Biopolitical Disaster will be of great interest to postgraduates, researchers, and academic scholars working in Political ecology; Geopolitics; Feminist critique; Intersectionality; Environmental politics; Science and technology studies; Disaster studies; Political theory; Indigenous studies; Aesthetics; and Resistance.


    Warren Magnusson


    Jennifer Lawrence and Sarah Marie Wiebe

    Part I - Commodifying Crisis

    Chapter 1: "Manufacturing Biopolitical Disaster: Instrumental (Ir)Rationality and Deepwater Horizon"

    Jennifer L. Lawrence

    Chapter 2: "Disaster Biopolitics and the Crisis Economy"

    Kevin Grove

    Chapter 3: "Life as Half Lives: The Nuclear Condition and Biopolitical Disaster"

    Timothy W. Luke

    Chapter 4: "Even Natural Disasters Are Unlikely to Slow Us Down...": Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility as Well-Crafted Political Judgment"

    Andy Scerri and Nader Sobhani

    Part II - Governmentalities of Disaster

    Chapter 5: "The Governmentality of Disaster Resilience"

    Peter Rogers

    Chapter 6: "Catastrophe and Catastrophic Thought"

    Garnet Kindervater

    Chapter 7: "Politics of re-radicalising the Deracinated as Invasive Species: Human Displacement, Environmental Disasters of State Enclosures and the Irradicability of Biodiversity"

    Mark F.N. Franke

    Part III - Affected Bodies

    Chapter 8: "Emergency Life and Indigenous Resistance: Seeing Biopolitical Disaster through a Prismatic lens"

    Sarah Marie Wiebe

    Chapter 9: "Marginally Managed: ‘Letting Die’ and Fighting Back in the Oil Sands

    Emily Ray

    Chapter 10: "Of Course They Count, But Not Right Now:" Regulating Precarity In Lee Maracle’s Ravensong and Celia’s Song

    Dallas Hunt

    Chapter 11: "Life at All Costs: The Biopolitics of Chemotherapy in Contemporary Telivision and Film"

    Teena Gabrielson

    Part IV - Environmental Aesthetics and Resistance

    Chapter 12: "The Great Turning"

    Christine Fry

    Chapter 13: "The Underestimated Power Effects of the Discourses and Practices of the Food Justice Movement"

    Eric Darier

    Chapter 14: "Interrogating the Disastrous Biopolitics of the Sustainable Development-Resilience Nexus"

    Julian Reid

    Chapter 15: "The Aesthetics of Triage: Towards Life Beyond Survival"

    Geoffrey Whitehall

    End Piece: "Dealing with Disastrous Life" .

    Francois Debrix


    Jennifer L. Lawrence is Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience, Virginia Tech, USA.

    Sarah Marie Wiebe is Assistant Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Department of Political Science, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.