The recent debate about biopolitics in International Relations (IR) theory may well prove to be one of the most provocative and rewarding engagements with the concept of power in the history of the discipline. Building on Foucault's arguments concerning the role played by the concept of security in 19th-century liberal government, numerous IR scholars are now arguing for the relevance of his theories of biopolitics and governmentality for understanding the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and broader issues of security and governance in the post 9/11 world.
Conversely, others have criticized this idea. Marxist and Communitarian scholars have challenged the notion that the category of biopolitics can be 'scaled' up to the level of international relations with any analytical precision. This edited volume covers these debates in IR with a series of critical engagements with Foucault's own thought and its increasing relevance for understanding international relations in the post 9/11 world.
This book was based on a special issue of Global Society.
Table of Contents
1. Editorial Introduction Nicholas J. Kiersey and Jason R. Weidner 2. Neoliberal Political Economy and the Subjectivity of Crisis: Why Governmentality is Not Hollow Nicholas J. Kiersey 3. Governmentality, Capitalism, and Subjectivity Jason R. Weidner 4. Governmentality of What? Populations, States and International Organisations Jonathan Joseph 5. Foucault’s Concept of Power and the Global Discourse of Human Rights Ivan Manokha 6. Hobbes, War, Movement Leonie Ansems De Vries and Jorg Spieker 7. Taking Foucault beyond Foucault: Inter-state Governmentality in Early Modern Europe Halvard Leira 8. Decentring Global Power: The Merits of a Foucauldian Approach to International Relations Doerthe Rosenow 9. “. . . we are being left to burn because we do not count”: Biopolitics, Abandonment, and Resistance Anna Selmeczi 10. Rethinking Foucault in International Relations: Promiscuity and Unfaithfulness Andrew W. Neal
Nicholas J. Kiersey is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio University-Chillicothe. He has published research on "world state" theory, scale and bio-politics in the War on Terror, and the European Union’s attitude to Turkish accession. His current research focuses on discourses of neoliberal capitalist subjectivity and the "debate about empire" in IR theory.
Doug Stokes is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His work covers critical international relations theory and US foreign policy. His most recent book is called American Hegemony and Global Energy Security and is due out in 2010 with the Johns Hopkins University Press.